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cauliflower surprise

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I’m a terrible liar. I’m no fun to play poker or card games like BS with. I can hide information pretty well – good things, obviously – so I like to think I’m good at keeping secrets like Christmas gifts. But only because I don’t say anything about them.

All that to say, I would never lie to Matt about what is in his lunch. I’m not one of those “hidden vegetables” people. We like our vegetables just fine out in the open, thank you.

Which is why I told him, “Hey, remember that cauliflower pizza crust* we had? I’m going to try something like that and make cauliflower fried rice. I’m not sure how it will turn out…it might be kind of weird.”

And I certainly didn’t keep him out of the kitchen, so he could have seen me making the entire thing.

Ingredients: 

1 large head cauliflower
3 slices of bacon
1 red or yellow onion, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (If you’re not buying fresh ginger yet, do it. Do it now.)
leftover chopped chicken
all the leftover veggies you have – I was running low, so we had grated carrot and zucchini. I suggest broccoli, peas, scallions, mushrooms – you know, fried rice stuff. 
1 egg, scrambled into small pieces and set aside
any herbs you want to add – cilantro or basil would fit
tamari/soy sauce/coconut aminos
fish sauce, if you want – I would have, except I forgot. 
salt and pepper, duh
 

Steps:

“Rice” the cauliflower by cutting it into chunks and grating it with a cheese grater. You can also pulse it through the food processor a few times, but it’s easy enough with a cheese grater. I grate as much of the stems as I easily can, which really isn’t much. 
 
Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy, and set aside on a towel to drain. I like to turn my stove off and let the bacon grease cool a little first, but if you want to be crazy, go ahead and throw your onion in. Saute until it starts to soften; then add your garlic and ginger (and red pepper flakes, if you want. We do.) Stir until the oil is fragrant – 30-45 seconds. 
 
Dump your cauliflower rice in and stir it around. Let it cook for a minute or two. If you’re me, throw some more bacon grease in because it doesn’t look greasy enough. Whoops. 
 
Crumble up the bacon from earlier, and add it to the rice with the chicken and veggies. Mix well, and then just let it sit in the pan for 4-5 minutes. You want the cauliflower rice to get tender, but not mushy. I don’t think you can really mess it up unless you just walk away and let it sit there all afternoon. 
 
Add the scrambled egg, herbs, tamari, and liberal quantities of salt and pepper. Mix, sample, adjust to taste, and mix again. 
 
Bam. 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

 

So I make the cauliflower fried rice, being very upfront about the fact that this is cauliflower. I serve it for lunch on the side of homemade chicken soup. I really like it – even more so cold from the fridge the next day – but Matt loves it.

“So where’s the cauliflower exactly?” he asks.

“Well – the whole thing. The whole thing is cauliflower,” I reply.

“So like, this part is rice, this is chicken…” he says…

“No. No, there’s no rice. The ‘rice’ is the cauliflower.”

“There’s NO rice?! That’s cauliflower?!”

Well, that was successful.

 *We liked the cauliflower crust pizza, too. We made it with Thai chicken pizza toppings. It definitely isn’t pizza – you need to eat it with a fork- but if you want a grain-free vehicle for your favorite pizza toppings, it’s pretty delicious. 
 

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