Every morning when I wake up, I have the day planned out in my head…. and none of the craziness that the day brings is included in those rose colored delusions. My fantasy goes something like this. I wake up and get my workout in (that happens. thankfully)… and then I get so much done in the hour before Harper wakes, that we spend 2 uninterrupted hours together, before she goes down for a nap, without me feeling like I have to multitask (this never happens). Once she goes down for her morning nap, I figure I have an hour and a half to regroup…. instead, I get caught up responding to an e-mail or editing some photos… that I lose track of time…. you get the drift, I don’t need to go into any further details….
It’s odd. Before I became a mom, life was pretty smooth sailing. With only myself (and of course TJ and our fur baby) to worry about, I was focused, stayed on track, and the days generally went as planned. “LOL” my former self says to my current self.
All that to say, the early evenings, right before dinner, are no exception… and likely one of the crazier times in our household. Given that, I like to have a pretty solid plan, and easy dinner, for the family. A meal that’s full of nutritional value, while still packing taste and satisfaction (I aim to please over here….)…. and not taking over 30 minutes from start to finish…..
This cauliflower quinoa dish is just that sort of meal. It’s gluten free, dairy free, full of veggies, and a good source of protein (with the quinoa being a complete protein itself). It’s even a great leftover as well. I know some of you are like “yuck…. cauliflower,” but I promise you that it’s tasty (it passed the test of 5 people who aren’t cauliflower lovers!)…. especially with a little soy sauce + quinoa (which gives it some added texture). You can buy all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s (a one stop shop…) and can eat as is, or toss on some chicken, shrimp, salmon, or flank steak (it’s a fairly versatile dish….). If that hasn’t sold you, I don’t know what will…. so I’ll just stop talking, and get to the recipe….
Cauliflower Quinoa Fried Rice:
(serves 2, double if serving more)
1 package of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s
1 package of frozen quinoa from Trader Joe’s (if you make on your own it’s 1 cup cooked)
1 cup shaved carrots
1 1/2 cup mushrooms
2/3 cup frozen peas (microwave before putting into dish)
3/4-1 cup tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce), this will also depend on your own tastebuds
diced green onions
1 clove of garlic, or 1 frozen cube of garlic (I buy my minced garlic frozen in a tray)
1 cup of diced onions (Trader Joe’s has them pre-diced for us lazy peeps)
protein of choice
1 tbsp sesame oil
Directions: In a large pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onions. Next, add the cauliflower rice, mushrooms, and shredded carrots. Pour in the tamari sauce, stir to combine all ingredients, and then reduce to medium heat, place the lid on the pan, and allow the cauliflower to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Be sure to watch the cauliflower here, as you don’t want it to get too soggy, yet you need it to cook. Use your own judgement, and do a few taste tests. While the cauliflower is cooking, microwave the peas (about 1 minute), quinoa, and cook your protein. When the cauliflower is finished, add the peas, quinoa, and a little more tamari sauce (if you’d like) and stir to mix. Lastly, top with green onions and your protein of choice.