My friends today I’m sharing a recipe I’ve been making over and over and over again because it’s a great meal (or serving) of vegetables and protein and tastes soooo good. Cauliflower I’m discovering is such a versatile vegetable. Years ago I started smashing cooked cauliflower with a pat of butter to mimic mashed potatoes and friends have told me how it also makes a great pizza dough.
A few weeks ago, a favorite fitness instructor was telling me about how she makes cauliflower “fried rice” and being a lover of the real thing, I went out and bought the ingredients that very day, whipped up my first batch, and texted her how amazing it was.
There are a lot of recipes for cauliflower “fried rice” online, all are a tad different, some add garlic or ginger, and some recipes are vegetarian (mine is not, I add chicken). All the variations sound delicious to me I may mix those into mine from time to time. I condensed my version down to a special sauce and a few simple ingredients to make it easy to whip up when I’m in the mood for it, which is often! It’s been given excellent reviews around my house too.
1 head of cauliflower (florets pulsed in food processer to create “rice”)
1 medium cooked chicken breast (swap for tofu if vegetarian)
2 scrambled eggs
¾ cup diced baby carrots
¾ cup frozen peas
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp szechwan chili sauce
To speed up the preparation and add flavor, I prepare a special sauce in advance. This is my cast of characters: szechwan chili sauce, sesame oil, and low sodium soy sauce.
To make the special sauce, mix ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of szechwan chili sauce and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. (I multiply that times two and pour it into a plastic condiment bottle for multiple preparations. The bottle makes it easy to store in the fridge then squirt into the pan.) The soy sauce adds sweetness, the sesame oil adds a nutty flavor, and the szechwan chili sauce brings a bit of spicy kick.
First, cook the chicken breast. You could use precooked chicken that’s fine, and here you could also add shrimp, or pork, or whatever floats your boat in the meat or seafood department. This dish could easily be vegetarian by skipping this step or substituting tofu.
I like using the special sauce to cook the chicken so it will have that same flavor going in to the “fried rice” medley later on. To cook the chicken breast and give it good flavor, I squirt one tablespoon of the special sauce in the pan, brown one side, add another tablespoon, brown the other, then pour ¼ cup of water into the pan, and cover for 4-5 minutes until the chicken breast is cooked through. Set the chicken aside to cool, then chop and add to the medley later.
Next prep the “rice” by pulsing a head of cauliflower chopped into florets in a food processer. (You can also buy it in frozen at Trader Joe’s like this.)
In a non stick sauté pan or wok, over medium heat add ¼ cup of the special sauce to the pan then add the diced carrots. Cook carrots for 1 minute to soften them. (You could also add a little minced garlic in here too!)
Add the remaining ingredients, starting with the “rice” cauliflower, then the eggs and peas and stir it all up.
Add the remaining ¼ cup of the special sauce to the pan and continue to stir all the ingredients over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
This recipe makes 4 servings as a side dish, but I usually split it and gobble it up all.by.myself. Half for lunch and half for dinner, it’s that good!
I sprinkled some chopped chives at the end but that’s totally optional. Also sometimes I add just a dash of garlic salt on top since the soy sauce is low sodium and sometimes I feel like it needs a hiiiint more salt. Try it and tell me what variations you make!
Got any great cauliflower recipes you like? Describe them! Or link to your favorite, I’d love to know.