In an ongoing effort to improve my diet I’ve been trying some Paleo recipes. I’m not doing 100% Paleo right now, just testing the waters some to see if I can do it. The hardest things for me to give up would be cheese and beer. I might be able to cut the cheese (lol, I’m hilarious!) but I really, really love craft beer. Not just drinking beer but hunting down rare ones and trying them with friends, the whole craft beer… personality. If it came down to my health or weekend beers with friends I’d give it up, but I wouldn’t be happy about it and I’d probably bitch about it a lot.
The Paleo Diet’s main tenets are no grains, no legumes and no dairy and eating unprocessed foods. Meat is acceptable and the diet doesn’t frown on animal fat. Nuts (no peanuts!) and seeds are OK as are lots of fruit and vegetables. The diet is not anti-carb, it’s just selective on where you get your carbs from. The same goes for the meats, the diet prefers grass-fed beef as opposed to beef raised on a grain-fed diet. Of course my description is very simplified, for more info take a look at the Wikipedia entry on the Paleolithic Diet or The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet. As with any diet there those that think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread (probably because they’re not allowed to have sliced bread) and others that think it is a diet created by the devil to destroy us. As a child of the 70’s I was brought up on the classic food pyramid and told that eating a boatload of bread and beans and rice was good for me, so I’m still a skeptic but the more info I see and read the more I’m willing to give it a shot.
I saw several recipes online for Cauliflower Rice and one mentioned making fried rice with it so that’s what I did. I ended up with a hearty chicken fried rice loaded with vegetables. It’s low cal, high protein and low carb. Although I used soy sauce in mine you could substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce and it would be totally Paleo.
This really is a powerhouse recipe macro-wise. It only has 322 calories per serving, only 15 grams carbs, 99 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber. I won’t even go into the details about the vitamins you’ll get from everything, mostly because I don’t know what they are, but you can bet it’s a lot of damn vitamins.
CHICKEN FRIED CAULIFLOWER RICE
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small (1/4” piece) of ginger, grated
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash
- ½ medium onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
There are two ways you can ‘rice’ the cauliflower. I use a food processor and break it into small pieces then pulse until it’s the right size. If you don’t have a good processor you could also use the large openings on a box grater, note that grating cauliflower is very messy. If using the food processor you may want to do a few small batches. Place this in a microwaveable bowl and set it aside for now.
Next, slice the chicken thin, as you would for any stir fry. Also slice up all your veggies and put them together on a plate or bowl. Beat two eggs and add the soy sauce to the eggs. You’ll want to prep all this at the beginning as things will move quickly once you get going.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add ½ Tbsp of coconut oil. Add the sliced chicken to the pan and cook until no pink is visible, this only takes a few minutes. You can season the chicken some if you like. Remove the chicken and set it to the side. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté for about 30 seconds then add the vegetables. Cook the vegetables to your liking, I prefer mine to maintain some crispness. Remove vegetables from pan and sit aside.
Microwave the riced cauliflower for 2 minutes. While that is cooking add the remaining ½ Tbsp of coconut oil to the pan and scramble the eggs. Add the cauliflower to the scramble egg and chop the egg into it. Season the cauliflower and rice then add the chicken and vegetables and combine all ingredients and check seasonings again. Heat for 1-2 minutes to make sure all ingredients are warm. Serve.
Tips, tricks and shortcuts
- Use any variety of vegetables you’d like: Water chestnuts and bamboo shoots would be a good addition and you can top this with chopped green onion as well.
- This is mostly Paleo but if you’re 100% hardcore Paleo this can be made without the soy sauce and sub coconut aminos. (I haven’t tried the coconut aminos so I add that as a recommendation from others.)
- This can also be made with shrimp, pork or beef.
- Sriracha makes this even more awesome.
BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving / 4 servings per recipe)
Carbohydrates: 16 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 34 grams
Fiber: 6 grams