My feelings exactly.

My feelings exactly.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

No-Carb Rice? Yes. Well sort of.

Low Carb. Low Calorie. Starch free. Utterly yummy…..RICE. Well, not rice. It's cauli-rice, to be exact. And you're going to love this clever imposter...especially after the holidays, when you're atoning for all of your high-cal, high carb sins.

Yes, it's been a long time since my last post and a long journey it has been in the Rosen/Freundlich household. Just after I wrote about that great marinated London Broil back in May, one of us was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. 

As part of our adjustment to this new fact of family life, we've had to change our diet and our kitchen radically. We're now living on what is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Similar to Paleo, it does away with all grains and starches, refined sugars, processed foods and more. I'm not exaggerating when I say that SCD makes gluten-free look like a lifestyle of wanton abandon. I've literally had to relearn how to cook, finding alternatives and substitutions for the pastas, whole grains, yummy desserts, lovely sauces, and convenient cheats that were cornerstones of our family eating experience. 

It hasn't been an easy change but the effect it's had on our Crohn's has been darned near miraculous. And funnily, while it has helped our Crohny put on pounds, the rest of us have shed a good bit of weight. No mystery, really, since our traditional dinner trio of protein, veggies, and a starchy side has become protein, veggie, and another veggie. And my cake dome no longer houses the irresistible treats it once did.

While I certainly wouldn't suggest that anyone adopt such a limited diet unless they need to (SCD is meant for those with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and other inflammatory and digestive disorders), I have discovered some amazingly delicious and healthy dishes that just about anyone will dig. Especially those of you who are trying to cut down on carbs. Case in point: This elegantly simple cauli-rice recipe, which is a staple for SCDers and Paleo people, alike. I serve it alongside roasted meats, as a fluffy bed for curries, and nuzzled up under stir-fries. Give this ingenius recipe a shot--it may not take rice off your shopping list but it will sure give it a run for the money, honey.

Basic Cauli-Rice (from Danielle Walker's amazing Against All Grain cookbook)

1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup water

Go unearth the grating attachment for your food processor and put it in place. With the machine running, feed the cauliflower florets into the feeding tube and grate them into "rice" grains. Alternatively, you can grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater. (I haven't tried the latter method, but it sounds like a pain to me.)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the riced cauliflower and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Add the water, then cover and steam for 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked (but not mushy) and the water has been absorbed.

Voila! CauliRice!