The holidays, and everything post-wedding for that matter, was a veritable eat-a-thon, so in order to reset some of those bad habits, we’re embarking on our first Whole30 adventure. Derek is participating in order to suss out some food sensitivities, but I’m in it to get back on track food-wise. We’re only a couple days in, so I’m assuming my strategy will change a bit, but so far it’s a lot of work, a lot of cooking, and a lot of organizing. Which is good and fine, but should be said. Also, Whole30 staples like ghee and avocado oil are pretty expensive, though I assume the lack of drinking and eating out will offset this somewhat.
How I prepared for a January 2017 Whole30:
- Did lots of research via Whole30.com
- Pinned a million Whole30 approved recipes
- Suckered friends into joining us
- Made a nerdy spreadsheet planning out weekly meals
- Stocked the fridge with lots of options
This is a great way to get yourself going and lead you on a path to success. I know if I don’t stay organized, or if I decide too often that I don’t want to cook, then this will all go right down the tubes.
One of the dishes that will make the next 30 days deliciously bearable is Mexican cauliflower rice. I’m so in love with this side dish. I’ve tried other cauliflower substitutions that were utter failures or wayyyyy too much work for mediocre results (cauliflower pizza crust, I’m looking at you), but this, though it doesn’t have that chewy texture of rice, tastes enough like it that I feel like I just ate carbs, not a veg. I’m temped to make a quadruple batch to keep on hand 24/7. Seriously.
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- 2 small or 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed, or 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4-1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth (lot’s of broths have all sorts of additives and sugar, so if you’re on Whole30, read your labels or make it yourself)
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2-1 tablespoon hot sauce (I use Gringo Bandito which is amazing and doesn’t contain sugar)
- handful of cilantro, chopped
To rice the cauliflower use the shredding disk on a food processor. Works like a charm. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate your cauliflower on a box grater, but I haven’t tried this method. Once riced, put it off to the side.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and add onions. Sauté until they start to get soft, about 4 minutes. If using fresh garlic, throw it in and sauté for another minute. Add 1/4 cup of broth and tomato paste and cook for additional minute. Mix in the cauliflower, spices, and hot sauce until well combined. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Once done, take off heat, check for seasoning, and mix in the cilantro.
A couple notes:
It seems to me cauliflower differs in the amount of water released, so sometimes I use more or less broth, or cook it for longer to get the right consistency. The way I like it is when it’s soft but still has good texture without being crunchy at all. If there is broth pooling on the bottom, uncover and raise the heat a bit till it evaporates. This recipe is pretty forgiving as well, meaning I have left it on the stove, covered over very low heat, while I’m making the rest of my meal, and it still keeps its texture, at least in my experience.