Sometimes I feel sorry for people I see at the grocery store. I see them rushing past the produce aisles to filling their carts with frozen meals and pretty packaging of unnatural ingredients no one can recognize or pronounce. A little part in me grieves for the quinoa and almond butter and Brussels sprouts that sit overlooked in lonely shelves while the cutesy Pop-Tarts and Fritos are given all the attention. Sometimes I want to turn around in the checkout line and ask if anyone knows what they’re missing.
Yes, I realize this puts me at risk for appearing very strange. But I’m all right with that. I think. If taking a grocery trip for a single head of cauliflower is strange; if calling chickpeas a snack is strange; if getting giddy over a jar of sunflower of butter is strange — well, that is just the way I am.
Let me tell you what I think is strange. The other day, I overheard a fellow student bemoaning that she was looking forward to a leisurely lunch but accidentally slept in and didn’t have time to heat up her EasyMac. Instead she had to settle for a breakfast of Milky Ways. I thought of my pumpkin oatmeal breakfast and my packed lunch of yogurt, an apple, fresh and crunchy vegetables and hummus. The poor girl had no idea what she was really missing in her candy-bar breakfast.
One of the things I am most looking forward to as a future-Dietitian, is helping people see the beautiful delicious world of real food. To widen the horizons of their grocery list from the freezer and snack aisles to farmer’s markets and bulk food bins.
Hopefully, once preaching nutrition is my job, people will stop giving me sidelong glances and calling me “that strange health-nut” behind my back. But I really don’t mind, especially if being strange means heating Pineapple Cauliflower Rice in the school microwave after my friend’s EasyMac is well-congealed.
“Normal” people don’t know what they are missing.
Pineapple Cauliflower Rice
~ eight servings ~
- 4 c. cooked brown rice
- 2 c. chopped cauliflower
- 1 t. coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 can (15oz) pineapple tidbits: drain and reserve juice
- 1 T. ginger
- 1/3 c. almond milk (or other milk)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, saute cauliflower in coconut oil until tender and slightly browned.
- Pour 1 c. pineapple juice over cauliflower. Reduce heat, cover, and let cauliflower cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in pineapple tidbits, rice, and ginger. Let heat throughout, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in almond milk and stir to coat rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you cook the rice beforehand, this meal is really as quick and easy as reheating a frozen pizza. It’s much more tasty too. I expected to be the only one eating this, but the first batch I made was gone in a day. The family loved it too (and they’re not strange).
I kind of want to make a huge pot and hand out samples at the grocery store checkout line.