COCONUT SQUASH RINGS WITH EGG-FRIED CAULIFLOWER RICE

“Omit the egg and it’s vegan. There. This blog caters for everybody…”

A meat free Monday has the potential to sound a dire activity. Doesn’t it? I always shunned it because I think limiting certain days to one dish is always too constricting. The thought of continuously having Bolognese every Thursday, curry every Friday or whatever is too limiting – let alone having one of those days designated to a meat free dish.

But alas, it’s Monday and this dish contains no meat. So I guess technically it is a meat free Monday. Nonetheless this recipe still makes use of a butternut squash – again. I use the neck of a butternut squash for another recipe (still to come) but I was left with what I call ‘the arse’ of the squash which is that big round part at the bottom with all the seeds.

And the cauliflower rice here has nothing to do with health, I promise. I had half a head of cauliflower left in my fridge from a curry I had made the week before and had no immediate use for it, so I figured if I was going to be virtuous and meat free, let’s be grain free too. Why the hell not? It’s also made with coconut oil – I needed a sweet note somewhere – so it’s technically vegan too? My God. I don’t even recognise myself. Oh no it’s not, there’s egg in it? Omit the egg and it’s vegan. There. This blog caters for everyone now.

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Preheat the oven to 200C. Take ‘the arse’ of a butternut squash and cut into large slices. Using your nice, carefully cut out the seeds part in the middle so you’re left with ‘hoops’. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub into the hoops and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and slide into the pre heated oven for 30 minutes.

In a food processor, blitz half a head of cauliflower until you have small, grain like particles. After 15 minutes of the squash roasting time, remove them from the oven, flip over and put back into the heat. In a frying pan, heat a little coconut oil and drop in a finely chopped red chili and cook for roughly 3 minutes. Now pour the cauliflower rice into it and start stirring the cauliflower rice in the hot chili and coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Now throw in a handful of frozen peas and stir.

Crack an egg into a jug and beat it. Pour this mixture into your cauliflower rice and allow it to set for about 30 seconds before gently running your spoon through the eggy mixture so that it starts to separate and conjoin with the cauliflower bits. Keep stirring for another 5 minutes until the final 15 minutes of cooking time for the squash has finished. Remove the squash from the oven and plate up, sprinkling some finely chopped coriander over for a final touch.

If you don’t have coconut oil, go nuts and use olive oil. You could even use chili and not even bother with the actual finely chopped chili. You could even throw in things like finely chopped spring onions – or even some form of meat if you want to.

This is literally just a quick, 30 minute recipe using up leftover veg in the fridge… that coincidentally is meat free… and fell on a Monday…

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