I’m not here to take you for a ride on the Atkin’s train.
I think complex carbs have an important place in our diets, especially vegan ones. However, even us vegans need to lower our caloric intake occasionally, and eating some low carb meals is a great way to feel full for fewer calories.
When I’m trying to minimize carbohydrates and I’m super sick of salads and smoothies, these are my three secret weapons. Not so secret now!
Curried Cauliflower Rice
Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main dish
1 large head cauliflower or two small heads, processed into rice sized pieces.
(To process, place cauliflower florets in a blender with enough water to cover and then blend. Strain and repeat until you’ve used all the cauliflower. Don’t overfill the blender. Sometimes it will take as many as four rounds to get all the cauliflower ready.)
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow squash or zucchini, cut into small cubes
one onion, chopped
1 tbl curry powder
1 tbl smoked paprika
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup roasted cashews
Saute onion, garlic and carrots, five minutes. Add spices, sauté one more minute. Add cauliflower and squash or zucchini, saute five more minutes. When finished, fold in cilantro and cashews and serve hot or room temp.
Spaghetti Squash with Wild Mushrooms, Walnuts and Pesto
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.
1 spaghetti squash, prepared.
(To prepare, split squash in half and remove seeds. Place face down in a baking dish with fairly high edges. Fill with one inch water and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool, and scrape out insides with a fork. This squash will keep in the fridge for days, and is good to have on hand to throw together quick meals.)
2 lbs mushrooms, any kind sliced. I like a combination of portobello, shitake and crimini, but anything will do.
1 tbl olive oil
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4-1/2 cup pesto
For pesto you’ll need;
6 cloves garlic
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 handfuls fresh basil
1 tbl sea salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
juice of one lemon
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
To prepare dish, saute mushrooms in 1/2 t/l olive oil until they begin to release their juices. Add half of the pesto, continue to sauté, one minute. In another pan, sauté spaghetti squash in 1/2 tsp olive oil and the other half of the pesto. Mix all well. Plate the squash and pour mushrooms and walnuts on top. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. If not vegan, this pairs well with fresh grated parmesan.
Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main dish.
1 spaghetti squash, prepared. (see above)
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce, or 1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes with 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp sweet basil,1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbl olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste stirred in.
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow squash cut in half, and then sliced into half moons.
1 zucchini cut the same way.
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of fresh basil
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
Heat sauce, set aside. Sauté spaghetti squash in 1 tbl olive oil , cover and set aside. Sauté garlic, one minute. Add all other veggies and sauté five minutes. Mix sauce together with squash, top with veggies, hazelnuts and fresh basil leaves. If not vegan, some fresh grated parmesan here is wonderful.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise