Raw Imitation “Fried Rice”*

December 5, 2008


* Or, “Nothing Like Fried Rice, Really, But Still One Darned Tasty Cauliflower Salad”


[Sorry about the blur.  I may need to return to my old point-and-shoot until I finally read that new camera manual!]

For those of us fascinated by the topic of food, December is more or less highjacked by baking projects.  Cookies for the cookie exchange.  Bars and squares for the gift tins.  Cakes for the pot lucks.  Croquembouche for the neighbourhood party.  

Taken to its syllogistic conclusion,  the state of affairs in which many of us find ourselves this month would go something like this:

Major Premise: December is filled with many types of baking. 

Minor Premise: All types of baking require taste-testing. 

Conclusion: Therefore, December is filled with all types of  tastetesting  sampling quality control eating–something like 4,287 different sweets, types of chocolate, candy, cookies, fudge, frosting, glazed nuts, trifles, truffles, cakes and pies–thereby creating a massive spike in caloric intake for the month, which will lead to outright neglect of all other food groups and the overindulgence of rich, alcoholic and chocolate-based comestibles during the next four weeks or so, to the inevitable result of chocolate overload and the proverbial 7 pound weight gain over the holiday period. *

Well, given my own propensity to binge on sweets and carbs over the holidays, I thought I’d take some advice I heard dispensed by a dietician on a local CBC radio show the other day about “How Not to Gain Weight Over the Holidays.”

Get a load of this:  the dietician (who shall remain nameless–she probaby wouldn’t want you to know her name after this advice, anyway, but mostly because I can’t actually remember her name) said something to the effect of, “Well, I know that people are always told to eat a meal before going to a party to avoid overindulging, but I find that people will overindulge anyway.  And then they’ve basically eaten two meals, which is really not so good.  So what I suggest is, if you do eat a bit too much at a party, then–and I’d never suggest that you do this on a regular basis–but then you can just skip a meal or two the next day to compensate.  If you follow this plan over the holidays, you shouldn’t really gain any weight.”

Hallellujah!  In a nutshell, here’s December: Pig out.  Fast.  Pig out.  Fast.  Pig out. Fast. Pig Out. Cut back a wee bit.  Pig out. Fast. Drink champagne and kiss a bunch of strangers.

Truly, I don’t think this plan is very wise, but I’m going to adapt it to my own needs, anyway.  During this festive period when I’m more likely to succumb to the siren call of chocolate, I’ve decided to deliberately make the rest of my meals as clean, simple, and vegetable-based as possible.  To wit, Raw Imitation Fried Rice.

I came across this recipe a while ago and then, a few days later, happened upon this version by Veggie Delight.  Since the dish is raw, it’s much easier to digest than a cooked meal, and won’t tax the digestive system the way heavier, fatter meals can. It’s also mostly vegetables with a hint of dressing, which provided me with yet another novel way to incorporate cauliflower, a vegetable I’m otherwise indifferent about, into my diet.

The salad is crunchy and even a bit juicy, with a hint of toasted sesame and just enough saltiness from the tamari to provide a satisfying contrast to the neutral cauliflower. It’s incredibly easy to make and comes together very quickly courtesy of the processor. I thoroughly enjoyed it and could even feel virtuous as I chomped away. 

And it’s the perfect light meal to help you detox between all those tastings of baked goods and treats.

*Okay, so it’s not technically a syllogism.  And the conclusion is drawn from the predicate of the premise rather than the subject (totally illogical).  And (well, according to Giz, anyway) the average weight gain is only 1.5 pounds over the holidays.  As if.

Raw Imitation Fried Rice (aka Cauliflower Salad)



Asian-inspired flavors meet light and refreshing salad in this mock fried rice dish.  Makes a great side salad or raw main.  And a sneaky way to include cauliflower!



Yes, it really is the pits, Mum.  It’s also very difficult to lick all the crumbs off the floor with this thing on my head.”


Last year at this time:  Dog Day: How Elsie Got Named


43 Responses to “Raw Imitation “Fried Rice”*”

  1. Shelby Says:

    Great recipe, I can’t wait to try it!!!

    Sorry about your poor pup! I hope she has a speedier recovery!

  2. Kiersten Says:

    I am sorry about Elsie. I hope this time she heals completely and finally gets better. Give her a kiss for me!

  3. Ashley Says:

    Aw poor Elsie!! I wish her a speed recovery.

    The “rice” bowl looks delicious. I definitely need to incorporate as many of these healthy meals into my diet during December as I can!

  4. Pearl Says:

    what a cool and creative recipe! thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  5. Lisa Says:

    Awwwww… (((hugs))) for Elsie

  6. Celine Says:

    aw, poor babe!
    I’ve never cooked anything with lemongrass, for some odd reason: it scares me a little? I should be ashamed, I’m aware. but I’ve also been craving chou-fleur like mad as of late, so when I get a chance to make this recipe, I’ll bust the baggy of dried lemongrass I have, and hopefully thank you for the inspiration to go ahead and be daring.

  7. VeggieGirl Says:

    HAHA!! Love the dietician’s advice 😀

    FAAABULOUS “fried” rice!!

    Aww, Elsie 😦 I’m still praying for her!!

  8. mihl Says:

    That salad looks gorgeous! Last year I watched a programme where they followed a German family over the holidays to see how much they actually gained. They all ate a lot, but also went for walks and moved around abit. At the end the average weight gain was 1 lb. That sounds quite hopeful.

  9. Oh poor dear Elsie! My puppies will be keeping her in their thoughts!

    Well, actually, probably not; all they care about is cookies and walks… Of course she’ll be in mine, though!

    I’ll be so excited to read your blog post if you do end up posting about the banana-bread-in-a-bowl cereal, because I bet your photos of it will be beautiful, whereas when I try to photograph it, it just looks like white mush!

  10. ttfn300 Says:

    ooh no!!! poor elsie… that sounds like a bad wound 😦

    i like the idea of more raw food to help balance out the… ummm… quality control 🙂

  11. Andrea Says:

    So sorry about Elsie. Those cones are the worst. I hope she heals this time so she can go back to her happy life.

  12. shellyfish Says:

    Oh no, poor Elsie – and poor you! When our girls are hurting it is so hard for us, too! And you can’t just explain to her what’s happening & how it’ll be over soon, etc.

    You once again had me in stitches – I love the kissing strangers part. I never go out anymore…I haven’t kissed a stranger in forever!

    I feel like I’ll be following the “feast & famine” plan this year myself…not the best idea, but seems like it’s what’s going to work for me – or not. I hope I get a chance to make this salad – it looks really good, and light & healthy – polar opposite of the holiday cuisine I’ve already begun ingesting!

  13. oh, poor darling. if you tell her it’s temporary, maybe she’ll understand.

    I’m not so much for the feast and famine plan myself, either! but I’m all for the cauli.

  14. Claire Says:

    Give her extra snugs and treats- she deserves it, the poor little pup. She probably feels really isolated and bewildered, and i know if i felt like that, i would feel better if someone held me and spent lots of extra time with me. She can’t interact like usual, and the cone keeps her exploring with her nose like dogs do, so get down where she can see you. My close friend had her dog in a cone after a surgery, and i know from her experience that it’s hard on the whole family.

    PS- i’m trying your fudge cups today, really excited!

  15. giz Says:

    Awwww…poor puppy – Victorian or not, she doesn’t look very happy :(. I love this recipe – I’m making it – I’ll let you know how it turned out.

    You gave me such a good laugh over the holiday feast and famine – everybody has an answer. I say – let the guilt guide your holiday eating..mwahhhaaaahhhaaaa

  16. Judy Says:

    First, I’m so sorry about your dog. When Chester (one of my long haired chihuahuas) was just a wee pup, he had knee surger. He only had to wear his soft ecollar about 10 days, but boy, was that 10 days too long for the both of us. I can’t imagine if he’d needed it another 10 days. But you’ll get through it, I know.

    And this really sounds yummy . . . I may have to try this next week. But I won’t be skipping any meals. I find I do much better eating every few hours — I don’t get hungry. But what works for one person doesn’t for another. We’re all individuals.

  17. Ricki Says:

    Aww. . . thanks, EVERYONE, for the kind wishes about Elsie. She’s feeling very loved (and mucho hugged) right now!

    I’ve actually never used lemongrass, either. It’s a bit of a trek for me to get to Chinatown to buy it. . . one of these days! But you can go ahead and be daring anyway, lemongrass or not 😉

    Ah, if only I had some German ancestry. . . I’m thinking I’d be lucky with one pound!

    It’s already in the works. 🙂

    Truth be told, I neve kiss strangers any more, either (unless you consider the HH as strange!!).

    Yep, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the floor :). And hope you like the fudge cups! Let me know how they come out.

    Can’t wait to hear what you think. And as I said on your blog, you are evil, pure evil (mwaahaahaa!)

    Thanks for the sympathy! Yes, 20 days does seem like an inordinately long time. . . hope Elsie is still “herself” after it all! And thanks for the tip re: holiday overeating. I suppose it depends on WHAT you eat every few hours, though (um, I guess chocolate truffles, followed by chocolate cookies, followed by chocolate chips, followed by chocolate cake wouldn’t quite do it, right? Darn!) 😉

  18. Johanna Says:

    This looks like a good virtuous dish to have because I find if I indulge too much with all the holiday feasting I need something a little light and clensing. I think this is where it is easier to eat a bit more light food in Australia because it is not the weather for rich heavy food – but at least when you feel like such food in winter, Christmas gives you a good excuse for indulging! We have lots of lovely fruit about now but not too much sun yet.

    And thanks for the update on elsie – hope her conehead days are numbered and you really will have something to celebrate come Christmas!

  19. Lucy Says:

    Poor baby. At least it’s off for Christmas, right?

    I was going to say exactly what Johanna said. We’re lucky here – the fruit is good, the weather is hot, so you are less inclined to eat heavy, stodgy stuff.

    Of course, champagne is a totally different set of problems in said hot weather…

  20. Astra Libris Says:

    ohhhhh, poor puppy!! Sending huge get well wishes her way, and a puppy kiss across blog-land!

    Your holiday adaptation is SO much wiser than that dietitian’s sure-fire way to throw off one’s metabolism and blood sugar levels…

    Your holiday advice, however, is terrific – especially since it includes this incredible salad! Yum! I can’t wait to fix this!

  21. That sounds like an amazing raw dish. I will definitely try it! When the weather warms up I plan to go back to a mostly raw diet, but even now I’d like to get more raw food into my eats. You are right about December calories…yikes.

    And your dog! Poor thing, my cats hate the cones 🙂

  22. Julz Says:

    OMG my heart sank when i saw that angel face!!! 😦 I’ll keep her in my prayers lover! Awww!!! 😦 She’s absolutely divine!

    (Sorry if this is bad timing, but that recipe looks amaazing? :-\ )

  23. Lori Says:

    Just found your blog this week. I’m really enjoying it. So sorry to hear about your poor puppy. That face and story almost made me cry too. 😦

    Can’t believe that advice. I don’t think that eating before the party works either, but how about exercise instead of skipping meals.

  24. holler Says:

    Poor, poor Elsie! That is such a shame.

    You did make me laugh with your new holiday mantra 😀

  25. BitterSweet Says:

    I’ve always wondered how cauliflower “rice” tastes… It certainly looks good at least! Maybe I’ll give it a try myself.

    Oh, poor Elise…! Here’s hoping that she heals up fast, and stays that way!

  26. Diann Says:

    Aw, poor Elsie. And poor you to go through this with her. Hopefully it will be over soon.

    I tried a similar cauliflower rice salad a long time ago. I love cauliflower and really enjoyed it. I’ll try your version soon, since it’s cauli season now!

  27. Alisa Says:

    The recipe looks wonderful (now I need a food processor!), but poor Elsie. My cat (our former resident cone-head now happily living cone-free) feels her pain. Best wishes to a speedy recovery!

  28. Liz Says:

    Elsie!!! Oh Gosh. I’m so sorry Ricki. Henry sends his love.

    I have a cauliflower in my fridge just waiting to be used, so I can’t wait to make this.

    And! Did you know your blog is snowing? It’s quite nice.

  29. Hey, your blog is snowing! How cool! Thanks for this recipe, though I don’t need to lose the weight, it’s still nice to “detox” from all the baked goodies.

    I’m so sorry about Elsie, it’s so heartbreaking. She will get through this with the help of the best Mum in the world! She knows you love her and she’s smart enough to know you’re just trying to help her. Hang in there, Elsie! You can do this!

  30. I’m still trying to get over the fact that an “expert” is promoting the all to nothing habit?!

  31. Jodye Says:

    I’ve been thinking about going raw for a week or so at a time and this recipe just boosted my motivation quite a bit. It looks fantastic!

  32. Oh, poor Elsie! I’m so sorry. Don’t you wish you could explain that it’s temporary? Dogs are resilient, especially with a lot of love.

  33. Lisa Says:

    Your salad looks great and sounds like a wonderful idea over the holidays. I really like cauliflower anyway. Thanks for the idea!
    ps I love the snow!

  34. Lisa Says:

    Your salad looks great and sounds like a wonderful idea over the holidays. I really like cauliflower anyway. Thanks for the idea!
    ps I love the snow!

  35. Ricki Says:

    Yes, probably off for Christmas (or even before–since I likely won’t be able to stand it that long!) And didn’t you know? Champers is a great thirst-quencher in all that hot weather. . . 😉

    Thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. And yes, I’d guess that exercise is a better option than skipping meals!

    Yes, I was aware of the snow, since I asked for it! The WordPress Snow Gods have arrived. . .at least, until January 4th or so. 🙂

    healthy ashley,
    Thanks for your comment, and for stopping by! I know, the dietician even acknowledged the unusual advice herself, in her comment about “I wouldn’t normally suggest this, but. . .”. Strange, but true!

    Welcome to the blog! Thanks for your comment. Glad you like the look of it. Do let me know how you like it if you try it out!

  36. gail Says:

    Oh, your poor pup! If it’s any consolation for her (and I am sure that it’s not) she sure does look cute with her little cone head. I am sure that she is benefitting from extra treats and attention in the meanwhile.

    And thank you for reminding me that, even in December, vegetables are an important food group not to be ignored …

  37. MizFit Says:

    I had such a fab comment and then I saw your dog and the Elizabethan collar.

    My bullmastiff looks so pathetic as well when he has had to have one 🙂

  38. Eric S Says:

    That recipe looks great, I’m thinking about trying it out tonight… If I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Also,sorry to hear about Elsie, I know at times we as dog owners can feel helpless when our dogs are sick or injured, However the key is remaining strong, showing them a lot of love and remaining positive. She will soon be healthy and running around in no time!

    By the way, Im a first time reader, and I will definitely be back.


  39. miss v Says:

    poor puppy. 😦

    that rice is going on my must-make list!

  40. Lisa Castle Says:

    “Skip a meal or two?” That’s more than unusual — it’s insane. Skipping meals is never a good idea in my book. Cut back, sure. Or just eat a salad. And move more than usual – walk or take the stairs. But don’t skip. (you can still do the “kiss a bunch of strangers” part,” though).

    And just think how happy Elsie will be in a couple weeks when you take off the cone and she figures out that it’s Gone For Good.

  41. Ricki Says:

    Yes, the cuteness factor does help. But we’re weakening on the collar deadline!

    Thanks for your comment! I can’t imagine a bull mastiff with one of those–he could probably swallow it whole! 😉

    Welcome to the blog! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed reading 🙂 And yes, Elsie is already feeling much better–raring to go!

    miss v,
    Thanks so much! Let me know how you like it if you do give it a try.

    Crazy, I know. But I’m guessing many people will follow that advice over the holidays. And I think Elsie’s happiness may come sooner rather than later–I am the one who wants to see it gone for good!

  42. I have a bunch of cauliflower I need to use up too so this would be perfect although I don’t think this is a recipe my dear husband would enjoy. 😦

    Glad to hear Elsie is feeling better. She was a little emo pup in the last pic you posted.

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