Veggie and Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Classic fried rice gets a refined carb makeover by swapping white rice for finely chopped cauliflower. Almost any seasonal vegetable add-in will do…simply toss in whichever veggies are on hand and in minutes you’ll have a colorful and nutritious, filling, one pan dish that’s perfect for any time of day…breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1 head cauliflower, about 2 pounds

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 Tablespoons minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, optional

1 generous pinch sea salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small red onion, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

2 cups broccoli florets, snap peas, or snow peas

1 red pepper, sliced

2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Using a knife or food processor, chop cauliflower into very fine pieces, about the size of a lentil, and set aside.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat and add 2T of oil. When oil shimmers, add the ginger, garlic and optional red chili flakes. Sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt, stirring until well coated. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes. If pan becomes dry before cauliflower is cooked, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue cooking. When just tender spoon cauliflower into a bowl and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium low and pour eggs into the skillet. Let them sit undisturbed for 30-40 seconds until they begin to set, then finish scrambling until they are cooked through. Remove eggs to the bowl with the cauliflower.

Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onions, celery, broccoli, red pepper and soy sauce. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are just tender, but still crunchy. Add the cauliflower and eggs back to the pan and mix everything together. Season with rice vinegar or fresh lime juice and top with scallions. 

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved    

Chef C’s Cooking Tips:

  • For an even heartier version try adding ground turkey. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the meat with the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Remove to a bowl and proceed
  • Another possibility is to omit the scrambled egg step and, when ready to eat, top the fried “rice” with a poached egg
  • Many veggies can be chopped in advance and stored in containers in the fridge.
  • Not enough time to chop? Simply toss in a bag of prepared stir fry vegetables








Avocado Toast with Egg

A favorite breakfast or snack of mine is avocado on whole grain toast. Much of the time it gets topped with scrambled egg to which I’ve added shredded cabbage, scallion and a drizzle of sriracha. But diced pepper, zucchini, kale, almost any veggie and/or fresh herb works. Best thing is it takes less than 5 minutes to make. This picture is one of my uber fast home versions with egg and baby spinach. 

And… life happens. When I find myself in a bigger than ever, gotta get out the door NOW kind of hurry I just make the toast and schmear on the avocado, wrap that up, grab a handful of baby spinach or arugula, my portable sea salt and black pepper container thingie and a hard boiled egg. Later on the greens go down and the egg is sliced on top.

Either way it’s made avocado toast with egg is a delicious, sustaining, and nutritious treat!

Curried Tofu Scramble

Budget friendly and protein packed, tofu is another one of those template foods; a blank slate just waiting for your flavor instructions. This vegetarian dish uses curry to provide an anti-inflammatory hit in addition to deep, rich taste. Better yet, any variety of veggies can be used. The result? A super quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner that satisfies, energizes, and holds well.

Curried Tofu Scramble

Serves 4

12 ounces firm tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled

1 ½ Tbs. mild curry powder

1 medium red potato, diced small

1 cup broccoli florets, cut small

¼ cup water or vegetable stock

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Black pepper to taste

1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce, more to taste

1 medium carrot, shredded

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Crumble the tofu into a bowl and sprinkle with the curry. Stir gently to combine.

Bring a small pot with steamer insert to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until just tender. Add broccoli florets to the pot and continue to cook until tender crisp, another 3 minutes. Remove the steamer from pot and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil shimmers add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onion until soft and slightly golden, 5-6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute or so.

Add the tofu and steamed vegetables to the onions. Season with tamari to taste and some black pepper. Mix gently but well, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring as necessary, so tofu can absorb flavors. Remove from heat and gently mix in shredded carrot and scallions.

Catherine McConkie 2016, all rights reserved

Chef C’s Cooking Tips:

  • This is a dish with endless possibilities!
    • red peppers, celery, zucchini, green beans, or shredded cabbage could get added to the sauté step with the onions
    • nutrition effects can be bumped up even further by adding some fresh minced ginger and or jalapeno in with the garlic
    • swap diced sweet potatoes and cauliflower for the red potato and broccoli
    • chard, baby spinach, or chopped kale could easily go in at the end


Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Spaghetti squash is one of those what I call “template” foods; an ingredient which serves as a base capable of going in many different flavor directions. Even though it’s shell is hard, thin skinned spaghetti squash’s flesh contains more water than it’s orange fleshed cousins. It’s season, color, and texture mirrors the transition from Summer, when soft skinned watery zucchini reigns, and the sweet dense flesh of hard skinned Autumn squashes. Once cooked, the flesh of this unique gourd naturally separates into nicely textured stands, making it a terrific vegetable stand in for pasta.


1 large spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


1 small onion, diced small

1 small carrot, diced small

1 stalk celery, diced small

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large cans whole tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, chopped [optional]

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a fork, poke holes in the squash. Place squash on a foil lined pan and roast until skin and flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. When cool, slice open lengthwise and remove seeds. Scrape a fork along the flesh lengthwise to gently release strands.

While squash is roasting cook the turkey and make the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When oil shimmers add garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turkey, Italian seasoning if using, salt and pepper. When turkey is no longer pink, remove from skillet and set aside.

Return pan to burner and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, a pinch of salt, and Italian seasoning. Cook until onion is translucent and vegetables are beginning to get tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cooking about 30 seconds, then stir in tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Stir in salt and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in optional fresh herbs, turkey and any accumulated juices back into sauce and spoon over squash.

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved


Chef C’s cooking tips

  • For a no fuss alternative, place the poked squash in your crock pot along with 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.


Bavarian Potato Salad

I’m fascinated with the notion of resistant starch and all of the exciting research about the importance of a healthy, balanced, gut microbiota. This dish was created with exactly that notion in mind. Here, cooked and cooled potatoes are tossed with dressing made from a number of fermented ingredients, then combined with flavors of Bavaria; sauerkraut, dill, scallion and egg. Not only happiness for the gut, but happiness in that it can be done in stages, as time and life allows!

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and steamed whole [about 3 medium-large]

Dressing – yields ~1/2 cup

2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons kraut brine

1 Tablespoon white miso

1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt


1- 1 ½ cups sauerkraut, lightly squeezed dry

1 cup diced celery [about 3 stalks]

4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped or ¼ cup chopped chives

3 tablespoons chopped dill

3 hardboiled eggs, chopped

Either the night before or up until about 3 hours before serving, place the unpeeled potatoes in a steamer basket and cook until a small knife slips easily through their widest part, 25-30 minutes. Let the potatoes cool fully on the counter or if cooking them the night before, in the fridge.

Whenever it’s convenient, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Cut the potatoes into cubes and mix them gently with half the dressing. Allow the salad to mingle and drink up some dressing while the remaining ingredients are prepared. [Depending on how moist you like it either add more dressing at this point or reserve for another use] Add the kraut, celery, scallions, dill, and egg to the bowl, folding gently to combine. Taste and see if salad needs another splash of apple cider vinegar or pinch of salt.

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved

 Chef C’s cooking tips:

  • Take good care of those spuds by using your sharpest knife and not stacking ’em too high when you cut them. Otherwise they may begin to crumble.

Latin Potato Salad with Kale and Mustard Greens Pesto

Maybe I should have called this salad something more like what it truly is. Meaning more like an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, phytonutrient rich, beneficial gut bacteria feeding, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or something. But then it may sound too “healthy” and you may not be as inclined to eat it. With a decent showing of cancer protective crucifers and alliums, this recipe has 10, yes 10!, different veggies that dance around with and within a vivid green pesto. And if that’s not enough reason to dig in, the cooking/cooling method used for those high glycemic tubers converts some of their easily metabolized starch into non- digestible form known as resistant starch. This is a great dish to make in advance and can be done in stages as time allows. With no mayo to worry about it’s a great summer potluck dish that holds well.

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and steamed whole [about 3 medium-large]

Pesto – makes about 2 cups
½ bunch kale, stemmed [about 4 cups loosely packed ]
½ bunch mustard greens, stemmed [about 4 cups loosely packed]
½ cup water
2-3 Tablespoons lime juice or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup olive oil
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup diced celery [about 2 stalks]
½ cup red onion, diced
5 radishes, quartered
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped [optional]

Either the night before or up until about 3 hours before serving, place the unpeeled potatoes in a steamer basket and cook until a small knife slips easily through their widest part, 25-30 minutes. Let the potatoes cool fully on the counter or if cooking them the night before, in the fridge.

While potatoes are cooling make the pesto. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water in the pot used for steaming potatoes and bring it back to a brisk boil. Drop kale and mustard greens in for about 30 seconds until wilted and very bright green. Drain the greens into a colander and immediately rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking further. When cool enough to handle, lightly squeeze out excess water.

Place ½ cup water, lime juice or apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds, wilted greens, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a blender or bowl of a food processor and blend until combined. With motor running add in oil and blend, scraping sides as needed, until ingredients are well combined. Taste and see if pesto needs another pinch of salt or splash of acid.

Cut the potatoes into cubes and toss them gently with 1 cup of the pesto. Allow to salad to mingle and rest while the remaining ingredients are prepared. Add cabbage, celery, onion, radishes and optional hard cooked egg to the bowl, tossing gently to combine. Taste and see if it needs another splash of acid or pinch of salt.

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved

Chef C’s Cooking Tips:

• Lots of possibilities! Substitute celery with 1 cup diced jicama, Or add whatever you have…cherry tomatoes, shredded zucchini, diced red pepper, cilantro

• If your radish leaves are in good shape, go ahead and add them to the blanching water with the kale and mustard. They’re nice and spicy.

• Remaining pesto has tons of uses; Replace mayo in deviled eggs or egg salad, stir it into canned tuna, perk up cooked veggies, stir into whole grains or legumes like lentils, chickpeas or white beans, top a piece of cooked chicken or fish, use in a wrap or stir into soup!

• The key for converting starch into resistant starch form is by allowing the potatoes, or other high starch items like white rice, to fully cool once cooked then taking care not to reheat to over 130 degrees.

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