Cooking

Fried Rice with a Twist

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Anything with the title “fried” before it deems it delicious in my book. I know that sounds terrible. It seems to deem me an unhealthy eater at heart, but at least I make a conscious effort to eat healthy. Although it’s been around for a few years now, the most unique fried item I ate was fried Oreo’s. I had them for the first time this past Fall. I felt incredibly unhealthy eating them, but OH MY WORD. They were the most delicious, melt in your mouth treats I think…EVER. The heat from frying the oreo made the center part like a chocolate fudgy, gooey mess. I’m drooling… . Okay enough about fried dessert foods.

You may be delighted to know that this recipe I am sharing with you today has nothing fried about it. This is a healthy version of fried rice that provides all of the flavor of fried rice. The good thing about this dish is that is so versatile. Let’s take a quick step back in history.

Fried rice is a common Chinese dish, and is even more common amongst American-Chinese cuisine. It is called “fried rice” because the rice is stir-fried in a wok with other vegetables and typically some sort of meat. The rice is typically best if it is leftover rice, or if it is prepared a day before. This allows for some of the moisture to evaporate from the rice, yielding it a better frying quality. Further, to go along with using leftover rice, the vegetables and even meat can all be used as leftover ingredients. Fried rice really has become a sort of hodge-podge of ingredients. The ingredients used in the rice varies based on the location of where it is made. Soy sauce yields the underlying flavor in American-Chinese fried rice.

Now, back to my recipe. In my recipe, I wanted something that was fast, easy and healthy to make. Instead of using actual rice, I used riced cauliflower, which seems to be the hot new trend, cutting the Calories and carbohydrates significantly. The riced cauliflower has the same texture as rice and truly I could not tell a difference. Since rice by itself is bland, as is cauliflower, both entities pick up the flavor of the soy sauce. The mixture of vegetables, meat and spices yielded a very satisfying dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, or turkey
  • 1 15 oz can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
  • 1 bag Birds Eye steamfresh family size frozen mixed vegetables; 1 lb 3 oz
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic

Directions:

  1. Sauté green bell pepper and onion in medium sized skillet with 1 Tbsp oil. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently over medium-high heat. Empty skillet contents into bowl and set aside.
  2. Using the same skillet with the lid on, brown the beef or turkey over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. While this is cooking, steam the mixed vegetables according to package directions.
  3. Once the meat is brown, add the cooked bell pepper, onion and steamed mixed vegetables to the meat. Drain the can of mandarin oranges and add in. Add in the soy sauce, garlic and crushed red pepper. Allow this to cook for 5 minutes over low heat to blend flavors. While this is cooking, microwave the bag of frozen riced cauliflower.
  4. Once the riced cauliflower is done, remove from microwave, and divide into 4 equal portions. Add the meat and vegetable mixture over top of the riced cauliflower. Serve, and enjoy!
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2 thoughts on “Fried Rice with a Twist”

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