Sweet Potato, Kale, Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Pizza

Hey ya’ll! I just had a mini panic attack. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to blog today because my computer wouldn’t connect to the internet. After multiple scream sessions (at least without me throwing anything), I managed to get my computer back onto the internet. Today I have a special recipe for you. A sweet potato, kale, caramelized onion cauliflower pizza. Wow. That is a mouthful. It is definitely a mouthful of greatness.

Sweet Potato, Kale, Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Pizza

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1 c of Kale (you can add more if you want, which I ended up doing)
1 onion
1-2 large sweet potatoes (this depends on how much sweet potato sauce that you want)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp skim milk
1 bag of frozen cauliflower
2-3 tbsp of basil paste
1-2 tbsp of garlic
2 eggs
1 cup of fat free mozzarella cheese
Extras: I added some honey sesame chicken that I made a few days before on top, cheese for the top

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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stab sweet potato with a fork all over and place into the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes or until soft.

2. Chop onions into slices. Place oil into a skill and toss in onions. Keep on medium to high heat. Stir every few minutes for around 30 minutes. Keep going until brown and caramelized.

3. Once they have caramelized, add in the kale. Cook until it has softened.

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4. Boil all of cauliflower in a pot for around 5 minutes or until soft. Then place into a food processor. Grind until into fine bits that are easily mashed.

5. Place into a mixing bowl. Add in the basil and garlic. Mix well.

6. Then add in cheese and eggs. Spray a cooking sheet or cover it with parchment paper (then spray it with cooking spray). Place mixture on the paper and smash it down until it forms a large pizza.

7. Once the sweet potatoes are done, remove, and turn the oven up to 450. Place in the oven and bake for 25-3o minutes, waiting until the crust is pretty brown.

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8. While the crust is cooking, take your sweet potatoes and get out all of the insides and place into a small mixing bowl. Add in the milk an stir well until it makes a creamy paste.

9. Once the pizza is removed from the oven, spread the paste on the pizza as if it was sauce.

10. Then add on all of the toppings on the pizza with the cheese being the last thing that goes on the pizza. Place back into the oven until the cheese melts.

11. Enjoy!

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Look at that bad boy. It was packed with nutritional benefits and it had a ton of flavor. It was definitely one of the best cauliflower pizzas that I have made. You really can’t go wrong with caramelized onions. They are one of my favorite pizza toppings. The kale was actually really nice too because when it was in the oven it got crispy and turned more into kale chips. The sweet potato was a good alternative to pizza sauce because it was more creamy and smooth compared to the chunkier sauces that I have used. I was pretty much in a pizza coma. There was so much fiber packed into this that I was full for hours upon hours until I went to bed that night. That is a nutrition win if I do say so myself.

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The one mistake that I made was not spraying the pan with nonstick spray. It took me forever to get each slice off of the pan. It still tasted great though. The chicken was a good addition because it allowed me to get some protein while I was consuming all of this vegetables. I will definitely be making this again. It has inspired me to make some other kind of pizzas too, such as BBQ chicken pizza or a thai style pizza. I really like making the massive pizza instead of making 4 individual ones because it just provides with bigger slices and lots of little portions for me to eat throughout the week.

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I hope you enjoy my little slice of pizza heaven and have a good Tuesday. I’m going to be off to class soon, which consists of Nutrition Counseling and Food Nutrition and Behavior. Tuesdays are a long day for me, so I pack a ton of snacks to enjoy throughout the class. I will be having my leftover pizza for dinner though.

What is your favorite type of pizza?
What is the best topping on pizza?


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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Spaghetti Squash)

Hey ya’ll! It’s Monday. If this were a normal school, I would totally be happy because I would have the entire day off for Veteran’s day to study for my advanced nutrition exam that is on Wednesday, but no I have class from 3-9. Go me. In order to cheer myself up, I have decided to share another recipe with ya’ll with some of my favorite ingredients. One is obviously pumpkin. I think pumpkin is one of the greatest things about fall, besides my birthday of course. The other ingredient is spaghetti squash. Ya’ll know I can’t live without my spaghetti squash. Seriously that thing is a staple in my diet. A good one too. So today I have for ya’ll: Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Spaghetti Squash.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

1/2 spaghetti squash (if you really don’t like it, you can use regular noodles)
1/2 to 3/4 c of pumpkin (depending on how pumpkiny you want it)
1/4 c of light cream cheese
1/4 c of skim milk
1/3 c of shredded cheese (I used WW Mexican blend)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
sprinkle or two of pepper
Turkey bacon and green onions for garnish

1. First you will want to cook your spaghetti squash. I heat my oven to 400, stab my spaghetti squash all over with a knife, and then place in the oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Then I remove, let it cool, and then split it in half. You only need half of the spaghetti squash or even less than half because it provides a ton of “noodles” for the recipe.

2. Place your noodles in a medium pot and turn the heat on medium low.

3. Add pumpkin, cream cheese, skim milk, shredded cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot. Continuously stir as the ingredients heat.

3. You want to heat the dish until the cream cheese and shredded cheese has completely melted through. There will be no white chunks in the noodles is when you will be able to tell that it is ready.

4. You can let it sit on low heat while you work on the garnish. Heat a small skillet pan and place two to three slices of turkey bacon on. Cook until crispy. Then chop up into small pieces to place on top of pasta dish.

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6. Split into two or three servings depending on how much you want to eat. It is a pretty low calorie recipe since you are using spaghetti squash instead of actual noodles. This way you don’t need to feel as guilty.

7. You can top each bowl with green onions too, which gives it a nice flavor. Enjoy.

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This sort of looks like a pile of mush that isn’t appetizing in the least bit. However then you realize it is made with cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese? If you don’t like cheese, we probably can’t be friends. Actually that is a lie because one of my friends is allergic to dairy and I still love him. Anyways this dish is cheesy goodness with a light pumpkin flavor. To get it more pumpkin flavored and less cheese like, you will need to add more pumpkin. I thought it was perfect like this because it was a cold day and I was looking for something warm and filling to bring for my dinner that evening to class. The best part about this dish, besides it being super cheesy, is that it is pretty healthy for you. All the cheese and milk was low fat or fat free. Plus the base of the dish is just a vegetable. That is why I love spaghetti squash. You can create any pasta dish that you want without all the unnecessary calories while still getting a good source of fiber. It is a win-win in my eyes.

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Cheeeeeeeeese!

Happy Veteran’s day! I’ll be having fun in class all day, so wooo!

What is the best thing you have made with spaghetti squash?
Have you ever used alternative options for noodles?

Orange Cauliflower and Rice

Happy Halloween to everyone! I am having a pretty boring Halloween compared to my past. I’m just having a night in with the roommates doing school work. Oh the life of a graduate student. Actually I’m doing that because Carrianne and I are going to a crazy concert tomorrow, which I CAN’T WAIT FOR! So to make up for the lackluster Halloween events, I have a delicious recipe for you: Orange Cauliflower and Rice. I do love cauliflower (ya’ll know that from my cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower pizza).

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Orange Cauliflower

3 T Egg Whites
1/4 c of flour
1/2 c of water
1/4 c of corn starch
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped up
3 chopped up green onions
zest of orange + all of juice of orange
2 T of soy sauce
2 T of rice vinegar
1/4 c of orange juice
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 bag of frozen cauliflower

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1. Cook frozen cauliflower to directions on bag.

2. Mix flour, cornstarch, water, and egg whites into a small mixing bowl until a batter like texture if formed. Make sure that the batter isn’t super thick.

3. Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a pan while you coat all the pieces of cauliflower until each piece is fully coated.

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4. Place cauliflower in pan until completely cooked and browned. Place cauliflower on paper towel to soak up oil and dry.

5. Heat 1 tsp of oil and the chopped up garlic in a new pan for a minute.

6. Add half of the green onions, the zest, and the juice of the orange into the pan and cook for another minute.

7. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Turn up the heat until it has reached a boil. Turn back down and toss in the cauliflower. Cook until it has been fully coated in sauce.

8. Remove from heat and place over brown rice (I just used Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown instant rice because I’m super lazy).

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9. Throw orange juice, brown sugar, and tsp of corn starch into the same pan. Heat to a boil for one minute, constantly stirring the dish.

10. Drizzle the sauce over the cauliflower and brown rice.

11. You can garnish the dish with the remaining green onions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

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This dish is so delicious. It actually tastes like orange chicken minus the soft tenderness of the chicken, but the cauliflower is such a good healthy alternative. Chinese food can be packed full with calories, especially the Americanized food items like sesame chicken, orange chicken, and others. By placing a more vegetarian friendly option, you can lower the amount of calories while still enjoying the classic taste of the sauces. It was a nice warm meal to have when I was craving some greasy Chinese. I will definitely have to try this out with other popular Asian sauces. I like making healthy version of my favorite types of food because that allows me to enjoy them on a daily basis instead of just my fat day, which is Saturday.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this! Have an awesome Halloween. I’m catching up on all my missed TV shows while I make notecards, blog, and work on my review paper! Happy Halloween!

What is your favorite Chinese food item?
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Healthy Chicken Pho

Hey ya’ll! I have survived yet another midterm. These midterms are very interesting. Definitely not what I would expect from graduate school. Good news is that so far I have been kicking butt. I have a A++ in one of my classes. Go me! I’m pretty amazing, I think. Anyways I have a delicious recipe to share with ya’ll! It has been getting chilly lately up here in the Northeast, so there is a need to make soup and other warm things to keep me cozy. For today’s soup recipe, I have a healthy chicken pho soup. I love Asian food, so I obviously had to make an inspired soup from my favorite food genre.

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Healthy Chicken Pho

3-4 thin boneless chicken breasts
1-2 cups of bok choy
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
6 cups of chicken broth
3 green onions
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
2 oz of whole wheat vermicelli

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1. Heat about 1-2 tsp of olive oil in a huge soup pot on medium to high heat. Then add in chopped up garlic for about 30 seconds.

2. In the meantime, chop up your chicken breasts into small pieces. Also prepare bok choy by cutting off the bottom of the stems.

3. Add the chicken and bok choy to cook for about 3-5 minutes until the chicken has become white.

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4. Add the chicken broth, green onions, and jalapeno to the pot and heat to a simmer. You should let this sit and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes.

5. While this is going on, you can cook your noodles in a separate pot. Cooking method depends on the type of noodles you have. Mine you just had to heat the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and let them sit in the water for 4 minutes (I got these noodles at Whole Foods, pretty cheap for a 5 servings of 2 oz of noodles).

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6. Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce to the soup pot. You can then add the noodles to the pot once you stir enough.

7. Remove and serve. You can top it with cilantro and sriracha based on personal preference (but ya’ll know I had to top mine with those goodies).

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Oh soup, you are so beautiful to me, can’t you see? I am in love with pho. While mine isn’t as gourmet or probably as delicious as what I’ve had in some Vietnamese restaurants, this definitely is a pretty good substitute for when I don’t want to pay or have to travel downtown to get some. I think I will be tweeking the recipe around to literally get the perfect soup, but I am happy with this one. I think dumplings would be perfect in it. That is probably what I will attempt to do next. It is a healthy option too. There is no calories in broth and the main calories come from the whole wheat noodles and the chicken. I didn’t put that much chicken in mine because I prefer vegetables over meat. That means I totally overloaded it with bok choy (I’m obsessed with bok choy – if you didn’t know).

I’m off to go work on a project. I hope ya’ll are having a pretty good week.

Have you ever had pho?
What is your favorite Asian dish?

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hey ya’ll! We survived Monday. My last class was extremely painful, but I did it! We even got out 10 minutes early, which was amazing. The funny thing is that the class is so boring that at least 16 students were skipping class. I wonder if the professor knows how boring his class is. Anyways lets talk about food. I love food. Especially spaghetti squash. It is squash season right now and I am completely in my element. I have been coming up with squash recipes left and right, so I’m going to share one with ya’ll today. Let me introduce: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.

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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

1 c of Spaghetti Squash
2 slices of turkey bacon
1/2 c of peas
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of butter/margarine
1 pinch of shredded Parmesan

Sauce:
1 egg
1/2 c of egg whites
1/2 c of skim milk
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of pepper
1-2 tbsp of flour

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1. Preheat oven to 375. Place spaghetti squash in a pyrex baking dish. Either cut the squash in half or poke holes in the entire squash with a fork or knife. Then place in the oven for an hour or until soft.

2. Once cooked, remove, wait till cooled off, and then pull out spaghetti from the squash.

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3. Slice up the two turkey bacon pieces into fine bits. Place them in a pan that is on medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until it has become crisp.

4. Add in the garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add in the butter and peas. This will take another 2-3 minutes to cook through.

6. Remove mixture and place into a dish with 1 c of the spaghetti squash.

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7. Whisk egg and egg whites in a small bowl. Then whisk in milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk over medium heat for 2 minutes and then let sit for another 2 minutes. At this point add in the flour to make it thicken.

8. Pour over your bowl of prepared pasta and mix thoroughly. Top with shredded Parmesan.

This dish is so delicious and healthy for you. I love spaghetti squash. It is the best alternative to pasta. Low calorie and packed with nutrients. Spaghetti Carbonara is one of my favorite dishes at classic Italian restaurants, but it is one of the dishes that packs the most fat and calories. I obviously had to come up with my own healthy version that had just as much flavor. This was it. The smokiness of the cooked bacon with the garlic brings a nice flavor to the dish. The peas are very subtle in the dish and just provide a nice texture. The sauce is what really makes this dish. It is creamy and holds the noodles together. Topped with Parmesan it is perfect. I ended up eating this multiple times during the week. I brought it to class at night for my dinner twice, and of course everyone was staring at me yet again. Once it leaked in my backpack because my dish wasn’t sealed tight enough. Now my backpack smells like spaghetti squash carbonara. Oh well.

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Spaghetti squash contains a wide variety of vitamins. It contains a large amount of Vitamin C, which helps with immunity. Other vitamins that spaghetti squash contains is vitamin A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and Vitamin K. Each of these vitamins plays key roles in your body. It is important to get the RDA of each one every day, so that your body is functioning properly. There are also minerals in spaghetti squash. The dominant mineral is manganese, which helps in healthy bones, tissues, and hormones. It also plays a role in metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium, and functioning of nervous system. Other minerals in spaghetti squash are potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, and iron. Also this packs a ton of fiber, which helps with the digestive system and cancer. And that is just the squash! This dish packs a ton of health benefits, so please make this to enjoy it!

Have an awesome Tuesday, I’ll be spending the entire day studying for my Advanced Nutrition midterm.

Do you eat a lot of spaghetti squash?
What is the best dish you have made with spaghetti squash?

Eggplant Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday. Wooohooo. This has no meaning to me since I only have class two days a week, which is amazing. It can be a little exhausting because my classes are all in a row on Monday from 3-9, but I can deal with it. Nothing too bad. Plus it allows me to explore the city a bit right now while I still have somewhat of free time apart from reading my books and making notecards. Plus I get to go to Boston next week! I’m so excited. I’m going Thursday-Monday (don’t worry I get back way before class starts)! Today I have an awesome recipe for ya’ll. One of my more recent favorite vegetables has to be eggplant. You can make all kinds of dishes with it. Italian or Asian or really any type of cuisine. I went with a more Italian style of preparation on this dish and made eggplant pizza.

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Eggplant Pizza

1 large eggplant
1/2 c of shredded cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes (edit: 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1 garlic (or only half – depending on how garlicky you want this)
1/2 c of chopped basil
salt
garlic powder
oregano

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1. Preheat the oven to 375. First you want to slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch slices (maybe a little more, depending on how thick you want the pieces to be).

2. Place them on paper towels and salt both sides. This is to help make the eggplants “sweat” and get the water to start coming out. While this process is occurring, about 30 minutes, you can start the sauce.

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3. Chop up the garlic pieces. Place a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add in the garlic. Start cooking the garlic until you can smell it strongly in the kitchen. Beware, so that you don’t let it brown too much.

4. At this point, you need to start chopping up your basil and getting all of your spices ready.

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5. Once the garlic is cooked enough, you want to add in your cans of diced tomatoes. I made the mistake of only adding one can, but you definitely need to have two cans to cover the amount of eggplant you will have. Then you want to add in some basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir well. As the sauce may lose some juice, you may need to add a tbsp or 2 of water every now and again. You want to try to smash the diced tomatoes too as the sauce is cooking.

6. Once the 30 minutes has passed for the eggplant, and the sauce is cooked to your liking, you can place the sauce on top of the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Then proceed to top with cheese and the leftover chopped basil (or you may chop more if you like basil).

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7. Then place in the oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, so the eggplant doesn’t turn into complete mush and that the cheese doesn’t brown. You want it to just be melted to perfection so it spreads across the eggplant.

8. ENJOY!

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I know, I know. It looks like a pile of mush. It is not a very visually appealing dish. It is packed with a ton of flavor though and is definitely worth making. The basil gives it such a nice herby taste. The eggplant is soft, but not too cooked. I hate when it becomes actual mush. That is just not a tasty meal to eat when that happens. The sauce had to many flavors packed into it from the garlic, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Of course you know the cheese is one of my favorite parts. It melted perfectly, for like the first time ever. SUCCESS. Cheese makes anything ten times better. I made so much of this from one eggplant that I had leftovers for three days. Now that is my kind of dish!

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Healthy and delicious. That is definitely my kind of recipe. I have a rule that I only eat out one day a week, which is Saturday for me, so I have been trying to cook all kinds of recipes to keep things creative and so I have delicious things to share with ya’ll on the blog. I am going to have some awesome foodie posts this weekend. I have a dessert recipe planned for tomorrow, I am going out on Saturday to some foodie places, and on Sunday I’m going to this event called Smorgusburg, which is like pure foodie heaven. I’m excited to go wild there. Plus its Yom Kippur starting tonight for all my Jews. I unfortunately won’t be fasting this year, but I believe in always asking for forgiveness for the not so nice things I’ve done this past year. I like that part of the holiday. Starving myself, not so much. Have an awesome weekend ya’ll!

What is your favorite recipe with eggplant?
Do you have a favorite vegetable?

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Monday instead of having a bad case of the Mondays. I love Monday because I don’t have class until 3 in the afternoon, so I can wake up around 8 am and get all the things I need to do done for the day before class. It is a nice schedule. In more delicious things, I have another yummy recipe to share with ya’ll. This one uses one of my favorite vegetables: cauliflower. Ya’ll know how much cauliflower I eat from my Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe. I could just eat those things forever (I have basil in my fridge right now just so I can make some pizzas). But back to this new recipe. It contains a few of my favorite things: Asian food, pineapple, and cauliflower. Hmmmm what could that be? CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE!

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

2-3 cups of finely grated cooked cauliflower (I used a food processor to chop it up)
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 c of egg white liquids
1/2 c of chopped onion
1/3 c of chopped garlic
1 c of vegetables/mix ins (pineapple, peas, carrots, broccoli, etc)

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1. Chop up onion until fine pieces. Place into a pan sprayed with cooking spray and heat until the onions become see through.

2. Add in your mix-ins, such as broccoli, peas, carrots, pineapple, tofu, etc. Cook until you can see the vegetables are cooked and have lost all traces of frozen marks.

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3. While the vegetables are cooking in a pan, place your cooked cauliflower into a food processor to chop. Mix it in until it appears to look like a rice texture.

4. Also in a small pan, cook the liquid egg whites until you have a pan filled with scrambled eggs.

5. Toss in the scrambled eggs, chopped cauliflower, and 3 tbsp of soy sauce until all is throughout mixed.

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6. Once everything has cooked through for 3-4 minutes, you are ready to enjoy. This dish makes about 2-3 servings depending on how much extras you add in.

This dish is seriously delicious. You are getting a ton of nutrients while consuming a tasty meal. Fried rice can be full of calories for a variety of reasons. This fried rice is a much better and healthier option for you, especially for those of you that don’t get enough vegetables throughout the day! Cauliflower is such a good base to use in a variety of recipes. Cauliflower can be considered an antioxidant due to it containing Vitamin C and manganese. These help lower the levels of oxidative stress, which is extremely important in regards to a wide spectrum of health problems. Cauliflower also contains Vitamin K, which helps play a role in anti-inflammatory (good for me since I always need to decrease my inflammation)! Also cauliflower aids in digestive and cardiovascular health. It contains around 12 g of fiber for ever 100 calories of cauliflower. Wow! That is awesome. Plus you are getting fiber and other beneficial nutrients from whatever you add in.

I ended up topping mine with some sriracha because I needed that little extra kick with my meal. With my leftovers, I’m going to add in some tofu to give it some protein. I think that will be perfect along with some more sriracha sauce. I’m bringing this to class for dinner. People will probably stare at me, but not like I care. I’m always eating in class. I bring the loudest snacks ever to class like carrots and apples. It is always super awkward when it gets quiet and I’m like chomping away on things. Anyways I hope ya’ll enjoyed this! I definitely recommend going out and making this immediately!!

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What is your favorite Asian dish?
Do you eat a lot of cauliflower?