Recipe: Cauliflower Fried Rice

When I first heard about using cauliflower to make faux-rice, I was skeptical. I remember my brother telling me about it via instant messenger, and the response that google has archived pretty much sums it up: “Hmmmmmmmm.“. Just to clarify, that was a “Hmmmmmm, sounds bland and soggy” sort of “Hmmmmm”, not an expression of actual interest or intent to try the idea.

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Well, fast-forward a year or two later and I eventually got myself on board with the idea. Naturally, I now wonder why I didn’t see the light before. It’s not like my brother has an affinity for bland, soggy foods, so I should probably learn to listen to him a little more attentively, right? It turns out cauliflower rice is both tasty and easy to make. Who’d have thought?

My current favorite iteration of cauliflower rice is to stir-fry it: it’s a great way to use up those odds and ends of vegetables in the fridge, and it goes well with the more Asian-themed taste palate that is coming out in our dinners lately. It doesn’t hurt that Mr. C&V also loves this dish, and is almost guaranteed to utter at least one positive expletive whenever it shows up at the table.

Cauliflower Fried Rice
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 head cauliflower (approximately 2 lbs), grated (I use a food processor with a grater attachement to make quick work of grating)
1 small onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into small pieces
4 scallions, chopped
2 leaves of kale, cut into small pieces
4 stalks cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp + 3 tsp oil of choice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, if you don’t like heat)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

Note: You can really vary the vegetables to suit your tastes and what you have on hand, but remember that the bulk of the vegetable matter does need to be cauliflower! I like to pick accent vegetables that will add a little color to the dish.

Method

1. Make sure all your vegetables are prepped, as this dish comes together quickly. None of that prep-while-cooking thing that I am so prone to!

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All ready to go!

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a 12″ cast iron skillet over low-medium heat. When oil is heated, pour in the eggs and scramble them by stirring every 10-20 seconds. When eggs are mostly scrambled (about 1 1/2 minutes), remove from the pan. Add the remaining oil and increase heat slightly. Add onions to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft and slightly translucent. Add carrots, cauliflower, sesame seeds, and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Add the scallions and kale, cook until kale is just beginning to wilt. And the cilantro, eggs and soy sauce and stir to thoroughly incorporate, cooking for approximately 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add sesame oil, again stirring to incorporate into the entire pan of cauliflower.

Serve as desired:

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Nutritional info (assuming 4 servings and a 2 lb head of cauliflower): 231 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 10 g protein, 8 g fiber

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