I love Thai food. Pad thai, tom kha kai soup, and my favorite dish ever, pineapple chicken fried rice. There's something so attractive about the exotic ingredients, unusual flavor profiles, and the mixing of sweet and savory flavors that I can't get enough of! Since I started doing the 21 Day Fix, I've learned to improvise. This means that I can still eat my favorite things without feeling deprived or lapsing into unhealthy habits again. While I've tried a bunch of methods over the years, this one allows me to eat healthier versions of almost all of my favorite foods, meaning that it's easy to stick to.
I tested this one out a while back, with my mom and I as guinea pigs. She hounded me for weeks to make it again, and still asks about it on a regular basis. It's gluten-free, so my favorite family member with celiac disease (ok, I admit, I only have one family member with celiac disease) can enjoy it with us as well. I used cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice because I happen to like the texture better, plus it's a sneaky way to get more veggies into my day.
My super fussy dad asked for seconds when I made it for him, and didn't even complain about my "fancy" (aka healthy) cooking, which never happened with any other recipe. I'm the kind of girl who just throws things into a skillet and eyeballs ingredients. You know the type – some of this, a little of that, more of this. The second time I made this recipe, I actually took the time to measure and write everything down as I cooked. The dinner was a hit, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as my family does.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 6 servings of 1.5 – 2 cups each
· 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil (only if you're using eggs)
· 2 tablespoons oil, I used 1T each of sesame oil and olive oil
· 3 steamer bags (10-12 oz) cauliflower rice, frozen
· 1 can (15 oz) peas and carrots, drained
· 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
· 1/2 cup coconut aminos or low sodium tamari sauce
· 4.5 cups chicken, cooked, optional
· 6 eggs, optional
· 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
· 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
· 1 tablespoon garlic powder
· 1 teaspoon ginger (you can use paste, fresh, or ground)
· a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, optional
· a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
1. Microwave each bag of cauliflower rice according to the package instructions. Let them cool a bit before opening – they're super hot!
2. OPTIONAL: If you plan to add some scrambled eggs to the meal, crack the eggs, add the salt, and beat. Use the butter or coconut oil to grease the pan, then scramble the eggs over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Sauté the cauliflower rice in a big skillet with no oil over medium-low heat. Stir the rice frequently until it dries. This step is important, otherwise the cauliflower rice will be soggy and the texture of the dish is completely different.
4. Once the cauliflower rice is dry, add the sesame and olive oils, and stir the mixture to distribute the oil.
5. Add coconut aminos/tamari sauce, peas and carrots, and pineapple to the skillet, then stir to incorporate.
6. OPTIONAL: Chop the scrambled eggs into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet. If you prefer, you can add pre-cooked chicken to the skillet.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes, mixing occasionally, until everything is heated through. I place a cover over the skillet to speed the heating up.
8. Add the chopped peanuts to the skillet and mix everything up.
9. OPTIONAL: Top with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and/or unsweetened coconut flakes as a garnish.
I always use the bags of riced cauliflower. It's faster and so much easier. Making riced cauliflower at home is probably one of the messiest and most time-consuming things I've ever done in my life. You can find this in the frozen section of your local supermarket. I find it much more cost-effective to buy in bulk.
The steamed cauliflower needs to be dried afterwards. I do this in a dry skillet. This step is really important and shouldn't be skipped.
Customizing The Recipe
This dish is pretty easy to customize to fit your personal tastes or diet needs.
· If you are dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter to grease the pan for the eggs.
· If you are vegetarian or vegan, skip the eggs or chicken. You can always add some tofu or use quinoa instead of cauliflower rice.
· If you don't like an ingredient, just sub it for something else. This dish is very forgiving. I've run out of peas and carrots, and used whatever leftover veggies I have handy. Broccoli, green beans, water chestnuts, onions, you name it, it works in this recipe.
· Spiciness. If you don’t like spicy food, skip the crushed red pepper. If you love spicy food, add extra crushed red pepper.
· Coconut. If you have an allergy or just dislike coconut, skip it.
· Sodium. To keep sodium low, make sure to use unsalted peanuts. If you’re someone that follows a high sodium diet, use salted peanuts and/or regular tamari sauce. You may want to add some salt to the recipe (just make sure to taste it as you go), or use soy sauce as long as you aren’t gluten free.
· If you have a peanut allergy, skip them!
It's really that easy.
21 Day Fix Container Counts
The container counts for this recipe as written would be:
· 1 red (protein) container
· ½ purple (fruit) container
· 1.5 (oil) teaspoons
· 1 green (veggie) container
· 1 orange (seeds and nuts) container
Don’t forget to adjust for any changes that you make to the recipe.
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