Tuesday, June 11, 2013

(Almost) Paleo Fried "Rice"

Seriously. How much punctuation can you put in a single title? I'm clearly testing the limits...

First, let me be clear. I like rice. I don't want anybody to say that I'm down on rice, ever. I like sushi rice, and Thai rice noodles, and Pho rice noodles. Rice is awesome. It isn't as bad for you as wheat, corn, oats, etc, and is not even really a "cheat" if you're healthy and active. So why not just make regular fried rice?

Because rice is very starchy. Too much rice makes me feel puffy and upsets my stomach, so that just wouldn't do for a week of meals. White rice also has a high glycemic load, still causes some inflammation, and doesn't provide much by way of vitamins and minerals. It's great for a night out at an Asian restaurant (and let's be honest, rice only really tastes good at an Asian restaurant), but it's nothing to eat every day.

Cauliflower, on the other hand, has a low glycemic load, is anti-inflammatory, and is a great source of vitamins C, K, B6, and the all-important folate. So if you can make cauliflower taste as good as fried rice, wouldn't you?

Now you can!

(Almost) Paleo Fried "Rice"

Trust me. This tastes exactly like fried rice, but without the tummy ache.


2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2 yellow onions, diced
2 cups green peas (not paleo but not the worst either- omit if you're keeping it super strict)
3 eggs, beaten with a fork
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange cauliflower florets on baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil then season with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until cauliflower is tender and begins to brown. About 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch. 

Shred cauliflower (I put the florets in the bowl of my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and let the paddle attachment do the work for me. You also could run a knife through the florets until they are chopped into rice-sized pieces). Set aside.

In a large skillet heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Season with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, a large pinch of salt, and a few shakes of pepper. Add shredded cauliflower, peas, and beaten egg. Stir well. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the peas are warmed through* - this is your indication that the egg also is fully cooked. Re-season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 10 servings.

This recipe is a great side to accompany stir fry, or sesame chicken, or you could toss in some shredded chicken or pork and make it a meal.

*Note: If you're skipping the peas to keep the dish strict paleo, you'll have to use  your best judgment about when the egg is fully cooked. 

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