How many colors are you eating in your dinner tonight? Fruits, vegetables and grains come in so many different colors and they do more than just make your plate look colorful.
Fruits and vegetables have specific chemicals that make them such vibrant colors, called phytonutrients. In the plant, these natural occurring chemicals are responsible for protecting the plant from external threats like germs and fungi, similar to what our white blood cells do for us. When we eat vegetables, those phytonutrients also help protect our bodies by providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which helps us to fight infection by improving our immune system and repairing damaged DNA.
There are different classes of phytonutrients which occur in different fruits and vegetables, so it is important to eat a wide variety of colorful foods so that we are also getting the benefit of all those different classes.
Fruits and vegetables also provide us with micronutrients. I’ve talked a lot about macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins & fats), but micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) are equally as important! They don’t play a role in our overall caloric intake (so they won’t directly effect weight gain or loss) but they are responsible for keeping our bodies functioning properly, which is necessary for us to really accomplish any of our health or performance goals! Eating as many vegetable colors as you can in each meal will ensure that you are eating a variety of these foods which means you are getting a balance of all the micronutrients your body needs. This helps to prevent any deficiencies of vitamins or minerals as well as exceeding your intake in any which can also negatively effect your body!
This Cauliflower Fried Rice is a great way to get your variety in! It can be paired with lots of different protein sources as well to make for a great meal-prep item to mix and match throughout the week. I’ve eaten it over salmon, chicken breast, mixed with tuna, and with eggs! It hits the spot when you’re in the mood to order some take-out because of the salty Liquid Aminos (a better soy-sauce option) but is much lower in sodium and fat than anything you could order! It is super low-carb, consisting of solely vegetables, so a big bowl is super filling with minimal grams of carbohydrates. That means you can eat the majority of your carbohydrates around your workout time and then have this with a meal later to still feel completely full and satisfied! …Or it means you can save room for your favorite treat without losing momentum on your goals 🙂
Before getting into the recipe, let me give you some meal-prep tips that will make your life easier! For this recipe, it will be easiest and quickest to multi-task while you’re cooking! Start cooking the main vegetables first and chop the other vegetables while those cook. As soon as the main vegetables are finished and you’ve added them to the bowl, wash the pots. Finishing a meal-prep and turning to a sink stacked high with dishes is THE WORST…so if you can wash down each one as you go, while the rest of the items are still cooking anyway, it makes for a much easier experience! Also, don’t be intimidated by this long ingredients list! It’s just a huge variety of vegetables, so feel free to add in or replace any!
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Prep & Cook Time: ~35 minutes
What you’ll need: 1 large saucepan, skillet, or wok. 1 steamer pot (or regular sauce pan), 1 small sauce pan. 1 large bowl.
1 bag of Riced Cauliflower (Or 1 head of cauliflower, put into a food processor & blended into small rice-like pieces)
1/3 Red Pepper
1/3 Yellow Pepper
1/3 Green Pepper
1 bag frozen Broccoli
1/2 bag frozen Peas
3 White Mushrooms
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 small Carrot
1 small Zucchini
2-3 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (Soy Sauce)
3 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- In one pot, steam the broccoli. In one pot, cook the peas. In your large saucepan (I used my skillet), lightly oil the pan and cook the cauliflower rice until most of the water is cooked out and it’s slightly browned.
- While those vegetables are cooking, chop up the remaining vegetables
- When the broccoli and peas are finished, drain and dump the vegetables into your large bowl.
- Add about half of the Liquid Aminos to the Cauliflower Rice and mix, then add to the large bowl.
- Add the chopped remaining vegetables to the large saucepan (or skillet) with a splash of oil. Cook covered for the first 10 minutes to soften the carrots and zucchinis then uncover for the remaining cook time.
- Once the lid is off, add the rest of the Liquid Aminos, the Sriracha Sauce, Ginger, Garlic, Sesame Seeds and Black Pepper. Continue cooking until all the vegetables are tender
- Pour in the cooked vegetable mixture into the big bowl of Cauliflower Rice, Broccoli, and Peas and mix together, adding any additional Liquid Aminos or Sriracha Sauce if you prefer!
- Enjoy with any variety of proteins!!