This is one of those times where the word rice should actually be in quotes. Because there ain’t no grain of rice to be found here!
Heck yeah, grain free folk. I’m talking to you.
But before we get to the magical ingredient that transformed normal fried rice to protein fried “rice,” let me tell you just how much Mark loved this stuff.
He got home, and I was just finishing up this photo shoot. He was starving, so he took a couple of bites hanging over the oven.
“Do you like it?” I asked. “This is my Protein Fried Rice!”
He told me he liked it, helped himself to a little more, and we went on with our evening.
Later on, still amazed by this insane recipe, I was [humbly] telling him how impressed I was with myself, having made this recipe without any rice whatsoever.
Well that little truth bomb blew his mind.
“WHAT?! THERE’S NO RICE IN THIS?!”
It was adorable. He freaked out some more. And then we went and finished off the entire recipe.
It’s just SO good, guys.
You miiiight have already guessed the magical secret protein-packed ingredient in this recipe by the photos. But if not…it’s CHICKPEAS!
What?! Yes. And you’re going to love it.
Chickpeas really are one of my favorite sources of vegetarian and vegan protein, but I got the idea of making them into fried rice back when I made these Italian-Style Chickpea Burgers (which, omg yum). I was pulsing some chickpeas in the food processor, and I thought, “Self, this really looks like rice/riced cauliflower. I bet you could make a mean fried rice with this.”
And friends, that’s exactly what I did.
So we have our riced chickpeas, and to it we’ll add some garlic, sautéed carrots, and sautéed peppers. Now, you can use whatever kind of vegetation you so desire here. Corn and peas are traditional I think, but I forgot the corn (whoooops) and Mark hates peas. Mix and match to create your ultimate fried rice.
And the sauce. Ooooh the sauce. It’s a simple mix of soy sauce/gluten free tamari, honey/maple syrup, and dried ginger. Badaboom. That’s really it. It’s got that sweet ‘n’ savory thing going on, which is perfect for fried rice. And the fact that you’ll put a little bit of sweetness in there via the honey/maple syrup helps everything caramelize nicely over the hot veg. Amaze.Ing.
To say we loved this stuff is a complete and total understatement. We like, really loved it. Like, Tom-Cruise-jumping-up-and-down-on-a-couch-on-live-TV loved this stuff.
And the fact that it’s a mere 15 minute meal is like the
icing on the cake sesame seeds on the fried rice.
Protein Fried Rice
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 3-4 servings
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 Tbsp. gluten free tamari or low sodium soy sauce if not gluten free
- 1 Tbsp. honey/maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp. dried ginger
FOR THE RICE:
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for cooking if needed
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 radishes, cut into thin strips
- 3 green onions, roughly chopped
- black & white sesame seeds, optional
- Make the sauce: Add soy sauce, honey/maple syrup, and ginger to a small mason jar or bowl, and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Make the rice: Add chickpeas to a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice/riced cauliflower. Don’t over process it or you’ll have mashed chickpeas. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large sauce pan and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until brown and fragrant. Add carrots and pepper and sauté until caramelized and tender. If the veggies are browning too much, be sure to reduce the heat a bit.
- Add riced chickpeas and sauté until warmed through. You can add a bit more olive oil here to help it “fry.”
- After a minute or so, add your sauce, and mix to coat completely. Allow to fry and caramelize a bit more, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and scoop into bowls. Top with radishes, green onion, and sesame seeds.
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