Curried Cauliflower Fried "Rice" With Shrimp

This flavorful version of fried "rice" is an awesome addition to your regular dinner roster. In place of actual rice, this recipe uses riced cauliflower, sautéd with other vegetables and spices to make a fiber-rich, nutritious base for any protein. I used shrimp in this instance, but feel free to get creative and add any type of meat, seafood or meat alternative you like. 

Have you tried cauliflower rice yet? It's all the rage these days. If you are looking for ways to increase your vegetable intake or are keeping an eye on your carbohydrate consumption for any reason, cauliflower rice is a great swap for a traditional rice dish. While the texture is admittedly different, it's just as delicious and not at all soggy or mushy if you're careful not to overcook it. You can even find cauliflower sold pre-riced in bags at Trader Joe's (both fresh and frozen), so the preparation is no excuse!

I used my food processor's grating blade for this job and it turned a huge head of cauliflower into rice-like morsels in about 3 minutes flat. You can also use a basic cheese grater and a little added elbow grease to get the same results. 

I used some of my favorite spices to add delicious flavors to this dish. Curry powder is a spice mixture used often in Indian and Asian dishes. The spices it contains vary, but a mixture might include turmeric, ginger, coriander, cumin and peppers. I also added some additional fresh grated turmeric to this recipe...because Turmeric.

Research has shown over and over that turmeric, and specifically it's active ingredient curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It's also being studied for its links to decreased cognitive decline with aging, reduced plaque build up in arteries and reduced risk of developing and side-effects of diabetes.  

Whenever you cook with turmeric, it's a good idea to add black pepper. A compound in black pepper called piperine helps increase your body's absorption of curcumin and therefore the amount of benefit you'll receive from consuming it! 

Because just one vegetable is never enough and more color in your food is always better, I finely chopped some purple onion, green bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli and added those to the cauliflower, sautéing the mix until all the veggies were just soft and the spices were combined.  

While the cauliflower fried rice cooked, I sautéd some shrimp in a little butter and garlic. As I mentioned before, you can choose any protein you like. You can find pre-cooked, cleaned and de-veined shrimp at most stores, fresh or frozen, which is a great time saver. I opt for buying wild caught seafood and shellfish whenever I can because I've read too much and seen too many documentaries about fish farms. :O The only convenient wild caught shrimp option I have found is in frozen bags sold at Costco. I have to thaw, shell, de-vein, clean and cook them myself, which can be tedious, but in my mind, I feel better knowing they were sustainably caught and ate a typical shrimp diet. 

Side note: I absolutely love Costco for their frozen and fresh seafood and shellfish offerings. They always have a variety of affordable wild-caught options. I rely on these items quite a bit for quick meals when I don't have food prepared or a lot of time to cook. 

Finally, after about a total of 15 minutes cooking time for this entire dish, I scooped a heaping spoon of the cauliflower fried rice into a bowl, topped it with my garlic-y, tasty shrimp, and had myself a delicious dinner (with HEAPS of leftovers for the week ahead!) Take a peek at the recipe below and try it out yourself! 

Curried Cauliflower Fried "Rice" With Shrimp

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large head cauliflower, riced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1-2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1/2 large purple onion, finely diced
  • 1 head broccoli, stems removed, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric root, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled, de-veined shrimp (or any other protein you like)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

Directions: 

  1. Using the grating blade of a food processor or the large holed side of a cheese grater, grate entire head of cauliflower. 
  2. Heat large pot over medium-high heat and add coconut oil.
  3. Once coconut oil is melted, add riced cauliflower, diced bell pepper, carrot, and onion, broccoli, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are just soft - about 10 minutes. 
  4. While cauliflower rice is cooking, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high eat and add butter. Once butter is melted, add shrimp and minced garlic to the pan. Cook, turning shrimp over in the pan, until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent - about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. 
  5. To serve: pile cauliflower fried rice into a bowl, top with cooked shrimp and any other herbs or toppings you like. Some tasty options might include: avocado, sesame seeds, cilantro or basil. 
  6. Enjoy! 

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