Cauliflower Fried Rice [Cooking Video]

September 29, 2016
Cauliflower definitely isn't the "sexiest" vegetable out there, but recently it's been getting a LOT of attention. A few years ago, I would have thought you were crazy if you told me you could replace regular rice with cauliflower, but it actually works! I personally love this low-carb version of Fried Rice - the cauliflower picks up on the asian flavors in the sauce, and the other veggies add a great crunch and texture. So yum!

4 cups cauliflower rice, uncooked
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup carrots (fresh or frozen), julienned
1/2 cup bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin
2 tsp sesame oil

Prepare the cauliflower rice. Remove the florets from the stem. Chop into smaller pieces and add them to a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until it resembles rice. To avoid all of it turning to mush, pull out any stubborn large pieces, and pour the cauli-rice into a separate bowl. Put the big pieces back in the food processor and pulse until those are the same consistency. This is the hardest step of the whole recipe - I promise!
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, carrots, green onion, peas and peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Add the cauliflower rice to the veggies and let it cook for another 3 minutes or so. Next, add in the soy sauce, hoisin, ginger and sesame oil. Stir until everything is coated.
Create a well in the middle of the pan and pour the beaten egg into it. Scramble with a spatula and when it starts to set, stir into the rest of the cauliflower rice so everything is combined. Serve as a main dish or as a side with chicken, shrimp, beef or tofu!


Chicago Gourmet + Farm to Table in Chicago

September 28, 2016

Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch | Skirt: 1.State (on sale!) | Bag: c/o Vera Bradley | Sunglasses: Calvin Klein | Shoes: Zara (old, similar here) | Necklace: Etsy | Bracelet: c/o Kendra Scott

This past weekend, I got to swing by the infamous Chicago Gourmet festival in Millennium Park with a few of my pals. Food, wine, the Chicago skyline? Sign me UP!

But before we entered into the fest, we were treated to a Q&A session with Country Financial featuring Kevin Hickey, the Chef/Partner of Bottlefork and The Duck Inn. The session was hosted by Check Please! host Cat De Orio, and the discussion covered everything from farmers markets to the farm to table craze, to how Chicagoans love to support other Chicagoans. It's true, we do :)

I'm a big fan of the Green City Market (evidence here!), so my ears immediately perked up when they started talking about how it started in the alley next to the Chicago Theatre with just nine local farmers. They quickly outgrew that location and the beautiful market can now be found on the south end of Lincoln Park. Go on a Wednesday morning and you'll see a whole lot of chefs there, too!

 That's just one example of a trend that's happening right now... people are starting to CARE about what they put into their bodies. You've heard me talk about this before, but it's exciting that other people are also starting to care about where there food comes from, the safety and quality of it... and also the TASTE! You pick up a berry or vegetable at a local farmers market and it tastes different than something that was shipped from another state and then plopped in your grocery store. It just does... and that can help us all eat more of the real goods vs. the processed nonsense.

So, what does this have to do with this chef? And restaurants? And Chicago Gourmet? Well, the more people care about locally sourced ingredients, farmer's markets, and real/fresh foods, the more people start to care about a restaurant trend known as "Farm to Table." Some people might scoff at this and just say it's an excuse to make food more expensive, but chefs (especially in the midwest) know better than that. We are lucky that Chicago is surrounded by SO many farms - we would be silly not to utilize them. And not just for produce, but for quality/sustainable meats and cheeses, too. Diners might pay a little bit more, but Farm to Table restaurants don't need to be stuffy. It's not about smoke and mirrors, it's just about letting quality ingredients shine through. That = my jam.

After the talkback and walking around to the different vendors, I realized that there are a LOT of these kinds of restaurants that I haven't been to yet... so I'm making it my mission to go back to the ones I've loved and try out the one's I haven't!

Lauren's List of Farm to Table Restaurants in Chicago

*If it has a star, I've been to there and HIGHLY recommend it!

Did I leave any off that list??

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without quickly touching on my outfit. Last Saturday started off like any other fall day, so I busted out my new favorite plaid shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch. Yes, that's right, I said Abercrombie & Fitch (whaaaat?!). They actually have a killer collection this season - and it's all super affordable, too! I paired it with this faux leather skirt (on sale!), some sandals (holding on to summer!) and my favorite leather backpack.

My hair wasn't cooperating, so I added the headband at the last minute. Yes, I'm giving Gossip Girl vibes a little bit, but I don't hate it!

Did you guys go to Chicago Gourmet this year?

Big thanks to Kelly for these photos- and of course, thank you to Country Financial for not only the awesome day, but also for supporting our agriculture and the chefs/farmers that bring us such wonderful nourishment.

Shop the look:

*This post was sponsored by Country Financial, but as always, all opinions are my own! Thank you for supporting the companies that make Lake Shore Lady possible!

What You Need for Fall

September 23, 2016

*click the images above to shop*

Coral at Carnegie (or the Waldorf)

September 19, 2016

Dress: c/o Sail to Sable | Bag: c/o Vera Bradley | Sunglasses: Calvin Klein | Shoes: c/o M.Gemi | Belt: Nordstrom

Football Recipe Roundup

September 15, 2016

1) Mac & Cheese Balls - Make Mac & Cheese earlier in the week, and then whip up these balls with the leftovers! Everyone will be SO impressed.

2) Turkey & Sausage Chili - Since I don't eat beef, I've developed (with the help of my Mama) this turkey and chicken sausage version that is super hearty and BIG on flavor. Simmer that sucker all day if you can.

3) Persian Chicken Wings - I know you might think "Why would I make persion wings when I could make buffalo wings?" I hear you, BUT this version is so ridiculously easy. Pour the pre-made marinade over the chicken wings and pop them in the oven. That's IT.

4) Tomatillo Enchiladas - If you have a smaller crew and you're feeding them dinner, these enchiladas are a TREAT.

5) Salsa Chicken Tacos - Here's how this goes down: you've got the salsa chicken on the stove, tortillas, avocado and other toppings on the counter, and everyone can just put a taco together whenever they're hungry. Easy peasy.

6) Summer Corn Dip - This recipe is a twist on elotes and I am 100% certain that it is best served with chips. Line it up with the guac and you're good to go!

While I love every single one of these posts, I've realized that I'm lacking a little bit when it comes to recipes that everyone loves while they lazily watch sports (haha isn't that the best way to describe this category?!) BUT now that Football Season is upon us, I'm definitely going to try to post more of these comfort food recipes throughout fall... shhhh, a new crockpot chili may or may not be in the works ;)

What do you guys like to eat on lazy Sundays?! Let me know and I'll add them to my list!
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