By now, you’ve survived Thanksgiving, repurposed all the leftovers, and probably have gotten sick of anything pumpkin-flavored. It may be tempting to go for a totally new flavor profile and order Chinese food, but stop! Put down the phone! Most American adults gain about 1-2 pounds each holiday season (that they don’t lose no matter what their New Years Resolutions are), and it’s not just the pumpkin pie and eggnog to blame. It’s also the poor nutrition choices we make while prepping for and recovering from all the festivities. Instead, indulge your cravings while saving time (yes, time- going to a restaurant or even waiting for delivery is longer than cooking this meal), money, and your waistline by making fried rice at home. You could always use brown rice, but the newly-popularized cauliflower rice is even faster to prepare and lower in calories!
When I made this meal, I chopped up all my own vegetables because I find that relaxing, but if you’re not weird like that, prepackaged stir-fry vegetables (without added salt/fat/sauce) works just as well! You’ll probably find those vegetables right next to the riced cauliflower either in the prepared vegetable section or in the frozen section. I went for shrimp as a protein because it defrosts and cooks in about as long as it takes to cook the rest of the vegetables, but you could use chicken, pork, beef, or tofu as cheaper alternatives. The cauliflower is super simple to make- just dump in a pan with some sesame oil and seasonings and toss until heated through!
As for the vegetables, I just sauteed them along with some garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, canola oil, and soy sauce until they softened up. I also tossed in some scrambled egg for extra protein (and because it tastes good!).
This whole meal came together within about 20 minutes and probably cost about $15 dollars (even with the shrimp) for 4 portions- try doing that with takeout! The cauliflower rice definitely tastes different than rice, but the texture is similar enough that when paired with all the vegetables and seasonings it is barely noticeable. All-in-all, this is the perfect weeknight meal to recover from one holiday while preparing for the next!
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2-2 lbs stir-fry vegetables, chopped to bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds, optional
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lb cauliflower rice
- 2 eggs
- Low-sodium soy sauce, salt, and sriracha to taste
- Shrimp or other protein of choice
- Heat 3 Tbsp of canola oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, then add the vegetables and sesame seeds. Saute until browned and softened.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining canola oil and sesame oil in a small pot. Add the cauliflower and stir occasionally to heat through.
- Prepare protein as desired while the rest of the meal is cooking. Season with soy sauce.
- Create a whole in the middle of the vegetables when they are almost cooked through. Crack two eggs into the hole and scramble until cooked through. Toss with the vegetables, then season the whole mixture with salt, soy sauce, and sriracha.
- Season the cauliflower rice as desired, then plate topped with the vegetables and protein.