Cauliflower Pineapple Fried Rice with Crispy Salmon

Guys. I'm about halfway through my first Whole30...

Hallelujah!

For the last several days I had been day dreaming about what my "post completion, I did this, go me" meal should be. I'm a lover of all carbs and cheese, but for the life of me I couldn't settle on a meal. The savory breakfast sandwich from Huckleberry? A rice-filled poke bowl from Spinfish? My favorite veggie burger (with bun, thanks!) from Nick's?

And then I woke up.

And I remembered why I wanted to do this in the first place. The reintroduction of eliminated food groups. Reintroducing food groups back into your diet is so important and I know I would be kicking myself if I ruined 30 days of hard work all for some cheese and burger bun.

Luckily, I end on June 6th and then a few days later we will be heading to Napa for our friend's wedding! I will enjoy all of the dessert and wine and cheese that I want. Good company and good food...I picked a pretty solid end for my Whole30.

Thankfully, this Whole30 hasn't been too difficult thus far. I've had more snack-type cravings than usual, and get depressed while eating out, but honestly...so far so good. That's all due to healthy, substantial meals, full of good fat, protein, and tons of veggies. Ricky and I try to eat salmon at least one night a week, and usually alternate between a few standard recipes. The other day I had a handful of cashews that I needed to use up, plus a recently purchased bag of frozen pineapple. We decided to switch up our routine salmon dinner, and through that the Whole30 Pineapple Fried Rice and Crispy Salmon was born. Made with cauliflower rice, this dish packs a ton of healthy points and keeps you satiated for hours. This entire dish is Whole30 compliant, but read the notes for additions or tips if you do not follow a Whole30 diet.

Ingredients:

.75 lbs of salmon, cut into 2 fillets (go for thinner pieces of salmon to ensure even cooking)

For the marinade-

2 tbsp coconut aminos

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp chili garlic paste

For the fried rice-

1.5 cups diced broccoli florets

2-2.5 cups riced cauliflower, fresh or frozen (adjust cooking time appropriately)

1/3 cup chopped toasted cashews (preferably unsalted. See notes about toasting your own cashews)

2/3 cup diced pineapple

1 green onion, diced, whites and greens separated

1/2 tsp minced ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp coconut aminos

1-2 dashes fish sauce

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp coconut oil

Notes:

- This recipe reflects a Whole30 diet. If you are not Whole30, feel free to sub coconut aminos for soy sauce, and add a touch of honey to the marinade!

- You can adjust the fried rice based on items you have on hand or sub for veggies you prefer. Add diced peppers and carrots. Sub cauliflower rice for white or brown rice.

- If you can't find roasted, unsalted cashews you can toast your own raw ones. Just add to a baking sheet and heat in the oven at 350° for 5 minutes, check, and stir. Continue checking the nuts every 2-3 minutes until crispy.

Instructions:

1. Add marinade ingredients to a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Lay salmon fillets flesh side down and marinade for 15-20 minutes. Remove salmon 5-10 minutes before cooking to bring to room temp.

2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the white parts of the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Heat aromatics for 1 minute, stirring to avoid burning.

3. Add chopped broccoli to the pan and sauté for 1 min. Add a dash or two (I used 1 tbsp) of water, cover and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until broccoli is soft and water has evaporated.

4. Add in frozen cauliflower rice, stir to combine, and cook until warm, about 3-4 minutes. Add in pineapple, stir to combine. Season with the coconut aminos, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Turn heat on low.

5. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add salmon flesh side down and sear for 2-3 minutes without moving.

6. Flip salmon, cook skin side down for 1-2 min, then lower heat, cover and cook until desired doneness is achieved (I went for another 6/7 minutes because we like our salmon cooked through). Time will depend on the thickness of your salmon pieces and how you like your salmon cooked.

7. Once salmon is done, add in the cashews and green onions to the rice. Top each plate with cauliflower rice and one piece of salmon. Enjoy!

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