Cauliflower fried “rice” with carrots, peas, and corn

January 18, 2018 at 10:41 pm (breakfast, B_minus (2.5 stars), Cruciferous rich, East and SE Asia, One pot wonders, Quick weeknight recipe, Soy and seitan, Website / blog)

So I haven’t been blogging much lately. We have been cooking, but we haven’t been making so many new recipes. Blame my toddler. Alma (at almost 3) is not what I would call a super picky eater. She will eat most vegetables, and almost all types of beans, whole grains, fruits, and nuts. That said, in comparison to Derek and I, she is soooo picky. She doesn’t yet like most spices and herbs, she’s adverse to many “mixed” dishes, and she’s generally nervous about anything new. It’s hard to get up the energy to try a new recipe, when you know that with high likelihood it will be rejected, at least on the first attempt.

But I am still in need of quick, healthy weeknight recipes as well as healthy, vegetable-containing breakfasts. So I went on a search for “kid friendly” recipes. Most of what I found was either a dessert, non-vegetarian, or flour-, dairy-, or grain-based, with few to no vegetables. Not what I was looking for. Then I came across this recipe for a one-skillet cauliflower “fried rice” on the Super Healthy Kids blog, and it reminded me that I’d been meaning to try making fried rice out of cauliflower for a while. This particular version looks a little wan — there’s no scallions, no ginger, no chilies. But I figured it would be a good first version to test on Alma (who won’t touch scallions or chilies, and isn’t a huge fan of ginger).

My notes:

I don’t know what a medium cauliflower is, but I used about 3/4 of a normal-sized cauliflower and it seemed like way too much. I set aside 2 cups of the riced cauliflower and used it later in the week in veggie burgers. The recipe says to discard the tough core of the cauliflower, but from making caulitots I know that the core rices up just fine. I left it in. Maybe that’s why I had too much cauliflower?

The recipe says to add the carrots, corn, and peas to the skillet all at the same time, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, then another 7 to 9 minutes. What? Why would you cook frozen corn and peas that long? I started the carrots and onions together, then added the cauliflower, peas and corn all together.

I didn’t have low-sodium soy sauce so I used 3 Tbsp. of regular soy sauce. The final dish was salty but not over the top.

I served this to Alma for lunch and she ate one bowl of it without complaint and then had a small bowl for seconds. I served the leftovers for breakfast a few days later, adding in some fried tofu cubes, and she initially said “I don’t want any!”, but then after I gave her a few other things on her tray she eventually picked out all the tofu and corn and peas, but didn’t eat much of the cauliflower or carrots. And Alma typically likes both cauliflower and carrots. Too mixed maybe?

When Derek got back from his trip to the U.S. he called me and asked me what there was too eat. I told him there was leftover fried rice in the fridge, and he had a bowl. When I got home I asked him what he thought of the cauliflower fried rice. It was good, he responded, but there wasn’t any cauliflower in it. He thought it was just regular rice. Jetlag? Maybe.

When I served the leftovers for breakfast Derek added extra soy sauce and chili sauce and said “I love it!” He even ate the rest for lunch the same day.

I thought the original dish was okay, if a bit one-dimensional. (The flavor was mostly from the soy sauce.) I liked it better with the extra textural contrast from the tofu. It’s definitely something I’ll be playing around with. Can I come up with a version that’s complex enough that I like it, while still being acceptable to Alma?

Ideas: add a little ginger, some toasted sesame seeds or sesame oil, scallions (to ours), maybe frozen green beans or bok choy or mung bean sprouts or basil?

Given the (semi)-success of the cauliflower fried rice, I decided to try another simple recipe on the Super Healthy Kids blog: sweet potato toast. It basically says to stick a thin slice of sweet potato in the toaster and then top with your favorite toast toppings. It was not a hit. I sliced the sweet potato thinly and ran the sweet potato through the toaster several times, but the texture was not good. It was either too raw and crunchy or kind of hard and dried out. The breakfast ended with Alma in tears begging for “regular toast.” Maybe next time I’ll try the foodnetwork suggestion to prick the slices with a fork and par-cook them in the microwave for 3 minutes before putting them in the toaster.


  1. 2hours20people said,

    I love cauliflower rice! I make a delicious cauliflower risotto too.

  2. Comi said,

    Google just sent me here for your recipe for tahini sauce (from a 2006 post). I, too, previously lived in Austin — and loved when kale with tahini was on the Casa de Luz menu! I also really enjoyed their sauerkraut.

    I’m living in Australia now and looking to recreate that sauce. Thank you for providing a kicking off point. I recall years ago trying the restaurant cookbook sauce recipes and thinking what was in the book was not quite what was being served.

    On another note, I’m secretly glad kale has become a bit of a fad, as it’s now been introduced to more people. I never understood why my hometown in Texas just let the kale languish on the salad bar as decor, rather than serve it.

    Now if only collards and huitelacoche would become a thing. . . .

    Good luck to you in your adventures cooking for the extremely young.

  3. Healthy vegetarian breakfast ideas | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] cooking them to the right degree, and the ramekins are a pain to clean. Maybe veggie fried rice or cauliflower fried rice? Other ideas? I know we can just eat standard lunch and dinner foods (or leftovers) for breakfast, […]

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