Free Fall Friday – Reviews and Kudos

thehungryartist:

Nice post about Denis’ great news last month!

Originally posted on Writing and Illustrating:

DOGMelissa Iwai is participating in an AdventChallenge2014 this month and she sent me this fun illustration from December 3rd. Thought it might give you ideas for decorating your best friend. Melissa was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Now her husband has something to tout about below.

gayle KraussAfter being read and
reviewed by Karen Haas
in New Jersey, Cherry Money Baby by John Cusick took at trip to Pennsylvania and visited Gail Krause.

Gail is  pictured on the left holding Cherry Money Baby taken on Thanksgiving day in the Poconos.

Isn’t it a great holiday picture?

After Gail read it she wrote a review on Amazon and Goodreads, then set Cherry off on a trip to visit someone in Louisville, Kentucky.

We’ll have to wait and see where Cherry ends up traveling after that.

DenisMarkellKate Sullivan at Delacorte Press has won two middle-grade novels by Denis Markell (Melissa Iwai’s husband) at auction. The first book, Click Here to…

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Kashi Healthy Treats and Advent Challenge

kashi treats 2

 

Whew, the holidays threw me for a loop!  Hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We went to Illinois to see my family and had a great time!  I was remiss in my photo taking, but I drew a lot. :)  All my daily sketches are on instagram.

 

This month up until Christmas, I am doing an Advent Challenge put together by Faye Brown Designs. Every day (in place of my daily sketches) I do an illustration inspired by her prompt.  At first I wasn’t going to do one every day, but so far, I’ve done seven, so that’s seven for seven!   They are all made digitally, and it is the first time I’m actually painting with digital brushes.  I bought these amazing brushes you from Kyle T. Webster for Photoshop, and they’ve really changed the way I work.  They are SOOO much better than the ones that come with Photoshop. There is no comparison.  Here is a nice review of them in Wired Magazine.  He is an amazing illustrator and he started making brushes for himself.  When he started selling them, he made a bucketful of money because they are so awesome.

The illustrations I’m making  take a lot longer than my 30 minute paintings – sometimes an hour to two hours!  So it’s kind of a heavy load to carry… But I’m having so much fun with these brushes and  at the end of the challenge, I’ll have 25 designs (if I can maintain the pace) to choose from to make into some greeting cards.  :) Wish me luck!

Here are some of my favorites so far:

bear copy72

DOG copy2

penguin copy

ETI copy

Today’s was:

7 polar bear

To see more daily, I’ll be posting at:  http://instagram.com/melissaiwai1/

I’ll leave you with a quick recipe I made up for a high fiber high protein low sugar snack.  I love Kashi cereals, and I had a coupon which I used to buy a box of Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal.  These crunchy treats satisfy my craving for a crunchy sweet chocolate snack, but are packed with fiber and protein without artificial ingredients.  :)

kashi treats

Kashi Healthy Treats

1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped finely

2 teaspoons coconut oil

stevia or other sweetener to taste

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1  cup Kashi GoLean Crunch Cereal or other Kashi cereal

 

1.  Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a medium sized bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted.

2.  Stir in stevia and peanut butter until combined.  Add cereal and coat evenly.

3.  Line a large plate or baking sheet with parchment paper.  Make six balls of cereal mixture and arrange on plate.

4.  Chill for about an hour until set.

Makes six treats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jamie’s Soup and My Society 6 Store

jamie'ssoup

I did a similar soup post way back when when I created this creamy green soup.  This one, however, is even easier, and I recently taught my ten year old to make it by himself!  It is his favorite soup these days, so I make it a lot. And now he can do the honors.  This is a good thing because I am so busy these days with MATS A and other work!

All you do is cut 2 large zucchini into slices.

cutting

Then you steam them in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes.

Place steamed zucchini into a Vitamix along with 2 cups of broth and season with some salt and pepper if you like.  Blend and serve!  If you want it warmer, just heat it a little for about 30 seconds.

Drinking the green yumminess!

Drinking the green yumminess!

This is what I did in my class last week– I designed a collection of ceramic plates:

MELISSA_IWAI_BEARANDBUNNY_4A_WK2REV

To read about the process, you can go here.  It was quite painful!  But all good. :)

Also, I just reopened my Society 6 store. I’ve been hesitant dipping my toes in the waters — I don’t know why….  But I made my first sale!  To myself!  ha ha.  I bought a pillow that has my bunny head design on it.  It is nothing really, but exciting to me, because it’s such a novelty for me!  There is a SALE in my store right now for $5 off everything plus FREE shipping until 11/9, so check it out!  :)

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 3.53.01 PMJamie’s Zucchini Soup

2 zucchini

2 cups of chicken broth or other broth

salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cut zucchini into slices.  Place in large bowl and cover with saran.  Microwave for about 5-7 minutes until soft (it depends on your oven).  Alternatively, you can steam in a steamer on the stove for 8-10 minutes.

2.  Blend cooked zucchini and broth and seasonings in a Vitamix or blender until smooth.

Makes about 4 large bowls of soup.

 

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MATS A Course and Root Vegetables

Melissa Iwai 2014

Melissa Iwai 2014

So… I started taking an intense online design course, called Make Art That Sells, taught by Lilla Rogers.  This, along with several book assignments and prep for a gallery show and an art auction makes for some busy (though good) times!  For any artist wanted to broaden their range, I highly recommend this class.  Every week focuses on a different market.  Last week, it was Bolt Fabric.  Our assignment was to create a fabric pattern that had the theme “vintage kitchen” that is inspired by root vegetables and vintage casserole dishes.  So this is the pattern I designed.  It was really difficult for me, but I won’t bore you with the gory details. If you want to read about my process, you can do so on my website blog.

For the warm up — or mini assignment, we were to explore vintage casserole dishes and root vegetables.  So the first thing I did was buy a bunch of veggies and the local green market.

root vegetables

After several days of drawing and drawing and more  drawing and painting the vegetables in different media, they met their final destination:  The oven.

root vegetables to roast

This is three yams, one large parsnip, a bunch of carrots, one large turnip, and one beet (the beet is wrapped in foil).  Unfortunately, my celery root had gone bad, and I couldn’t use it!  Basically it’s about 5  cups of chopped vegetables.  I coated them with olive oil,  seasoned them with kosher salt and dried thyme, and roasted them at 400 for about 30 minutes, tossing them halfway.

cooked root veg

 

The vegetables really shrink!  But it was enough for a side dish at a pot luck dinner we went to that evening.

And here is my final submission to the class with more coordinating patterns (not so happy with these — it was a struggle!!  But I’d like to do more and improve my craft…)  If you don’t know already, there is a great site where you can upload your designs to be printed on fabric — Spoonflower.com. I’d love to use my pattern to make an apron or some tea towels. :)

MELISSA_IWAI_ROOSTERPITCHER_4A_WK1

 

Roasted Root Vegetables

Non-stick spray

An assortment of root vegetables, such as potatoes, yams, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery root

about 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt to taste

1 – 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray.

2.  Chop vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes.  Try to make them all about the same size so they cook evenly.

3.  Pour onto baking sheets and spread out into a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil (right onto baking sheets is OK) and mix with hands to make sure everything is nicely coated.  Season with salt and thyme.

4.  Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring and flipping halfway through.

Roasted Beet

1 or 2 beets

olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Wash and dry beets.  Brush with some olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil.

3.  Set on a baking sheet (sometimes the juices leak out, and it’s not pretty if it gets on your oven!) and bake for about 60 minutes until tender.  You can test it with a knife.  It should be soft like a cooked potato.

 

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Citrus Tonic and My Sketchbook

citrus tonic

I’ve been sick AND busy, and this is about the extent of my experimenting with recipes!  I made this in my Vitamix:  One whole orange and one whole lemon.  You can add honey or sugar for sweetness, but I like it tart and left it out.  I had such a sore throat and was congested, and this really hit the spot — kind of like an epic Vitamin C kick in the pants.

Then I decided to paint it:

oj

Recently, I’ve begun painting every day in my Moleskin sketchbook as a daily routine.  At first it was really hard, and I felt super self conscious about what I was painting, but I’ve finally found a certain level of comfort with it.  I don’t really care how they will turn out — it’s the process that counts — or rather, the practice– a kind of meditation.  Sometimes I am so tired and exhausted at the end of the day, especially when I was really sick, I only spend ten to fifteen minutes on them!

To read more about the development of this practice, go here.

To see my daily sketch paintings in the future — I plan to do continue to do one every day — right now they have been focussed on street life in Brooklyn — follow me on Instagram! :)

Citrus Tonic (really nice for when you’re feeling the cold bug taking over your face!)

One navel orange, peeled

One lemon, peeled and seeded

Honey, agave, sugar, or other sweetener if desired

1.  Process in blender and drink up!

 

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Best Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa Ever and Baked Tortilla Chips

chip in salsa

I have made this salsa exactly four times since I saw this recipe from What’s  Gaby Cooking a month ago!  I made it a bit easier for myself by omitting the cherry tomatoes and reducing the amounts of garlic, cilantro, chipotle, and lime juice.  In the past I have shied away from using chipotles, not because of the heat, but because it comes in a can full of them, and you only need one or two at the most!  I made  Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas for a party, and I still had extra chiles.  Luckily, I learned that they can be frozen for future use!  Brilliant!  The key thing is to line your ice cube tray with saran first, as I learned here.  The sauce stains and everything is really spicy!  I defrost and use a cube at a time (about one chile).

Doesn't it look like some strange fossil?

Doesn’t it look like some strange fossil or worse– preserved organ?!

Throw the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times and there you have it — perfect salsa.  Use more chiles if you want it spicier.  The fire roasted tomatoes give it a really nice rich flavor.  I used a can from Trader Joes.

fire roasted tomatoes

Serve with bagged tortilla chips, or make your own!  I also put salsa on everything else:  Eggs, veggies — both raw and cooked…  I can literally eat it by itself, I love it so much!
baked tortilla chipsFire Roasted Tomato Salsa

1 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes

1 chipotle chile (or more if you want it spicier– one is pretty spicy though!)

1/2 medium onion chopped

1/4 cup cilantro with stems

1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

pinch of kosher salt to taste

1.  Put all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10 times.

2.  Serve immediately with chips or store in the refrigerator for future use.

 

Baked Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas

Non-stick spray

kosher salt

 

1.  Preheat oven to 4oo degrees F.

2.  Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray and set aside

3.  Stack up to four tortillas at a time and cut into 8 to 10 triangles (I like 10 for thinner chips)

4.  Lay in one layer on prepared baking sheet.  Spray with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt.

5.  Bake for about 5 minutes, then watch closely and bake 1-3 minutes more until tan around the edges.  Transfer to a plate to cool and crisp up.

6. Repeat with remaining triangles until used up.

7.  Serve immediately.  Can be stored in an airtight container for several days.  If they lose a bit of crunch due to humidity, toast in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes before serving.

 

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Chocolate Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

avocado ice cream

In the comments section of my last post, Trixie Pin of Almonds Are Mecurial mentioned an Avocado Ice Cream recipe found at Oatmeal with a Fork.   I’ve always heard of ice cream made out of avocado and I’ve been wanting to try it for some time.  I ended up basing my recipe on this Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip recipe at Detoxinista, which is actually very similar to the Oatmeal with a Fork one.  All three sites have fantastic healthy recipes and beautiful photography, so check them out!  (I’m definitely going to try the Mint and Chip one soon — love that it’s green naturally!)

I only had 1/2 an avocado to work with and I didn’t want to wait until my other two ripened before I made the Chocolate Coconut Avocado Ice Cream.  I was woman obsessed.  The other 1/2 of avocado I had used to make a half portion of my Creamy Avocado Dip, which I was also craving because I had some homemade pita chips on hand….!  You see, I have both a sweet AND savory tooth!

First off, this is how I ripen my avocados — I throw them in a brown paper bag with bananas or plantains and fold the bag closed.  In a few days, they are perfect.

An unripened avocado and a ripe one, with an unripened plantain cozying up to them.  The ripened bananas were cut up and frozen.

An unripened avocado and a ripe one, with an unripened plantain cozying up to them. The ripened bananas were cut up and frozen.

Avocados are amazing fruit. They are full of more than 25 essential nutrients, fiber, protein, good fat, and beneficial antioxidants!  Read more about the benefits here, if you are curious.   I am so glad I like to eat them now.  As a kid, I hated them.  I’m happy Jamie loves guacamole.  My mom eats avocados only one way:  Mashed with brown sugar and spread on her morning toast.  I guess it’s a Hawaiian thing….  This is a savory breakfast that sounds good, that I will try soon — an egg baked in half an avocado!

Recently, I heard on a podcast about a study done which showed that eating avocados tripled a woman’s chance of getting pregnant through IVF.  I’m not trying to get pregnant but found it intriguing.  There are several lists of fruits and vegetables that look like the human organs they are good for floating around the internet–not surprisingly avocados look like a woman’s womb!

For the Chocolate Coconut Avocado Ice Cream I made, I threw into my Vitamix:  1/2 avocado, 2 tablespoons lite coconut milk from a can (you can use the extra in curry, or freeze in an ice cube tray like this for future smoothies), 2 tablespoons of agave syrup, 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder (my new love), and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.  If you have a whole avocado or two, just double or quadruple the amounts.  After blending to a creamy smooth consistency, I poured it into my ice cream maker and let it roll.  It only took about 5 minutes due to the small quantity — basically the time it took to clean the dishes!  You could also pour your mixture into ramekins and chill and eat as pudding. It is SOOO good!

So creamy!  I garnished with some dried coconut and toasted almonds

So creamy! I garnished with some dried coconut and toasted almonds

This ice cream is so creamy and rich.  I only eat one scoop at a time (not three) because it is very filling!  Out of curiosity I plugged in the nutritional values for the ingredients and came up with this for 1 oz. of Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream:  78 calories, 6g fat, 1.7 g sat. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium, 8.6 g carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 5.6 g sugar, and .8 g protein.  Happily, my vegan and gluten free friends can enjoy it as well! :)

***************************************************************************

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 3.12.37 PM

In other news, I just want to give a shout out to people in the New Jersey area!  This Saturday (September 20), I will be at the 2014 Princeton Children’s Book Festival signing books with my husband, Denis (and author of Hush Little Monster), and Anne Rockwell (author of numerous books, including  Truck Stop). We are so fortunate to be included in such an amazing gathering of authors and illustrators.  Favorites, such as Brian Floca (2014 Caldecott Winner), Brian Lies, David Kirk, Sophie Blackall, Fiona Robinson, Peter Brown, Pseudonymous Bosch (one of Jamie’s favorites), Jon Scieska, Mary Rose Wood, and a whole boatload of others will be there.  Check out the list here.  If you do make it out, be sure to stop by our table and say “hello”!

Chocolate Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

1 ripe avocado, halved, pit removed

1/4 cup lite coconut milk from a can

1/4 cup agave syrup

 1 tablespoon coconut oil (in liquid form)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth and creamy.

2.  Pour into an ice cream make and churn according to manufacturer’s directions.  Alternatively, pour into a metal bowl and put in freezer and stir every 15 minutes until thick and creamy.

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Cacao “Tofutti”

tofutti 4

Awhile ago, I had a somewhat high blood sugar score on a test.  It wasn’t a fasting test or anything, so I don’t know how accurate it was, but in the past year, it was higher than my last one, and that one was higher than the one before that. Diabetes runs in my family, and as I get older, I find that I’m more sensitive to sugar (and caffeine and alcohol!)  I also was borderline for gestational diabetes when I was pregnant.  For all these reasons, I decided to do an experiment over the last couple of months and greatly reduce my sugar intake.  I haven’t cut it out completely, and I occasionally have dried fruit (but not much) and bananas, and all the other high glycemic index fruits (apples, watermelon, etc.)  But I have cut it out A LOTI’ve since realized that I used to eat a lot of sugar — I have such a sweet tooth.  But if I have a taste of something now that’s high in sugar (the other day I sampled a bite of a gluten free blueberry muffin sample at Trader Joe’s and had to throw the rest away), it tastes TOO sweet.  I do sweeten my coffee with stevia and I chew sugar free gum, so I haven’t shunned all sweet things though.  I’m just trying to do things in moderation.  I find I need less sweetener in my coffee now than I did before though.  I will probably have another blood test in a week or two, so it will be interesting to see if my levels have been affected by the change in my diet over the last three months or so.

A new moniker that keeps popping up in health news these days is “Super Food” — have you noticed?  I haven’t been paying that much attention, because I tend to eat a lot of them anyway:  green leafy vegetables like kale, blueberries, oats, broccoli, walnuts, salmon, spinach, chia seeds, avocados, coconut oil, eggs, etc. I haven’t gone out of my way to sample some of the more exotic super foods, like acai berry, camu camu, maca, lacuma, spirulina, or even wheat grass.  But I keep hearing about raw cacao powder — cacao is the portion in chocolate that has all the antioxidants and is rich in minerals.  I’ve even read that it helps to lower insulin resistance.  It appeals to me because I love chocolate, and since I have stopped eating a lot of sugar, I find I even love eating unsweetened chocolate (to my son’s horror).  I decided to buy a bag at our local health food store and try it out for myself.  It definitely tastes “more chocolatey” than regular unsweetened cocoa.

cacao

I’ve been eating sugar free Chocolate pudding occasionally, but I’ve been finding it also is too sweet even when I add unsweetened cocoa powder to it.  And I’m not that big of fan of it containing aspartame.  So I decided to try my hand at a tofu based pudding.  And then I decided: Hey let’s take it a step further and try throwing it in the ice cream maker. :)

The result was really great! It is very easy to make as well.  You just process a package of Silken soft tofu, cocoa powder, agave syrup (or other sweetener), and some vanilla in a food processor and then churn in an ice cream maker for about 10-15 minutes (it is much faster than making regular ice cream, perhaps because of the low fat content).  Let it harden in the freezer.  The longer the tofu melds with the other flavors, the better it tastes.  There you have it — dairy free, chocolate tofu ice cream that is high in anti-oxidants and low in calories! :)  Note, my batch is not as sweet as the kind you buy in the store, but I prefer it that way.  If you want a sweeter version add more sweetener or make with 2/3 cup chocolate chips melted with 1 tablespoon water — I have made it this way too in the past before my sugar concerns, and it is very delicious!

tofutti 1

Chocolate “Tofutti”

1 block of Silken soft tofu

1/4 cup agave syrup or other sweetener

1/4 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Process all ingredients in a food processor until silky smooth, stopping to scrape down edges midway through.

2.  Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions for about 10-15 minutes.

I had forgotten that I awhile back I did this submission for Tofu 3 Ways, for the awesome site, They Draw and Cook.  The Tofu Mousse recipe in the illustration is similar — but not sugar free.  Still, this would be good also when churned frozen in an ice cream maker!

Tofu_melissaiwai72b

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DIY Terrariums

jamie's terrarium

I have a recipe today for you, but it’s not of the edible variety!  (sorry)  I wanted to share it with you all though, because it was loads of fun to create, and it makes a great project to do with the kiddos if you have them.

First off, the inspiration:

Lilla Roger’s Round one Global Talent Search (GTS) assignment — Create wall art related to terrariums with some text in the final piece. I just love her assignments.  They are very open ended yet structured enough to push me to create something I normally would never, ever create.  That’s why I decided to do it even though I never thought I would make it through to the next round.  You have to understand — the GTS is intense!  I had only read about it in blogs last year, and I would never have even entered had I not experienced the joy of the Bootcamp!  In the end, 999 people entered and only 50 made the cut! I didn’t, but it was a great experience.  A HUGE congratulations to the people who did make it though!  Looking forward to seeing what you came up with in the following round!  Go here to view their artwork  There are a lot of yummy pieces there!  But honestly, I saw SO many amazing, beautiful pieces in the private forum that I loved and thought for sure would make it that didn’t.  There is a lot of great art out there! It was so inspiring to see all the different creations and interpretations of the assignment.  Each one was truly unique.

When I began researching terrariums for my assignment, I was instantly fascinated by all the different types.  I love learning how things are made, and I found a number of sites that had tutorials.  We had some extra glass vases lying around, and I had just seen these adorable mini succulents in the plant store around the corner, so I thought:  We have to make some!

Jamie and I spent one sunny Saturday afternoon shopping for the ingredients (dad was off playing jazz piano with our friend who plays the bass guitar).  This is what we came back with:

ingredients

Actually, we had the glass vases and rocks at home.  We bought the mini succulents, cactus potting soil, and activated charcoal (from a pet store).  The charcoal is not required for a succulent terrarium — I’ve seen tutorials where it was included and where it wasn’t.  But we got it because it helps to drain the water, and keep smells to a minimum.  I didn’t want to take any chances with over watering our little plants.

Then we began layering:

soil and rocks

First we put rocks at the bottom, then some charcoal (it is the black bits in the photo above the white rocks), then some potting soil.

putting in rocks

Then we planted some plants and covered the soil with more rocks.  That’s it!  The whole thing took about 5 minutes.  Jamie added some Go Gos to inhabit the terrarium and keep guard.

jamie's terrariumI planted two more, and here is the trio (the little guy in the pot was too large to fit in a glass one!):

all three terrariums

It makes our window sill so much nicer!

plants on sill

 

Here is my final (painted) terrarium!  Since there was an elephant living inside, I decided to fill his space with lots of moist plants and give him a few friends to keep him company. :)

MELISSA_IWAI_GTS14A1_CULTIVATEJOY

 

 

DIY Terrarium (Open Air Succulent Type)

Some large mouthed vases or glasses

Rocks

Activated Charcoal

Potting soil for succulents

Succulent plants

Any mini figure or object you’d like for decoration

1.  Wash glasses and dry.

2.  Fill bottom inch with rocks.

3.  Add about another 1- 2 inches of charcoal

4.  Add potting soil.

5.  Plant succulents starting with the biggest first.

6.  Cover soil with rocks.

7.  Add mini objects if you’d like to live in the environment.

 

 

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Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Bacon and Shrimp

Cauliflower fried rice with bacon and shrimp

Cauliflower fried rice with bacon and shrimp


Just yesterday I was listening to a podcast on super foods, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that cauliflower is one of them.  I love it and eat it all the time.  So I was happy to hear that there are so many benefits to incorporating this lovely vegetable into one’s diet.

The other night, I made a huge batch of Cauliflower Fried Rice for myself (Denis and Jamie don’t eat cauliflower… :(   They don’t know what they are missing!).

I had thought I had already done a fried rice post here, but it turns out I haven’t!  Fried rice is a favorite in our household.  I don’t make it the traditional way — I always add bacon.  We love the smoky flavor it imparts.  And you don’t have to use as much oil — everything gets mostly cooked in the bacon fat.  I add a bit of water later on and steam/braise the fried rice until everything comes together.  Then I season it all with sesame oil (a must!) and soy sauce.  When the kitchen begins to smell like smoky bacon and nutty sesame oil, people will come wandering in, mouths watering.

Since I didn’t feel like eating a ton of rice, and because there wasn’t enough anyway, I made mine with cauliflower rice recently.  It was really delicious and much lighter, but filled with as much flavor.  This is a perfect alternative for people who are reducing their starch intake.  Half a head of cauliflower makes a lot of “rice”!  You can eat tons of it with abandon, knowing you are getting a ton of nutrients, fiber, and protein.

cauliflower fried rice 3

Cauliflower Fried Rice

1/2 head of cauliflower

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 slices of bacon

2 sprigs of green onion, sliced finely

2 cups of veggies (I used zucchini, steamed broccoli, and frozen corn and peas)

1 cup of shrimp (deveined and cleaned), or cooked chicken, ham, cubed tofu, or other protein of choice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1.  Process cauliflower in a food processor until it has the consistency of rice.  Set aside.

2.  Cook egg in a small skillet on stove.  Remove to cutting board and chop coarsely. Set aside.

3.  Cut bacon into small pieces using kitchen shears.  Heat a large cast iron skillet or non-stick pan.  Add bacon.

4.  When a bit of fat has rendered from the bacon, add the chopped onion.  Saute until almost translucent.  Add other vegetables and meat if you are using it.  When softened, add cauliflower.  Drizzle with sesame oil. If pan seems dry, add a bit of water and cover pan with a lid.  Turn down low and braise until vegetables are cooked to your liking.

5.  Add soy sauce, chopped egg, and scallions.  Stir to incorporate.  Serve immediately.

Makes 2-4 servings.

 

Note:  You can also use about 2-3 cups of leftover cooked rice in place of the cauliflower (or a combination!) to make regular fried rice.

My regular fried rice with bacon

My regular fried rice with bacon

 

 

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