Hello there! We've had such nice weather here in Chicago. Although summer doesn’t officially start for another couple of weeks, it feels like it’s already here. We bought a giant inflatable pool for the kids and finally planted some herbs and vegetables outside. I’ve lived in the Midwest long enough that I no longer really mind winter, I even enjoy some of its comforts, but summer is still where it’s at. I’m so excited to eat most of our meals outside and to pack picnic dinners for the park this year.
Also, I LOVE our house in the summer. It’s hard to explain, but the layout makes it almost feel like you are outside when the windows are open. The house has old bones but it was redone before we bought it in 2012. Now, instead of the traditional bungalow style with several individual rooms on the ground floor, it’s all open. It’s breezy and bright, and usually full of the sounds of little ones going back and forth from the yard - all covered in sand and water. Naturally, all of this makes it easier to enjoy cooking inside, even when it’s beautiful out there.
Recently, I made this delicious, yet almost embarrassingly healthy meal for myself.
It was a combination of prepared fish and vegetables that I bought at the Korean grocery store and a new creation, one that I will make again and again. Cauliflower “fried rice”. Truthfully, I wasn’t trying to be so virtuous. This recipe was born out of necessity.
I was all set with my prepared foods from the Korean store and some brown rice in the rice cooker. I chopped up a shallot, some garlic and green onion to make a quick fried rice when, 40 minutes later, the rice was still cooking and I was STARVING. I had some frozen riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s in the freezer so I grabbed that and a frying pan, and got to work. Within about five minutes I had this lovely “fried rice” and my brown rice was still nowhere near ready.
I could eat this stuff with an egg on it for breakfast, in a salad, with some Japanese curry (yum!), or Vietnamese pork chops, even meatballs and sauce. It's unbelievably versatile.
Here’s how you do it.
Cauliflower “Fried Rice”
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
3 heads of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
1 bag of riced cauliflower*, defrosted and drained if frozen
1 cup peas, defrosted and drained if frozen (I usually just run hot water over them to defrost)
*You can buy this either fresh or frozen at Trader Joe’s. You can also make it yourself by taking a head of cauliflower and blitzing it in your food processor until the pieces approximate the size of grains of rice.
Heat oils over medium high heat in large pan. Add riced cauliflower and saute about 3 minutes. Add garlic and shallot and cook about 2 minutes. Add peas and saute until warmed through, about 1-2 more minutes. Add salt to taste. Voila! That’s it.
Now go outside and play!