This past weekend Ben and I went on a double date with friends and got to talking about how to eat and live healthier in our 30s. Ben just had the 1 year anniversary of his heart scare, and the other couple is turning 30 this year, so we were discussing how we’re taking better care of our bodies by eating more vegetables in particular.
In the Midwest it’s very common to have a protein, vegetable, and non-vegetable starch like bread or pasta at every meal. Not wrong, not right – it just is! That said, we wondered what would happen if – gasp! – we didn’t eat a starch with each meal (trust me, we talked about more riveting topics than starches all night!) Starches can be hard to work off, are typically devoid of nutrition, and often served as filler. Truly I feel like I serve a starch with dinner more out of habit than anything else. How nuts is that?
I took it as a personal challenge to prove that it’s not only easy to increase your daily vegetable intake, but not miss the empty calories of unnecessary starches. Oh, and like it too (no easy feat!) How about serving a baked sweet potato instead of a side of pasta at dinner? Pairing a bowl of soup with salad instead of a roll at lunch? Or skipping a muffin for my Very-Veggie Cauliflower Hash Brown Breakfast Bowls in the am instead?
Riced cauliflower which, despite its name, makes an excellent replacement for hash browns, is sizzled up then topped with eggs scrambled with greens and mushrooms, a dousing of salsa or hot sauce, and a generous dollop of Lazy Girl’s Guacamole. Plant-based (though if you want to add bacon I’ll totally look the other way!), gluten and dairy-free, filling, but most importantly so, so satisfying. This breakfast is the definition of feel good food.
Cauliflower rice is definitely having a moment right now. Like, there’s nothing it can’t do. Except be wine. That’d be nice! Anyway, it’s so versatile, and not only do we use it in place of actual rice around here, like in my Cauliflower Fried Rice + four recipes at the end of this post, but it also makes an awesome replacement for hash browns. Nothing against the humble potato, which is of course a vegetable and undeniably delicious, but good hash browns require a ton of oil or butter to make them breakfast-worthy. Cauliflower on the other hand? Just a tiny drizzle will do ya, plus you reap the dozens of nutritional benefits that come along with eating this super food.
There are several options for making and/or procuring cauliflower rice: send the florets through a food processor fitted with the grating blade, grate the head on a box grater, or purchase a bag of cauliflower crumbles from the store – Green Giant and Trader Joe’s both have product I know of.
I’ll be straight up and tell you that cauliflower rice doesn’t get crispy like hash browns, but the experience is similar. It’s all about the visual with this dish, and once the cauliflower is sauteed, it’s a dead ringer for its potato counterpart.
Best of all? This meal is super easy to throw together and although I’m labeling them “breakfast bowls” I’ve eaten this dish for every meal of the day. Vegetable power, baby!
Start by adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to a 10″ skillet over medium heat. Add 4oz sliced mushrooms then saute until they release their water. After the liquid has evaporated (there should only be a little,) season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, saute until the mushrooms are golden brown, and then remove to a plate.
Add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet then turn the heat up to medium-high. Add 1-1/2 cups cauliflower rice, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then saute until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower hash browns to your serving bowl then turn the heat back down to medium and add the mushrooms back into the skillet along with 1 chopped green onion and a handful of a baby spinach blend, or baby spinach. Saute until the greens have wilted, then add 2 eggs that have been whisked and scramble.
Scoop the scrambled veggie eggs onto the cauliflower rice then top with a big spoonful of salsa and my Lazy Girl’s Guacamole, aka 1/2 avocado mashed with lemon or lime juice, garlic powder, and salt. ???????? Pair with a cup of coffee, cold OJ, or big cup of water to jump start your day the healthy way – with VEGETABLES! Enjoy!
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Very-Veggie Cauliflower Hash Brown Breakfast Bowl
Start your day with a punch of vegetable power! Very-Veggie Cauliflower Hash Brown Breakfast Bowl is a healthy vegetarian breakfast that satisfies
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 lime or lemon
- garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- 2 eggs
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups cauliflower rice
- 4oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small handful baby spinach
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Add avocado, lime or lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste to a small bowl then mash with a fork and set aside. Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a small bowl then set aside.
- Heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms then saute until they release their water. After the water has cooked off, season mushrooms with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then saute until golden brown. Scoop into a bowl then set aside.
- Turn heat up to medium-high then add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Add cauliflower, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then saute until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. Scoop cauliflower into your serving bowl then set aside.
- Turn heat back down to medium then add the mushrooms back into the skillet along with the green onions and baby spinach. Saute until spinach is barely wilted, 30 seconds, then add whisked eggs and scramble. Scoop mixture on top of sautéed cauliflower hash browns then top with mashed avocado and salsa.
- I used my Cuisinart Food Processor fitted with the grating blade to make cauliflower rice.
- You can pre-grate the cauliflower for the week then keep in a Ziplock bag in the fridge. Note: it might smell a little strong the next day, but the taste is fine!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
More Cauliflower Rice Recipes