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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chinese Style Not-Fried Not-Rice



Nice recipe name eh?

Heh!  As I've said many times, rice is a favorite food of mine.  And I love all kinds.  Brown rice has lots of nutrition, but it can also contain higher-than-ideal levels of, naturally occurring arsenic.  Since discovering that, I've cut down on my consumption.  I can easily hoover back several cups worth in one sitting.  And that's the problem with even whole grains: eat is easy to eat too much because they are so yummy and comforting, but, unfortunately, not as filling as protein.

I could never go low-carb, but I do try to get too much carbs relative to fats and proteins.  I don't track my macros at all, I just try not to get too much of a good thing.  Most carb substitutes - like spiralized veggies or spaghetti squash - don't work as a satisfying replacement for grains for me.  Even kelp noodles leave me wanting.  So far, only shirataki noodles satisfy my craving for carbs. 

But I have seen so many amazing recipes using cauliflower as a replacement for rice, that I was inspired to give this idea a try.  After all, I was sceptical about baking with plantains and I discovered they really DO work to make grain-free products.

A number of people on Facebook have been posting recipes from www.skinnytaste.com so I decided to check it out.  The first recipe I saw was a great one for fried rice using cauliflower.  It looked and sounded so delicious, I decided to make it this week...putting, of course, my own spin on it.

I have to say, I had my doubts, but honestly, I LOVE IT!  And it was extremely satisfying.  Not exactly like rice, but pretty close!   Now, admittedly the entire recipe was one lunch for me, but I according to the regular recipe, it's 4 servings.  Ha!  I should become a professional eater, I'd make a fortune.  I will definitely be making this again...and I'm thinking that, with a few tweaks, it could be an amazing Passover dish too!  To make it vegan, just swap out the eggs for some tofu.

Chinese Style Not-Fried Not-Rice (Adapted from this recipe)

1 medium cauliflower, rinsed
1 chunk ginger, peeled

2 egg whites + 1 large egg
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 small onion, diced 
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch green onions, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
2 tbls rice vinegar
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Crushed red chili flakes, to taste (optional)

Wash and carefully dry cauliflower. Coarsely chop into florets, then place half of the cauliflower and the ginger in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous. Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
Whisk eggs in a small bowl and season with a little of the salt.

Heat a non-stick pan set over medium heat and spray with oil or cooking spray. Add the eggs and cook, turning a few times until set.

Pour oil into a large skillet over medium high heat and saute onions, peas and carrots and garlic about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.  Add the cauliflower "rice" along with rice vinegar, soy sauce. Mix, cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Add the eggs and season to taste with salt, and chili, if you want a bit of heat.

I have contributed this recipe to this week's Gluten-Free Friday on Vegetarian Mamma.