When you’re cutting carbs but still want that perfect side on the holiday dinner table,…
One of the best sides to a takeout meal just got a huge facelift with less fat and carbs! On the plus side, this is made of almost all vegetables and tons of flavor. You won’t miss the calories at all!
There’s something about Chinese takeout that never screams “healthy”. In fact, I have tried to order Asian takeout on the leaner side – and it was a major disappointment. Steamed chicken, vegetables and brown rice do not stand a chance next to General Tao’s chicken and a side of fried rice! I’ll admit that any day. I absolutely love Asian food so I was up for the task of swapping ingredients to make the recipes I love without the guilt.
During the lovely 2020 quarantine days I craved ALL Asian food for some reason. I was still leery about takeout and I WAS that girl who loaded up on groceries when the panic kicked in. Many Asian recipes thrived in my kitchen during the pandemic because no one really stocked up on the flavoring components like fish/oyster sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, etc. These were shelf and fridge stable and added a ton of flavor to the ingredients on hand. Plus, I always have cauliflower of some sort in my kitchen. It’s the perfect vegetable alternative to lighter meals because it takes on any flavor and can be transformed in so many creative ways.
With all the other foods I stocked up on to be safe like carrots, onions and eggs – this was the perfect no brainer. Even though I have made this recipe over and over again, it just hit differently during the pandemic. And still focusing on health – this recipe offers a good amount of protein and fiber while trimming out some fat and carbs like the traditional restaurant side! Kudos to my brother in Shanghai who really inspired me to try new things during this testing time.
Here are some tips to make this side dish a slam dunk:
- Try and stick with fresh cauliflower when making this. I cheat sometimes and get the pre-riced cauliflower heads in the produce aisle. You can, of course, rice your own cauliflower in a food processor. Either will do. Can you use frozen riced cauliflower, yes, but my experience with this is you have more trouble controlling the sogginess of the cauliflower rice bits.
- I chop my carrots and onions to the same size, however, cook the carrots a little longer first as they take more time to soften up. Salt and pepper everything.
- Using edamame always makes me feel like I am getting more protein and fiber, but the bite of it is better in my opinion.
- Get creative with the sauce. I prefer things to be spicier and nuttier. I love Sriracha and sesame oil. I think the saltiness of this is important but you can achieve that with soy sauce and hoisin sauce or even oyster sauce for a fun and unique flavor. Add ginger too, maybe GARLIC! Whatever you want that will get you excited about eating vegetables.
- You do not have to use egg substitute, but you should use some type of egg in this. It is a quick cook at the end. Do not over cook or under cook the egg. Once the cauliflower is almost completely done, make a divot in the center of the pan and add the egg and quickly cook it. It adds more protein and great for an authentic“fried rice”flavor!
Here are some other great recipes to pair with these egg rolls:
- Veggie [or Turkey] Asian Egg Rolls
- Sweet & Spicy Sesame Chicken
- Coming Soon! Air Fried Crab Rangoon
- Spicy Chicken Wonton Soup
- Chicken Satay & Light Peanut Sauce
Califlower “Fried Rice”
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon Sriracha
- ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 medium carrots finely diced
- ¾ cup edamame shelled
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 4-5 cups cauliflower riced
- 10-15 water chestnuts diced (optional)
- ⅓ cup egg substitute
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color)
- Prepare sauce by whisking together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Spray a large frying pan with nonstick cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil or sesame oil and heat on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Once the pan is heated, add carrots, onion and edamame for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Add cauliflower and water chestnuts and stir and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce to medium heat. Add the sauce and stir in and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- In the middle of the pan, create a divot and add egg substitute. Scramble the egg in the middle of the pan as it cooks. Once it cooks through, stir in all the ingredients.
- Top with chopped green onions.