Tag Archives: Side dishes

Low-Carb Cauli Fried “Rice”



It’s of course that time of year, where we are all struggling to keep from breaking those new years resolutions,  hoping to lose a few more lbs and shred that winter weight.  I am a firm believer in watching carbs, primarily I say carbs and refer to wheat and grains.  Over the course of the last couple of years, I have slowly merged to a gluten free lifestyle and have eliminated pasta, bread and a lot of grains from my routine.  To be honest, I don’t miss it (that much).  Let’s be really honest, there are those days no substitutions will suffice for good ole’ southern biscuits and gravy BUT, I try live by the motto progress not perfection. #afreshhotmess

 There are so many options available now and fairly easy substitutions.  Take my fried cauli rice recipe for instance,  I have a nine year old and she can’t tell the difference between cauli-rice or white rice in this dish.  It is flavorful, full of veggies and Asian flavors and is delicious!

Not only does replacing white rice (a nutrient-poor refined grain) with cauliflower drastically cut the amount of simple carbs you would be taking in, it adds tons of beneficial nutrients as well. Cauliflower is chock-full of fiber (about 3 grams per cup), which aids with digestion, helps fill you up and keep your belly full longer, and could help lower your cholesterol. Looking to boost your immunity? A one-cup serving of cauliflower provides  nearly 77% of your day’s recommended vitamin C intake. It is also a good source of B vitamins and vitamin K.

A 1-cup serving of cooked cauliflower rice contains a mere 29 calories (23 calories per every 100 grams) and 7.5 grams of carbs. If you compare that to an equal-sized portion of white rice, you will discover that 1 cup of cooked white rice contains 242 calories and (130 calories per every 100 grams) and 53 grams of carbs. That is a huge difference!

Enjoy my delicious recipe for Fried Cauli “Rice” and Share your dishes with me on instagram at @afreshhotmess! Cheers!


Cauliflower FriedRice
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (6 to 7 cups florets) or 1 bag of riced cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 nob ginger (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame or frozen peas
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire’s sauce (soy free) or coconut aminos
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime juiced or rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup cashews, for garnish (optional)
  1.  If you can not find the already riced cauliflower in the bag. Chop the cauliflower into large florets. Place half of the florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully chopped and the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Remove the “rice” to a bowl and process the remainder of the cauliflower.
  2. Peel carrots, then chop them into small cubes. Thinly slice the celery stalks. Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic. Peel 1 nob ginger, then mince enough for 1 tablespoon. Thinly slice 2 green onions.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large frying pan, then add eggs and scramble them, breaking them into small pieces. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil; add garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add veggies and saute for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and 2 cups shelled edamame (or peas) and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons sesame oil, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and fish sauce along with the cooked egg and stir until fully combined.  Remove from heat and stir in the green onions and cilantro. Serve topped with cashews.

Chef Notes:  We like things a bit spicy in our house, so I like to top with a little Sriracha drizzle over the top of my bowl.  Also for a complete dinner you can top with grilled shrimp, seared chicken thighs, mix in ground beef, and so on and so forth.


Eat it up!


Spice Up Your Side Dishes

In the 1950’s dinner was predictable most often consisting of meat, potatoes, a vegetable, and bread & butter.  Those days of mashed potatoes and canned peas are over!   Today with our country becoming a melting pot of cultures & cuisines, beef tenderloin can end up being paired with bok choy and ahi tuna with fried kale chips. Side dishes have long taken a back seat to the entrees when in reality the side’s are what can take a dish from ordinary to exquisite.  Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate process to whip up a healthy delicious side item. Some of these wonderful side’s can be prepared in as little as six minutes. So next time when your planning a family dinner and are thinking about what side to serve,  forget the fifties and spice it up with something new, healthy, & delicious and something your family can appreciate & savor.

Green  Beans Amandine

  • 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt (optional)
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste 


  1. Place beans in a large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until crisp-tender, drain and set aside
  2. In a large skillet, cook almonds in butter over low heat until slightly golden brown, add minced garlic, stir in lemon juice and seasoned salt.  Add beans and heat through. 
  3. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Wild Rice & Squash Pilaf 

This pilaf is a great side with poultry or fish. 

  • 1 1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 c finely chopped peeled winter squash (butternut)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped   (Time Saver:  You can find these items in the grocery store already diced and measured)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 c cooked wild rice (Time Saver:  Let rice cook while your working on other ingredients.)
  • 1/2 c chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP  soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried savory  (thyme or sage will make for a fine substitute)
  • 1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted,  (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, saute the mushrooms, squash, onions, and green pepper in oil until crisp-tender.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute longer
  2. Stir in the rice, broth, soy sauce, and savory.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 13-15 minutes or until squash is tender, stir in almonds if desired. Season with salt & pepper.

Simple Roasted Asparagus

  • 2 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to a broil.  Snap off and discard the ends of asparagus (there will be a natural break).  Arrange in 2 (15×10 inch) jelly-roll pans.  Drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Broil in 2 batches, 5 inches from heat for 4 minutes until tender.  Sprinkle with sugar, salt & pepper.  (I like to squeeze a little lemon juice over the top as well, or drizzle with a nice balsamic just before serving)


Bon Appetit!

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