So, my roommate and I are making a few more dietary changes this year and so far it’s not been too hard to stick to. I mean, there are days that are completely off the plan (Hello, Soft Pretzel Wednesday!)…but that’s okay. This isn’t about perfection, it’s just about progress!
We are working on cutting down on added sugars and processed carbs. This is not to say that we are never going to eat gluten-free pasta or use rice in dishes ever again. And this is not to say that dessert is off the table. I did, however, very proudly, get rid of the stash of chocolate in my office drawer. I reached for those M&Ms one too many times while stressed out…so they are gone…and not coming back in.
Normally I have a pretty set meal plan going into the weekend, but for some reason, this past week got away from me and I just…didn’t get to it. Not going to sugar-coat it. SO…I decided to prep some different things and just attempt to make something a little bit healthier.
One of my favorite types of food (second to Indian) is Thai. I love Thai food, and Thai food is so easy to make gluten free. That being said…I didn’t have pad thai noodles on hand and I’m on a tight budget after my trip to California (like…it’s non-existent, to be honest)…so I only wanted to have to grocery shop for the essentials. I needed filling, healthy meals on the fly…so I bought Trader Joes and Kroger out of their bags of riced cauliflower.
That is not an exaggeration.
And from it emerged 3 dishes made with riced cauliflower (not counting the ones I did earlier in the week, which I should put up in the blog…so if I get time, I will. I promise. They’re delicious). But this week…I was most excited about my take on pad thai…using…riced cauliflower instead of noodles. This dish is SUPER easy to make…so I encourage you to do so!
Recipe: Cauliflower Rice Pad Thai
- 1 large head of cauliflower (or one bag of cauliflower rice)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
- 12 oz bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
- 1/4 cup lightly salted peanuts
Ingredients of the Peanut Sauce:
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium Tamari
- 3 tablespoon seasoned white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
**Rice your head of cauliflower by chopping the florets roughly and adding them to your food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until it resembles rice. Then heat it up in the microwave for 7 minutes, stopping to stir it once halfway through.
**NOTE: If you want a less-mess, no maintenance way of doing this, go to Trader Joes, Kroger, Target, or pretty much ANY grocery store these days and they have bags of already riced cauliflower in their produce section and even in the freezer section. I do this…because food processors are a pain to clean! So, skip the first step if you cheat and get the already riced cauliflower. At the end when you add it in with the sauce, cook it until it has softened.
Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water.
Add the garlic and onions tot he pan. Cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add additional water, if necessary.
Add the frozen vegetables to the pan. Cover the vegetables and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until everything is heated through. Once again, add additional water to keep things from sticking.
***While the vegetables are cooking, whisk the sauce together in a medium bowl.
***NOTE: If you aren’t feeling frisky, both San-J and Annie Chun make FANTASTIC peanut/pad thai sauces that are gluten free. So…if making the sauce seems like too much work, just use the bottled stuff.
Once the vegetables are cooked through, add the cauliflower “rice” and peanut sauce to the pan. Stir until well-combined. If using bagged cauliflower rice, cook until cauliflower has softened, about 5 minutes.
Dish servings into bowls and garnish with peanuts.
I wasn’t sure how I’d appreciate the change from actual pad thai noodles to using riced cauliflower, but it worked. This dish was amazing. And it’s dinner again tonight. And that’s always something to look forward to!