Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice
Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice
This Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is a game changer. It really is. It’s simple, fast to cook and tastes legit. This paleo and gluten/grain-free dish makes for the perfect weeknight dinner and tastes so delicious.
Make this for your friends – after a few bites, they will forget they are eating cauliflower and will sing culinary praises. They might even crown you as the Fried Rice King or Queen. Pretty good stuff, don’t you think? Get ready to uplift one of the world’s most humdrum vegetables with this easy and gratifying Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe.
Let’s face it, by itself, cauliflower is one hell of a boring vegetable. It’s humble and bland, lacks color and is sometimes smelly. Try not to completely dismiss it, because, despite all of its “blah” qualities, cauliflower is actually very nutrient dense.
Let’s give it some of the cred it deserves. Here are five health benefits of cauliflower:
Fights cancer and supports heart health
- Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth within the body.
- Sulforaphane has also been found to improve blood pressure and kidney function.
Possesses anti-inflammatory benefits and protects against oxidative stress
- Cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C), an anti-inflammatory nutrient found to help reduce inflammation within the body.
- Cauliflower is chock-full of antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin and cinnamic acid. Antioxidants protect against oxidative stress, which leads to free-radical damage and accelerated tissue and organ impairment.
Rich in vitamins and minerals
- One serving of cauliflower (1 cup) contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin C, 2% the RDV of calcium and 2% the RDV of iron.
- Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese.
Boosts brain health
- Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B-vitamin known for its role in brain development. Choline is thought to boost cognitive function and improve memory.
Improves digestive health
- Cauliflower contains a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids with digestion.
- Researchers have found that the sulforaphane in cauliflower can help protect the lining of the stomach by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in your stomach. This ultimately aids in the prevention of ulcers and improvement of gastrointestinal health.
Now that you know all of this nutritional goodness, does cauliflower seem more sexy to you? Probably not… but that is OK, you can boost its appeal by highlighting it in a kick-ass recipe, like this Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice dish I am about to show you.
Substitute cauliflower for rice
With this recipe, you skip the rice and use cauliflower in its place – and, BOOM, fried rice becomes healthy. Sometimes meal transformations like this taste naaaasty – but trust me when I say that the end result of this changeover is super yummy and palatable! Replacing the rice is a clever way to sneak more veggies into your life. It really hits the spot during those times when your body demands that you feed it more veggies. By using a variety of vegetables and seasonings, you get a flavor-burst for your taste buds as well as a tasty crunch and texture – it’s a win-win kind of deal!
To me, this cauliflower fried rice is a comfort meal. It is so incredibly satisfying. The entire dish is cooked in a single skillet (I use a large, Lodge Cast Iron pan) – which means less laboring in the kitchen. This Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice is for those times when you just want to give yourself a full and happy fried-rice-Buddha-belly and not worry about a lengthy cleanup afterwards. It’s for those nights when you just want to make a quick meal, eat, put some comfies on and vege out (pun intended). Little mess, little fuss.
This is clean-eating at its finest. The dish consists of straight-up veggies, a little oil/healthy fat and some egg for protein. It is super fast and very easy. Here’s what you need to do:
1) First, prep your veggies ahead of time and pulse raw cauliflower into “rice” in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, a high speed blender like a Vitamix Blender works just fine – that is what I use.
2) Briefly stir fry veggies (except for the cauliflower) in your choice of healthy fat/oil until tender.
3) Add seasonings such as salt, pepper, ginger and parsley.
4) Add “rice” to the veggies and gently saute until cauliflower is soft and tender. Don’t take your eyes off of the cauliflower – it will cook very fast and you do not want to it get mushy.
5) Add the eggs. I find making a well in the middle of the skillet is the simplest way to cook the eggs. Pour the beaten eggs into this space, and whisk gently, until eggs are fully cooked.
6) Incorporate the eggs into the cauliflower fried rice...
7) …add raw coconut aminos (aminos will make your “rice” a light tan color) and mix together. The coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce and keeps the dish gluten free and paleo.
8) Garnish and season with salt, pepper and parsley before serving hot.
Voila – you now have an award-winning dish.
Note: If you are feeling frisky (and extra hungry), add chicken, thick-cut bacon and/or cashews to the ingredients. Do this and you will increase the dish’s protein content and will plump up cauliflower’s sex-appeal trifold! 🙂
Even my fur-baby, Tucker, agrees that this dish is on point! He couldn’t help but sneak a few looks while I was taking photos. Oh the temptation!*
Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe
OK, get ready – it is time to make this mouthwatering cauliflower fried rice recipe! Get cooking and let me know what you think!
- 2 tablespoons grassfed butter,coconut oil, olive oil or bacon/duck fat
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped (2-3 medium carrots)
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger root
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons raw coconut aminos (soy-free seasoning)
- 3 green onions or scallions, minced, for garnish and taste (optional)
- Chopped parsley (for garnish and taste)
- Wash vegetables.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and discard its thick stem.
- Working in small batches, pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor, high-speed blender like a Vitamix, or by hand with a grater. The end product should resemble small grains of rice.
- Set cauliflower aside.
- Chop/mince garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, peppers and onions/scallions (if using).
- Set vegetables aside.
- Beat eggs and set aside.
- Heat butter or cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. A large, seasoned Lodge Cast Iron Skillet or a Le Creuset Enamel Skillet works well.
- Add garlic, carrots and celery to skillet and saute for about 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and bell peppers to skillet and saute until slightly softened, tender and fragrant, for about 5 minutes.
- Add salt, black pepper, ginger and half of the parsley to skillet.
- Add cauliflower "rice" to skillet and stir/combine with other vegetables.
- Stir fry quickly for 3-5 minutes until cauliflower is cooked. It should be soft and tender (but not mushy). Be careful not to overcook cauliflower.
- Make a well in the middle of the vegetables.
- Turn heat down and add eggs to the well.
- Stir/whisk eggs gently and continuously until fully cooked.
- Once fully cooked, incorporate eggs with vegetables.
- Stir in the coconut aminos and green onions/scallions.
- Garnish and season with salt, pepper and remaining parsley before serving.
- Serve while hot.
- Vegetables can be prepped ahead of time.
- This dish tastes better when eaten the same day as cooked.
- For added variety and protein, incorporate chicken, pork/thick-cut bacon, and/or cashews into dish.
- All photos © Jennifer Regan and Bamboo Core Fitness. All rights are reserved for the content of the Bamboo Core Fitness website. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website/blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
When she is not helping others to slay fat, build muscle, and live amazing lives, Jennifer can be found exploring the outdoors with her dogs, cooking, traveling and playing/coaching lacrosse. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.