Fried rice is a dish that, in my mind, is usually bound to Asian flavors. In the past, I’ve regularly made variations of fried rice, but now I do it even more frequently as my toddler boy loves it too. Fried rice is a great weeknight, family-friendly dish, not only because it’s quick and easy to make but also because it makes great use of leftovers: just chop up leftover veggies and meat (or tofu), drizzle in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil, crack an egg in to bind it all together, and you’ve got a delightful meal you can eat with a spoon. Who doesn’t like that?
It’s probably because I could make fried rice with my eyes closed that one of the recipes in the new and gorgeous The Love & Lemons Cookbook jumped out at me. Jeanine, the recipe creator in the Love & Lemons duo, flips the classic formula on its head and makes fried rice with ingredients and flavors you would usually associate with Middle Eastern cuisine: chick peas, raisins, turmeric, cardamom, and yogurt, to name a few. The use of coconut oil and milk make the dish extra aromatic, while the addition of cashew nuts boosts the protein content. But the recipe’s truly genius idea—one I will probably reuse in all my future fried rice renditions, whatever the variation—is to use a 2-to-1 chopped cauliflower-to-rice ratio. Using cauliflower as a substitute for rice is a popular trick, and this recipe makes an especially clever use of it: combining cauliflower and rice provides the best of both worlds texture-wise.
Fried rice is best made with leftover rice—that is, rice that has been cooked and cooled. I like to use brown basmati rice because it’s much more nutritious, fiber-rich, and flavorful. To save time, I make a large batch and freeze it in portions so I always have the option of making last-minute fried rice for dinner. This recipe can be a meal on its own, but I like to boost its protein content: diced tofu, leftover roasted chicken, sautéed shrimp, or a hard- or soft-boiled egg are all tasty toppings. You could even turn this dish into a sandwich: spread some yogurt inside the pocket of a pita bread, add a generous serving of fried rice, top with any protein and some leafy greens (if desired), and enjoy!
Makes 4 main course servings.
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
To make the cardamom yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lime juice, cardamom, a generous pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
To make the cauliflower fried rice: In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cauliflower, a pinch of kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the cauliflower is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cashews and chickpeas and cook until both are lightly browned, 5 minutes more.
Add the curry powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes (if using), and green onions. Stir and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat and add ½ cup [125 ml] of the coconut milk. Add the lime juice, golden raisins, and another pinch of kosher salt. Add the cooked rice and stir to incorporate, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining ¼ cup [60 ml] coconut milk and stir in the coriander. Season to taste.
SERVING: Serve in individual bowls, topped with the cardamom yogurt sauce.
STORAGE: Store leftover cauliflower fried rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Jeanine Donofrio, The Love & Lemons Cookbook.
The Love & Lemons Cookbook is one of my current favorite cookbooks: it’s gorgeously designed and filled with unfussy but flavorful produce-based recipes. The chapters are cleverly separated by fruits and vegetables, which makes it easy to use year-round. For the past couple of months, I’ve been cooking from the book based on what’s on season at the market: I come back with my fresh loot, flip to the corresponding chapter, and make dinner. Easy! I love everything about this book—and the fact that it contains many taco recipes doesn’t hurt either. (The authors live in Austin, Texas.)
I think you’ll love this colorful book just as much as I do, so here goes:
How to Win
The giveaway is over. Thanks for your interest!
Here’s how to win a copy of The Love & Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking. Mandatory: Share what’s your favorite fruit or vegetable, and tell us what’s your favorite dish that uses it. Optional: Take advantage of all the social media options in the Rafflecopter widget below to get more chances to win. When entering through social media, make sure I can recognize your name/address so I can reach you if you win. The Fine Print You must be a U.S. or Canadian resident to win (or provide a U.S. or Canadian mailing address). Each winner needs to answer a simple skill question to get the prizes. The giveaway ends Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at midnight EST.
Good luck to everyone!