There is the most amazing fruit and vegetable stand about 5 minutes from my house. It is my absolute favorite “errand” to run each week… if you can even call it an errand. It’s more like going to lunch. Seriously! The awesome people that run the stand let you sample anything you want and offer you tastes of just about everything. If you are ever in St. Augustine and visit this amazing place I highly recommend you go hungry… and with cash (although you won’t need much!) The prices are incredible which adds to the amazingness of all this fresh produce in one place! The fruits and veggies always look better than anything you can find in the grocery store and often times the prices are HALF the price you pay at the store… andddd you are supporting the local community! Win! Win! Win! Ps. Ask for Clint and tell him Lauren sent you 🙂
So I woke up early yesterday morning excited about NO MILK MONDAY and texted my friend to see if she wanted to join in my “errand”. If you don’t have friends who enjoy spending time hunting for the freshest fruit and veggie deals with you… well you should find some! There is something pretty great about a person who shares your excitement about juicy strawberries, asparagus that is just being loaded off the truck, in the shell pecans, sweet as can be cantaloupe, perfectly ripe bananas and mint that makes your mouth water for mojitos from 20 feet away! Naturally I left with two full boxes of full of deliciousness and about a million ideas of what I wanted to make for dinner!
I don’t believe I had told you yet that when I have A LOT of options I also have A LOT of trouble making a decision. I end up second guessing everything and spend way too much time to end up back at my original idea (usually). That being said, last night was dinner date night in and my boyfriend asked what I wanted for dinner. I was totally overwhelmed with ideas. Thanks Pinterest! I blame you. So I decided to go run actual errands and let him surprise me with an idea we could make using my morning’s finds…
While looking for recipes centered around cauliflower he discovered this great looking recipe Paleo Shrimp Fried “Rice”. He is so supportive of my dietary restrictions and likes and dislikes, so he knew that all meat, gluten and dairy were out (for the day at least). He also knows that I pretty much savor the moment of finding ways to cut fat and calories without cutting flavor so the idea of cauliflower instead of white rice was totally up my ally!
We decided we were going to use the Paleo recipe as a base and mix it up with a lot more veggies, no peas and no eggs. The results: YUMMMMMM!!!!!!
I promise you won’t miss the actual rice in this dish one bit! Even my boyfriend loved the dish and agreed it felt like you were eating rice but without the full bloated feeling after a meal full of carbs! We cooked this whole meal together 🙂
He was so sweet and let me do all the fun parts and was patient while I stopped every few minutes to snap off way to many pictures.
He even did my least favorite parts… peeling the shrimp…peeling and mincing the garlic and chopping the onion! Thanks baby! I am one lucky lady.
He is definitely the chef of the relationship! I can follow/customize a recipe and come up with great ideas but he knows so much more about technique and has a natural palate for flavor.
I am pretty sure I have his mom to thank!
Can I just tell you how much it sucks to start dating an incredible guy with an amazing Italian family and have to tell his mom that you can’t eat meat or pasta or bread…. or pretty much any other staple Italian dishes?! They could not have been more understanding but when we first started dating I was beyond nervous. I may have let his adorable nieces spill the beans… she couldn’t get mad at them right?! Turns out she has made me something special at every meal since then and always made sure I have enough to eat including a gluten free cheesecake at Thanksgiving!! I should get the recipe for that for you guys! You would love it!!
Ok back to the “rice”. While I was enjoying this scrumptious dinner with my love we were thinking of other ideas to use as seasoning. For this meal we wanted the key ingredients to pop but I was thinking that you could make this into an amazing light curry style dish with a few dashes of curry powder and some unsweetened coconut milk.
We also agreed that it could use a little heat (maybe some cayenne?) but take that with a grain of salt because we both add hot sauce to almost everything we eat. Hey! Some like it hot!
He also let me know it is delicious with a little Parmesan cheese and a dash of Tabasco at the end, but keep in mind the man I love puts hot sauce and Parmesan on just about ANYTHING! So if you are ok with diary, not on a Monday of course! ;), then we suggest you try it out and let us know what you think!
Last thing before I let you get to the recipe… this can easily be made vegetarian by subbing the shrimp for extra firm tofu!
Boyfriend Approved Shrimp Fried “Rice”
- 1 lb fresh tail on shrimp (I used 18 shrimp size 21/25 and cut into about 3 pieces per shrimp), peeled & cut into large pieces
- 1 medium head cauliflower or 3/4 large cauliflower, riced in food processor
- 1 medium summer squash, thick chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, thick chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 large stalks celery, chopped
- 1 C white onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8oz sliced white mushrooms, broken into chunks
- 1.5 T Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil (any brand will work but this is my favorite)
- 1/4 C water
- Season to taste... I used sea salt, black pepper and paprika!
- Food Processor or Blender
- I have an even older version of this little guy and he did the trick so don't be discouraged if you have a not so amazing piece of equipment
- Chop cauliflower into small chunks and place in batches in your food processor.
- Chop each batch until it looks like rice.
- Place all "riced" cauliflower into a pot with the 1/4 C water on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, peel and mince the garlic cloves and finely chop the white onion.
- Set aside in a small bowl.
- Place 1.5 T Coconut Oil in a large wok or saute pan on medium heat.
- Wash your squash, pepper, carrots (and peel), celery and mushrooms.
- Chop your veggies into large chunks and put aside in a large bowl.
- Add your garlic and onion to your pan with coconut oil and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned and translucent.
- Add your chopped veggies to the onion and garlic and stir gently to mix together.
- Cover veggie mixture and cook for about 7 minutes, or until tender but not cooked through completely.
- Add "riced" cauliflower and your choice of seasoning to your veggie mixture. Mix together thoroughly and cover for another 7 minutes until veggies are al dente and seasoned.
- While the "rice" and veggies are cooking, remove your shrimp from the fridge and place in a large bowl.
- Gently peel the shrimp (you are welcome to de-vein them as well... we did not but I know some people prefer to) and place in another bowl.
- Cut your shrimp into about 3 pieces per shrimp depending on the size you use.
- Add shrimp to your "rice" and veggies.
- Cover your almost finished dinner for another 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are a beautiful white and orange.
- Remove from heat and taste your Shrimp Fried "Rice" to see if you need to add more seasoning (we ended up adding a little more of all the seasoning at this point).
- Once you are satisfied with the flavor scoop some of your amazing, healthy, delicious, protein filled dinner into a bowl and enjoy!
- Heads up... you are going to want seconds!!
I may or may not have had 3 cups for dinner and that was stillllll only 253 calories with 6.8 grams of fat (all healthy fats from the coconut oil! the rest is fat free!)
The even more amazing part: my dinner had 9.7 grams fiber and 23.7 grams of protein!!
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Margolin and And a Side of Ice Cream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- What are your favorite seasoning for vegetable dishes?
- Are you addicted to hot sauce?
- Which one’s are your favorite? *We are Frank’s, Tabasco and Mongolian Fire Oil junkies!*