Never tried Thai pineapple fried rice?
This dish is a must for anyone who loves Thai food, fried rice, or is just interested in getting a taste for more ethnic cuisine. The flavors are slightly sweet, and the dish can be as spicy as you’d like. With all the variety used in preparing this fried rice, there is plenty of crunch, softness, sweetness, spice and countless other aspects to keep every bite interesting. It is certainly a meal that can help the bridge the gap between eating standard American cuisine to more ethnically centered dishes.
This Thai pineapple fried cauliflower rice shares similar flavors as you would find in the traditional dish, but omits the processed sugar, lowers the carb count, and adds a hearty dose of vegetables. It is highly nutritious, and can eaten as a vegetarian meal, side dish or topped with some marinated and stir fried tofu or chicken.
Why is cauliflower such a fantastic substitute for rice?
1. Fullness Factor. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. This means that it is highly fibrous, and particularly dense. One cup of cauliflower rice is going to make you feel fuller than one cup of regular rice because it takes longer to move from your stomach to your small intestine.
2. Nutrient Density. People tend to associate white vegetables with low nutrient density, and this just is not correct. Cauliflower is rich in nutrients like vitamin K, B6, C, and folate. It is also a mineral rich food with a good amount of calcium, magnesium and iron.
3. Anthoxanathin. No, I did not just make that word up. Although deeply colored foods can be a good indicator of flavanols and flavonones (plant pigments/metabolites that possess antioxidant properties), richly white vegetables (like cauliflower) have an abundance of anthoxanathin which is a white or creamy yellow pigment. Adequate intake of this pigment has been associated with reduced levels of inflammation, improved blood pressure, and the promotion of healthy vision and immune function.
4. Low calorie. Now, I am not all for eating low calorie foods. I think rich foods have a place in my diet, and yours, but I am all for eating ALL the food. I have a huge appetite and like to eat large meals. Riced cauliflower has fewer than 50 calories per cup, which makes it incredibly awesome for humans like me who like to eat their weight in food while maintaining their weight. No shame in that.
Now, don’t go expecting this Thai pineapple fried cauliflower rice to taste exactly like rice.
It is, in fact, still a vegetable. Although I did my best to make this dish tasty and enjoyable, you can’t go comparing it to a food that is essentially turned into pure glucose shortly after ingestion. Give the poor cauliflower a break.
This dish is dedicated to my sister who orders Pineapple Fried Rice ever single time we get Thai food. The girl knows what she likes. She also likes cauliflower, and things she can eat an entire plate of and not feel bad about. Erin, this is for you.
Need help finding coconut aminos? Check out health food stores, Trader Joe’s or, of course, Amazon.
Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Sauce Organic 8 oz
Note: I usually buy cauliflower already riced because it simplifies these recipes. It is becoming more popularly carried at grocery stores and can certainly be found at Trader Joe’s. If you want to rice the cauliflower yourself check out this tomato basil cauliflower rice recipe for instructions.
Thai Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice
This dish is a tasty and flavorful version of the traditional Thai dish. It is loaded with additional nutrients and lower in carbs and calories, making it the healthier alternative.
- 4 tbsp coconut oil divided
- 1 onion
- 1 package of riced cauliflower about 1 head
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 carrots
- 1/4 head of cabbage preferably green
- 1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple about 1/2 pineapple
- 2 green onions
- 1/4 cup cashews crushed
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 cup tahini or cashew butter
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 3 tbsp chili paste *
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
Begin by heating half of the coconut oil (2 tbsp) over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add onions and allow to cook down.
Add cauliflower. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
While cauliflower cooks, begin prepping the vegetables. Cut the pineapple into chunks. Dice the bell peppers, and the yellow onion. Chop the cabbage. Cut carrots at an angle creating thin, diagonally cut, round slices. Chop the cilantro and green onion for garnish.
In a separate pan, heat the rest of the coconut oil (2 tbsp) and begin stir frying the vegetables. Start with the peppers and the carrots. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Then add the cabbage and follow with the pineapple. Process should take about 10-12 minutes.
After vegetables are cooked combine with the cauliflower, and return to medium heat.
While vegetables are cooking, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
Pour sauce over the cauliflower rice and vegetables. Allow sauce to simmer down, and mix well.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped green onions and crushed cashews. Serve and enjoy!
I usually just buy cauliflower already riced from Trader Joe's. This saves me the mess and trouble and you can get it from the produce section for a couple dollars.
*Adjust spice as needed. The currently level of spice is medium to mild.