Cauliflower Fried Rice

I can barely lift my arms to write this post because of a great triceps workout yesterday. I’m suffering through though to bring the blogosphere one of my most healthy, simple, and desirable dinner options: cauliflower fried rice.

I wasn’t planning to make this dish until next week, but G was craving it and I wanted to oblige. As I wait for the broccoli to roast before moving forward with the rest of the stir fry, I’m sharing this healthy gem with you. With our running program beginning Monday, the need for meals packed with protein and good carbs is a must. Plus I LOVE fried rice but always feel so guilty after eating Chinese take-out due to the ridiculous grams of carbs and sometimes greasiness fried rice can have. So this recipe is a win-win-win in my book!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Reader beware, you're going to have cravings.

When I first began making this recipe I riced my own head of cauliflower with a food processor. I then came across the wonderful world of Birds Eye and my world was forever changed! Now I stock up on riced cauliflower bags (found in the freezer section of grocery stores) when they are on sale in anticipation of this tasty dish. Feel free to prepare as you wish — both options are great!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • 1 bag Birds Eye Savory Herb Riced Cauliflower, thawed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • other vegetable options (mushrooms, carrots, peas, etc.) to your tastes
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (may subtract/add depending on taste)

Directions

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a large plastic bag, shake broccoli florets, 1 tbsp olive oil, and garlic salt together. Pour onto cookie sheet and evenly spread. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
  2. While broccoli is roasting, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add all other vegetables and cook until softened.
  4. Add meat and heat through.
  5. Add riced cauliflower and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Push rice mixture to sides of the pan and crack eggs into the open middle of the skillet. Scramble eggs with a bit of soy sauce.
  7. Once cooked through, stir scrambled eggs into rice mixture and cook an additional 1 minute.
  8. Add roasted broccoli to rice mix. (You do not want the broccoli to get soggy, so do not overcook — make this your last step before adding soy sauce.)
  9. Add soy sauce to taste, stirring frequently.
  10. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Macros are dependent on vegetables and meats used. One alternative option is to use garlic-sauteed shrimp instead of chicken. Yum!


For 1 serving with only the riced cauliflower, 4oz chicken, broccoli, sauteed onion, egg, and soy sauce:
kcal = 301, protein = 37g, carbs = 21g, fat = 10g

In other news, I am actively increasing my strength training on a weekly basis. Today was Leg Day, and I was pleasantly surprised to see I could add an additional 15 pounds to my leg press (bringing myself to 275lbs) and another 10 pounds to hip abductions and adductions. I’m slowly getting stronger and it feels good! Yes, I iced my knee last night due to our first day of running, but the little bit of pain is well worth the time spent with my fiance on this new adventure. We pushed ourselves to get a good start in the program and the endorphins were well worth it. Here we are all bundled up for the 35 degree April evening:

Goodness, he is the cutest thing in the world…

It is now snowing in Michigan, so we are embarking to the gym following dinner to begin Day Two of training.

Until next time, friends!

Hot Baked Chicken

I’ve been doing pretty well when it comes to tracking my intake and eating healthier meals now that the holiday season has waved goodbye. Though it is difficult to say no to desserts now that I don’t have the excuse of numerous baked goods appearing in the house, I balance my newly-found sweet cravings with a glass of wine each night becauseeeee heart health, right? And the necessity of a good Malbec after a long day — G and I have been hitting the gym every morning at 5:30am!

So, time for another healthy recipe that is a staple in my monthly meal plan. This week’s lunches are one of my personal favorite: hot baked chicken. For a girl who grew up having hot wings every Sunday paired with a juicy episode of Desperate Housewives, this healthier option brings back some great memories with my family. Plus, how can you go wrong serving this American classic?!

Hot Baked Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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The perfect substitute for the all-American hot wing lover who wants to be slightly health-conscious.

This baked chicken is fantastic with ranch or blue cheese dressing. When considering lower fat content, I opt for Bolthouse’s Yogurt Classic Ranch or using cottage cheese. I like my chicken spicy so the dairy cools my taste buds a bit.

This hot sauce mixture is a crowd pleaser and optimal at parties — go ahead and substitute deep fried hot wings for the classic plate.

Ingredients

  • 4 or 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Franks hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2-4 Tbsp butter (depends how healthy you want to be..)
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • chili powder, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste

Directions

  1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and grease with cooking spray
  2. Bake chicken, uncovered, for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes or until fully cooked
  3. Toss foil and replace baked chicken in baking dish
  4. Mix hot sauce, honey, and butter in a medium glass bowl, add spices to taste
  5. Place bowl in oven and heat enough to melt butter (caution: heating too high will break down honey)
  6. Pour heated sauce over baked chicken
  7. Serve immediately


1 Serving of Sauce: kcal = 77, protein = 0g, carbs = 12g, fat = 4g

My lunch meal stats:
1 serving Sauce: kcal = 77, protein = 0g, carbs = 12g, fat = 4g
4oz chicken tenderloin: kcal = 90, protein = 22g, carbs = 0g, fat = 1g
1.5 cup baby spinach salad: kcal = 20, protein = 2g, carbs = 3g, fat = 0g
1 cup 1% cottage cheese: kcal = 160, protein = 26g, carbs = 8g, fat = 3g
TOTAL: kcal = 361, protein = 50g, carbs = 26g, fat = 8g

Broccoli Ranch Chicken Casserole

Okay, truth time: over the holiday season I went way off on my healthy eating habits. I could use the excuse that my future MIL is an awesome baker, my mom made her famous Christmas candy (more than once), the holiday celebrations were numerous, or I was enjoying Life so much I didn’t care to count calories, BUT I won’t because in all honesty there is no excuse for completely falling off the wagon. I’m back in the grind now though — and hitting the ground running fast!

In the future, I will be adding a few healthy recipe choices which I use as staples in my meal planning each month. I have been eating 80/20 with high protein and low carb food choices. (80/20 because I still want to enjoy life and food is a big part of my enjoyment.) I’ll also share each recipe’s macro stats via MyFitnessPal, in case you are as interested as I am. 🙂

I am so excited to begin adding some healthy recipes to Uncorking Peonies! And I am even more excited to introduce a recipe which has warmed the tummies of G and myself multiple times since the New Year, because it’s just that good: Broccoli Ranch Chicken.

Broccoli Ranch Chicken Bake

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Eat ALL the ranch! -quote by Ashley, at every meal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut bite-sized
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1/2 Tbsp dill
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I always use mayo made with olive oil.)
  • 8 ounce shredded sharp cheddar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and spices in a large bowl, mix thoroughly
  3. Add chicken, broccoli, and 1/2 of cheese, mix well
  4. Dump mixture into a well-greased 9 x 13 baking dish
  5. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top
  6. Bake 30 minutes or until hot
  7. Serve immediately; good as leftovers as well!

1 Serving: kcal = 515, protein = 37g, carbs = 6g, fat = 37g

(Adapted from joyfilledeats.com)


I typically split the 9 x 13 baking dish into 5 sections for the entire week’s lunches. This amount keeps me full until dinner, even through my evening workout. You can also double the batch easily to have enough for more servings (like when G decides to take this as lunch also) or to make a very filling dinner with leftovers for the family.