sugar cleanse kick-off with a cauli-head

there's some gargantuan cauliflower around Texas these days

Between the holidays... and then our trip to Colorado... let's just say I've been feeling *ahem* a leetle too well fed lately.  I knew a cleanse was in order, but it was just a matter of which one.  I've done the antiquated Master Cleanse three times in my life, and can safely say that will never happen again.  I do like the Paltrow-approved Clean Program and would gladly do that one again, but my friend Leah just told me about the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  

Now, if I'm addicted to anything, I know it's sugar!  I feel myself start to crave sweetness after meals (only in the past couple years did this start, and now it's pretty consistent).  I casually succumb to my sweet tooth urges all the time.  Not to mention, I never turn down bread and I'd been drinking far too often since before the holidays (as in, even more than usual...).  The sugar cleanse was calling: no gluten, no alcohol-- not even any fruit-- for 21 days!  

this is level 1 (of 3) of the sugar cleanse

The only catch this is that my birthday is two weeks away.  So I've decided to do this cleanse for two weeks, drop it for the bday festivities and then pick it back up again.  That's fair, right?

perfect timing: the cover of the latest Bon Appetit. wouldn't you know!

What I do like about this program is that, unlike the Clean Program, you can eat eggs and some dairy (at least in Level 1, which is the "easiest" level before it works up to Level 3).  A cleanse where I can snack on goat gouda and still have eggs for breakfast?? Sign me up!  You can also still eat fish and shellfish-- including sashimi!  That was a no-no within the Clean Program.

I decided to start simple and just make an easy veggie dish to keep in the fridge.  (I'd also been going heavy on the meat through the holidays and beyond, so going a little veg-centric for a while couldn't hurt.)

The heads of cauliflower in stores right now are-- well, bigger than my own head, as you can see  in the photo above!  I picked this one up from Whole Foods and decided to roast it and toss in a tahini dressing.  In the past, I've served roasted cauliflower over  forbidden rice with a dollop of tahini dressing and lebneh and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.  

Except guess what: we don't need no steenking rice or pomegranate seeds!  This dish is incredibly flavorful and filling just as is!

Tahini Roasted Cauliflower, Straight Up

1/4 cup EVOO
4 tsp ground cumin
2 heads cauliflower, broken up into florets (I figured this one counted as at least two heads!)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
juice of 1 lemon


Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss together oil, cumin, cauliflower, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Scatter across baking sheets (I needed three).  Bake, rotating pans, until cauliflower is brown and tender (25-30 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water in a food processor and season with salt.  

I let the cauliflower cool slightly on the pan before combining it all (in an attempt to keep the crunchiness of the roasted vegs-- if piled together too fast, they will steam and become mushy).

Then toss cauli with tahini sauce and serve warm!