Friday, March 14, 2014

Cauliflower Rice

I love rice...grew up eating it everyday so trying to cut starches and empty calories has me missing rice so much. Now califlower rice is definitely not rice but it really is delicious if you add good herbs and flavors to it. This recipe is for a cilantro-lime rice but I have used sun - dried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, fresh chopped jalapeños, lemon and dill, tarragon and it is good with a little parmasean cheese on top.  Just mix and match herbs and get creative. I still splurge every once in awhile on real rice but I make this fake rice about twice a week.

Cilantro-lime Cauliflower "Rice"
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 lime, juiced (throw in microwave for 10 seconds then roll on the counter before juicing to get most juice)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Grate cauliflower florets in a food processor until it resembles rice (do not over chop or it will be mushy)   Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add coconut oil, green onion and garlic and sauté about 2 minutes, or until soft. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cauliflower "rice" to the saute pan. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, then uncover and stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy and golden on the outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and place in a bowl; toss with fresh cilantro and lime juice.

Cauliflower Rice is a delicious side dish for steak or lamb...good substitute for potatoes, too. Or mash up the mixture for the texture of mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cucumber - Tomato Salad

It's a new year and I think a lot of us are trying to be healthier and some of us are trying to even lose a few pounds. I do really well on my health kick all day until about 3:00 pm and then sometimes I get hungry again around 8:00 pm. So when I'm trying to be healthy or if I'm trying to lose a few pounds, I make a big batch of this Cucumber - Tomato Salad and keep it in the fridge to snack on when I'm needing a low calorie snack. It is also amazing as a side for grilled steak, chicken or fish. Pretty good on tacos or pita sandwiches, too.

Cucumber - Tomato Salad
1 cup diced tomatoes (depends what kind/size of tomatoes you use but about 3 romas or 2 on the vine)
2 cups diced cucumber (I really like persian cucumbers for this but English (seedless) are good also)  I use 3 persian cucumbers or 1 English seedless.
The key here is use 2x as many cucumbers as tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, cilantro, parsley, mint or green onion. You can use whatever fresh herbs you have or that you like. You can also mix a couple if you'd like.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons depending on how much you want to use, I think it's best with 2)
Sea salt (to taste)
You can also add a couple tablespoons of balsamic, rice wine or Apple cider vinegar if you'd like. Sometimes I will drizzle some really good extra virgin olive in there too. But if I am really trying to keep it light and around 25 calories a serving, I just use the fresh herbs and lemon juice.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Stir again and taste before serving. Sometimes I will add more salt or more lemon juice if I taste after refrigeration and feel it needs more. You can make a big batch and it tastes even better the next day or two. It keeps fine for up to 3 days.

The cucumbers and lemon juice in this salad help you feel full and help with digestion and metabolism. This salad has saved me from cheating on diets so many times and it is delicious!