Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice [aka Not Chinese Not Fried Not Rice]

When I was a kid, my parents would often make this dish they used to call “Chinese Fried Rice”, even though there was nothing even remotely Chinese about it. It was basically ground beef, veggies, some rice and a lot of soy sauce, sauteed together in a pan. Well, okay. Maaaaaybe the soy sauce was Chinese. But that’s about where the resemblance ended.

Still, I remember loving Chinese Fried Rice nights. So much so, I took that dish with me into my adult life and later fed it to my kids when I became a parent myself .

But then, for some reason, I kind of almost forgot that it even existed…

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Until I recently got a major craving for it. Totally out of nowhere, just like that, it hit me: I needed to lose myself in a big bowl of that salty, comforting and satisfying rice dish once again, right then and there.

The only problem is, I don’t do rice anymore and don’t even keep rice in the house, so even if I’d wanted to get a little off-path and indulge in some of the starchy white grain, I couldn’t have. There was but one solution to this problem: I had to call my trusty wonder veggie, my new-found best friend cauliflower, to the rescue. Now THAT I always have on hand!

While I knew that this paleo version, or as I like to call it this “Not Chinese Not Fried Not Rice”, wouldn’t taste exactly like the dish that resided in my memory, I also knew that it would satisfy my craving perfectly fine.

And indeed it did!

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Want to make some of that? Let’s go over the recipe together… It doesn’t take all that long to make, you’ll see.

In a large wok set over high heat (or any other large skillet that can handle the heat) melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, sauteeing or stirring almost constantly until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and continue sauteeing for a minute or so, until the broccoli turns vibrant green and is slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl.

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Return your wok to the heat source and add one more tablespoon of coconut oil, then add onion, celery, sweet peppers. Sprinkle lightly with salt and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add that to the bowl already containing the broccoli and mushrooms.

About those sweet peppers: I used the pointed variety because they’re in full season here and can be found pretty much everywhere for a handful of pennies, but feel free to use regular bell peppers if that’s all you can get your hands on. I say half of one should do the trick.

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Return the wok to the heat source once more, add the last of the coconut oil, followed with ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it’s almost completely brown, then add salt, pepper, 5 spice, ginger, bird’s eyes, fish sauce, coconut aminos and rice vinegar. Stir well and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through, then send in your cauliflower.

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often, until the caulifower is soft but retains a bit of crunch, about 5 minutes.

While this is happening, toast your almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat. Keep a close eye on them as these things are thin and they burn FAST! (Yeah! I burn mine almost every time…)

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Add the reserved veggies and toasted almonds to the beef and cauliflower, stir to combine and serve.

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Let me tell you, I sure was a happy camper when I sat myself down in front of this bowl of comforting goodness!

It was *almost* just as I remembered. And I really didn’t miss the rice after all. My good friend cauliflower did a mighty fine job at filling in for it.

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

Oh, and another beautiful thing about this dish is that it is so versatile. Pretty much all the ingredients can easily be subbed: don’t care for ground beef? Opt for chicken, or shrimp, or even scrambled eggs. Use carrots instead of bell peppers, bok choy or chopped spinach instead of broccoli, water chestnuts in lieu of celery, cashews instead of almonds…

Just let your imagination, or content of your fridge, be your guide. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with this dish.

Go nuts!

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice

Yield: Serves 4

NF based on 1 of 4 servings

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Give it a few quick pulses (about 10 to 15) until it resembles the texture of rice. Alternatively, you could also use a box grater or the grater disc of your food processor.
  3. In a large wok set over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, sauteeing or stirring almost constantly until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and continue sauteeing for a minute or so, until the broccoli turns vibrant green and is slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Return your wok to the heat source and add one more tablespoon of coconut oil, then add onion, celery, sweet peppers. Sprinkle lightly with salt and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add to the broccoli and mushrooms.
  5. Return the wok to the heat source once more, add the last of the coconut oil, followed with ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it's almost completely brown, then add salt, pepper, 5 spice, ginger, bird's eyes, fish sauce, coconut aminos and rice vinegar. Stir well and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through, then stir in cauliflower.
  6. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often, until the caulifower is soft but retains a bit of crunch, about 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, toast the sliced almonds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, until golden and fragrant.
  8. Add the reserved veggies and almonds to the beef and cauliflower, stir to combine and serve.
http://thehealthyfoodie.com/beef-broccoli-cauli-rice-aka-chinese-fried-rice/

Beef and Broccoli Cauli-Rice | thehealthyfoodie.com

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Comments

  1. says

    Hahahaha Sonia, my mum did just the same. Cook some white rice, chop some beef and veggies, crack an egg and then throw everything in a hot wok with a tsunami of soy sauce. There you have it: Chinese Fried Rice Night!
    Tbh I used to love, it was Not-Chinese food at its best.
    Loving this beef and broccoli cauli fried rice btw, with all those chili peppers and the crunch from the almonds. YUMMO!

    • says

      LOL! Tsunami of soy sauce, I like that one! Looks like my folks weren’t the only ones using WAY too much soy sauce… plus, it was the Chinese stuff, the one that tastes like nothing but pure salt. Never been too big on the stuff. It sure was good in Not-Chinese Fried Rice, though…

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