Nice and Healthy Cauliflower Rice and Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

Both dishes today are considered replacement or substitutions meals.  The substitute normal carb heavy ingredients with vegetables.  The idea is that they are healthier.  The truth or lie of this depends on the diet plan you have.  I am more concerned with taste.  The vegetables add in a nice crisp flavor while taking on the flavor palates you cook them with.  To get them right you do need a few tools, my other recipes did not need.

Ok for today’s food you will need a spiralizer and a blender.  The blender is an option.  I have done the rice with a grater, but it was a pain in the ass, and a good pulse blender works way better.  I pulse it into a sand like substance.  Most of the rice recipes call for the extra stuff to be blended separately, but I do it all at once.

The rice’s flavor is a bit nuttier than rice.  But the consistency is decent and comes across as rice or couscous like.  If you blend too much it because a paste much like mashed potatoes.  In fact, my recipe can be used to make a mashed potato recipe, I just like the rice version.  With the large chunks, I can get it to add in a bit of crunch like a fried rice that makes it a bit yummier.  I have also added in a bit of soy sauce in the past for extra flavor.  Remember for every half cup of soy sauce add in about a table spoon of sugar while cooking.  It causes a caramelization needed when frying with soy sauce.  This rice is also great for kimchi fried rice and other fried rice dishes.  The picture included is the rice as a side for a wonderful salmon I will add a recipe for later

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The zucchini noodles take on the flavor of whatever you are cooking for a spicy spaghetti or other noodle dish.  I have used the noodles for fettuccini and pad thai, with fettuccini being the best so far if you like garlic.  The noodles have all the right consistency without the wheat heaviness of standard noodles.  They take on the flavors, while making spices feel less hot because they are so fresh.  I was worried the first time I made it that it would not cook enough, but you can actually serve them cold without ever cooking them.  Adding them to the sauce while boiling though helps open the vegetable’s palate to drink in the spices and flavors.  The real trick is allowing them to be uncooked enough to keep the crunch, while cooked enough to take in the spice.

 

RECIPE

Cauliflower Rice

One head of Cauliflower

Handful of garlic

1 stick of butter or a ½ cup oil

1 Green Onion

¼ cup of onion (if you are making the two together just use the leftover onion from the spaghetti)

1 Bell Pepper (which ever color you like)

I like to add a ghost pepper or two.  Habanero is also good. I like it with a touch of spice.

½ a cucumber

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Chop the cauliflower into small enough pieces that you can blend it.  I have known people that used food processers, but I do not like those new-fangled devices so I mainly just use my blender.  I add in the garlic, onion, hot peppers, well everything but the butter and oil.  Keep out the bell pepper, green onion and cucumber.  Then you just blend it until it looks like sand.  If you blend too much you will end up with a meal that is a good replacement for mash potatoes, but if you get it to a sand consistency you will get a rice alternative.  I like the rice version.  If you do not like blenders you can use a grater for the cauliflower and then chop the other stuff up nice and small.  Hand chop the bell pepper at this point so you have chunks to really get your teeth into, and mix it with the rice.  The green onion cut into inch long chunks with diagonal cuts (like with the kimchi) and mix them in as well..

If you are making a cold salad that calls for rice you do not need to cook the rice. If you want it cooked though or like me are making a fried rice style then you will need to fry it or bake it or both.

Fried: Cut about 2 table spoons of the butter into a skillet on about 350-375 degrees F and add the rice mix.  Stir it like you would fried rice, meaning flatten it out, cover for about 3 minutes, then use a spatula to flip everything over and re-flatten.  Add more butter as needed.  You may not use all the butter, I usually do not.  Cover another 2-3 minutes, and repeat until the rice starts to get pieces that look a little brown.  I like mine to get crispy so I do this for a bit longer until the more of it turns brown and when I taste it, it tastes how I like.  The nice thing about this dish is you can taste every time you stir it without worry.

Baked: Place in glass baking dish, stir in about 3 tablespoons of butter and cover with tinfoil.  Throw in the oven at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Check it at 20 minutes, if it is not how you want it to cook another 10, and so on.  When it is warm and nutty in flavor with a rice consistency uncover and cook another 5 minutes.  Then call it good.  Some people prefer to roast it uncovered rather then they do bake it, but I like the baked and covered version.

Once the rice is done serve it with sliced cucumber as a garnish.

 

Spicy Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

2 Zucchini (about)

Spaghetti Sauce (I am debating on coming back with a sauce recipe, until I do enjoy the many that are out there)

2 stalks of celery (chopped)

1 bulb garlic (Chopped)

1 bunch of green onion (chopped)

1 onion (chopped)

2-4 Jalapenos (chopped)

1 Habanero (chopped)

1 Ghost Pepper (chopped)

1 lb of meat (chunked)

3 tomatoes (chopped and chunked)

About a ½ cup of oil

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Ok I listed some peppers here, these are the ones I like, feel free to add your own.  Mix and match with what is in season and your spice level.  Not everyone likes it hot, but those people are lame.  Go hot or go home.

A note on meat.  Most people like hamburger.  Do not use hamburger.  Hamburger soaks its juice throughout the dish and ruins all the other flavors.  Honestly the two best to meats to use are chicken or a nice sausage.  Both of them will not over power the dish and tone it down like a burger.  The chicken will take on the flavors of everything you add in and hold its own against it.  A good sausage will add itss own flavor when you bite into the meat without spreading that flavor throughout the dish.   Really most meats will work well, but these are the two I suggest.

Make a mix in a bowl of the garlic, green onion, onion, all the peppers, one of the tomatoes, and a few table spoons of oil.  We will call this the flavor mix.

So, use the spiralizer to make noodles out of the zucchini.  You need one of these, trust me.  Making noodles out of carrots and curly fries, and everything else you want is awesome.  Mine is a cheap $6 job I got off of amazon.  There are big expensive ones, but I have yet to see them do anything my cheaper one does.  Put the noodles in a bowl with a small handful of the flavor mix.  Add another tablespoon of oil and mix it all together.  Add the other two tomatoes to the bowl, set it aside and forget about it.

Chunk the meat up and mix it with a small handful of the flavor mix and start to fry it in a deep pan or pot.  Cook it all the way through, stirring often and covering when not stirring.  Once the meat mix is mixed add the sauce, the celery, and the flavor mix.  Turn it down to a simmer.  Let it cook covered on low for about 20 minutes.  It should bubble some and you can see the color of the sauce mix like it has oil or water in it.  Mix it.  Remember that this stage is all about letting the flavors mix.  It can 20 minutes it can take 2 hours.  Taste the sauce regularly and see if you can feel the different ingredients mixing into the sauce.  Once it is done, turn up the heat until it really starts to bubble.  Stir it really well as you add in the zucchini noodles and everything else in the bowl.  Once it is all stirred in turn off the stove and take it off the heat.  Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.  If you want it to look like the picture grate some nice parmesan on top. At that time, it should all be done 😊

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If you like this recipe, try it with some of my homemade bread as a side.    The zucchini allows all the other spices to blossom into a great meal.  The cauliflower rice is also good with the kimchi to make kimchi fried rice.  I may do a full recipe later, but until then just add the 2 cups of rice, a cup of kimchi, ¼ cup of soy sauce, a tablespoon of sugar, a table spoon of fish sauce, a ½ cup of chopped meat, and two fried eggs to go on top.   And remember that all of this is great to eat while enjoying reading my novel before reviewing it.

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3 thoughts on “Nice and Healthy Cauliflower Rice and Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

  1. Nice – I just bought a spiralizer and am looking for ways to use it. This looks great – though you might want to add a warning to be careful with those ghost peppers (I had a seed flick into my eye once – I wanted to die).

    Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. With all peppers it’s good to be careful especially with the seeds. I once had blisters on my hands from chopping scorpion peppers without gloves.

      I love my spiralizer, and I hope you get years of joy out of it!

      Like

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