Have you caught onto the cauliflower rice phenomenon yet? Did you turn up your nose when you first heard of it? I certainly did…
So, I challenged myself to give it a go. My first attempt was to substitute the rice in one of my favourite mid-week dinners – kedgeree. And, may I say… it was quite a revelation! Not only does the cauliflower do a stellar job of standing in for the rice, in that it has a good ‘bite’ to it, but it’s particularly satisfying to know you’re eating yet another serving of vegetables… without it feeling like vegetables.
I didn’t try this out because I have any particular problem eating rice. However, I am quite interested in the principle of food combining. And one of the main combinations which is said to be problematic for digestion is that of protein and starch, e.g. fish and rice. So, it seems to me that if you substitute cauliflower for rice when protein is involved, it’s an effective way of avoiding potential digestive issues.
This recipe for Cashew Chicken Stirfry with Cauliflower ‘Rice’ from Queensland Government is a particularly tasty one. I adapted it to include vegetables I had in the fridge, but in actuality you can substitute whatever vegetables or additional ingredients you like. What I loved most was the marinade which really enhanced the flavours of the dish. I totally recommend it. Enjoy!
- 2 cloves garlic,crushed
- 3 cm knob of raw ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon reduced salt soy sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
- 350g lean chicken meat, cut into thin strips
- 3/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
- Handful of button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or fish sauce)
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, pepper and chicken in a small bowl, set aside in refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick wok or large fry pan to medium heat. Add cashews and dry fry for only 1 minute, remove from pan and set aside in small bowl.
- Chop cauliflower very finely or process in food processor with blade attachment until it looks like couscous. Transfer to large microwave safe bowl and cook on HIGH (100%) for 6-8 minutes. Keep covered and set aside.
- Meanwhile, brush pan with oil and heat to high. Add half of the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes until browned. Set aside and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Add broccoli florets and stir-fry for 3 minutes, until just tender.
- Add honey, oyster sauce and 2 tablespoons of water to pan along with mushrooms and chicken including any juices, stir-fry for another 3 minutes until heated through.
- Take the pan off the heat and cover with a lid to keep the stir-fry hot. Place a small fry-pan onto the already heated element, add the whisked egg and cook an omelette. Lift the omelette onto a plate or cutting board and, using kitchen scissors, cut into thin strips.
- Divide cauliflower among 4 plates, add the chicken stir-fry on top followed by the strips of omelette and serve sprinkled with cashews.
1. If you like, you can choose not to microwave the cauliflower and instead stir-fry it along with the vegetables.
2. You can also add the eggs directly into the wok - simply push the stir-fry to one side while you cook the omelette.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting