Monday, January 16, 2012

Cauliflower Fried Rice: More Veggies Than Rice (But Your Kids Won't Notice)


"Mama, I want pasta for dinner."
"Well, we're having rice with peas and veggies..."
"Hoorah! Can you make it every night?"

Phew. It's always a relief to figure out a veggie-packed meal that my son will actually get excited about. This dish is the latest hit in my house (we had it twice just in the last week).

Being kid-friendly is not the dish's only good attribute. It is lower-carb and lower-calorie than many fried rice dishes because a good portion of the rice is "crowded out" by cauliflower rice. Now, if you're on a low-carb or paleo diet, you probably know all about this neat cruciferous vegetable trick. If you don't know about it, then prepare to have your mind blown, my friend. 

This satisfying dish is packed with nutrients. It is vegetarian but provides complete protein because it pairs rice with peas and sesame seeds; adding legumes and/or seeds to grains means you get the same essential amino acids that animal protein would provide. This meal has loads of Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber. So, it's not just good for your children, it's good for pregnant and breastfeeding gals, and parents who just feel like they could use more nutrient-dense—and simple to make—meals. 

One more benefit: this recipe is great when you're looking to clear leftovers from your fridge before they go bad. It uses cooked rice (I used basmati brown rice - it has a mild, popcorn-y flavor) and, although I used broccoli and peas, you can utilize whatever leftover or frozen vegetables you have on hand. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!


Ingredients
yield: about 8 cups
  • 1 + 1 T grapeseed oil
  • 1 + 1 T coconut oil or butter
  • 7 scallions, chopped (keep white/light green ends separate from dark green tops)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • head of cauliflower, raw
  • 3 cups of cooked brown rice, cold
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped small
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3T reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2t toasted sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • additional chopped scallion tops for garnish
  • salt, to taste
Remove the cauliflower's tough stem and reserve for another use. Using a food processor, pulse cauliflower florets until they resemble rice or couscous. You should end up with around four cups of "cauliflower rice."

This is raw cauliflower - would you ever have guessed it?

Heat 1T butter and 1T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and the white and light green pieces of scallion. Sauté about a minute.



Add the cauliflower to the pan. Stir to coat with oil, then spread out in pan and let sit; you want it cook a bit and to caramelize (get a bit brown), which will bring out the sweetness. After a couple of minutes, stir and spread out again.


Add cold rice (it separates easily, so it won't clump up during cooking), plus the additional grapeseed and coconut oil or butter. Raise heat to medium-high. Toss everything together and, again, spread the mixture out over the whole pan and press a bit into the bottom. Let it sit for about two minutes—so the rice can get toasted and a little crispy. Add the peas and broccoli and stir again. Drizzle soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over rice.

The frozen peas will thaw when they're tossed with the steaming hot rice.
You can use cooked broccoli or thawed frozen broccoli.

Cook for another minute or so and turn off heat. Add chopped scallion tops and toss.


I like to toast some sesame seeds in a dry pan; I sprinkle these and some more raw, chopped scallion over the top of the rice for added flavor and crunch.


Season to taste with salt and, if you'd like, more soy sauce. Keep in mind that if you're serving this with something salty and saucy (ie. teriyaki chicken) you may want to hold off on adding too much salt to the fried rice.

Dig in, knowing that more than half of your serving of fried rice is actually veggies!

Can you tell where the brown rice ends and the cauliflower begins? Me, neither.



If you end up with leftovers (we usually don't) try this: Leftover Fried Rice? Put an Egg On It!

If you try this recipe out on your family, let us know what they (and you) think!

UPDATE: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen tried this recipe, loved it and wrote a whole blogpost about it! We're so grateful. 

UPDATE: Awesome photographer/cook/mom Annemie of Megapixie also tried this recipe and blogged about it. Her sons even gave it two thumbs up (there are pictures to prove it!)

UPDATE: Cupcakes & Kale Chips made a version with shrimp and pork that looks lovely.

81 comments:

  1. This looks phenomenal and I can't wait to try it! Do you have the Super Natural Every Day cookbook? She has a great recipe in there using cauliflower "rice" too. It's a genius trick to me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow! this looks DELISH. Good thing I bought cauliflower this week... (I've been buying it every week to make the roasted cauliflower popcorn. :) )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't, but I'll put it on my "to buy" list! Thanks for the suggestion :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, the cauliflower popcorn is hard to beat! But this is good, too, I promise. 

    ReplyDelete
  5. this looks delicious! we love fried rice in out house, even for breakfast! can't wait to try your recipe! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also shared this recipe at the Newlyweds Blog linky party: http://www.newlyweds-blog.com/2012/01/18/newlyweds-recipe-linky-7/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Report back if you try it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Also shared at the linky party at http://www.recipesformyboys.com/p/thursdays-treasures.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Also shared at Everyday Mom's meals recipe linky: http://www.everydaymomsmeals.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing. This looks delicious! Have a blessed week and see you again next Sunday ~EMM

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank YOU for being so sweet and supportive! Have a wonderful week :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just made this tonight and it was so delicious. Cannot wait to make again!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is the second time I have seen this today and it sounds wonderful.  I was thinking I needed to get a ricer to do this, but glad to see you could do that in your food processor.  I definitely need to try this.  Love cauliflower and fried rice!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yup, it's super fast to just pulse it in the food processor! I've also read you can rice it using a box grater, but I haven't tried that...

    ReplyDelete
  15. PS. Thanks so much for coming by and checking us out! So glad to have you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for trying it! Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. AnaffairfromtheheartJanuary 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    This looks AMAZING!! I can't wait to try it!! Pinning it right now!! :)

    Michaela -- An Affair from the Heart

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you, I do hope you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love Cauliflower, broccoli and fried rice! Can't wait to try this, pinned it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Do you have nutritional information available so i can figure out WW points? thank you

    ReplyDelete
  21. One of my kids favorite meals in my stir fried brown rice with chicken and veggies.  They're not big cauliflower eaters, but they just might enjoy it in this rice dish.  Looks delicious to me!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just entered it in the recipe calculator at sparkpeople and here's what I came up with. Assuming four entree portions (about 2 cups per person), it comes out to   4 ServingsAmount Per Serving  Calories379.7  Total Fat16.9 g     Saturated Fat5.3 g     Polyunsaturated Fat2.0 g     Monounsaturated Fat7.6 g  Cholesterol15.5 mg  Sodium545.4 mg  Potassium655.9 mg  Total Carbohydrate50.7 g     Dietary Fiber8.8 g     Sugars3.8 g  Protein9.4 g  Vitamin A55.3 %  Vitamin B-120.2 %  Vitamin B-619.3 %  Vitamin C144.0 %  Vitamin D0.0 %  Vitamin E12.3 %  Calcium7.9 %  Copper7.7 %  Folate37.5 %  Iron12.3 %  Magnesium10.7 %  Manganese24.5 %  Niacin8.3 %  Pantothenic Acid    9.3 %  Phosphorus    13.0 %  Riboflavin12.0 %  Selenium4.2 %  Thiamin13.0 %  Zinc6.5 %

    ReplyDelete
  23. My son has no interest in cauliflower florets (even my favorite cauliflower popcorn!), but he adores this dish! Hope you and your family try this and like it as much as we do :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is such a great recipe that I've adapted a little bit for my rice-free family.  We use cauliflower "rice" and I add frozen shrimp to it along with the peas to make a whole meal.  

    I just had this lunch today and I had left-over roasted brussel sprouts in lieu of your broccoli. Hey, a girl has to clean out her fridge somehow, right?

    Thanks for posting this tasty idea. It is such a fun way to serve cauliflower.  YUM!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the idea of the brussels sprouts - like cauliflower, it's one of those veggies I learned to love as an adult! Thanks for posting your review.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Needed to draft you the bit of note to finally thank you so much again on your fantastic guidelines you've discussed on this site. It's simply pretty generous of people like you to allow unreservedly precisely what a lot of people could possibly have supplied for an electronic book to end up making some money for themselves, and in particular seeing that you might well have tried it in the event you considered necessary. The techniques as well served like the easy way to recognize that the rest have similar keenness just like my very own to see a good deal more around this problem. I'm sure there are thousands of more pleasurable situations up front for people who check out your website.
    Lilly Pulitzer Women's Cissy Skirt

    ReplyDelete
  27.  Tonight I made the Full Belly Sisters
    Cauliflower Fried Rice with only slight modifications because of what I
    had available. I added some sweet chili oil and chili flakes for a bit
    of heat and cashews in lieu of sesame seeds and I didn't have peas so I
    used Edamame. But the idea of using Cauliflower Rice was wonderful and
    no one was the wiser...so tasty too!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks you so much for trying it and for taking the time to come here and post a review - we really appreciate it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is the best recipe in the world.  I made it for my family and everyone loved it, even my 10 months old baby!!  This is definitely going to make my list of things to make every week. It is so easy, healthy, and delicious!  Thank you Full Belly Sisters for this.  The pina kale-ada smoothie is fabulous too.  I can't wait to try more of your recipes!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the best *review* in the world! Thank you so much for taking the time to post it here - such a thrill to hear your positive feedback. And i love picturing your baby trying to wrangle it all into his (or her?) mouth. So sweet. 
    PS. This is a weekly meal for us, too :-)

    PPS. Glad you like the Pina Kale-ada, as well!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Made this for my better half as a Valentine's treat. She goes as crazy for this as a thick juicy steak (her favorite or used to be!) I love it too and I'd be surprised if you didn't too. Give it a try and let us know if your family discovers the cauliflower.

    ReplyDelete
  32. So glad you both like it so much! 

    ReplyDelete
  33. I made your cauliflower rice the other night and it was delicious! I didn't have peas so I just used more broccoli. I also added toasted cashews for a little crunch. My 3 year old helped chop up the cauliflower in the food processor and ate three helpings herself! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm so happy your family liked it so much! Many thanks for taking the time to come here and post such a sweet review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Shared at the linky party at Amee's Savory Dish: http://www.ameessavorydish.com/2012/02/fit-and-fabulous-fridays-20.html

    ReplyDelete
  36. I made this yesterday we all loved it :),,i had some left over vegis and cauliflower that i already made the day before the same way so when i saw the recipe i was like thats perfect ,,my son loved it and i told him that its almost all vegis he couldnt belive it lol but he loves his vegis :)thank u for sharing it :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank YOU for trying it and for coming back here to post a review - we greatly appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow, this dish looks really amazing!  I love cauliflower and broccoli, so your recipes shared at Fit and Fabulous Fridays are right up my alley!! :)  A great healthy twist on fried rice.  Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks, Amee!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yippee, let us know when you try it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I made this last night, and it came out amazing. This recipe is genius! It was so good that my husband even loved it, and he's not much of a healthy foods guy. Thanks so much for coming up with such a great way to add even more veggies to a dish!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think my life's calling is to find ways to get as many veggies into each dish as possible! Hee :-)

    Really appreciate your trying it out AND reporting back on how you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Whipped this up tonight and wow, so good!  Love the flavor and the husband enjoyed it too!  We'll definitely add this one to the rotation.  Feels so good to eat something so full of veggies that's not a salad. :)  Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Not that I don't like a good salad, just nice to have other options!  Especially warm ones!

    ReplyDelete
  45. fullbellysistersApril 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    As much as I love salads, I totally get what you mean :-)

    ReplyDelete
  46. fullbellysistersApril 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    So, so glad you both liked it! And I really appreciate that you came back to post your review - thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I made this a few days ago and it was great. My son does not like cauliflower, but he had no idea that it was mixed into the dish. I did not use peas or broccoli, but added different vegetables. Thank you for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I forgot to add that when I told my son there was cauliflower in it, he said I should make it more because he knows that the added veggies make it healthier. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Awww, that's so sweet! My son likes to show us how much faster he is after he eats it - he literally runs around the house - because he knows veggies make him strong ;-)

    So happy you liked it and I really appreciate your posting a review!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Whoever thought up this recipe is just plain genius: )  xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  51. *beaming with pride*

    ReplyDelete
  52. Victoria RockcliffeApril 28, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    This is an awesome recipe! I'm definitely making this, I love cauliflower rice!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Yay, hope you like it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Made this tonight using pineapple in place of the broccoli, added egg and Sriracha sauce.  It was amazing! My 14 mo. old loved it and DH went back for more.  Said it was the most cauliflower he had ever eaten.

    ReplyDelete
  55. fullbellysistersMay 2, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    So glad to hear everyone liked it so much! I love your additions to it - i find i never make it exactly the same way twice; it depends on what I've got in the fridge ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Janelle made this for me and her Grandpa and it was absolutely awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  57. fullbellysistersMay 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I love that she made it for you and I love that you were nice enough to take the time to post a review! Your family is fantastic :-)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thank you for this recipe.  I'm sharing this on my page and featuring it on my News of the Day.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Wow - I just saw this on Facebook (via Cupcakes & Kale Chips) and I can't wait to try it! Quick question: do you think it would be ok to substitute peanut oil for grapeseed oil and also shallots/onions for the scallions? Thanks for posting! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very versatile recipe and I never make it quite the same way twice - i think your changes should work just fine. I have sometimes added a big spoonful of PB if i don't have sesame oil handy - the flavor is really nice and I think your peanut oil would be great. And I have made it with onions when I don't have scallions on hand - it tastes great (I just love the color that the scallions add). If you try it, please report back and let s know how you like it :-)

      Delete
  60. fullbellysistersJune 6, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Wow, thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  61. fullbellysistersJuly 2, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Also shared at the Family Fresh Meals linky: http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2012/07/recipe-of-week-rice-quinoa-or-couscous.html

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm going to make this tonight. Can't wait! One question - what does 1+1 T mean?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basically that you're using 1Tablespoon at the start of the recipe and then one later on the recipe.

      Delete
  63. Basically that you're using 1Tablespoon at the start of the recipe and then one later on the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  64. fullbellysistersJuly 3, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    It just means that you're adding one at one point in the recipe and one later in the recipe. Hope you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  65.  Thank you and also (duh!) on me. We loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. fullbellysistersJuly 11, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Glad you liked it! 

    ReplyDelete
  67. I agree with this being the best!!! My 4 kids gobbled this up in a matter of seconds. No one knew it was anything other than rice until I told them....after their second or third helping. I did double the recipe and made A LOT but there was still no leftovers. I was hoping there would be some left to give to them for lunch tomorrow. Oh well, guess I have to cook again. Thanks for this AMAZING recipe. Even my hubby loved it. 

    ReplyDelete
  68. fullbellysistersJuly 18, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    WOW, thanks! So glad your whole family loved it - and I'm so glad you took the time to come back and post a review!

    ReplyDelete
  69. THANK YOU! A new, easy, delicious recipe to add to my regular rotation! (It takes a really special recipe to make it there!) XO, Tiffany

    ReplyDelete
  70. fullbellysistersJuly 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Fabulous, so glad to hear how much you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I looooooooooove this recipe! I actually have started using just cauliflower and no real rice. It's one of those meals that tastes awesome and makes me feel really good! I think cauliflower 'rice' is one of the coolest things too. Thanks so much for sharing this simple, delicious and veggieful recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. So glad you like it and I SO appreciate your coming back to write a review - thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I posted about how much I loved this recipe before, but wanted to say that I love it SO much, I am making a blog post about it this week! I will be linking back to your site and giving you all the credit for this wonderful, addictive dish :) Thanks again for sharing it! thatcookingchick.com

    ReplyDelete
  74. My mouth was doing the happy dance! My god, this was good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  75. And now you've got me doing the happy dance b/c you liked it so much! Thanks for posting your review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  76. A - MAZ - ING!!! This is super yummy and pretty simple to prepare! I had everything on hand already ...thanx full belly sisters, you rocked my world!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks FBS. I have to make fried rice for my husband on a regular basis...and his belly shows it :). I think it's time to mix it up a bit with your GREAT idea !!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I hope it's a hit with your hubby!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I finally got around to making this--it is amazing! My kids scarfed it down. Adding it to my list of favorites!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License
Full Belly Sisters Blog by Full Belly Sisters is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License