Healthy, Gluten-Free Thai Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice
I love Thai food. From pad thai to tom kha kai soup to my favorite dish ever—pineapple fried rice—there's something so attractive about the exotic ingredients, unusual flavor profiles, and mixing of sweet and savory flavors that I can't get enough of! Since I started doing the 21-Day Fix diet, I've learned to improvise. This means that I can still eat my favorite things without feeling deprived or going off my diet yet again. While I've done a bunch of diets over the years, this one allows me to eat healthier versions of almost all of my favorite foods, which makes it a lot easier to stick to.
I tested this one out a few weeks ago using myself and my mom as guinea pigs. She's been hounding me for weeks to make it again, so I caved. It's gluten-free, so my gluten-free peeps can enjoy it with us as well. I used cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice because I happen to like the texture better, plus it's a sneaky way to get more veggies into my day.
My super fussy dad asked for seconds and didn't even complain about my "fancy" (healthy) cooking for once. I'm the kind of girl who just throws things into a skillet and eyeballs things . . . some of this, a little of that, more of this. Tonight I took the time to measure and write everything down as I cooked. The dinner was a hit, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as we all did.
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons oil, I used half sesame oil, half olive oil
- 3 steamer bags (10–12 oz) cauliflower rice, frozen
- 1 can (15 oz) peas and carrots, drained
- 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari
- 4.5 cups chicken, cooked, optional
- 6 eggs, optional
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger, can use paste, fresh, or ground
- sprinkle crushed red pepper, optional
- sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
- Microwave each bag of cauliflower rice according to the package instructions. Let them cool a bit before opening—they're super hot!
- OPTIONAL: If you plan to add some scrambled eggs in the meal, crack the eggs, add the salt, and beat. Use the butter or coconut oil to grease the pan, then scramble the eggs over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Sauté the cauliflower rice in a big skillet with no oil over medium-low heat. Stir the rice frequently until it dries. This step is important—if skipped, the cauliflower rice will be soggy and the texture of the dish will be completely different.
- Once the cauliflower rice is dry, add the sesame and olive oils then stir the mixture to distribute.
- Add coconut aminos/tamari sauce, peas, carrots, and pineapple to the skillet then stir to incorporate.
- OPTIONAL: Chop the scrambled eggs into bite-sized pieces and add to the skillet. If you prefer, you can add pre-cooked chicken to the skillet.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, mixing occasionally until everything is heated through. I place a cover over the skillet to speed the heating up.
- Add the chopped peanuts to the skillet and mix everything up.
- OPTIONAL: Top with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and/or unsweetened coconut flakes as a garnish.
This dish is pretty easy to customize to fit your personal tastes or dietary needs.
- Gluten-free? Keep it the way it is.
- Dairy-free? Use coconut oil instead of butter to grease the pan for the eggs.
- Vegetarian or vegan? Skip the eggs/chicken. Want more protein? Add some tofu or use quinoa instead of cauliflower rice.
- Kosher? Keep it the way it is.
- Don't like an ingredient? Sub it for something else. This dish is very forgiving. I've run out of peas and carrots and used whatever leftover veggies I happened to have handy—broccoli, green beans, water chestnuts, you name it.
- Don't like spice? Skip the crushed red pepper.
- Love spice? Add some more.
- Hate coconut? Just skip it.
- Low sodium? Make sure you use unsalted peanuts.
- Peanut allergy? Make sure to leave those out!
Do it your way. It's really that easy.
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© 2018 Leah