Coconut, Ginger & Jalapeno Cauliflower “Rice”

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I think everyone likes rice one way or the other but sometimes you just don’t want that starch & carb thing.  But, sometimes, you find you are 50 years old & are 25 pounds off your game weight.  Sometimes, you can’t fit into even your “fat” pants – unless they have a stretchy waist…and it is always a slippery slope – getting too cozy in those stretchy pants.  Sometimes – you gotta take a stand, make sacrifices, cut yourself off.  Sometimes, you need to cut calories & God knows you are not cutting back on the wine & champagne.  You don’t want to become alchorexic – saving all your calories up to drink at night.  So – what do you do?  You make things like this cauliflower rice!  Seems like rice – but it is just grated cauliflower!  Guiltless & a good way to sneak extra veggies into veggie-suspicious diners.  It really is convincing – especially when incorporated into other dishes – like Thai or Indian foods.

In the past, I have posted Garlic and Ginger Cauliflower RiceEasy Cilantro Scallion Lime Cauliflower Rice, Cauliflower Fried Rice, and Spicy Thai Fried Cauliflower “Rice” – seen below, respectively.  Today – I am posting a Coconut, Ginger & Jalapeno Cauliflower “Rice.”  If you have never tried it before – trust me – it works!  Really seems like rice but you can shove it in your face like you are at an eating tournament & your ass won’t grow a bit.  It might even tighten up!  So – why not give it a go?

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Coconut, Ginger & Jalapeno Cauliflower “Rice”

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

I head cauliflower – leaves & core cut away

2 jalapeno peppers – seeded & diced

2 TBS grated fresh ginger or ginger paste

1 cup unsweetened, grated coconut

2 TBS coconut oil

1 tsp ground cumin

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Grate the cauliflower with a box grater or with the grating blade in a food processor.

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan & cook the jalapenos until they begin to soften.  Add te ginger & cook one minute.  Add the cauliflower, coconut & cumin & cook about 5 minutes – or until the cauliflower is soften but not mushy.  Season with S&P.

Stores very well in the fridge without clumping.

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Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Zoodles.  Noodles made from spiralized zucchini.  No carbs.  No guilt.  Really yummy & very easy.  I prefer the hand held & less expensive spiralizer like THESE for zucchini.  It is fast & easy to use & has minimal clean up – but if you have a tabletop version – knock yourself out.

I used Chanterelle mushrooms because I had them but any of the more mildly flavored mushrooms will do.  I might avoid portobello only because they can get dark when cooked and not look so pretty.  I also used arugula but spinach or any other leafy green, like kale or chard, would also work.

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I used my own, homemade vegan mozzarella (seen above) but any mild vegan cheese will do – and even real cheese would work – if you are a cheese eater.

This was my first effort with zoodles where I did not add real pasta to the mix so – without the heat of pasta to toss them with – they needed some cooking.  My result was more watery (you can see in the photos) than was ideal and so – in the future – I will use THIS technique to drain them a bit before cooking them and I recommend you do, too.  The procedure is simply to lay the zoodles on paper towel & lightly salt them & press more paper towel on top.  Maybe change out the top towel – if necessary.  Roll up in paper towel & squeeze.  This should get most of the excess moisture out.

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Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

2 very large zucchini (enough so you get about 5-6 cups of spiralized noodles) – spiralized

1/2 lb mushrooms (I used Chanterelle) – sliced

1-2 cups arugula (or spinach)

1-2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used one cup but would suggest going with two)

2 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Several TBS Fresh thyme – removed from stems

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS flour

1 cup almond (or other vegan) milk

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Spiralize the zucchini & follow THESE steps to remove excess moisture.

Heat the butter in a stock pot & whisk in the flour.  Add a TBS or two of fresh thyme.  Incrementally add the milk in small amounts – allowing the roux to thicken each time.   Add the cheese & stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese melts & the sauce is creamy.  Season with S&P.  Stir in the arugula.  Set aside on medium-low to keep warm.

In  saute pan – heat a TBS olive oil & cook the mushrooms.  When they are almost done to your liking – add the garlic & a TBS of thyme & stir to incorporate.  After 2 minutes or so – remove from heat because you don’t want to burn the garlic.  Season with S&P.

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In that same saute pan – heat another TBS or two & quickly cook the zoodles – not more than 2-3 minutes or they will get too mushy.  Toss the zoodles with the cheese sauce & heat through.

Serve on plates & spoon some mushrooms onto each serving.  Garnish with more thyme & freshly cracked pepper.

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Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna with Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel and Garlicky Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms and Arugula Pistachio Pesto (No Carb – No Pasta)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Did you happen to miss my appearance on Nicole Richie’s show –#CandidlyNicole @VH1? No worries! Here it is! I show up HERE after the break – about 16 minutes in!
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AND – if you missed my hour-long Oh, Mary! Show appearance this week – well – you are in LUCK! Here are all four segments! LOTSA dirty talk! Many laughs!

Here you go!

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-01/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-02/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-03/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-04/

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OK – in all fairness – this recipe has a lot of steps.  Without a food processor – it might be too much of a pain in the ass to attempt.  If you have a food processor & an afternoon to kill – this might be a fun project.  It is pretty delicious – though not particularly healthy – despite the no-carb noodles made from cauliflower.  This could be made vegan by subbing out the animal products with vegan alternatives but I will leave that to the motivated vegans out there.  I don’t think I have to say “or vegan alternative” after every egg, butter or cheese ingredient for the vegans to work it out.

I used leftover arugula & pistachio pesto that I still had from my Arugula Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Ricotta Salata.

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You can make this or any other pesto – or use a store-bought one.

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

This makes enough for at least a pound or two of pasta but it keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS

6 oz fresh arugula

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup Parmesan

1/4 cup pistachios (or other nuts)

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

I used 1/4 cup olive oil & 1/4 cup of water to thin the pesto.  1/2 cup of oil just seems crazy to me – but you can go all oil if you want to.

Blend into a pesto in a food processor – starting with just the 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Drizzle more (or water) in as it purees until you get the consistency you like.  Set aside.

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I made a homemade bechamel but you could use a store-bought alfredo & get much the same results.

I used chopped mushrooms, leeks & Brussels sprouts – but any mix of sauteed vegetable would work.

I used this pink Himalayan salt that I have become obsessed with but any salt will do.  And I used the Dash Onion & Herb seasoning but any Italian seasoning (or mix of onion & garlic powders) would be fine.

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I used cauliflower “noodles” in this but real lasagna noodles work, too.

No-Carb Lasagna Noodles

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – riced (about 10 cups)

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 TBS seasoning (see above)

1 TBS oregano

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

I used a silicone cooking mat treated with cooking spray but greased parchment paper should work, too.  Know that this stuff STICKS  – even to the greased silicone mat – so – slather your cooking shit up.

Take the cauliflower & grate it up with the grater blade of a food processor – or with a manual grater – or get to chopping by hand until it has a rice-like look.

You can zap this in the microwave in 2 minute increments – stirring in between – until it softens but I loathe nuking things.  I submerged the cauliflower in boiling water for about 5 minutes & then drained it in a colander under cold running water.

Once it is cool, in small batches, twist the cauliflower up in a kitchen town & wring as much moisture out of it as you can.

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Then simply mix it up in a large bowl with the other ingredients & press it onto your well-greased cooking sheet (see images above).  Bake it for about 45 minutes or until it begins to brown & is cooked pretty dry.  Set aside & allow it to cool.

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Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms & Leeks

I made the mushrooms & leeks first & then decided to add Brussels sprouts so my photos might show a different cooking sequence but it can be done as I will outline now.

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

2 leeks – white sections only – chopped small

1/2 lb mushrooms – diced

1 lb Brussels sprouts – chopped or sliced fine

1 tsp each S&P

2 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

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DIRECTIONS

It is important to cut the leeks & mushrooms & Brussels sprouts small so they do not stay too chunky & impede clean slicing of the lasagna.

I chopped the mushrooms & leeks & ran the Brussels sprouts through the slicer of my food processor.

Heat 2 (or so) TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat & saute the Brussels sprouts until they begin to brown a bit.  Add /4 water & steam them soft.  Once the water is absorbed or evaporated – add the leeks & mushrooms & saute until tender – maybe 5 minutes.  Stir in the S&P & the minced garlic and the parsley.  Saute another minute & remove from heat.  Set aside.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond (or other) milk

3 TBS butter

3 TBS flour

2 garlic cloves – minced

8-10 oz goat cheese – room temp

2 TBS chives (or other herb) – minced (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in a soup pan over med-high heat.  Add the flour & garlic & whisk constantly until it thickens, begins to brown & becomes aromatic – maybe 2 minutes.

Add the milk in 1/4 cup increments & whisk it in until it incorporates & thickens before adding more milk.  This should take maybe 5 minutes.

Add the goat cheese & chives & whisk until the goat cheese melts.  Set aside.

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Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna with Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel and Garlicky Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms and Arugula Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower “noodles” (recipe above) or real (cooked) lasagna noodles

1 cup pesto (recipe above) – or any pesto you prefer

Garlicky mushrooms, leeks & Brussels sprouts (recipe above) – or any cooked veggie mix you prefer

2-3 cups grated cheese (I used mozzarella)

Several hunks of fresh (packed in water) mozzarella (optional)

Parsley – chopped (as garnish)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

My photos show this lasagna cooked once & photographed & then reheated for a new photo session – hence the paler & more golden cheesy tops.

Prep your ingredients.  Cut the cauliflower “noodles” into three equal portions – or however you can to get some layer-able “noodles.”  Never fear if they break apart & stick a lot.  Patch the pieces in & nobody will ever know the difference.

Assemble the lasagna.  I started with a layer of bechamel (whisk it smooth if a skin has formed while it waited).  Then I added the layers in this order:

1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

1/2 of the pesto

1/2 of the veggies

1/3 of the bechamel

another 1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

the other 1/2 of the pesto

the other 1/2 of the veggies

another 1/3 of the bechamel

Grated cheese – in an amount that looks good to you – I used about 1/2 – 3/4 cup

the final 1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

the rest of the bechamel

More grated cheese & some fresh mozzarella – if you are using it

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 Bake that son-of-a-bitch fr 25-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly & looks the color you want it to look – whether JUST starting to brown at the edges – or a bit golden all over.
Let it rest for 10 minutes or so.  Garnish with chopped parsley & eat it up!!!!

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Red Curry Grilled Shrimp with Spicy Thai Fried Cauliflower “Rice” (Low Carb, Gluten Free & Paleo)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This recipe is easy & guilt-free.  The “rice” is actually just grated cauliflower & the veggies can be customized to suit your tastes or to reflect whatever vegetables you have handy.  I know paleo is all the rage but I am not 100% clear on which vegetables are on the “no” list – but I am pretty sure this is paleo.  If NOT – please write me & tell me why, OK?

The key to this is a pre-made red curry.  I bought this little far at my local Gelson’s.

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Asian stores have little cans of them like these that I buy at Bangluck Market.

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If you can’t buy it made, I am sure there are recipes out there on Pinterest or Google that will show you how to make a red curry paste from curry powder.  Having to make the paste sort of eliminates the ease I am professing about this recipe, though, so keep that in mind.  Try to buy it already made.

That said, I must insist that you try cauliflower “rice” at least once.  In a stir fry, you can hardly tell it isn’t rice & it is so much better for you!

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Red Curry Grilled Shrimp

INGREDIENTS

Skewers (optional)

Shrimp (about a pound)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sriracha

1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)

3-4 TBS red curry paste

2 TBS rice vinegar

4 garlic cloves – minced

3 scallions – sliced (reserve some for garnish)

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DIRECTIONS

Soak skewers (if using) in water for at least 30 minutes to help keep them from burning).

Peel & clean the shrimp.

In a bowl, blend the oil, sriracha, lemon juice, curry paste, vinegar, garlic & scallions.  Reserve some to use as garnish later (maybe 1/3 cup) and then put the rest in a Ziplock bag or other container & add the shrimp & mix it all about.  Marinate the shrimp for at least an hour or as long as overnight.

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When ready to grill the shrimp, either on a grill or in a grill pan, skewer the shrimp (two skewers make it easier to flip the shrimp) & grill for about 2-3 minutes each side or until done.  Serve with the spicy Thai fried cauliflower “rice” (below) and drizzle with extra red curry sauce & garnish with scallion slices.

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Spicy Thai Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

INGREDIENTS (use or don’t use or substitute according to your taste)

1 medium head cauliflower

Olive oil

10 green beans – trimmed & chopped

4 jalapeno peppers (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 cup brocoli florets

2 carrots – chopped

1 bell pepper – chopped

1/2 red onion – diced

1 cup peas

4 mushrooms – cliced

2+ TBS red curry paste

2 TBS soy sauce

Eggs – to scramble into rice (optional)

Thai (or other) basil – chopped

Chopped peanuts and/or sliced scallions and/or sliced cucumber and/or lime wedges – as garnish

Sambal oelek, sriracha or chili garlic paste to add kick – if you desire.

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DIRECTIONS

With a hand grater or with the grating blade of your food processor – grate the cauliflower & set aside.

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Whisk the soy sauce & red curry paste together & set aside.

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Prepare your veggies.

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Heat some olive oil (1-2 TBS) in a wok or very large pan.  I threw all the veggies in at once.

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Once they were tender, I added the red curry & soy sauce mix.

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Then I added the cauliflower.

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After about 5 minutes, I created a well & added two egs & scrambled them in the well.  When nearly done, I mixed them into the rice & vegetables.  I then added chopped basil.

Serve with chopped peanuts or scallions and maybe a lime wedge & some sliced cucumber.  Serve with the red curry grilled shrimp.  I have no photo of them together as my phone battery died.  Sorry!  I can promise – this is one yummy disj – especially with copious amounts of sambal oelek dumped upon it!

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No-Carb No-Pasta Grilled Garden Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Marinara

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

Hey!  Have you heard?  I wrote a really funny & dirty novel!  www.BathingBook.com.   Check out the reviews on Amazon!  Why not buy a copy?

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Say!  Kids!   Got 18 minutes to kill & you already watched as much porn as you can for the day?  Why not wash your filthy hands & culturize yourselves?  Take a gander at my genius boyfriend’s award-winning short film – Pillow.  Available for the first time online!  Feel free to say you saw it here!  And for those of you unfamiliar with indie films & more accustomed to having things spelled out for them – let me just preface your viewing with this insight:  It isn’t a goose.  It is an angel.

Enjoy!

Wasn’t that AWESOME????

OK – on to food!  This a pretty guiltless creation.  Sure – there is some cheese but there ain’t no pasta – just a shit ton of veggies!  This bad boy has to weigh 15 pounds!  The actual vegetables one uses is just a matter of personal preference – so – if you hate eggplant or mushrooms – leave them out.  Love kale?  Throw some of that shit in there.  Make it your own!

I grilled the eggplant but you could skip that part by just slicing the eggplant far thinner than my 1/2 inch slices.  I also grilled the zucchini.  I grilled these guys because 1) I think they taste better grilled & 2) I was attempting to minimize the water they would release into the lasagna.  If grilling isn’t an option for you or it just sounds like a pain in the ass – simply slice those guys up & toss them with a little salt in a colander in the sink & let them drain a while.  That should dry them out a bit – and, I hear – it lessens any bitterness the eggplant might possess.

I made a simple basil marinara but your favorite jarred sauce will do.  Feel free to add some actual cooked lasagna noodles, if you fancy.  I’m not here to judge.  This is a fairly simple recipe despite the various steps, so do not be intimidated.  And this baby is PACKED with flavor!

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No-Carb No-Pasta Grilled Garden Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Marinara

INGREDIENTS

For the basil marinara

1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil – chopped

1 tsp sugar

10 cherry tomatoes (quartered) – optional

Olive oil

S&P to taste

For the garden vegetable lasagna

5-6 large zucchinis – sliced the long way into faux lasagna noodles

1 eggplant – sliced

5 huge mushrooms (or equivalent) – sliced

10 cherry tomatoes – cut into quarters

1-2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups grated mozzarella (or cheddar mozzarella blend or other mix)

1 large ball fresh mozzarella

Olive oil

Italian dressing for grilling (optional)

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the basil marinara

Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a stock or soup pot.  Add the garlic & heat for less than a minute.  Do not be alarmed!  I like huge chunks of garlic.  You can cut yours up more, if you like, just don’t burn it!  Also – those brown bits in there are remnants of the sauteed mushrooms.  Just soze you know.

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Add the canned tomatoes (they sputter in the oil so do not get burned).  Add the basil, cherry tomatoes & the sugar.  Simmer 15 minutes or more.  Add S&P to taste.  Set aside or allow to simmer on low as you prepare the lasagna components.

For the garden vegetable lasagna

I lightly coated the eggplant with a cheap, Italian dressing & grilled them.  I grilled the zucchini naked.  You can do this or opt to slice those guys up & toss them with a little salt in a colander in the sink & let them drain a while.  Either way, set the eggplant & zucchini up & then set aside.

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In a frying pan, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil (less if you can get away with it) & saute the mushrooms until they begin to brown.  Set aside.

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Get a casserole or other dish appropriate for your lasagna & cover the bottom with a thin layer of the basil marinara.  My pan is about 3 inches deep & maybe 6″x9″.  This is not a science.

Then – basically layer all the ingredients (except the fresh mozzarella & the cherry tomatoes) in any order that suits you – as long as the final two layers are sauce & then grated cheese.  Here is my assembly.

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Then – top with the cherry tomatoes.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Take the dish out & top it with sliced fresh mozzarella.

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Bake it for about another ten minutes or until it looks like this.

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Let it rest a good 10-20 minutes before cutting into it so you have some hope of it holding its shape.  I was impatient.  I cut right in because I am a food whore and I have no will power & that’s just how I roll.

If you wait a bit – it might slice up like this.  Might.  You make the call.

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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with NO CARB Zucchini Noodles

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Yesterday was national cheese day.  Did you know that?  My boyfriend, Miles, declared that to be true yesterday and, upon investigation, I found him to be correct.  So – time for a cheese-based recipe!!!  Behold!  Cacio e Pepe!

Cacio e Pepe just means cheese & pepper.  And that is literally all you are supposed to add to a traditional spaghetti cacio e pepe.  I tend to find alfredos and such FAR to rich for my tastes & I very seldom make cream-heavy sauces.  This dish, however, uses no heavy cream.  No additional dairy beyond the finest pecorino you can find.  The ingredients are:

Spaghetti

Pecorino

Pepper

How can you beat that for simplicity?  You can’t.  And if you can find a pepper pecorino like this one:

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…well, now you are down to TWO ingredients.

Still, I thought I wanted to update this dish a bit & still cut into the calorie count involved.  My thought was to do it using only zucchini noodles like these:

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The problem with that idea, though, is that zucchini noodles do not stand up to cooking beyond a quick blanching or they get soggy.  They require a hot sauce on them to soften them – if you are using them to mock spaghetti, as I intended to do here.   I used them once before in my

DECADENT Vegan NO CARB Summer Pasta with Zucchini Noodles, Avocado, Asparagus & Peas

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But I ran into the same issue there as with my cacio e pepe endeavor – that my sauce was not hot.  Plain, grated pecorino requires the heat of the freshly cooked pasta (and a bit of the hot pasta water) to melt the cheese & create the luscious creaminess this dish is famous for.  So – I just used equal parts whole wheat spaghetti & zucchini noodles to cut down on the carb impact.  You can leave the zucchini out entirely to no ill effect.  Either way – this is one of the easiest, yummiest & most elegant pastas I have ever eaten.  Even a total kitchen novice can pull this one off so no excuses!

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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with NO CARB Zucchini Noodles

INGREDIENTS

1 LB dry spaghetti

5 large zucchinis (optional)

8 oz (or more) HIGH QUALITY pecorino

Fresh ground pepper – and lots of it!

Salt

Extra pecorino or Parmesan for garnish (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Using a grating tool like this:

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or with a mandolin or spiralizer – create the noodles from the zucchini.  No need to use the ends or seeded centers.  Drain in a colander with a bit of salt mixed in.

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Grate the pecorino.

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Cook the pasta according to directions.  Add the zucchini in the last minute.  Put a large mixing bowl over the pasta pot in the last thirty seconds or so to warm it.  Do not BURN yourself!

Reserve a little hot pasta water & then drain the pasta & zucchini.  Add to the warmed bowl & top with the cheese.  Stir it all around until the cheese is completely melted & incorporated.  You might need to add a bit of the hot pasta water – maybe not.

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Serve with a shite-load of freshly ground pepper.  Be impressed with yourself.

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LOW CARB Chipotle Cauliflower “No-Mac” & Cheese with White Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – this has to be one of the greatest Goddamn things ever!  I cannot recommend highly enough that you try this.  You can leave out the white beans (which I added for texture & fiber content) if you are serious about dodging carbs or make it with pasta instead of cauliflower if you are carbo-loading for a marathon – or do part cauliflower & part pasta.  You could add black beans or corn or garbanzo beans or diced tomato – or avocado after it is baked as a garnish.  So many options.  I made this up out of my head with ingredients on hand.  My version used 1 cup heavy cream & 1 cup water because I didn’t have milk.  It came out a tad wetter than I expected – probably because cauliflower doesn’t absorb moisture the way pasta does  – and I’d never attempted an all cauliflower mac & cheese before.  If you like your mac & cheese (or your cheesy veggies) wet – this recipe is for you.  If not either cut the milk by 1/2 or add another 1/2 cup each of the cheeses – or both.  That should solve the problem.  Or add a cup of cooked pasta.  I feel very confident about this recipe & that you will enjoy it – wet or dry.  And, though I haven’t confirmed this yet, I bet it is better the next day.  It could be made vegan by simply using the vegan alternatives to the dairy in the recipe.  This recipe is pretty spicy so – adjust the chipotle & jalapeno, if you are sensitive to heat.

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LOW CARB Chipotle Cauliflower “No-Mac” & Cheese with White Beans

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – cut into but sized florets (I did the cutting after it was cooked & cooled)

1 can white beans

4 TBS butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 cups milk (or 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup water) – or less for a dryer result

5 chipotle peppers & their adobo sauce – diced

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

1 red (or green) serrano pepper – seeded & diced (optional)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

1 cup quality cheddar (I used Kerrygold Reserved Cheddar) – or 1/2 cup more more for a cheesier result

1 cup quality pepper jack cheese (I used Tillamook Pepper Jack) – or 1/2 cup more for a cheesier result

S&P to taste

1/2 cup Panko or other bread crumbs

1/2 cup additional grated cheese to top the casserole

Additional cilantro for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the over to 350.

Boil water & add the cauliflower to it.  Boil about 6-7 minutes.  Drain & rinse under cool water.  Drain the beans & add to the cauliflower.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the flour & whisk continuously so i doesn’t burn.  It should brown just a bit.  Add garlic powder, smoked paprika & slowly whisk in the milk – allowing the sauce to thicken.  Add chipotle & sauce & cilantro & jalapeno & serrano peppers (if using).  Raise heat to medium-high & simmer about 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.  Add the cheeses in increments, allowing it all to melt without clumping.  If it gets too thick, add water or a little milk.

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Add the white beans & cauliflower florets & stir to coat.

Grease a casserole pan or other baking dish.  Top with additional grated cheese & bread crumbs.  Put the cheesy cauliflower in it,  top with additional grated cheese & bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until the sides are bubbling & the bread crumbs are browned.  Remove from heat & let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with additional fresh cilantro.

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