Guess what? I did the cooking last night. And I rocked it! Yay me! (For those of you that don’t know, Don is the cook in this house. I’m learning but I’m still light years behind his ability to know how flavors go together. I almost always have to have a recipe in front of me or I’m completely lost. He just grabs things and throws them together without measurements and without recipes.)
So, last night. We tried something new. Surprise, surprise. Having given up rice, we’ve been looking for an alternative to eat with stir fry – because we love our stir fry. Enter cauliflower rice. Sounds weird, I know. But I’m here to tell you it was not all that weird, in fact it was tasty and provided that extra texture but without all the carbs or calories. Woo-hoo!
First, some details about the overall meal. I made a Kung Pao Chicken style dish with onions, carrots, bell pepper, celery, snow peas, green onion, and peanuts (not pictured because it’s HARD to coordinate your food and be focused on cooking as well as taking pictures.)
I made a marinade for the chicken and let it sit for about thirty minutes while I chopped up all those veggies.
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cooking sherry
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
I stir-fried the chicken with a little coconut oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
While the chicken did it’s thing, I made our rice. All you need is a head of cauliflower and a food processor, or cheese grater. I prefer the food processor. I can’t imagine what kind of mess it would make to hand grate the cauliflower. It shreds up nicely in the processor and almost looks like rice. (Sorry that picture is so dark. It was the best I could do. The flash washed it out completely.)
When the chicken looked pretty well cooked (which was hard to tell because I’m used to breast meat and we’ve recently switched to thighs and wings and the dark meat looks totally different to me), I added the onions and let them cook until carmelized. Then I added the rest of the veggies, peanuts, and additional sauce.
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
I let that all go for about a minute on the medium high heat I’d been cooking on, then I turned the burner off, covered the pan and let it sit for about five to ten minutes. This steams the additional veggies just a bit and lets all the flavors come together without cooking the heck out of it all. (Incidentally, Don did direct me on this part.)
Now, as for additional prep on the “rice”, you have a few options. You can eat it cold, just layering your stir fry over it, as is, which I think would be fine. You can toss it in the pan and stir fry it into the mix, which I wanted to try but not this time. Or, you can warm it in the microwave for just a couple of minutes, just so it’s not cold, which was what we did. Don wanted to try it this way first time around. Here’s how the final dish looked.
Even Don gave me a thumbs up. 🙂
As a side note, when looking for other rice and noodle alternatives, I found Shirataki noodles and I have picked up a couple of packages from the local Asian grocery. We haven’t tried them yet but when we do I’ll let you know how they are. I hear some people love ’em, some people hate ’em. I’m hoping to love them so we can use them in soups and stir frys.
It’s essential to keep an open mind, and to be willing – better yet, eager – to try new things.
~ Michael Abrash