No matter what type of healthy eating program you are on, it is always best to reduce the amount of grains and up the amount of vegetables on your plate. I often eliminate whole grains in meals altogether. I eat at least 1-2 small portions a day; a small cup of rice or a couple of slices of gluten-free bread for a sandwich. Otherwise, it’s mostly protein, healthy fats and a ton of vegetables and fruit to satisfy my hunger.
Summer fruits and vegetables are heavenly as is. I don’t like to process or cook them too much. Winter vegetables are a little different. While you can eat cauliflower raw, I prefer it cooked. I like to roast it with olive oil and mustard until slightly charred. It’s so delicious and addictive, almost sweet. Today I tried something different. Cauliflower “rice”!
I generally avoid foods in quotes. You know, like “chicken” or “turkey”. Why wouldn’t someone eat real chicken if that is what they are craving or just change their diets to be naturally vegan or vegetarian? This article by Mark Bittman in the New York Times explains there are lots of vegans and vegetarians out there who may want to eat meat but are avoiding it not just for health or dietary preferences but also for environmental and/or animal cruelty concerns. Ok. Got it.
I want to eat rice. Lots of it. With beans smothered on top, fried or in a large beautiful pan of paella. Although there are no animal cruelty concerns here, it isn’t great for my diet. So, I decided to try to replicate the texture and flavor with a head of cauliflower. It’s not rice and I don’t think you will be able to fool anyone into thinking it is however, it is pretty damn tasty and I sure felt a lot better after finishing a large plate of fried cauliflower “rice” than I would have after eating the real deal.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t sworn off anything for good and I will definitely eat fried rice and many other delicious grainy things however, it’s all about moderation. Making healthy choices most days allows me to enjoy those splurges, like the amazing meal I had at Del Posto this week filled with the best gluten-free focaccia and pastas I have ever had in my life!
- 1 medium head Cauliflower, cut into 1" florets
- 1½ tbsp avocado or vegetable oil
- ½ small shallot, diced
- 1 Italian green pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- 4 eggs
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced on diagonal
- crushed red pepper to taste
- Add cauliflower florets to food processor in 2 batches and pulse until similar in size to rice grains and set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add oil. Sauté shallots, pepper and garlic until beginning to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add cauliflower and toss regularly to coat with oil and raise heat to medium. Continue cooking and tossing about 8-10 minutes, until smaller pieces of cauliflower begin to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Add tamari and toss to coat. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Remove to a serving dish and wipe out the pan.
- Heat pan on medium again and coat with cooking spray. Crack eggs over pan and fry until whites are cooked through. Serve eggs over cauliflower "rice". sprinkle crushed red pepper and additional kosher salt and garnish with scallions.