The carb-free life feels like a relentless one, particularly when the weight is not shedding off your body in direct proportion to the pangs of longing you are feeling for the bread, pasta sugar and rice that are no longer part of your life.
If someone had asked me to guess, I would have estimated that I had been living this deprived lifestyle for at least two months now, something which would give me perfectly good reason to feel that I had given it a whacking good go. Then I could look down at my trousers, which still fit me snugly around the waist and slide back towards a life of biscuits and ice-cream.
I have just checked the calendar, based on when I returned from a trip to Melborne which featured Italian food and on-board ice creams (in case the plane went down): Three weeks – this eternal, carb free hell has only been going for three weeks.
I do feel less sluggish in the afternoon, my legs may be a tad slimmer even if my waist is not, but I have no way of verifying if I have lost any weight as I have a strict rule of avoiding bathroom scales in the first weeks of a new regime. Too many times I have suffered what I have heard referred to rather pleasingly as a ‘catastrophic psychological response’ to discovering I have lost no weight after days of deprivation and basically responded by ripping open packets of chocolate biscuits and washing them down with a bottle of wine.
So last night I made another attempt to cook something from the bumper book of low carb ideas – otherwise known as the Internet – Cauliflower Rice. I have seen a few people try to pass off cauliflower as an excellent low-carb substitute for potatoes, based I assume on the colour it has in common with them, but had not seen it being passed off as rice before. I looked through a couple of recipes but finally settled on one from the BBC website which looked at three methods of preparing it and rated them for taste and convenience.
I chose option three, which was rated not quite as convenient as other methods, but by far and away the tastiest. The method involved using a whole cauliflower head and creating the ‘rice’ by grating it or blitzing in a food processor (I chose the processor) then drizzling it with olive oil and roasting in an oven at 200 degrees for twelve minutes, stirring half way through.
I did not trust this recipe, so I added paprika, cumin and turmeric to the seasoning and a bit of butter at the end. If this did not quite create the taste explosion I was hoping for, it certainly turned the ‘rice’ a beautiful colour.
The verdict: well it definitely is not rice, but it is edible. Now I just have to work out, given that pulses are carbohydrates and currently off the menu, what on earth I can put on top of it.