Low carb Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice is a great weeknight dinner and easy meal prep option for the week!
Cauliflower is definitely the “in” food right now. Cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower smoothies, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower “cream” sauce, and of course cauliflower rice to name a few. I love plain old frozen cauliflower for an easy vegetable side dish with my wild caught salmon for a great weeknight dinner. But sometimes it’s fun to get creative and think about all the fun ways you can use cauliflower!
If you’ve never tried cauliflower rice before, it’s a great alternative to white or brown rice. You can substitute it for topping with curries, stews, sauces, really anything you’d serve with rice. Even though I don’t specifically eat low carb, I’m always in for sneaking veggies into dishes! Plus you are basically making a veggie stir fry but with that comforting, savory, take-out-style fried rice.
If you have a food processor then I’ll tell you how to make the rice. If you don’t, most grocery stores like Trader Joe’s will sell a frozen bag of riced cauliflower. So, all you need is a head of cauliflower and then you cut the stem off and cube the rest of the pieces like pictured. It’s really just a rough chop so it can fit in your food processor.
You’ll see here that the cauliflower rice will get very fine and so depending on the size of the “rice” that you want you can process it for 30 seconds to a minute. You don’t want to over process it because then the rice will get mushy (same thing with cooking, it really just needs a light steaming if you are using fresh cauliflower).
If you are a fried rice fan then don’t forget to add fresh garlic and fresh ginger! I’m telling you it really makes the difference here in flavor. Plus you are getting awesome benefits from the garlic and ginger (read more about why here!) And here is an introduction to coconut aminos if you haven’t already heard about it. Coconut aminos is made from coconut tree sap and salt. It’s great for those who are avoiding gluten (in traditional soy sauce) or soy in general. The flavor is very similar to soy sauce or tamari, with the same umami flavor.
You might be wondering, what is umami? Well, I’m sure you know how there are the flavor notes sour, salty, sweet and bitter. But did you know there is a fifth basic taste? In the early 1900’s, a Japanese professor discovered a component in chicken stock or broth called glutamate and found this flavor to be called “umami.” So there you have it! And if you are curious about the science behind umami, you can read more about it here.
What I love about this recipe is that is doesn’t take a lot of time to make. If you want to save a step, buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables like I did here. But, if you need to use up the veggies you have in your fridge, definitely dice them up and sauté them with onions at the beginning! I like finding a blend of carrots, peas, corn and green beans. If they are frozen make sure that you don’t over cook them or else they will get mushy! Yea, I have no idea how I know that….
If you’d rather skip the step of adding bacon, that’s fine. Just make sure you add another tablespoon or so of olive oil. But I mean, who really wants to skip the bacon? And if you have some shredded chicken on hand, then go for some extra protein and add that in too! I didn’t have any chicken on hand, but of course I added in some eggs which will give the rice the fluffy texture you want! You can mix the eggs straight into your pan until fully cooked.
It’s best served right away, but if you’d like to save for meal prepping for the week, add in the riced cauliflower at the end when you are re-heating things up. This will keep the texture of the cauliflower rice more firm. Alternatively, you could cook the cauliflower rice more “al dente” and then re-heat for your lunch or dinner!
Happy cauliflower fried rice making!
Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb mixed vegetable, frozen carrots, peas, green beans
- 3 slices bacon
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp coconut aminos
- sea salt & pepper to taste
Roughly chop up a head of cauliflower so that it fits in the food processor. Blend it until the cauliflower is approximately the size of rice.
Peel the fresh ginger with a spoon (so easy!) and finely chop. Peel the garlic cloves and mince. Chop up a half an onion.
In a large frying pan on medium heat add bacon slices and cook until done. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan add chopped onion, garlic cloves and fresh ginger (add olive oil if needed otherwise bacon grease should be enough). Sauté for a minute or so. Then add frozen mixed vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the cauliflower rice and cook for 2 minutes.
Crack 3 eggs straight into the pan (or if you'd rather mix in a bowl that's fine). Cook until the fried cauliflower rice is fluffy. Turn heat to low and add coconut aminos and season with sea salt & pepper.