Following the Ketogenic Diet with a Hawaiian Palate

Keto Kine Breakfast: Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and “Rice”

When I was growing up, every once in a while my dad had to take us to school instead of my mom, and he’d usually take us to eat breakfast at McDonald’s. I suspect this was to make up for the fact that he made us get up a lot earlier so he could get back to work on the farm. Or maybe it was just because his cooking skills were limited. As a result, I became pretty addicted to eating their Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Rice breakfast platter, which is very popular here in Hawaii, but it’s definitely not keto, especially since I like dousing the eggs in ketchup and eating all the rice after pouring an Aloha Shoyu packet on top. (In Hawaii, the shoyu packet comes inside the utensil bag.)

Sometime in the last decade, the local McDonalds restaurants started officially serving Spam, Eggs, and Rice, and so whenever I felt like one, I’d go to McDonald’s and have to pick between Portuguese sausage or Spam. Not an easy choice, let me tell you.

Anyway, since rice is the big offender here, really the only thing I had to do was make cauliflower rice and use Reduced Sugar ketchup, though this is obviously optional. Sprinkling a bit of salt into the eggs actually adds enough flavor to it, and if you don’t do that, eating it combined with the sausage provides enough saltiness.

Keto Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Cauliflower Rice

I roasted a cup of cauliflower rice, which is 2.8g of net carbs. Roasting seems to be the only way I can convince my lazy butt to actually make cauliflower rice, and it has to be from a batch I’ve already riced. I spray it with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle a bit of salt, and that’s it. I just pan fried the sausage, though I forgot to cut the edge and had to do it in the pan. The sausage, which is Redondo’s Mild, was 2g of net carbs.

Keto Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Cauliflower Rice

I used two eggs for the scramble, which added another 0.8 net carbs. In the end, this came out to 5.6 net carbs. With two tablespoons of the reduced-sugar ketchup, that makes this pretty hefty if you’re like me and are on keto and sticking to 17 net carbs a day.

So… how did it taste? Okay, so I’m going to put on my honesty hat here: cauliflower rice tastes like friggin’ cauliflower. I read recipe after recipe about how you can’t tell the difference between cauliflower rice and rice and how it’s practically the same.


I take my rice very seriously, as do most Asians in Hawaii. We usually eat medium-grain Calrose, so it’s on the stickier side. Sometimes I splurge and get the Japanese short grain rice that costs four times as much, but that’s rare. Anyway, I know exactly what both good and fabulous rice tastes like, and cauliflower rice doesn’t taste like that.

That said, I enjoy cauliflower rice for what it is. I’m just not going to sit here and be all, “Ho, yeah, tastes just like the real thing.” It doesn’t.

I’ve got three more servings of Portuguese sausage left, and I’ll probably be skipping the cauliflower rice so that I can snack on peanut butter later in the day. I will note, however, that once I’ve reached my weight loss goal, I don’t intend to be so cautious about something low carb like cauliflower.

P.S. My Canon definitely makes a difference!

Crystal is a 38-year-old wife and mom to three. She is a freelance editor for independent fiction authors and the co-author of the Yum-Yum Bento Box cookbooks. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Couple of tips: 1. Instead of just plain cauli-rice, fry it up a bit. Not a full-on fried rice, but put it in the pan and mix in a beaten egg that you put some shoyu and/or garlic salt in. Don’t cook it too much. It covers up the cauliflower flavor and adds a nice bit of sticky texture. Also can’t hurt to cook the rice in the pan after you cook the sausage. Or bacon. Or spam. Or all 3. 2. Did you know you don’t have to choose between spam & portuguese sausage @McD? They have this plate… Read more »

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