Tag Archives: eggs

Grown up lunch: oasis

Lately I’ve been traveling a lot for work, which means a break from my usual foods and eating routine. My business trips are generally to fairly remote areas, so the offerings can be pretty hit or miss. I usually pack a few rations like apples, oranges, carrots, and nuts, then do my best with whatever else is available. When I get back from (or am in between) travel, I like to keep things simple and try to do a sort of mini-detox, focusing on getting plenty of protein (which is probably the hardest thing to do on the road as a mostly-vegetarian) and vegetables.

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I threw together this lunch as a little oasis of good healthy eating in the midst of it all: the last of a batch of cauliflower rice pilaf, topped with a pair of hard-boiled eggs. I’ve been loving hard-boiled eggs lately as an easy and portable meal addition. As a former egg-hater, it’s taken me a while to figure out the trick to peeling them without losing half the whites. I found this post on stone soup that mentioned adding a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water. Then I found some more instructions at Willow Bird baking that advised making lots of cracks in the shell before peeling. I’ve been trying both of these techniques with much improved success. Though to make your cracks, be sure to tap gently. Every time I’ve tried crunching down harder, I’ve cracked the whites wide open. In fact, you can see I tried it here on one of the eggs, and was rewarded for my non-pains with a yolk that was falling right out of the whites. Oops.

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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