At the turn of each year, without fail come January 1 suddenly everyone is talking about healthy eating. It’s like a switch is flipped and everyone is oogling over bowls of vegetables instead of towers of cookies. Of course Alex and I love it, since this website is devoted to eating more vegetables. However, we know the interest in veggies is fleeting. By the time February rolls around, we all settle back in to our old “normal”.
But what if bowls of vegetables became our normal? Over the holiday we watched Michael Pollan’s new documentary In Defense of Food, and wanted to pump our fists in the air every other second (you can watch it too!). Instead of sensationalizing an elimination diet, it urges us to focus on eating whole, non-processed foods in sensible quantities. Let’s eat mostly vegetables, but not feel like we have to deprive ourselves of meat in entirety (unless we want to). Let’s eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Why is it that a moderate, balanced approach isn’t sexy? Elimination diets are great for a short-term change. But for a healthy approach to eating in the long term, instead of a crash and burn diet cycle (because we’ve all been there!), we’re focusing on small, approachable steps.
It’s been nearly 8 years since Alex and I started eating whole foods and mostly vegetables, and I can wholeheartedly say that our lives have never been more delicious, more joy-filled, or more abundant. A bowl-full of vegetables has never looked so good. Yes, we’re swayed by brownies and chocolates and cookies every now and again, but fresh, seasonal veggies highlighted with intriguing herbs and spices is what we crave. Our home town of Indianapolis has changed right along with us in those 8 years. It’s undergone a transformation from a Midwestern fast food town to a mecca of culinary life, budding with urban farms, neighborhood farmer’s markets, and trendy new restaurants. Fresh eating in our town has never been better.
The year of 2016 is going to be a good one, and we’re excited to bring you more vegetarian and vegan recipes, inspiration for eating healthy in the long-term in our Healthy + Whole series, and conversations about food in our A Couple Cooks Podcast! Thank you thank you for all your support, particularly in the podcast endeavor. It’s been an honor to bring you celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and Graham Elliott, urban farmers, pizza restaurateurs, and food personalities like Annie of Annie’s Eats. What more would you like to see or hear from A Couple Cooks this year? Let us know in the comments below; we’d love to hear.
And now for the recipe, cauliflower fried rice. Or really, cauliflower rice, made to taste like fried rice. What’s cauliflower rice? Some friends of ours recommended trying out cauliflower rice: chopping cauliflower into small bits that mimic grains of rice. For their recipe, they fried it in coconut oil, creating a Chinese-style cauliflower fried rice. Cauliflower rice is intended for grain-free and paleo diets, but we were more interested in it for the novelty of it all. (See the note on paleo recipes below.)
The verdict? The version we created of cauliflower fried rice turned out to be a fabulous taste treat. The cauliflower soaks up the aromatic ginger and garlic even more than rice would, and the bowl of piping hot vegetables was comfort food at its finest. To bring additional protein to the dish, we filled it with egg, edamame, and cashews. It was filling enough for a main dish dinner for the two of us. However, you may want to double the recipe if you have seriously hungry eaters. Enjoy, and cheers to a new year!
Looking for grain-free or paleo recipes?
We follow a 90% vegetarian diet, full of legumes and whole grains, so this website does not contain many paleo recipes. However, this cauliflower fried rice recipe is one of the handful of paleo recipes you’ll find here! A few other paleo recipes we’d recommend: Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup (without star toasts), Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers, and Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls (omit the maple syrup in the dressing).
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this cauliflower fried rice, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture and mention @acouplecooks on Facebook or Instagram.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo (using coconut aminos).
**For vegan cauliflower fried rice, you could try without the egg. However, we found it to be a nice binder and have not tested this version. Let us know in the comments below whether you try it without egg.Print
- 1 medium head cauliflower (6 to 7 cups florets)
- 3 carrots
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1 nub ginger (1 tablespoon minced)
- 2 green onions
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- ¼ cup cashews, for garnish
- Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Place half of the florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully chopped and the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Remove the “rice” to a bowl and process the remainder of the cauliflower.
- Peel 3 carrots, then chop them into small cubes. Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic. Peel 1 nub ginger, then mince enough for 1 tablespoon. Thinly slice 2 green onions.
- Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add 4 eggs and scramble them, breaking them into small pieces. Remove the eggs from the pan.
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil; add garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add carrots and saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and 2 cups shelled edamame and cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the cooked egg and stir until fully combined. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Serve topped with cashews.