Six. Year. Old. Drama.
I am soooooo over it, folks.
Just this morning, because I wouldn’t let her wear a pair of new “church shoes” (you know — those shiny, patent leather ones) to school — the school where she runs and plays and falls and stubs her toes and drops paint and climbs on jungle gyms — we had a melt-down of EPIC proportions. Now, I tried to explain that (1) they were slick and could cause her to fall MORE than normal and (2) they are for special occasions and church … not for environments where she is going to be all rough and tumble.
It didn’t matter.
“WHAT is WRONG with you people?”, she cried out, her face growing red with fury. “WHY are you being so MEAN to me???”
All. Over. Shoes.
There must be some crazy developmental change for six-year olds … either that or she is picking things up from the other little girls in her class. All I know is that we are in full on eye-rolling mode — punctuated with huffs and puffs and moments of stomping off to her room.
Yeah, Mama don’t play that game.
But, it isn’t all Oscar worthy dramatic moments. When we are all holding our breath justright, and her brothers haven’t annoyed her, and the moon is aligned with Saturn, the Little Lady returns to being my sweet, cuddly, love-note writing little girl who loves her Mommy.
When she comes in with a “I Lov You, Moooom” note, scrawled in the imperfect hand of a Kindergartener, I exhale, letting out the stress and frustration from the most recent drama-queen explosion. I smile at the crayon letters sliding down across the paper and then look over to my gap-toothed little girl, who is shyly looking up at me through bangs that seem to always need trimming.
Then, we hug and I breathe in the scent of lavender shampoo from the top of her head and thank God that she still wants me.
And, since my love-language is cooking for my people, I return her written expression with her favorite foods … the ones I know only she likes. At the top of that list is shrimp. For someone so tiny and pixie-like, this girl can put away a mess of shrimp!
The past few months, our favorite way to eat gulf shrimp is this grain-free dish, adapted from a recipe for paleo fried rice by Paleo Peace. The method of cooking and the spicy, bright flavors of cayenne, lime and ginger come together in such a way you FORGET it’s a grain-free dish. Yes, it’s grain-free thanks to cauliflower rice which has — for the most part — replaced my husband’s beloved jasmine rice in most dishes. In this Spicy Grain Free Shrimp Fried Rice recipe, the cauliflower rice is PERFECT. In fact, the food processor (I use this one) he gifted me one anniversary comes in VERY handy for this… and, yes, I was ecstatic to receive a kitchen appliance for my anniversary!!
It’s comfort food: satisfying, cozy and, when you scrape the last bite out of your bowl, you feel just a wee bit sad inside.
Until your six-year old, who is full and happy on shrimp and love, comes over to hug you one more time before bed.
Then, all is right with the world.
- 1 lb medium Shrimp (cleaned/shelled/deveined)
- 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tb Sesame Oil
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Cayenne Pepper*
- ¼ tsp Ancho Powder
- ¼ tsp Ground White Pepper
- 2 tsp Grated Ginger**
- 1 clove Minced Garlic
- 1 Head Cauliflower
- ½ C Diced Carrot
- ½ C Frozen Peas
- 1 tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tb Sesame Oil
- 3 tsp Grated Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Powder
- ½ Ancho Powder
- ½ Ground White Pepper
- ½ Salt
- The Juice 1 Lime
- 2 Eggs
- Chopped Green Onion (optional)
- Using a food processor (at least a 9-cup processor), shred the cauliflower till it has the consistency of rice. Don't have a food processor? You can shred it with a cheese grater.
- Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap (folding back one corner), and microwave it for 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour the olive and sesame oil into a wok and place over medium-high heat till shimmering. Place the shrimp into the oil and season with the ginger, cayenne, ancho powder, white pepper, garlic and salt.
- Once the shrimp has cooked and turned pink, use tongs to remove it to a plate.
- In the remaining liquid/oil, add the diced carrots and the peas, cooking till they become tender. (you may need to add more oil during the process to keep them from sticking)
- Once they tender, add the microwaved cauliflower rice, stirring occassionally as the rice "fries" and begins to become a little brown.
- Season the rice with the additional ginger, garlic, ancho powder, cayenne, white pepper, salt and lime juice
- Move the seasoned cauliflower up the sides of the pan. Crack two eggs into the center of the wok, let them cook for a few seconds and then scramble them and stir to mix them in with a the rest of the cauliflower.
- Add the cooked shrimp back into pan, stirring once to incorporate. Let the ingredients cook together a few more minutes so the shrimp can warm back up.
- Turn off the heat and serve immediately. (if desired, garnish with chopped green onion)
**To save time, I keep frozen ginger and garlic cubes on hand. 1 cube = 1 teaspoon for the ginger and, for the garlic, 1 cube = 1 clove. I use the Dorot brand, which can be found in the frozen vegetables section of your store.