As we get ready for those lavish holiday dinners that are fast coming up on our calendars we should probably take a moment to cherish our wardrobe. You see, in just a few short weeks these clothes that we love and adore will soon become the scourge of our very existence. Why is it that our wardrobe seems to turn on us so quickly and without notice? Let me help clarify this mysterious dilemma for you….It’s called cookies, candy, stuffing, gravy, cocktails, artichoke spinach dip, pimento cheese, bread, dessert, mashed potatoes and the list goes on and on. Bottom line, it’s called the holidays.
So what’s a girl to do besides ostracize herself by sticking to the crudite plate (sans dip of course) and a splurge of an occasional wine spritzer during the holiday season?
Trust me, I’m not going to rail on about dieting and exercising during the holiday season. There are plenty of magazines and television programs doing that already. Plus, having done some horrendously stupid things in my past to keep the weight off, I am definitely not the appropriate person to be discussing such things. But how about some recipe ideas for some lighter fare to intersperse with your holiday celebration obligations?
This cauliflower recipe is one of my favorites.
I have been making this tabbouleh recipe (yes, it’s cauliflower tabbouleh) for quite some time now. I change it up seasonally so that the flavors remain fresh and it doesn’t get boring.
The traditional tabbouleh recipe is made with bulgur wheat and is finished off with chopped tomatoes. Because I am trying to lighten up some of my meals, I’ve replaced the wheat with shredded cauliflower. And because tomatoes that you get this time of year taste awful (if they have any flavor at all) I top it off with some really pretty (and in season) pomegranate arils (yes, those little red things are called arils – weird, I know).
There are lots of cauliflower salad recipes out there. You’re probably most familiar with those that require you to break the cauliflower head into smaller florets. You then proceed to smother them in some kind of creamy sauce or toss them in a tangy vinaigrette. While those are all quite lovely, and I’m sure delicious, I like to shred the white stuff when I make a lot of my cauliflower salad recipes. It keeps things interesting because first, the texture is quite different than people are used to. While it still smells and tastes like cauliflower, it really tricks the brain and depending on the flavors used in the dressing, you may get some cauliflower haters as converts. Secondly because it’s shredded, you’ll get people to eat more vegetables. People tend to eat with their eyes so if your dish looks good, they’ll put more on their plate. The shredded cauliflower takes up less room than florets…hence people eat more veggies that way.
When I make this tabbouleh recipe, I tend to use a little more lemon juice than is usually called for because the cauliflower has more flavor than bulgur wheat does. That being said, this recipe is completely adjustable to your taste. Feel free to increase or decrease different ingredients as you wish.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t figure out why your guy gets so excited when his fantasy football team beats out everyone else’s team on the weekend. Nor can you figure out why, when men get together with their buddies, there’s always a race to chug beers and the one who finishes first parades around and beats his chest like he just conquered a kingdom.
Since this doesn’t tend to make much sense to us we just chalk it up to testosterone, shrug our shoulders and continue sipping our cocktails and talking to our friends. Turns out we’re sort of correct and now there’s some scientific backup to help explain this chest thumping phenomena.
According to scientists, that little thing we first experience as kids (called peer pressure) is hardwired into us.
Researchers found a part of the brain that reacts when we win and when that occurs, the brain reacts even more when that winning happens in front of others than if we win while we’re alone. They have found that our brain reacts to the social stimulants. Things like your physical feelings when you win and the reactions of those around us are more pronounced (the losers look really unhappy and the adulation from admirers sounds like the roar of a stadium full of people).
The brain then takes these social stimulants and uses them to push you to try to win future events. This is what drives us to try even harder to win. This also means we may tend to do some pretty stupid things, just to win, when we’re in front of other people than if we were alone.
So now that you know that people are hardwired to do these kinds of things, it should be a bit easier for you to handle it when your guy starts doing keg stands to try and outshine his buddies. Bottom line, you’re not alone. There are lots of other girls out there with guys just like yours…going through the same thing.
Recipe: Cauliflower Tabbouleh
- 1 Pomegranate
- 2 Pounds Cauliflower
- 1 Large Bunch Parsley
- 1 Ounce Mint
- 1 1/2 Lemons (juiced)
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Remove the arils from the pomegranate and set aside.
- Break the cauliflower into florets and grate into small pieces. This can either be done on a box grater or by using the shredding blade on your food processor.
- Chop the parsley into tiny pieces. Make sure to remove any of the thick/tough stalks.
- Finely chop the mint.
- In a small container add the lemon juice, olive oil cinnamon and black pepper. Mix well.
- Add the cauliflower, parsley and mint to a large bowl. Mix to combine thoroughly.
- Just before serving, re-mix the dressing and pour over cauliflower mixture. Stir to make sure everything is coated.
- Top with pomegranate arils.
This makes roughly 6 cups of cauliflower tabbouleh.
Feel free to add more or less of any of these ingredients to your taste.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, Gluten free, Raw
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (General)