Monday, 8 July 2013

Cupcakes and Cauliflower

Monday – the sacrilegious day for bakeries, most being closed to replenish weekend stocks to the dismay of many 9-5er’s that need caffeine and sugar to get over the fact that they are already back at work (and undoubtedly in withdrawal from both).

The beginning of another work-week, stretching into the abyss until we reach Wednesday and can think positively that tomorrow will be Thursday, and, better yet, Thursday – with the promise of Friday. Friday will come, post-work drinks, binge-eating bread-crumb and oil-laden foods, messy nights, messier mornings, until we do it all over again. 

Monday is also a time for reflection whilst sipping your coffee and the procrastination of the “work” part of work week. Promising to consume as many vegetables and glasses of water as it takes to undo the damage done to our mind, body, and soul.

Looking for a few healthy recipes that I could execute this week, I started my search with the “Whole9 - Whole30” site. I initially learned about this program in January after I’d seen a few postings from Facebook friends about it - how it had worked for them, their great results, etc. Obviously this had piqued my interest and prompted my website probing and Googling related websites.

I’d heard of the paleo way of life almost two years ago from a co-worker who was way ahead of the throngs of paleo-advocates that we love and tolerate today. I’m admittedly a touch-and-go paleo-enthusiast. I love the idea of real, natural food. I also love the idea of going to Art-Is-In bakery and having a tuna melt followed by a famously sinful sticky bun or chocolate chip cookie (Ottawa Magazine - 101 Tastes of Ottawa). Do right by my body 80 per cent of the time and when a girlfriend wants to go for drinks – I will thoroughly enjoy that 20 per cent in a lovely glazed-by-wine fashion that only good food, company, and alcohol can bring.

But today I came across this - their philosophy on dessert, part 2.
I didn't agree with the comparison between a cupcake and an apple and tomato soup combo. This diet – and I don’t even like to call it that because “diet” is associated with calorie-restricting, product-placement, starvation-inducing concepts – is supposed to promote well-being, eating what came from Earth, and teaching us to go back to our healthy, natural habits that our bodies evolved to. Cut the crap, sugar, chemicals, processed garbage that is one-particle-away-from-being-plastic, and eat something that is pure, real, and good for you.

I don't at all see how an apple is in the slightest way similar to a cupcake - but, like everything on the Internet, you take what you can from a resource and make it your own. Luckily – there are now millions of paleo bloggers, a myriad of health-food-fanatics typing away as I type here – willing to share their recipes, stories of encouragement, tips, tricks, good times, and bad.

First recipe of the week: Cauliflower mashed "potatoes" from Nom Nom Paleo by +Michelle Tam . You can find her original recipe here which I have made and loved. But have since made slight changes that work better for me (i.e. with the ingredients I had on hand).

- one head of cauliflower
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- a generous amount of salt (I turn my sea salt grinder 15 - 20 times. Definitely start out on the conservative side and add more to taste)
- 2 or 3 dashes of nutmeg (optional - I've made it with and without)
- pepper to taste

1) Cut up the cauliflower and steam until very tender (usually about 10 minutes)
2) Put into the blender, top off with garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I normally mash it all down with a spoon
3) Turn on the blender - you may have to help it out by turning off the blender, mixing around the contents, and turning it back on again. Turning off the blender is crucial. I have been too lazy and wanted to save the .5 seconds it takes to turn it off - this has resulted in the loss of a wooden spoon, a severely decimated plastic spoon, and a whole lot of mashed cauliflower in my eye.
4) Once the consistency is smooth (it will literally look like mashed potatoes) serve up and enjoy!

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