Save for a Rainy Day

It may be spring in San Antonio, but yesterday it felt like winter. Cold, wet and rainy and I couldn't be happier. We haven't had any real rain since October of last year, so while this stuff falling from the sky is relatively unknown to us, we are reveling in the moment.

You know what they say, April showers...
The bad news? I had a full day of events planned. It rained most of the night before so when we woke up, I thought it might be over. Then reports of heavy rain, thunder and lightning continued and it rained most of the day. Since I would rather hunker down at home when it's cold and rainy, I decided it would be best to regroup and either cancelled my plans or rescheduled for next week.

The moral of the story? "Found" hours on a rainy day to do something completely selfish, unplanned and fun. One guess as to what I did.

Since yesterday was day 3 of a 21-day sugar detox, cooking was mandatory. Sure, going gluten- and grain-free is one thing, but giving up sugar for three weeks? Entirely another story.

What does a 21-day sugar detox really mean?

It means your favorite milk is replaced by unsweetened coconut milk and no other dairy is allowed including my very good friend cheese or my beloved yogurt, kefir or lassis. Vinegar is also out. And no fruit, fruit juice or fruit-related foods. Obviously, sugar and even sugar substitutes are completely illegal. Do I even need to mention that grains and carbs are also on the foods to avoid list?

As one who relishes a steaming hot cup of coffee--light (milk) and sweet (Ideal sugar substitute)--every morning, this has been the only downside. Though, truth be told, there is something completely real and hard core about sipping a cup of coffee with just a splash of unsweetened coconut milk. Do I want three cups? Not even, but it does help you start the day without a dose of sugar, even if it is a no calorie sweetener.

What am I craving? Honestly, not much, and I think that's the idea, though the list of what I can eat is pretty short. Your cravings subside on this detox program and I am pretty stoked about that since the week of Easter I overloaded on sugar with this unbelievable meringue cake and more roasted strawberry ice cream.

On a cold and rainy day, I needed something warm and satisfying like cauliflower rice. This is a great way to trick your mind and mouth into thinking you are eating rice. I have loved this paleo dish for years but it needed a makeover. Something to spice it up a bit and give it a lift on this somber day.

Elana's Pantry originally turned me on to cauliflower rice, so I went back to her website to see if there might be a new version. And there it was. She calls it Paleo Dirty Rice. Loaded with veggies and a few dashes of different spices, it's a great alternative for anyone who wants to eliminate or just minimize carbs and sugar in their life.

And that would be me for the next few weeks.

If you're inspired to do the same, let me know and we can cheer each other on!

Buen provecho!

Dirty Cauliflower Rice
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Elana's Pantry

Print recipe

Cauliflower rice is one of my go-to paleo dishes. Not only is it fabulous but it makes you think you're eating rice. And I like that. It fills you up and yet won't weigh you down. Add in some extra veggies and a few dashes of spices and you've got a kicked up version of the traditional dish. I served it with roasted broccoli and pan fried tofu for a paleo-licious meal.

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small head of cauliflower, riced with the food processor
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, red pepper and scallions. Sprinkle with a dash of salt, stir well and saute until soft, stirring frequently. After about 5 minutes, toss in the garlic, stir to combine and cook another 2 minutes.
Stir in the riced cauliflower and add the thyme, salt, pepper, chile and cumin. Stir well to combine.
Allow to cook for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower rice is softened and everything is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Serve with lean protein and/or more vegetables.


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