Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

December 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

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These past few months I’ve been away from home nearly as much as I’ve been at home.  My stove could’ve been featured in a magazine — unsmudged, only used to boil water for endless cups of coffee.  But in the last few weeks, my work pace has slowed down a little and I’ve re-donned my canvas cooking apron.  I’d like to share my favorite experiment of late — a grain-free “fried rice” recipe inspired by my kitchen partner-n-crime, Gina.  (You can check out her beautiful photographs and inspiring grain-free recipes over at her blog.)

I’ve made this recipe for all kinds of eaters — for folks with food allergies and those without.  It’s enjoyed by all, but definitely worth noting that this meal is an exciting addition for those on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Candida diet, Paleo diet, among others.  It is also nut-free, gluten-free and can be easily veganized if you omit the eggs.

In this dish, rice is replaced by blended cauliflower florets.  Cauliflower, on its own, has such a mild flavor that in this dish, it takes on the taste of whatever you put into it.  I’ve trial-ed this recipe many times: Sometimes I’ll flavor it with Middle Eastern spices (turmeric, garam masala, curries); other times I’ll veer toward a south-of-the-Border taste (adobo and ancho chile powder).  Every version has been delicious.

Below, you’ll find the Starting Point. This is the bare bones ingredient list for any fried rice recipe that you like.  It’s perfectly good as is, but you can also spice it to your liking, depending on what you’re serving alongside this “rice” dish.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup scallions, chopped on diagonal
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2-3 eggs
salt, pepper
additional spices (optional)

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Method:

1. Chop, mince and grate all vegetables and set aside.  In a food processor, blend cauliflower in one or two batches until florets break down into granule-size bits.*

*Be mindful not to overstuff the food processor or the bottom will puree and the top will remain un-chopped.

2. In a large skillet, begin by sauteing the onion for several minutes until wilted and translucent.  Add carrots and peppers and saute an additional few minutes until slightly tender.  Add cauliflower, garlic and ginger and cook and additional few minutes.  Add additional spices if you’d like to; adjust salt and pepper seasoning.

3. Just before adding the egg to the fry pan, stir in scallions and cilantro.  Saute until heated through; add eggs.  Stir constantly until set.  Remove from heat and taste for seasoning.

Serve as a side dish to any meal where you’d normally serve rice.  My favorite lunch of late has featured this rice stuffed inside of romaine lettuce wraps, garnished with a little tahini dressing and toasted sunflower seeds.  The “rice” keeps in the refrigerator for several days in an airtight container.

ImageDiet Notes: SCD-safe, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Candida diet

Crunchy Garlic & Ginger Fried Rice

February 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

Today I biked home early while the morning chill still hung in the air.  With a pleasant lump of free time stretched out in front of me, I decided to stop on the bridge straddling the Rillito River to watch a narrow stream of water trickle through the silty wash bottom.  (Water in the river is such a sight for sore eyes around here that folks whip out cameras, just to document the occasion.)  Afterward, I glanced to my left and behold – I caught a glimpse of hidden biking trail!  Rather, I happened to notice a biking trail obscured by a shrimpy mesquite tree.  With an audible cackle, I took an impromptu ride West!  I pedaled underneath several underpasses, passed two lime-green playground sets, a regal American Kestrel, a bobcat playing in the dribbly water and one very over-zealous Beagle that lunged at my front tire.  By the time I made it back home, hands chilled, ears bright red and forehead indented from my fire-hydrant-crimson helmet, I was famished.  I wheeled my bike into the hallway and waddled (sore tush) into the kitchen.  Fingers crossed (hoping my star ingredient hadn’t been used), I ca-clunked the veggie drawer open and cheered with an “Oooh, YES!” as I pulled out a great bundle of leeks!

This might not sound like a standard post-bike-ride meal, but the mere idea of this dish kept me plugging up Camino Cresta – a hill so staggering I looked like a hamster in a wheel, making negligible progress.  This Mark Bittman-inspired dish couldn’t be simpler: a rice, leek & sesame-flavored bowl, topped with crunchy flakes of garlic and ginger.  Other vegetables would be great; leave the leeks; take them out; add some carrots, peas, whatever you like, but you’ve gotta keep the crispy garlic and ginger flakes.  The crunch is killer.

Ingredients – Serves 4:
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
3 leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger

4 eggs / 1 per person
4 teaspoons sesame oil / 1 teaspoon per person
4 teaspoons tamari / 1 teaspoon per person

Methods:

1.  Cook rice according to package instructions.  If pressed for time, cook rice the previous day.

2.  Fill a medium-sized bowl with cool water.  Cut leeks into slivers including a bit of the tougher, green part; it’ll soften with cooking.  Soak in the water.  (Leeks often have dirt nestled between the concentric circles.  Instead of scrubbing, I prefer to soak them; this way, the dirt settles to the bottom of the water and the clean leeks stay on the surface.)  When ready to cook, remove leeks from bowl with a slotted spoon.

3.  Peel ginger & garlic and grate.  Heat approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil on the stove until hot.  Add grated ginger and garlic and fry until browned.  Remove flakes with a slotted spoon to dry on a paper towel and set aside.  In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed.  Saute leeks on medium-heat until softened and slightly caramelized, about 6-7 minutes.  When slightly browned, add cooked rice and stir for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

4.  While rice is heating, cook eggs to your preference in a separate pan.  My family prefers eggs scrambled; the original recipe calls for fried eggs.

5.  Assemble individual servings: place rice & leek mixture in a bowl, top with 1 egg per person, sprinkle with flakes of fried ginger and garlic.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and tamari and serve immediately.

Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free

Garlic Scape Scramble

June 14, 2009 § 4 Comments

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Even though it’s been drizzly and dreary since I arrived in New York City, the markets show that Spring is at our doorsteps!  With crates and crates of fresh strawberries and long purple and green spears of asparagus, people from all over my Brooklyn neighborhood piled underneath the canopy of white tents by the park yesterday to stock up their counter tops and refrigerators with a fresh bounty.

If I had to choose a Spring vegetable favorite, I’d have to tip my hat to the unsuspecting garlic scape.

What the heck is a garlic scape, you may ask?  I had no idea until I yanked them off a few thousand bulbs last summer.  A garlic scape is a long, spindly-looking, stem-like growth that shoots out the top of the garlic and forms big curly-q.  If you let it stay on the garlic, it’ll eventually flower.  Once the garlic scape comes up, you have a limited time to snap it off.  Once snapped, more energy will be sent into the blubs in the final two weeks of growth so they’ll grow a little bigger.  Plus, you can use these scapes in a whole slew of different meals.  Here’s what they look like:

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I cut off the really skinny parts and discard them.  But I slice the thicker parts, toss them in olive oil, and roast them.  The flavor is slightly milder than a garlic bulb, but it still has delicious garlic flavor and makes an incredible topping on salads and stirfries.  Today, garlic scapes and asparagus were the stars of my egg scramble, fancied-up with a small bundle of basil and cilantro.   It was fabulous and I can’t wait for supper tonight!  It’s gonna be a repeat!

Ingredients (for one):
2 eggs
2 baby onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 spears asparagus
6 garlic scapes
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
parmesan cheese, for topping
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Methods:

1.  Preheat oven to broil.  Slice asparagus and scapes into 1/2 inch pieces.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.  Broil 5 minutes until bright green and al dente.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare other vegetables: Chop baby onions, cilantro and basil.  Whip the egg(s) in a separate bowl.  Grate Parmesan cheese and set aside.

3.  Saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute an additional minute, until fragrant.  Add roasted asparagus and garlic scapes and toss.

4.  Add whipped egg to the mixture and cook until set or scrambled.  Remove from heat and stir in herbs.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

Diet Notes: SCD-safe, gluten-free, nut-free

Marinated Portobellos

December 22, 2008 § 2 Comments

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If you’re grilling up some meats and veggies, throw some portobello slices on the BBQ. We have a cool metal gadget that can hold small slices or pieces that would fall through the cracks on the grill; alternatively, cut portobellos in large chunks and skewer, or grill the whole patty and eat it like a hamburger.

This is my stand-by marinade, adapted and inspired by a throw-together recipe from my boss at Harvest Hill Farm in Vermont.  This is a versitle marinade that you can use with tofu, veggies, and I’m sure it would be tasty with meats, too.

Ingredients (all approximations; mix to taste):
4 portobellos
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons orange juice

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Directions:

1.  Thoroughly wash each portobello and cut off stem.  Whisk together liquids and garlic in a large bowl.

2.  Cut up portobello in large slices and toss in marinade and soak for at least 30 minutes.

3.  BBQ or broil for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of slices.

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Diet Notes: nut free, gluten-free, vegan

“Framis” Version 2.0: a great stirfry (in fewer than 15 minutes!)

September 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

Last weekend I zipped over to the farmers’ market and while I piled at least a dozen yellow, orange, and bright red tomatoes into my tote bag, I couldn’t help but notice a little cardboard box hidden behind some heirloom pepper varieties.  The box was filled with gorgeous purple, yellow, and green beans!  Naturally, I had to buy at least 4 handfuls.

Normally I steam some green beans and then throw them in a skillet with some sauteed onions and garlic and butter.  But yesterday I decided to try something new and it was FABULOUS!

Ingredients:
olive oil
sesame oil
egg
onion/scallion
garlic
tomato
cheddar cheese
green beans
black beans*
corn
avocado
cilantro

Methods:

1. Chop green beans into bite-sized pieces.  Over a double boiler, steam until al dente (approximately 7 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, cut up a onion and saute on stove with a splash of olive oil and sesame oil until wilted (about five minutes).  Add garlic.

3. Drain green beans and combine into stir fry.  Stir thoroughly, ensuring that each bean is covered with oil and garlic.

4. In a separate dish, beat egg.  Pour batter in with veggies and stir until the egg has set. Top with cheese and remove from heat.

5.  Top with tomatoes, pre-cooked black beans, avocado, cilantro and scallions.

* If on the SCD-diet, black beans must be soaked for 24 hours prior to cooking time.  If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse thoroughly before use.

Diet Notes: SCD-safe, nut-free, gluten-free

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