Cauliflower Fried Rice
Fried rice makes an easy weeknight meal. Popular versions include chicken, egg, white rice and some vegetables. In this version, we omitted the meat (you could easily swap in some chopped mushrooms for that), swapped out the egg for organic tofu, and the white rice for a more nutritious (and delicious!) black rice-cauliflower rice mixture. We've thrown in some fresh carrots, peas, radish, corn that we had on hand. You can play with ingredients, and even try your own version of different vegetable combinations. Simple, delicious, and loaded with nutrition.
This dish comes together in minutes if using stuff from the fridge - pre-cooked black rice, pre-riced cauliflower. You can grate the carrots and radishes ahead of time, and even crumble your tofu so it's ready to go!
This recipe uses only 10 simple ingredients, including:
"riced" cauliflower (I used an orange variety)
black (aka Forbidden) rice
fresh corn (can be frozen)
frozen peas (can use fresh snow peas)
organic firm tofu
Cauliflower is one of our favorite "superfoods" because it offers a host of nutritious benefits and is incredibly versatile (have you tried our cauliflower wings yet?). Cauliflower lasts quite a while, up to 10 days, in the fridge (well, maybe not as long as cabbage) so you can keep it on hand for an easy meal in a pinch. If you know you're going to use it as "rice," it's best to make the rice soon after purchase and store it in an air-tight container in the freezer for when you're ready to use it.
Appreciated for being a cancer-protector, cauliflower is rich in phytochemicals including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are believed to inhibit tumor growth, improve insulin sensitivity and stimulate insulin production among many other good things.
Black rice (aka Forbidden rice because it was reserved for Chinese royalty) has a high nutritional content, is gluten free, and has a nutty, delicious flavor! Loaded with anitoxidants, including anthocyanins (responsible for it's dark color), phytonutrients, and FIBER, black rice is associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing free radical damage, improved brain function, reducing inflammation and more. The antioxidant content may also protect again cancer and heart disease. And black rice has the highest protein content of any rice, with about 4 grams of protein in just 1/4 cup! Note: some varieties are glutinous (sticky) and used in Southeast Asian desserts.
To make cauliflower rice, simply use a large box grater, hold the cauliflower head facing the grater with core in your hand, and carefully grate it using the smaller (not the smallest) holes. You should end up with a bowl full of something looking similar to "rice," although you will likely have some larger pieces fall through. You can use the larger pieces, chop them or enjoy them as a snack :)
To remove the kernels from the corn, simply lay the cob down on a large cutting board, and carefully using a sharp chef's knife, cut the kernels lengthwise off the cob. Rotate the cob and repeat until all the kernels have been removed. Using the back side of the knife, slide it down the cob lengthwise to remove the yummy "juice" of the corn. This will give added sweetness to your corn.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main course
1 TB coconut oil or 2 TB broth of choice
4 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1 TB freshly grated garlic
1 TB freshly grated ginger
4 oz organic firm tofu, or sub one egg (preferably from a pastured, organic fed chicken)
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 cups cauliflower rice (orange or white variety work best, iI used orange here)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup daikon radish, grated
2 cups cooked black rice (best if day-old)
1 ear corn, kernels removed (or sub 1/2 cup frozen and thawed)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 TB tamari, or sub coconut aminos
1 TB rice vinegar, or sub apple cider vinegar
Salt & freshly ground pepper as needed to taste
Cilantro/sprouts/toasted cashews for garnish
Lime wedges for serving
1) Soak black rice for 1 hour. Drain, rinse and cook according to package directions. This is best done one day ahead.
2) Drain and press water from the tofu. Using a towel or unbleached paper towels, wrap tofu and put on a plate with a heavy pan on top. Allow the towel to absorb liquid for 15 minutes. When ready, use clean hands to crumble tofu into a bowl.
3) While the tofu is drying, prepare the other ingredients - grate cauliflower, carrot, chop green onions, grate ginger and garlic.
4) Heat a large skillet or frying pan and add broth or oil. Add green onions, garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and starting to soften, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tofu and sprinkle with turmeric (if you are using an egg, you can add it now and omit the turmeric). Cook until the spice is incorporated and tofu begins to soften.
5) Add cauliflower rice and carrots and continue to saute for about 1-2 minutes, until they begin to soften, adding more broth or water if needed. Add rice, peas, tamari and vinegar, and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 more minute, until the sauce is incorporated and the mixture is heated through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add desired garnishes and serve.
* to make cauliflower rice, simply grate on a large box grater over a shallow bowl. You can also grate the core and soft parts of the stem!
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