Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice

I’ll fully admit I’m team white rice and team white potato. You cannot fool me into thinking cauliflower rice or pureed cauliflower tastes anything like a lovely bowl of white rice or a creamy side of buttery mashed potatoes. I’m not afraid of dense carbs timed right, especially since I lift heavy weights and need to refuel my glycogen stores so I can lift heavy weights again. But there are reasons to enjoy cauliflower rice at times, such as if you aren’t as active or your focus is on weight loss. It’s particularly easy to enjoy cauliflower rice since Trader Joe’s made it even easier with their new frozen riced cauliflower with only two ingredients, cauliflower and sea salt.

Another reason to have cauliflower rice is when you want a quick side dish to serve with dinner. This easy cauliflower fried rice is ready in 30 minutes, from prep to table. Perfect amount of time to cook a protein such as chicken or pork to serve along side this dish. Since it’s all vegetables, and some egg, you get a great serving of colorful vegetables to go along with your meal too.

I used Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Cauliflower to make this a super easy recipe. If you do not have a Trader Joe’s near you or prefer to rice your own cauliflower, no problem. Check out this post from Oh My Veggies on how to make cauliflower rice with a food processor or a box grater. You will need one and a half cups of cauliflower rice if you make your own. This will add about 10 to 15 minutes to the recipe time, but that’s okay especially if you plan ahead.

Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Serves: 3 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 package (12 ounces or 1.5 cups if making your own cauli rice) Trader Joe's Organic Riced Cauliflower
  • 2 medium Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • ½ bunch Green Onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Ghee, plus ¼ teaspoon
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Prep all vegetables. Dice carrots and bell pepper. Chop green onions. Open package of Trader Joe's Organic Riced Cauliflower or rice your cauliflower.
  2. In a small bowl combine Fish Sauce, Coconut Aminos, Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper, and pinch of salt. (Recipe Tip: Go easy on the salt since the packaged Cauliflower has salt added and the fish sauce is salty. A pinch really will do it, you can always add a little more salt at the end if you feel it is needed.)
  3. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp Ghee over medium-high heat.
  4. Once ghee is melted, add riced Cauliflower, Carrots, and Red Bell Pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (Carrots and Red Bell Peppers will still have a slight crisp texture after 10 minutes, if you prefer them to be cooked further add an additional 5 minutes to the cook time.)
  5. While vegetables are cooking, in a separate skillet melt ¼ teaspoon of Ghee, and scramble both Eggs. Once eggs are cooked break them up into smaller pieces with spatula. Set aside.
  6. After cooking vegetables in skillet for 10 minutes, add scrambled Eggs, Green Onions (reserving some for garnish if desired), and sauce mixture. Stir together and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Remove from skillet and serve.

 

Kasandrinos Olive Oil

 

Instant Pot Corned Beef

Instant Pot Corned BeefOh lovely March, when you arrive so does the corned beef! The Smithsonian online magazine has an excellent article describing how corned beef evolved from salted beef made with the ash of burnt seaweed to a dish Irish American immigrants shared with Jewish immigrants. The salt cured and slow cooked meat was a way to transform a tough cut of meat into tender flavorful corned beef. Add some potatoes and cabbage, cooked in the same liquid as the corned beef, and you have an easy tasty meal. Corned beef and cabbage is especially easy to enjoy today when you cook it in an Instant Pot.

While you can brine your own beef brisket, I prefer to save time and purchase already brined brisket. Most of the corned beef available in the grocery store is gluten free, unless a malt vinegar is used in the brine (not likely). Just be sure to check the package label and ingredients to be sure. You can also purchase corned beef from your local butcher and even Costco carries a grass-fed gluten free corned beef this year.

About those potatoes? The second half of the recipe below is for cabbage, carrots, and yes potatoes to be cooked in the same liquid the corned beef was cooked in. The corned beef and the vegetables cook at different times in the Instant Pot which is why this is a two step process, the good thing is corned beef tastes great even if it isn’t super hot just from the pot so don’t worry about it getting cold while you cook the vegetables. While potatoes may not fit into your personal diet template, they fit in ours, so I’ve included them. It is okay to exclude them and just make the cabbage and carrots to serve alongside your corned beef.

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Rating 

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Two Step Process- After cooking the Corned Beef in your Instant Pot, remove the corned beef from the pot and strain the liquid with a slotted spoon to remove any large pieces of fat and herbs. Retain liquid in pot as it will be the same liquid you use to cook the second half of the recipe- Cabbage, Carrots, and Potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound Corned Beef Brisket
  • 3 cups Beef Broth
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and roughly chopped (substitute ¼ medium onion)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and whole
  • 15 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 9 Whole Allspice
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 5 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 6 small to medium Red Potatoes, rinsed and cut into eighths (optional)
  • 5 Carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 2 Shallots, minced (substitute ½ minced onion)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Diamond Kosher Salt
  • 1 head green Cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Instructions
  1. Place corned beef brisket in Instant Pot fat side up. Add beef broth, water, rough chopped shallot, 3 garlic cloves, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves, and thyme.
  2. Place lid on Instant Pot in locked position, making sure vent is sent to "sealing". Plug in Instant Pot.
  3. Press "Manual' and "+" to increase cooking time to 60 minutes at High Pressure.
  4. After a moment the display will turn to "On" while the pot heats up and pressure increases, once the pot has warmed up the display will start counting down.
  5. When finished cooking wait to open lid until the pressure float is down on it's own, or release pressure manually by moving vent to "venting". Unplug Instant Pot.
  6. Remove Corned Beef from pot, saving liquid for cabbage, carrots, and optional potatoes. Cover corned beef with aluminum foil and set aside.
  7. Strain cooking liquid with a slotted spoon to remove fat, bay leaves, and thyme.
  8. Place optional potatoes, carrots, shallots, garlic, and salt into cooking liquid then place cabbage on top.
  9. Place lid on Instant Pot in locked position, making sure vent is sent to "sealing". Plug in Instant Pot.
  10. Press "Manual' and "+" to increase cooking time to 10 minutes at High Pressure.
  11. After a moment the display will turn to "On" while the pot heats up and pressure increases, once the pot has warmed up the display will start counting down.
  12. When finished cooking wait to open lid until the pressure float is down on it's own, or release pressure manually by moving vent to "venting". Unplug Instant Pot.
  13. Remove vegetables from Instant Pot and serve with sliced corned beef.
  14. For Slow-Cooker Variation
  15. Place all ingredients except cabbage (corned beef, beef broth, water, 3 shallots, 5 cloves garlic, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves, thyme, optional potatoes, and carrots) in large slow-cooker (7 quart or larger), and cook on high for 4 hours.
  16. Add cabbage on top of corned beef, cook for another hour on high.

 

Instant Pot Corned Beef

 


 

US Wellness Meats

Banana Breakfast Muffins

Banana Breakfast Muffins

The San Juan Islands are always beautiful and amazing. Cell phone reception is spotty and terrible, which is wonderful! No work emails, voicemails, etc. But the San Juan Islands during the tourist off season are magical. It’s so quiet. Sometimes the only sound is your breathing. Hiking Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island is a favorite activity of ours when we visit. It’s even better when it’s cold as the view is spectacular and there aren’t many others as crazy as you to hike the mountain in the cold, so it’s pretty much just you up there. It’s spectacular.

As our Christmas and anniversary gifts to each other, the husband and I went to the San Juan Islands without the girls last week. Since it was a holiday week and the off season, and in an effort to eat well, I packed a cooler full of food to bring with us. I had some bananas and thought about making banana bread, but banana breakfast muffins seemed like a better idea since they would be more portable.

I didn’t have a recipe to follow, I just winged it. To the banana muffin batter I added almond butter and coffee to make them breakfast on the go muffins.  The response on Instagram and requests for the recipe were positive, so for the first post of 2015 I’m giving you the Banana Breakfast Muffins recipe!

Below the photos from our trip is the recipe. Enjoy!


Banana Breakfast Muffins

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Serves: 12 Muffins

Ingredients
  • 4 Bananas
  • ½ cup Almond Butter, salt free
  • 1 cup strong Coffee
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup melted cooking fat, such as coconut oil or ghee
  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Starch (or tapioca flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Double-Acting Aluminum Free Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°
  2. Line muffin tin with 12 liners.
  3. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl.
  4. Combine almond butter, coffee, eggs, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, and cooking fat in a large mixing bowl with bananas.
  5. In a separate bowl mix coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and optional xanthan gum together until well combined.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Batter will be sticky.
  7. Fill muffin liners ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until cooked all the way through, toothpick will come out clean when cooked through.

 

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe Round-Up

NTFThanksgiving

We don’t brine a turkey, roast or deep fry one either for Thanksgiving. We don’t do turkey on turkey day. We’re a roasted chicken family, due to multiple family members being allergic to turkey. Which is okay with me, I was never a big fan of turkey anyway (gasp!).  I’ve always been in it for the side dishes and the dessert. And the football!!! Okay okay, and time with family between forkfuls of food and shouts to the football refs.

Our Thanksgiving table includes the green bean casserole my sister perfectly makes even though she doesn’t eat green beans, my Mom’s amazing moist and a little crusty homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes with extra butter, sweet potato casserole (which is not something I eat as it’s way to sweet for me), another vegetable dish usually honeyed carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls for those that don’t eat gluten free, and at least 3 kinds of pie. Usually apple, pumpkin, and berry! Every once in awhile I want to mix it up a bit and add something new at the last minute. The side dish recipe round-up below is for those close to last minute additions or maybe a substitute for the too sweet to eat sweet potato casserole. These recipes also work year-round for non holiday dinners too!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe Round-Up

About those leftovers…

 

Braised Cranberry Apple Cabbage

Braised Cranberry Apple CabbagePumpkin most often gets all the glory for fall flavors, but there are other great seasonal goodies this time of year that shouldn’t be overlooked. Pomegranates, apples, cranberries, and squashes (not just pumpkin – how about delicata, butternut, and acorn to name a few) are some of my favorites. I’m all for pumpkin everything, however after I get that out of my system at the beginning of the season, I turn to my other favorites. That’s where the inspiration for this recipe, Braised Cranberry Apple Cabbage, came from. Cranberries and apples with cabbage, braised in apple cider, chicken stock, and apple cider vinegar results in a tangy and slightly sweet side dish. Bonus points for being an easy one pot dish too!

While I cooked the cabbage on the stove in a large pot over low heat for several hours, this recipe could just as easily have gone in the crockpot on low for 5 to 6 hours. The cooking liquid will increase about an hour into the cooking time, since the cabbage releases water as it cooks down. Be sure to allow space in the pot or crockpot for the extra liquid. This is why you don’t need to worry about not covering all the vegetables and fruit with liquid before you start cooking, it’ll take care of itself.

Braised Cranberry Apple Cabbage is great served along side simple baked chicken or roasted turkey. It would also make a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. We ate our cabbage mixed with browned ground beef, for a simple one bowl dinner. The girls really enjoyed this side dish as well, especially the apples and cranberries. If using half a large head of cabbage, the other half can be used to make Rotisserie Chicken and Cabbage Salad for lunches later in the week. The leftover apple cider is great warmed up with cinnamon to drink by a warm fire.

Note: If you cannot find plain non-alcoholic apple cider in the store, spiced apple cider (with mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg) will work in it’s place. Just omit the cinnamon in the recipe. You may also use unfiltered apple juice or if all else fails plain 100% not from concentrate apple juice works as well.

Braised Cranberry Apple Cabbage

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Ingredients
  • ½ large head Purple Cabbage, sliced (or 1 medium Purple Cabbage)
  • 2 cups Cranberries
  • 2 Apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock/Broth
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot, or crockpot. Liquid will not cover all ingredients, this is to allow space in the pot for the liquid in the cabbage to release as recipe cooks.
  2. Stir carefully, to not break cranberries, to combine.
  3. If cooking on stovetop in a pot: cook on low heat for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally.
  4. If cooking in a crockpot: cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  5. Strain with a slotted spoon before serving.