Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mexican Cauli Rice

I am so sad to see this weekend end.  After Friday night's intense events and being glued to CNN all evening, the Coach and I were beyond excited to head in to our hometown of Boston to celebrate our friend Jill's birthday--hi Jill, I hope you like this shout out as you're drinking your morning cup of coffee :)  Even though we were in the city for less than 24 hours, we had an amazing time.  Despite this week's heartbreaking events, the spirit in Boston is only stronger and there was just a contagious energy in the city.  The Coach and I walked around the Commons in the afternoon sunshine (please note, the Boston Commons have a suspiciously strong odor on a beautifully sunny 4/20...just saying), and then had a blast at dinner followed by singing our hearts' out at a karaoke bar.  In Chinatown.  Many memories made, let's just say that.


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Before we rocked out Don't Stop Believing

A quick update: today starts a new Whole30.  For those of you who don't know, this is a 30 day program where you eliminate sugar (including alcohol), grains, legumes, and dairy.  I did this back in February and had an amazing experience, but I foolishly planned lots of events for when I finished this detox and all my hard work went right down the drain.  This time around, I'm going to try to not even focus on my "end date", and just concentrate on eating clean.  I'm so weirdly excited to be doing this again, it's pretty much not normal at all.  I finally caved and ordered the book It Starts With Food, which I've read is a great supplement to the program--it's written by the people who created Whole30, and it basically just summarizes the science behind the "rules" in a practical way.  I've been on a Paleo book-reading kick lately, so maybe get ready for a book report some time soon...

Workout

With all of our traveling this weekend, I didn't get to the gym, so instead I'll share with you some exercise-related information I read the other day in my nerd-tastic spare time, courtesy of Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint.  I can't recommend this book enough--he does a great job explaining why it's so beneficial to replicate the dietary habits of our ancestors, and how to do it in a modern world.  I've learned SO much from this book, so if you're at all curious about the science behind the paleo diet, or how to "live primally", i.e. incorporate the lifestyle more in to your daily habits, I'd recommend checking this book out.

In addition to lots of dietary advice, this book also establishes some "Exercise Laws", including the importance of ensuring you get lots of low level activity through out your day.  Basically, this means getting in easy cardio, like walking, biking, or hiking.  I never fully grasped just how important it is to supplement strength and high intensity interval training with basically just moving more through out the day.  These are the primary reasons why "moving frequently at a slow pace" is important:
  1. Improved fat metabolism: increases your metabolic rate
  2. Improved cardiovascular function: decreases risk of heart attack or stroke
  3. Improved musculoskeletal system: strengthens bones, joints, and connective tissue
  4. Stronger immune system
  5. Increased energy
Not such a bad list, huh?  I get a lot of walking in at work, but I'm looking forward to warmer weather so that the Coach and I can get in more post-dinner walks to really try to apply this law on a daily basis.

Eats

I'm too enamored with riced cauliflower, my kitchen just can't handle it.  Seriously, cauli florets everywhere...clearly this is not enough to kick the habit of me making something using this method weekly, but I'm going to have to retire this cooking style soon so I don't get tired of it.  Today's recipe was inspired by this recipe from HealthyLivingHowTo.com.  And it rocked.  It came together like this:

Mexican cauli rice
Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
16oz ground beef
1T chili powder
1T oregano
1/2T garlic powder
1/2T onion powder
1/2t cayenne
10oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1T tomato paste

First, rice your cauliflower.  I like to do this by roughly chopping the cauliflower, putting it in a blender then filling the blender to the top with water.  Then just pulse 5-10 times until your cauliflower is the desired size.  Drain in a colander while you do everything else.
Brown your beef in a skillet in a cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat, season with s&p.  Once your meat is cooked through, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all the spices.  Mix this around a bit until incorporated, then throw the riced cauliflower in and season with more s&p.  Once everything is nicely stirred in to one big mess, throw a lid on the pan and cook for about 15 minutes over med-low heat or until the cauliflower is cooked to your liking.  Done!

http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2012/06/how-to-eat-mexican-food-and-still-fit-into-your-skinny-jeans.html


I wish I had some avocado on hand like in the picture, because I think that would have been a delicious addition.  This meal was really good--it made a ton of food, was pretty easy to throw together, and had a nice kick from the cayenne.  Definitely a make again!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend, good luck starting the week!

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