pork fried (cauli) rice

DSC_0920-1Happy New Year!  The last few weeks I’ve been MIA due to the holidays, a blizzard, tending to a sick kiddo and, finally, attempting to get back in the swing of things in 2018.  I sometimes think I prefer the excitement of an unpredictable day or week… until there have been weeks of it.  This type A girl totally craves routine and is so ready to be back on the clean eating and gym routine bandwagon.  I put on a few pounds over the holidays, but I really think my saving grace was the intermittent fasting (IF) lifestyle we adopted over the summer.  Girlfriend likes to eat, so this whole “16 hours off / 8 hours on” of eating really works well for me because I am counting calories less and doing more eating of the foods I truly enjoy.  Yes, I miss breakfast foods some days, but I can always have them for lunch, so it hasn’t been much of a sacrifice at all.  Maybe more on the IF if you’re interested down the road?  Besides weight loss/maintenance, there are other ancillary  benefits that you may find equally attractive. SO, I’m generally a very healthy eater.  Love my whole foods; love cooking from scratch.  The more ingredients and things I cannot pronounce on a label, the more disgusted I get; those are the things I strive to avoid.  But, there’s something dark within me.  And every now and then, I get a hankering for some real “junky” Chinese food.  To be specific, General Tsos – chicken that has been battered…. fried ….smothered in sweet hot sticky sauce – alongside a deep fried egg roll and pork fried rice.  I haven’t yet figured out how to “healthily” reinvent the first two foods, but the past year, I have cracked the code on legit healthyish cauli fried rice.  The only thing missing from this dish is the cute little Chinese food container they serve it up in, but you can find those online if that’s really what you’re after. I use chopped bacon as the foundation to provide the savory, porky nuggets you’d find in the regular takeout version, but also to utilize the fat rendered that adds heaps of flavor throughout the dish in lieu of the oodles of vegetable oil they typically fry it up in.  You can substitute a little vegetable oil for bacon fat if you are trying to keep this vegetarian.  I have certainly made it that way in the past, but the bacon just puts the rice over the top in my opinion.  The rest of the dish comes together with lean and wholesome ingredients plus flavorful aromatics that will fill you up and make you feel good. I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start.  I also hope you find time to slow down, nourish yourself, and embrace the year of opportunities ahead.  It may be cliche, but January is a good month to reboot and remember that our best selves and health are within our reach if we decide to get after it.

pork fried (cauli) rice serves 2 (main) – 4 (side) 4 slices uncured bacon, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger 3 scallions, whites and greens sliced 1 medium onion, chopped 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed 2 12-oz packages frozen riced cauliflower, thawed (about 6 cups) 3 Tbsp. organic shoyu soy sauce 2 large eggs, scrambled

Saute bacon in a large wok over medium high heat until fat has rendered and bacon is golden brown.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.  Keep all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest.  Add garlic, ginger, and scallions to the rendered bacon fat and saute until fragrant; about 1 minute.  Add the onion and peas and carrots; saute for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add the riced cauliflower and mix all ingredients well.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add soy sauce and toss well to coat.  Cook an additional 3 minutes.  Shove cauli rice towards the side of the wok to make a well in the center.  Add the scrambled egg to the center, moving it around the well with a spatula until cooked through.  Once egg has set, add reserved bacon pieces.  Toss all ingredients until mixed well with a large spoon.  Taste for seasoning and add additional soy sauce if you want to deepen the flavor.  Serve immediately and feel indulgent.

  • As mentioned above, bacon is optional.  If you decide to omit it, substitute a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil for the bacon fat.
  • There are already two fried eggs in the dish, but if you’re trying to make this a proper meal with additional protein, here are some serving/topping suggestions:  fried egg, pulled rotisserie, spare ribs, tofu, sauteed ground pork, shrimp or just about any protein your heart desires.
  • Add a Sriracha drizzle for shizzle if you like that fire, girl!

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