recipe

Low Carb & Low Cal Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

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Dear Reader, a few weeks ago, it has been a miserable week in the Elliott household. I was sick with a cough and a upper respiratory infection and confined to bed. I'm usually a self sufficient patient especially when I'm at home by myself during the day but at times, I can be melodramatic. I was feeling sorry for myself.

"Can I please have a massage?" I asked Mr NQN who was busy doing something on the computer one night.

"In a minute" he said. Minutes passed, about twenty in fact (and yes I was counting). I lay on my side dramatically before whispering, "you're being very bad and ignoring her..."

"What did you say?" Mr NQN asked.

"I didn't say anything, I'm quite sure that that was your guilty conscience talking" I replied with one eye on him while I moaned dramatically before letting out the squawk of a parrot just to let him know that I not kidding around.

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Then, a couple of days later, it happened. Mr NQN got sick just as I was getting better. He spent two days fast asleep without his phone in his hand (a sure sign that he really was sick) and tired of soup and congee, I knew what I wanted to make. It had to be easy because I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but it had to be packed with nutrient rich vegetables. So I decided to make this cauliflower fried rice.

You may have heard of it before-where carb heavy rice is substituted with finely chopped cauliflower. Everything is stir fried together and it turns from a calorific but tasty family favourite dish to one that is much more nutritious, fibre filled and lower in fat. Mr NQN wasn't eating much so I thought that I would have leftovers for lunch the next day or even dinner the next day. But apparently, even though he is lukewarm about fried rice, he is enthusiastic about cauliflower fried "rice"!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you try and eat low carb from time to time? Do you think that it helps with losing weight? And do you feel like you eat enough vegetables in your diet?

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Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

Serves 4, approximately 265 calories per serve

  • 4 cups raw cauliflower (about 540g)

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 2 teaspoons oil for frying

  • 2 eggs

  • 200g/7ozs prawns in shell, shelled and diced or 100g/3.5ozs prawns shelled, diced

  • 1 Lup Cheong Chinese sausage, diced (substitute with chicken if you want it lower in fat)

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 2 cups peas

  • 1/2 cup tinned corn kernels

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Buyer’s tip: Lup Cheong can be found at supermarkets in the Asian foods aisle. It is an air cured sausage but must be cooked before eating. You can add it to stir fries or steam it (even on top of rice in a rice cooker).

Step 1 - Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until you get small white pieces. Place in a large bowl along with the corn and green onions and add the salt, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper and stir to combine and distribute.

Step 2 - Heat a large wok or frypan to medium heat (I put it as a 6 out of 10) and add one teaspoon of oil. Beat the eggs and then when the pan or wok has heated, fry them as a large, flat omelette. Remove from the pan and slice into strips using a knife or a pair of scissors and set aside (this doesn’t get added until the very end).

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Step 3 - Heat another teaspoon of in the pan on high heat and fry the onion until fragrant, add in prawn meat and fry until almost cooked. Add in lup cheong and cook for another minute tossing in the pan or wok. Transfer all of this mixture to the big bowl of seasoned cauliflower and stir to combine everything.

Step 4 - Fry the peas and carrots and fry for a couple of minutes. Then turn up the heat to medium to high and add the big bowl of cauliflower to the wok and fry everything for a few minutes, to give it all a nice breath from the hot wok-it shouldn't take long but just be sure to toss it well. Add the egg slices and check for seasoning (I always like more white pepper here) and then ladle onto a serving plate.

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