RA-Friendly Hawaiian Sriracha Fried Rice

Patient Expert
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In the world of healthy eating, Hawaiian cuisine gets a bad rap. It has a reputation for being high-carbohydrate, high-cholesterol food with little nutritional value. In some cases, this is accurate. Many dishes are accompanied by two scoops of rice, two scoops of macaroni salad, fried meats, and sugary drinks, while vegetables are nowhere to be found. You might think a person like me, living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), might have a difficult time finding anything on the menu to fit a diet that avoids ingredients known to cause inflammation. Not so. I’ve managed to find a recipe that melds the flavors of Hawaii with and RA-friendly diet.

During four years of college in Hawaii, I learned that eating healthy in on the islands can be relatively easy: Every fruit and vegetable grows in wild abundance, and fresh-caught fish is available daily. I loved to hit up my farmer’s market for papaya, then head to the local fish market for poke (raw fish, usually ahi tuna, with various spices and sauces). Just writing this is making my present lunch choice seem bland.

I recently tried the Whole30 diet and loved my experience with it. Something that I was skeptical about before Whole30 was using cauliflower as a carb substitute. I’d seen the recipes and thought: “Come on man; that’s ridiculous!”

Ultimately, I tried cauliflower rice and I loved it. I was surprised. I made it with pesto and curry; I even used it as a pizza crust, and every time, there were no left overs. Furthermore, I noticed how after, I didn’t feel bloated, weighed-down, and tired like I typically did after heavy pasta or pizza. You know, that feeling of your heart working way harder than it should. In my opinion, cauliflower rice does a really nice job of assuming the other flavors of the dish and provides a nice texture and base, without slowing you down. Recently, I wanted to take two things I loved — Hawaiian food, and cauliflower rice — and marry them. What I ended up with was a dish I call Hawaiian Sriracha Fried Rice.

For people with RA, this dish omits ingredients like gluten and processed sugars, which are suspected to aggravate symptoms. It also has known anti-inflammatories such as ginger and garlic.

Equally important: Sriracha Cauliflower Fried Rice satisfies anyone’s salty/sweet cravings. The pineapple juice fuses nicely with the soy-sauce flavor of the coconut aminos soaking into the cauliflower so that each bite bursts with flavor. And when you get up for seconds, you won’t feel guilty, and without the carbs, you won’t be in danger of passing out on the couch for three straight hours and waking up to creepy infomercials. It’s a total win! Aloha!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. cauliflower rice
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil divided
  • 2 chicken-apple sausages sliced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 small bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch greens onions thinly sliced, green parts only
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Instructions:

  1. Break cauliflower into small pieces, and blend them down to granulated texture in a blender.
  2. Chop all other ingredients.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, and sausage and cook about 2 minutes, stirring.
  4. Move the mixture over to one side of the skillet and add the whisked eggs to the other side, working quickly to scramble. Break eggs into pieces and combine with the veggies and sausage. Stir, then add in the jalapeno, garlic, and pineapple. Cook another minute or so to soften, then remove from heat.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl while you make the cauliflower. Return the skillet to medium heat and add more coconut oil if needed. Add all the cauliflower rice and stir while cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until softened to preference.

Return the veggie/sausage mixture to the skillet, add the coconut aminos and spices and stir to combine flavors. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the sliced green onions and Sriracha to taste. Serve right away and enjoy! Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Recipe inspired by Paleo Running Momma.