It will become apparent in coming posts how much I like my cauliflower? That’s because it’s so darn versatile and nutritionally stellar! it’s like a chameleon changing high carbohydrate rice dishes into ones resembling the authentic dishes. In my opinion they taste better–more nutrient dense–and, of course, more healthy. That’s what this Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe does and when I saw it in Good Morning Paleo by Jane Barthelemy I was like “duh, of course your can make an Asian staple like fried rice with cauliflower!”
I remember sitting with my grandparents in the Majorette in Lethbridge, Alberta, when I was very young and doing the oddest culinary thing–dipping my fork in soy sauce then in sesame seeds. I can’t say I loved this but it was something that I shared with my amazingly loving Grandma and Grandpa. My favorite thing to order was always the sweet and sour pork ribs. Oh yummy–meat that tastes like candy, right? My next favorite thing was the fried rice with the little pieces of egg all though it. Now, as an adult I’m a little more choosy with my favorites (yes, I’m still in love with the sweet and sour sauce and I’ll share my healthy version one day) and much more aware of what potential health threats are being served right alongside those nummy dishes. Namely, the oils!
Our brains are made of more than 60% fat so we need to eat high quality fat that our cells thrive on. The two types of fat our brain needs are Omega 3 found in flaxseed, hemp, chia and fish oil and Omega 6, found in nuts and seeds and their oils. What should be a 1:3 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is more like 1:40 nowadays. Omega 6 oils, highly inflammatory if not balanced with Omega 3 oils, are included in everything from pastries to fast foods. They are often heated at high temperatures which destroys their molecular structure and turns them into trans fats–and I really need not rehash the trans fat debacle that was headlining the news last decade. Udo Erasmus talks at length about heating oils in his book, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. The oils that restaurants use to heat, reheat and reheat and reheat again the frying oil are the Omega 6 oils–not the type that will nourish your cells–nope, it’s the kind that can cause inflammation which is implicated in many disease processes. Yikes, I’ll pass on those fries thank-you AND the fried rice!
An appropriate fat or oil to use at high temperatures like frying should be butter, ghee, lard or coconut oil because they are saturated fats and their molecules will generally remain stable. Saturated fat is also needed by the brain but for 40 years there’s been a war raging against cholesterol so the “vegetable” or Omega 6 oils took their place and pushed the delicate 1:3 ratio out of balance. However, what researchers and doctors are now finding is that cholesterol is extremely important for the brain as that’s where 25% of it resides. Cholesterol it turns out has a protective effects and when someone is low in it they may suffer from depression or dementia as David Perlmutter, MD, discusses in his book Grain Brain: the Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.
This recipe calls for the healthy Coconut Oil fat that has Medium Chain Triglycerides which are very nourishing to the brain.1 What makes this recipe so tasty is the addition of the organic toasted sesame oil which gives it that slightly nutty and familiar Asian scent and taste that screams authentic! This recipe is very close to the original since I only adapted a couple of ingredients and steps to simplify the process but you can add water chestnuts and peas–even a bit of diced organic ham to increase the intrigue. I’ve indulged by keeping the toasted sesame seed in as it has a high smoke point and will withstand heat better than other oils. As well, sesamol, a component of sesame seeds has a beneficial effect on stress.2
Cauliflower Fried Rice
I'm infatuated with Asian dishes redone so they become extremely healthy and nourishing to the body. Switching out the high carbohydrate rice with cauliflower and using healthy oils is a game changer and one I'm all in for playing. This recipe was adapted slightly from the original found in Good Morning Paleo by Jane Barthelemy
- 3 T coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot shredded or cut any other way you like
- 1/2 head of cauliflower riced (pulse about 10 times in a food processor with the S blade)
- 2 green onions cut
- 1/2 cut frozen peas (optional)
- 1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts (optional)
- 3 T coconut aminos or tamari
- 2 eggs, beaten
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 t toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 T sesame seeds (optional)
- Step 1 In a large skilled over high add the coconut oil
- Step 2 Saute garlic for 1 minute, add the onions and saute 2 minutes more
- Step 3 Add peas and water chestnuts if using, carrot and riced cauliflower to the pan, mix and saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally
- Step 4 Cover and cook for 5 minutes
- Step 5 Add green onions on top, cover and cook for 2 more minutes
- Step 6 Remove from heat and add to a bowl
- Step 7 In the same frying pan add eggs and stir constantly to make egg pieces very tiny (should take about 2 minutes)
- Step 8 Add eggs and sesame oil to vegetable mix bowl and stir
- Step 9 To garnish top with a smattering of sesame seeds
- Step 10 Serve with love and enjoy!
- “How Coconut Oil May Rescue The Brain From Alzheimer’s Disease.” GreenMedInfo – The World’s Natural Health Resource. July 02, 2015. Accessed November 30, 2017. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/how-coconut-oil-may-rescue-brain-alzheimers-disease
- Kumar, Baldeep, Anurag Kuhad, and Kanwaljit Chopra. “Neuropsychopharmacological effect of sesamol in unpredictable chronic mild stress model of depression: behavioral and biochemical evidences.” Psychopharmacology 214, no. 4 (2010): 819-28. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-2094-2