Whole30 Day 3 Dinner: another solo dinner favorite of mine is vegetable or pork fried rice, which I usually just utilize leftover Basmati rice from a previous night’s dinner making this meal-for-one super simple. After committing to this program however, I’ve got to get creative, as there’s no leftover rice in my fridge.
Up until this recipe, I have vehemently snubbed the cauliflower “rice” trend. On occasion, I have served cauliflower mash just to mix things up a bit but I have never stooped as low as trying to pass cauliflower over as “rice”. Unless I’m cooking up an Indian or Thai inspired dish, brown Basmati rice is my go to for nearly every recipe. I’ve long held the opinion that a diet balanced with whole grains is far superior to a gluten-free one (except for those individuals truly suffering from Celiac Disease of course) and therefore, admittedly I’ve often poked fun at cauliflower pizza “dough” and “rice” dishes considering them an affront to my culinary senses and rather ridiculous.
Rice is not Whole30 compliant. I’m about to eat a big ol’ plate of crow.
After checking my food snobbery hard, I put cauliflower in my food processor and made “rice”. Anyone as late in embracing cauliflower rice as me should be aware that it is better to only process as much cauliflower needed for one dish at a time. I processed way too much at once and the leftover pulsed florets, even though sealed tightly in a container, stank my fridge up to the high heavens. I’m not gonna lie here; I missed my brown Basmati rice so hard in this dish it hurt. Despite that fact, and again, the pork fried cauliflower was completely satisfying, delicious, and filling. It seems, as with most things, the cravings for certain ingredients is totally emotional. I don’t need rice or fresh pasta or fresh pizza dough or any plethora of other carbs to feel full. Fiber does the trick just as well and with less calories.
The Whole30 website boasted that following this program will, in the least, change any participant’s relationship with food. This was only Day 3 for me and already I am inclined to believe the claim.
Pork Fried Cauliflower
1 good quality bone-in Pork Chop, or chop of choice
1/2 cup unsweetened Black Tea
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Red Pepper flakes, optional
1 cup finely pulsed Cauliflower florets
1/4 cup chopped Zucchini
1/4 cup chopped Sweet Onion
1/4 cup chopped Button Mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped Pea Shoots
1″ piece of fresh Ginger, minced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 tsp Penzeys Chinese Five Spice Powder (or any sugar free brand)
1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
3 dried Chile de Arbol, optional
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a storage container with a lid, whisk together the black tea, 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos, red pepper flakes, and Rice Wine Vinegar. Submerge the chop in the black tea mixture and rest in the fridge to marinate at least 1 hour to overnight.
Remove the chop from the marinade, discard the marinade. Lightly salt and pepper the chop on both sides. Set aside. Heat a wok over med high flame, add in the Toasted Sesame oil, and continue to heat until the oil is shimmering. Carefully place the chop in the oil and sear 3 to 7 minutes per side or until an instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees for medium doneness. Note: the chop will continue to cook a bit in the stir fry. Once desired doneness is reached, remove the chop and set aside to rest.
In the same wok over med high flame, saute the ginger, chili de arbol, and onion until fragrant and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and garlic and saute about 5 minutes more. Add in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook until the Coconut Aminos reduces and the vegetables are tender. Turn off the flame. Slice the pork chop into bite size pieces. Toss into the stir fry. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish with pea shoots, if desired. Serve immediately.