Cauliflower Rice Taco Casserole

I truly hope that everyone's Thanksgiving celebration was full of family, relaxation, good food and ZERO GUILT! Even as a part time fitness coach and nutritionist, indulging in the Thanksgiving feast without restriction is important to me for a few reasons.

First...I'm simply obliging the holiday's request to give thanks...by eating all the things.

Second...consciously making the choice to eat what I want on special days such as Thanksgiving keeps me sane. Telling myself "I'm going to be good tonight and not eat this or that" would just set me up for failure...since I know myself well enough to know I'd fall off the wagon once all the mashed taters, stuffing and pie is staring me in the face...which would only heighten that sense of post-Thanksgiving guilt. Instead, I choose to enter the holiday excited about all the yummy foods that people bring to the table and allow myself to enjoy every last bite. Ain't no thang, I'll get right back on track the next day. Not to mention, by embracing the stress-free "I'mma do what I want" mindset, I rarely end up leaving the party feeling like a stuffed sausage. In turn, by not labeling a certain menu item as "forbidden", I'm far less likely to abuse it. I have a reasonable serving to satisfaction, and if I want more, I get more...if I've had enough, then on to the next one. I think this is a big part of promoting a healthy relationship with the food we eat rather than assigning guilt to it. There's no shame in calling off the hounds of your clean eating habits from time to time to just enjoy what you want to enjoy.

Thirdly, I simply never want to be the party pooper. You know who I'm talking about...that person who's all "I don't eat carbs EVER", or "did you at least cook this with extra virgin olive oil?" Like...SHUT UP AUNT SUSAN AND JUST EAT THE DAMN DINNER ROLL! And no, I used an inordinate amount of bacon grease - YOU'LL EAT IT AND YOU'LL LIKE IT. Merlin's beard, can't we all just shamelessly drown ourselves in mashed potatoes with a side of peace and happiness? I realize that hashtagYOLO - while hilarious in its stupidity - has so much truth to it. I mean $h!+...I DO only live once! And I'll be damned if I ever turn into that Debbie Downer at the Thanksgiving table that's like "I'll just stick with this sad pile of plain green beans...maybe later I'll go wild with a piece of turkey breast without gravy." Barf.

All that said, I will admit that my Mom and I contributed a few healthy options to our Thanksgiving table - including some cauliflower and parsnip puree (to which we then added our body weight in Gouda and bacon crumbles) and my latest Harvest Salad...each of which I enjoyed right beside some taters, stuffing, casserole and PIEEEEEEEE. 

Moving on now. If you're getting back into the post-holiday swing of things and cleaning up a bit before we head into the Christmas/New Year festivities, join me in this recipe! Thanksgiving may be over, but Taco Tuesday lives on. Eating healthfully doesn't have to equate to boring plates of chicken and wilted spinach...turns out you can have your tacos and eat them too.

Cauliflower rice or bust. That's my new motto. Taco shells are fun and all, but taco casseroles are where it's at. So much flavor, so much taco, so much yum.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe's refrigerated cauliflower rice (if using the frozen bags, use 2, as those are smaller than the refrigerated version) OR one head of cauliflower, cut into florets and grated
  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup bone broth or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how much kick you want)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease your casserole dish. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the cauliflower rice, chicken, eggs, coconut milk and bone broth. Mix it all up.
  3. Add in the spices and mix until evenly distributed.
  4. Gently fold in the cheese and pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Start checking the casserole at the 60 minute mark, but you'll likely need to cook it for about 90 minutes total (this is dependent on the size of your casserole dish/thickness of the casserole). You'll know it's done once the casserole is set and a toothpick comes out clean!
  6. Garnish with avocado, salsa and your favorite taco toppings and EAT!