If you’ve been following us on Twitter lately, you might have noticed we’ve been talking about diets a lot lately. Not losing weight diets (although that is often the result), but diet as in the types of food we’re eating, or in this case not eating.
Just a few years ago we made the move to eliminate junk food and frozen meals from our diet. At the time it felt like a huge sacrifice to part ways with Doritos and my favorite snacks, but when I look back at my cool ranch days, I don’t know how I ever lived that way. Now we’re ready to make another change, to hopefully remove most of the processed foods still in our diet. We’re going Paleo, slowly.
I think it’s important to state up front that we know this will not be a 100% perfect endeavor, nor will it happen overnight. Neil and I love food, and as life is short we intend to still enjoy the things we love (like pizza, beer and chocolate), just on the weekends and in moderation. The beginning of our goal is to change the way we eat during the week, when we’re heavily structured and substitutions and a few ingredient swaps are easy. Friday nights and Saturdays will be our time to “cheat” and enjoy a few of our favorite things, always in moderation.
So when are we starting? Well, we’re just about halfway through week 2 and we are already noticing changes. Neil has dropped weight and a lot of the symptoms that I thought were part of my Endometriosis are almost completely gone. I thought I’d commit a felony without cheese in my diet, but so far I feel GREAT. I think it’s becoming clear that I am more lactose intolerant than I thought.
I think what I love best is that the food we’re eating fills us up without knocking us out. We can go running easily about an hour after eating and I’m noticing I’m a lot less groggy after I eat.
This is actually the first recipe we tried on the diet, and although it’s a little meaty, can easily be substituted and adjusted to include more vegetables.
1 medium head white cauliflower
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon olive or favorite oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 green onion, chopped including the green part
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 cup water or more or less as needed
1. Clean and discard the thick stems of cauliflower. Chop into “rice” sized pieces. The smaller you chop, the more it sticks to chicken.
2. Combine soy, ginger and heat oil in large non-stick sauté pan, pour in beaten egg, swirl to thin the egg layer. Cook for approximately one minute. Remove from pan, chop and set aside. 3. Over med-high heat (same pan) add the chicken breast, sear on one side. Without turning chicken, add 1/2 cup of water wait until water is reduced to almost nothing. Flip chicken breast, allow to sear on other side. Repeat with 1/2 cup of water, flip as needed until the chicken is cooked through. Remove and chop into bite-sized pieces then store in a covered bowl.
4. With the same pan and the glaze leftover from the chicken, add the cauliflower. The natural juice from the vegetable will deglaze the pan as the veg cooks. Stir for 1 minute over medium-high heat and add 5 spice powder. Stir for an additional 1 minute then add the soy mixture. Stir to combine.
5. Add chicken and egg to cauliflower and stir for 2-3 minutes. Top with chopped green onions and serve.
What I love about this recipe is that a little goes a long way. We were both full after eating about a cup and a half, leaving us plenty leftover (we doubled the recipe), which saves us $$ and time spent cooking we’d rather spend outside in this amazing weather.
Cauliflower is one of those veggies I’ve always overlooked because I only tend to see it on veggie trays. Crumbled, it’s the perfect substitute for the much loved comfort-food sticky rice texture, and it keeps the meal so much lighter. Also, if you haven’t yet tried five-spice powder, make it a kitchen staple ASAP. It makes seasoning Asian-themed dishes easy and delicious.