Chinese cuisine generally centers around one refined carbohydrate, either rice or noodles. Growing up my fondest memories are of coming home from a long hard day at school, to a bowl of piping hot noodle soup or fragrant fried rice. I could never stop at one.
Unfortunately growing up also meant I now understand how bad refined grains are for our body and the role it played in my obesity. I tried steering clear of rice and noodles, but when the cravings hit the binging becomes so much more problematic.
Since then I've been looking for ways to substitute such refined grains, like the rice in my favourite fried rice. 5 minutes of Googling showed cauliflower as the most popular substitute. My earlier attempt at zucchini noodles though made me fairly wary about just veggie substitutes. Having a meal that strongly smells of steamed veggies doesn't exactly help with the craving does it.
But I'm really glad I decided to give this a shot. The texture was spot on, flavours were amazing, I found the way to keep it from smelling like gross steamed veggies, was to let the "rice" cool for a bit before eating. The steam from the cauliflower's the cause of it. Letting it cool down a little takes that strong smell away from the equation, resulting in an amazing, guilt-free, delicious fried "rice".
I'd continue on how good, amazingly yummy and easy this was; but really, I was just too damn happy to have my fried rice.
Cauliflower Fried "Rice" (serves 3-4)
1 head of cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
*8 strips of bacon
1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. Alternatively you could use a common grater, but it takes quite a bit of time to grate the entire vegetable.
2. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, roughly chop into pieces.
3. Place the pan back over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the skillet. Quickly make an omelet. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board and roughly chop into pieces.
4. Sauté the minced garlic over medium-high heat till fragrant, then stir in the cauliflower "rice" and mix thoroughly.
5. Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender (mine took 2-3minutes). Then stir in the eggs, bacon and soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed.
6. Take the pan off the heat and allow the "rice" to rest for about 10-15minutes before eating. Leftovers will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
*These ingredients can be replaced with anything you like in your fried rice. I'm gonna have mine with lunch meat, eggs, and silver fish the next round.