Happy Thanksgiving Eve! What’s everyone up to today? I am working from home all day and then loading up the (borrowed) car to make the journey from Washington DC to Illinois later tonight. What’s that, you say? It’s a 13 hour drive? Yes I know. We did it last year, and — ironically — swore we’d never do it again. But then flights just got so dang expensive, and my husband apparently has some big work deadline this week and isn’t sure when he’ll be able to get free today, so this is what ended up making sense.
I actually don’t mind long car trips, but the problem with this particular drive is that the Mr. and I have fairly different opinions on driving overnight vs. stopping midway through the drive. I am in favor of guzzling coffee and taking shifts and pushing through to avoid the expense (and time-delay) of a hotel — BUT — if we do have to stay in a hotel, I want it to be a hotel that achieves baseline standards of cleanliness and safety. The Mr. is the exact opposite — his preference is avoiding the all-night drive by finding the seediest, dirtiest, scariest hotel $39.99 per night can buy. Blegh.
Last year we “compromised” by staying at some hotel in the middle of Ohio that was probably well above my husband’s desired price range and was definitely well below my desired level of cleanliness and safety. Not only did the room reek of smoke, the deadbolt had been removed from the door (ostensibly by force, and likely in the course of some botched drug deal or crime spree, why yes I’ve been watching Breaking Bad, why do you ask?). My solution to this totally uncool state of affairs was to stack all of our coats and luggage and shoes up against the door, so that if someone came in to murder us in the middle of the night, we’d at least hear them coming.
So! That’s what I’m looking forward to tonight. But I am much more excited for Thursday — fun and family and lots and lots of rich, delicious food. Since that’s what we’ve got on our plates this week (see what I did there!?), I thought I’d give you the exact opposite today — a super duper healthy side dish that you can make next week, when you’re purging the sugar and fat and gravy out of your body. Which is what I’ll be doing, too, assuming I survive whatever Ohio’s Finest Roadside Motel has in store for me tonight.
CILANTRO-LIME CAULIFLOWER ‘RICE’ (barely adapted from Skinnytaste)
1 medium headcauliflower, rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, diced
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Remove core from cauliflower then coarsely chop into florets. Place chopped cauliflower in food processor and pulse until cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous (you’ll probably need to work in batches depending on the size of your food process0r).
2. Heat large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, green onions, and garlic, and sauté 3-4 minutes, until soft.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add cauliflower ‘rice’ to pan and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is slightly crispy on outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste (it’ll need a generous amount of salt).
4. Remove cauliflower from heat, and toss with fresh cilantro and lime juice to taste.
This is an awesome way to add more veggies to your diet, and it’s pretty simple to make, too. It doesn’t taste exactly like rice, of course, but it was rice-y enough in my book. We’ll definitely be having this again — particularly with Tex-Mex or Southwestern-style main dishes (like the Margarita Chicken pictured here).