Two of the vegetables that have really proved invaluable to me on my weight loss journey….. Cauliflower and courgette.
Not two vegetables that may immediately strike you as being particularly exciting or tasty… but WAIT!!!
I first discovered cauliflower rice in the Summer of 2012. I read a post somewhere on line about it and decided to have a go at making a batch and trying it in place of regular rice.
So the method is: Approx 150g of cauliflower. Wash, break into florets and place into a food processor with a metal cutting blade. Use the “pulse” setting on the machine to chop the cauliflower until it resembles rice grains.
Place cauliflower rice into a microwave dish and cover. Cook on full power in a microwave for about 2½ minutes. Serve in place of rice with curry, chilli, chicken supreme, etc.
The calorie saving is phenomenal! 150g of cauliflower rice = 46 calories. 150g of dry rice = 523 calories! In reality, you are likely to eat about 80g of rice, but even that would be 280 calories, so six times more calories for a portion.
Unbelieveable as it may seem, the “rice” doesn’t actually taste too much like cauliflower. Served with something with a strong flavour and a sauce, it instead absorbs the flavours and works very well as a substitute. Excellent too for anyone following a gluten free diet.
The second discovery was even better! Courgette, cut into fine strips using a Julienne peeler and then stir fried for about three minutes in a wok to provide an excellent alternative to spaghetti! Such a great alternative that I actually PREFER the texture (slightly crunchy) as well as the fact that after a meal I’m not left with that “bloated” feeling that rice and pasta sometimes leave me with.
So calorie savings here? 200g of courgette, julienned and cooked with ½ tbsp of olive oil = 86 calories. Compared to 200g of cooked spaghetti = 238 calories. So two and-a-half times more calories.
My Julienne peeler is a handheld device, dirt cheap (from Amazon) and can be stuck in the dishwasher following use. It has a deadly blade, so I always use a fork to pin the courgette down to a chopping board whilst I slice away.
The great thing about courgette spaghetti is being able to add things like prawns, strips of ham, low fat flavoured cheese (such as Philadelphia with garlic and herbs) and “hey presto” you have a very quick, tasty and nutritional low calorie dinner ready in minutes!
I use these two versatile vegetables again and again, especially on a “Fasting” day when I need to be really economical with my calories.
Try them and see what you think!