Fried rice: the words conjure up memories of late night delivery, travels in Thailand, and my mom's special version that uses ketchup as a secret sweetener (don't knock it til you try it). It's been a staple food for many a college student, quick meal seekers, and street food aficionados alike.
This version subs out the rice for cauliflower, and is probably considered a sin by fried rice lovers everywhere, but it's a healthy alternative for those who are trying to stay away from simple carbs or just eat more vegetables. And to those of you who are skeptical as to whether cauliflower could ever really replace your rice - guess what? It can. The cauliflower is pulsed in a food processor or blender and, when cooked with a little chicken stock, it takes on a fluffy, couscous-like texture.
Moreover, the recipe is simple. Chop, pulse, stir fry and dinner is done. One bowl. One takeout recipe redone. One wonderfully simple, healthy and delicious meal.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Serves 4 to 6
- Your choice of protein I used what I had on hand at the time - garlic chicken sausage, and it worked just fine.
- 1 Head of Cauliflower
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Large Carrots
- 2 Cups of Frozen Peas
- 1 Cup Chopped String Beans
- Half of 1 White or Yellow Onion
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- Soy Sauce I prefer to use mushroom soy, but any type of soy will do. If you are gluten free, tamari works well in place of soy.
- Cut washed cauliflower head into florets and pulse in a blender or food processor until a couscous-like consistency is obtained. If you are using a blender, such as the Vitamix, using the dowel will help to ensure all of the florets get pulsed evenly. Set aside.
- In a wok, scramble 3 eggs in sesame oil until just scrambled. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Brown diced garlic and onions in the wok with sesame oil until aromatic. Add diced protein and saute on high heat. Once cooked through, add all vegetables and stir fry until tender and browned.
- When vegetables are cooked through, add the cauliflower "rice" and egg. Pour stock over the fried rice, mix and cover for 5 to 8 minutes to allow cauliflower "rice" to steam until tender on medium heat.
- Uncover and add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, or more to flavor the rice. Garnish with green onions for brightness and serve immediately.
$$$ Breakdown: I'd guess that most have many of the items on the ingredient list in their kitchens already, but if you had to buy all items the total cost for the groceries is no higher than $15.00. The cost for ingredients used in this recipe comes out to about $8.00. Meaning that this meal is $2.00 or less for each serving! Cheaper and healthier than delivery, and just as good.
Recipe and Photography by Lauren Durden