Cutting down on grains? Try these great alternatives!

Are you struggling to put a substantial meal on the table without resorting to rice, pasta or potatoes?

These three simple alternatives will fix that while increasing the quantity of vegetables you and your family consume. That’s a win, win!

Cauliflower Rice

What is it? Regular florettes of cauliflower, blitzed in a food processor to resemble rice and then cooked in a pan with a little oil.

How do I cook it? Working in batches, blitz your florettes in a food processor until it resembles small rice sized pieces. Remove the finished batches and set aside in a bowl and discard any large pieces. Once it has all been processed and reassembles a bowl of rice, heat a large pan on a medium/low heat with either olive or coconut oil. Cook out the cauliflower rice with a pinch of salt for 5-8 minutes stirring regularly. You want it to cook through without browning it up. Once it’s cooked out, it’s ready to be served in place of rice!

Why is it better? When compared with brown rice. Cauliflower has approx 85% less calories and also contains vitamin C, B6, potassium and fibre.

Spaghetti Squash

What is it? It’s a vegetable, much like a pumpkin that contains strands of flesh that look and behave just like spaghetti! You can get it from Harris Farm Markets.

How do I cook it? Preheat your oven to 190 Degrees Celsius. Poke your paring knife into the skin of the squash to make small pricks all around. Roast it for approx 1hr and 20mins for a 2kg squash. Let it cool and then slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard them, then use a fork to remove the flesh of the squash in long strands. It’s now ready to be added to a your favourite pasta sauce or stored in the fridge.

Why is it better? When comparing plain white spaghetti with spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash has approx 75% less carbohydrate and 95% less calories/kilojoules than white pasta! It also contains far higher levels of potassium and vitamin A.

Zucchini Pasta

What is it? Strips of zucchini (less the seeds) cooked and served in place of fettuccine or tagliatelle.

How do I cook it? With a vegetable peeler in hand, cut your zucchini length-ways into long thin strips. Work your way around the zucchini until you are only left with the seeds in the middle. You can discard the seeds and set aside your strips on a chopping board. Take a large chefs knife and cut your crude strips length-ways to make thinner and more uniform strips of “pasta”. The zucchini requires no cooking aside from to time it spends in the pot with your pasta sauce so just stir it through with your sauce while it’s still on the stove-top and you’re ready to go 2 minutes later!

Why is it better? When compared to regular white pasta, zucchini has approx 90% less calories and carbohyrate and is much quicker to serve up as it has no cooking time.