Since Zoodles are the new noodles, why not make some more experiments with them, so far we did an avocado pesto with it, and today it’s the carbonara sauce that will be tested by the FoodOlic with those healthy zoodles. Those zucchini noodles are great with any creamy sauce, and why not give it a touch of crunch with the bacon bits in it. Carbonara sauce can be done the traditional way, which is without cream, just eggs, bacon, parmesan, pepper and oil or the sinful way which is with cream. Since those zoodles are so healthy and light, let’s make the sauce a touch sinfully delicious should we?
Those days, I’m trying to reduce my carbs intake, which is not easy for a pasta lover like myself. I’ve started experimenting last week with cauliflower and this week the protagonist is the seriously popular zoodles (short for zucchini noodles).I do my zoodles with a simple cheese grater, no need to buy this spiralizer machine. I’ve add some extra peas to the carbonara zoodles to make it extra green and delicious.
So let’s make this peas carbonara zoodles!
Peas carbonara Zoodles
Makes 2 main meal portions or 4 appetizers
12 french shallots finely chopped
200ml of light cream
150g of smoked bacon strips
100g of frozen peas
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper
Start by making the shallots, cut them finely and add them to a medium sized pan, medium-low heat, with a bit of olive oil and salt until soften (about 10 minutes)
During that time make the zoodles, the way your prefer (spiralizer machine, mandoline or cheese grater)
Reserve the zoodles in a sieve mixed with some salt to let them loose some water
Cut the bacon into small pieces, add to the shallots and bring the heat to high heat for 3 more minutes
Add the frozen peas, let cook until unfrozen (2 minutes)
Add the cream, a good amount of black pepper and salt to the sauce
Let the cream simmer one second and stop the fire, (cream should not cook), reserve
Bring a pan to high heat, add some olive oil to the pan and the drained zoodles
Sauté them, high heat, for 2 minutes to warm them up
Add the carbonara sauce, mix and cook for an extra minute
Creamy avocado pesto zoodles is the new pasta (well…actually; non pasta) in town. I see them everywhere, for guys out there who didn’t catch the “zoodle” vibe, it’s actually zucchini noodles. There is absolutely no gluten, wheat in them and make a great meal for all, especially for low carb diet or gluten intolerant people. This was my first attempt to do those famous”zoodles”, no need to buy those big spiralizer machine to make them, simply use a cheese grater, it really does the trick. It’s a terribly easy, fast and healthy recipe but also creamy and tasty, the avocado make the dish stand. It give the dish this rich creamy texture, which I believe, complete the dish to perfection.
Most zoodles recipes out there are using a spiralizer machine, which are expensive and quite big, I’ve just used a mandoline with large cheese grater holes, but some mandoline already have those teeth to make perfect juliennes, otherwise use a boxed cheese grater it works fine too. It certainly looks thicker and more “noodles like” (larger than spaghetti) with the machine, but for now, let’s focus on the taste of it.
As for the pesto, it’s a traditional genovese pesto with plenty of basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil. Then to make the dish hold up we’ll have an avocado to the mix, which will bring the whole dish to some other level. To prevent the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown, add a squeeze of lime to the pesto. As for the finishing touch, a topping of dried tomatoes and parmesan. You’ll never go back to pasta with this creamy, rich, sunny dish.
Let’s make those zoodles.
Creamy avocado pesto zoodles
Makes 2 portions
2 hand of fresh basil
1 garlic clove
20g of pine nuts
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
*optional dry tomatoes
Cut both ends of the zucchinis
Grate the zucchini completely on its length side
In the blender add the pine nuts, garlic, basil, parmesan to taste and olive oil
Fast blend the first batch, then add the avocado, salt, pepper and lime and blend until it becomes a paste, add a bit of water if too thick
Check the seasoning
Add the zoodles in a pan with a touch of olive oil and salt, just to warm them up, cook high heat for 2 minutes
Add the pesto to the zoodles and mix well
Top with a few thin slices of dry tomatoes and parmesan
Mini low carb cauliflower spinach tarts is my latest experiment. I’m searching for alternative ways to eat my favorite foods with less carbohydrates (white rice, bread, pasta, etc.). Searching the web for low-carb recipes, it’s filled with cauliflowers; cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower this and that, so I’ve decided to try my luck at mini spinach tarts with a crust of cauliflower, of course… Since it works apparently well as a pizza base, it should work fine for mini tarts as well… and it did! The texture isn’t the one of a crispy flaky pastry but it does hold well the tarts, even if it’s filled with a moist filling. I was surprised by the result, it’s true; cauliflower is a great alternative to carbs filled ingredients like white flour.
Those mini tarts can be a low-carb diet lunch, dinner, snack or even appetizer. There is still some carbs in it, although the amount is relatively low, I’ve used a bit of integral flour to make the cauliflower base and bechamel filling but I presume you could exchange it for a lower carb flour like flax seed flour.
You will need for this recipe a silicone muffin mold, (I can not guaranty the greased metal mold will function for this recipe, since the cauliflower base isn’t holding up too tight). Also, the filling will be quite soft, coming out from the oven, but just wait a 10 minutes, it should hold better.Eat those mini tarts accompanied with a nice green salad for dinner, or use it as a side dish. Also, it makes a great lunch for the next day.
Let’s try those low carb bites!
Mini low carb cauliflower spinach tarts
Makes 12 mini tarts
1/2 a cauliflower
120g integral flour (30g for the bechamel + 90 g for the cauliflower base)
120ml of cold milk
250g of spinach chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove
2 eggs(separate one yolk)
parmesan for topping
pinenut for topping
salt and pepper
Start by blending the cauliflower to a sand texture
In a bowl add the cauliflower, the 2 eggs (reserve a yolk for later), the 90g of integral flour (or flax seed flour), salt and pepper
In a silicon muffin mold,
(not sure it’s going to work with a greased mold) press down the cauliflower base in each hole (check the picture)
In a pan add the onion and soften them, medium low heat, in olive oil or butter
When soft, add the garlic and spinach bit by bit until it melt all down
Once the spinach is all in, make a well, add the butter and 30g of integral flour
Let cook the flour into the butter, while mixing, for a minute or 2, medium high heat
Add the cold milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the mix
Turn it until it becomes thick
Take off the fire (*at this point you can add some parmesan cheese extra in the filling) and let cool
When cooled (3 -4 minutes) add the yolk and mix
Fill up the cauliflower base with the filling
Top with a bit of parmesan and pine nuts
Cook in the lower level of the oven at 180°C (350F) for 20 minutes until the cauliflower turn light brown on top
Let the tarts cool, 10 minutes, before taking out from the mold and serving
Cauliflower curry couscous is a great side dish, without actual couscous in it. This recipe is all cauliflower and perfect for low carb diet seekers. This white veggie replace couscous, bulgur, rice to perfection without being packed with carbohydrates, it represents 1/10 of white rice carb amount. I’m on this journey to lower my carb intake, I’ve been researching the internet for some nice recipes and tricks to help out. The internet is filled rice, bread, pasta,etc. alternatives and that cauliflower couscous was one of them. I was a bit sceptic at first, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at my first bite. So… if you are looking to cut down on carbs, this is a great way to do so.
I had a simple curry powder and garam masala powder to the couscous to give it an indian flare, inspired by the main dish of the day which was grilled tandoori skewers. Cauliflower is a great alternative to many of those filled with carbohydrates like bread, rice, couscous and much more. In the coming weeks, I’ll be making a bunch of tests with it, and other low carb alternatives, so stay-tuned if you are thinking about lowering your carb intake.
Let’s make this healthy, low carb side dish!
Indian flavored Cauliflower Couscous
Makes about 4 to 6 portions
1 tbsp of curry powder
1 tsp of garam masala powder *optional for extra spice
2 scallions finely chopped
3 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper
Cut the cauliflower into big florets
Add to a blender and blend until it becomes a couscous texture
In a big pan, bring to medium-high heat, add the butter
Add the cauliflower couscous in the pan with the spices, salt and pepper
Mix, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly colored