Fried cauliflower rice – loaded with nutrition, not calories
Fried cauliflower rice is a veggie extravaganza. We’re going to make cauliflower rice, add plenty of your favorite veggies and tofu and we’ll season with soy sauce , rice vinegar and Sriracha (if you dare). This is a seriously vibrant, full-flavor dish and best of all, it’s a 30-minute meal. No worries about portion sizes for this one. It’s amazingly guilt free.
The case for cauliflower
Our quests for healthier cooking and eating have created a significant opportunity for cauliflower. It’s not just meant for a boiled side. For example, when raw cauliflower hits your food processor, something interesting happens. You end up with relatively firm cauliflower ‘grains’ that will cook up just like rice.
Break from the past
I harbored preconceived (and rather negative) notions about cauliflower for years. That wasn’t fair at all. And as I’ve said too many times – it wasn’t about the cauliflower – it was the way it was prepared. Once I started taking cauliflower beyond the simmer and steam, it changed my approach to tacos, chili, pasta and yes, rice. It was a straight shot from ‘boring’ to full cauli-appreciation.
Cauliflower is even more lovable when you consider that its’s highly nutritious, naturally low in calories, essentially fat free and is a great source of fiber. Even broken into ‘grains’ you are getting a healthy dose of fiber. Fiber is your best friend if you are working to manage your weight or your blood sugar. Fiber also serves as an anti-inflammatory which makes your heart happier.
There are a few reasons why you might be considering cutting back your rice consumption. Keep in mind that just like cooking times, the nutritional value of rice ultimately depends on variety. In general, rice has more calories and carbohydrates than cauliflower. The natural sugars in rice (again varying by type) may also give us a ‘sugar’ spike due to that pesky high glycemic index. This means the leftover fried cauliflower rice you have for lunch won’t result in a mid-afternoon coma.
Arsenic and rice (yes, it appears so)
Not to be an alarmist, but there is sound evidence that we need to be mindful about the levels of arsenic in our beloved rice. Consumer Reports has done extensive research and reporting on this topic. They also provide guidance about different brands as well as the healthy risk associated with specific levels of arsenic. As part of his video series about arsenic in our food supply, Dr. Gregor at Nutritional Facts will also give you some ‘rice for thought’.
Not a never rice person
This is definitely not an anti-rice post. I love the stuff and I don’t believe that all this rice talk means we must eliminate it from our diets. I suggest that we simply need to be mindful, read labels and perhaps cut back a bit. It’s just great knowing that there are easy and healthy alternatives if we so desire. Just like in the case of cauliflower mince, cauliflower rice is an easy substitute if you are looking for change from ‘regular’ rice.
The 30-minute meal
I’ve been on a bit of a rampage developing meals that go from prep to table on the quick. One reason for fried cauliflower rice is that it fits neatly into this category. First, get the cauliflower rice cooking then you can prep all your veggies. Quick meals don’t require a compromise of nutrition or satisfaction. Plant-based eating requires no sacrifices.
A little extra protein please
You can make this recipe with or without tofu. For this recipe, your tofu is a breeze. No pressing required. Simply put it into the pan with the veggies and break it up. You may want to cut the tofu into quarters to make it even easier. Use a wooden spoon, fork or whatever utensil you like to just fry it up as you break it into bite-sized pieces. I’ve discovered that if you don’t press it, this is an easier process. The liquid will quickly dissipate as you cook it.
We live with a plethora of information from substantive research to conspiracy theories and everything in between. No wonder we’re getting confused and overwhelmed by all the nutritional and diet information out there. I was always looking for a balance between feeling good and being satisfied. I’m not one to stay hungry for long.
This is all about you
A plant-based approach solved that. It’s the one approach I could make a long-term commitment to. I find it exciting, not to mention satisfying to discover new ways to prepare oil free plant-based dishes. Most importantly, I intend o keep on enjoying the journey. Peace.Print
Fried cauliflower rice substitutes rice the grain for rice made from cauliflower. This full-veggie meal is entirely plant-based, loaded with nutrition and seriously satisfying. All this in 30 minutes.
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 Thai red chili pepper, chopped (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth (you can also use water)
- 8 oz. block firm tofu
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup sliced pea pods
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 4 scallions (green onions) sliced – including the green parts
- 1 6 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 13 oz. can baby corn chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets and put them in a food processor. Process until the cauliflower is broken down into tiny ‘grains’ about the size of rice.
- Combine the cauliflower, garlic, ginger, pepper, soy sauce and water in a medium pan and simmer the cauliflower until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile prep the vegetables and add them to a hot skillet or wok. Stir fry the veggies for about 5-8 minutes. You don’t want them too soft. The mushrooms should produce enough moisture that the veggies won’t stick to the pan, but if they do, add water a tablespoon at a time.
- Now, let’s add the tofu. Remove it from the package, rinse it and pat it dry. I find cutting it into quarters makes it easier to break up. Simply clear a spot in the middle of the vegetables and drop the tofu in. Use a wooden spoon or fork to break it up into small pieces.
- When the tofu is done, add the cauliflower rice and 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Mix well and make sure it is all heated through.
- You are at go-time. Serve this with Sriracha or another hot sauce for those spice lovers.
- You can use any combinations of mixed vegetables you like for this recipe. The total should be about 10 cups.
- This is a great portable lunch. It heats well in the microwave or on the stove. Just tote and eat.
- Adzuki beans make a great protein addition or substitution for the tofu. Just put them in along with the vegetables.
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: Fried cauliflower rice