Make this Whole30 Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice today and you’ll have a healthy and nutritious meal ready in no time. No I’m not eating rice while doing the whole30 but I love substituting rice with riced veggies, like the riced sweet potatoes and cauliflower I used in this dish. If you are reading this and not familiar with the whole30, click here to learn more. And if you’re curious about why I’m doing The Whole30, check out my recent post on The Whole30 and me.
If you are not familiar with riced veggies let me explain. During one of my whole30 rounds, I can’t remember which one, I started eating more Guyanese dishes and leaned on riced cauliflower as a substitute as many claimed it tasted just like rice. I won’t tell you this tastes just like rice. I just won’t. As someone who grew up in a rice producing country where rice was and is a main staple in my diet there is no way I can in clear conscience say that this bland vegetable tastes like rice. It does not. However, when prepared the right way, it can be a great substitute.
Choose frozen over fresh
I prefer using frozen riced cauliflower and here’s why. When I first started eating cauliflower rice, I often bought a large cauliflower and rice it up at home in my food processor. No matter how quickly I sautéed it the riced cauliflower was still mushy. Then one day I decided to try frozen cauliflower rice and to my surprise it maintained its texture even after sautéing for a few minutes. Later, I noticed that the frozen riced cauliflower was made entirely of the stalk and not the florets. Whereas at home I was using the entire cauliflower and it really was the florets that were getting mushy. Therefore in frozen form, it was/is the crunchy stalk that helps maintain the texture.
I decided to stop ricing my own cauliflower, because I liked the crunch of the stalk but there was no way I would ever have enough stalks to add up to the amount of cauliflower rice I ate. Now I happily buy frozen cauliflower rice and also riced cauliflower and sweet potato. I love using a combination of the two in my fried rice dishes, because it makes the dish a bit more hearty.
TIP: When using frozen riced veggies for fried rice, you will need to steam according to the package instructions, then let drain in a sieve on a plate lined with paper towels. You don’t want any additional liquids making your fried rice soggy. Then I like to add dried seasoning, typically Chinese Five Spice, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and some Cayenne Pepper with the steamed riced veggies into a bowl and mix it together before I start cooking.
Loading up on veggies
When making this Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice, I like to load up on as many vegetables I can. Feel free to do the same. Add whatever vegetables you like. In Guyanese fried rice it is typical to see Chinese long bean (I substituted for green beans), carrots and cabbage. Quickly stir frying on high heat helps to retain the brightness and crunch of the veggies. However, I don’t cook my green onions or cabbage. I just add them in at the end. The heat from the other ingredients will cook them.
Cooking in the right order
For this dish I cook my seasoned chicken first. My meat of choice here is chicken tenders. I know, what am I, a three year old? Hear me out! Chicken tenders cook really quickly and unlike chicken breasts which can be really dry sometimes, they stay tender and juicy. Win, win for me. Cook the chicken tenders in whole strips, in your wok, frying pan or kaharee then chop up and set aside. I cook my veggies in the same oil that I used for the chicken then I scoop those out and set them aside.
Next I cook the seasoned cauliflower rice in small portions. I stir fry it on high heat adding a lit bit more oil if necessary. I sauté, stirring constantly to ensure that every bit of rice gets a nice char. Repeat these steps until all the riced veggies have been stir fried. Then to pull the dish together I add all the riced veggies back into the pot, then the sautéed vegetables, then the chicken and top it off the the green onions and the raw cabbage.
Next, I give it a quick stir to mix it all together and remove it from the heat. This method gives the best results and the fried cauliflower rice that tastes closest to the real deal fried rice.
The Printable Whole30 Chicken and Veggies Fried Rice Recipe:
- 2 lbs of chicken tenders
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons of coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons fo Chinese Five Spice
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger, can sub for grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 large carrots julienned
- 1 cup of finely julienned cabbage
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- I cup of broccoli florets
- 1 cup of green beans, finely diced
- 4 cups of frozen riced cauliflower
- 4 cups of frozen riced cauliflower and Sweet Potato
- Additional vegetables if needed
- Combine chicken tenders, coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of ginger powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix together well
- Set aside and let marinate for about 20 minutes
- Next, follow the instructions on the packaging to steam your frozen riced veggies, then allow them to drain in a sieve or on some sheets of paper towel
- Once all of the water drains off from the steamed rice veggies, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger and 1 tablespoon of onion powder. Mix together well and set aside
- Then heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large wok, kaharee or frying pan on high heat
- Cook seasoned chicken tenders until fully cooked. You may brown on both sides on high heat then, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the tenders are cooked all the way through. This should take about 10 minutes
- Once tenders have all been cooked set aside and let cool, then cut into 1 inch chunks. If making more of a strip chicken fried rice, you may use two forks to shred the tenders
- Next add green beans to the pan and cook on high heat, stir frying until cooked but still crunchy, about 1 minute
- Then add the broccoli and carrots and continue to stir fry on high heat for about another minute
- Next add the diced bell peppers and diced garlic, stir fry for a few seconds then remove all of the veggies from the heat
- Add about ¼ of the remaining oil to the hot pan and stir fry about ¼ of the seasoned riced veggies for about 1 minute on high heat.
- Then remove from the heat and set aside
- Continue to do this until all of the riced veggies have been stir fried
- Then remove the pot from the heat and add all of the rice veggies back into the pot, followed by the stir fried vegetables, the chopped or shredded chicken, the cabbage and the green onion
- Toss together well, then drizzle with the sesame oil
- Serve hot. Best enjoyed immediately after cooking