Although I adore rice, especially nutty whole-grain brown rice, there are times when I need something faster and want something less caloric. (A cup of cooked brown rice contains about 215 calories; an equal amount of cauliflower "rice" has about 25.) Cauli "rice" cooks lightning fast, too—you only need to sauté it for about three minutes—so it's a great option for busy weeknights, when you can whip up a veggie-packed skillet of cauliflower fried rice for an easy-peasy dinner.
You can easily make your own cauli "rice" by shredding fresh, raw cauliflower florets on the large holes of a box grater, or with the shredding blade of your food processor. Either method will offer a great mix of textures—some longer shreds plus some crumbly "niblets." Or you can pulse raw cauliflower in your food processor using the blade for a finer texture.
And now you can purchase pre-riced cauliflower at some grocery stores for even more convenience. Our local Trader Joe's here in Birmingham, Alabama sells it fresh and frozen, and some of my colleagues have purchased Green Giant cauliflower crumbles at one of our local supermarkets (which would work in this recipe). Whether you make it yourself or pick up a package, cauli "rice" is a great ingredient to keep on hand for fast, family-friendly eating. Give it a try in this quick fried "rice" recipe.
Easy Cauliflower Fried "Rice"
This is one of those recipes that's more of a template than a follow-to-the-letter recipe—customize according to your preferences. In place of sesame oil (which I use for nutty depth), try coconut oil, olive oil, or even butter. In place of sugar snap peas and carrots, you can try green peas, asparagus, red cabbage, snow peas, chopped bok choy, or green beans. Instead of shrimp, go for ground pork, leftover sliced pork chops, browned tofu cubes, or chopped chicken. The point is to play around and find what you like. I kept the seasonings simple; for heat, just add crushed red pepper or a drizzle of Sriracha or sambal oelek.
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, divided 1 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half or thirds 2/3 cup chopped carrot 1 cup sliced green onions, light and dark green parts separated 2 large garlic cloves, chopped 12 ounces fresh or frozen (unthawed) riced cauliflower (see info above) 1 large egg 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, cooked 2 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add snap peas and carrot; sauté 2 minutes. Add light parts of green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add light parts of green onions and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add cauliflower; sauté 2 minutes.
2. Clear an open spot in center of pan. Add remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil to open spot; crack in egg. Stir egg to break up yolk; stir occasionally to lightly scramble. Before egg is completely set, stir it into cauliflower mixture. Add shrimp to pan; drizzle with soy sauce. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated and vegetables are crisp-tender.
SERVES 4 CALORIES 218; FAT 9.4g (sat 1.6g, mono 3.3g, poly 3.3g); PROTEIN 20g; CARB 13g; FIBER 4g; SUGARS 5g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 189mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 502mg; CALC 133mg
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