For us college kids who love to cook (yes, adults, we exist), it’s always a major plus to come home to a fully stocked kitchen at the end of semester. It’s not just about having all our favorite foods, but also about having the best kitchen appliances (and with the benefit of not having to clean up after our roommates).
I’m grateful to have a mom who is also a fellow foodie. This time, my mom surprised me with a new appliance: the spiralizer. This strange appliance cores and spiralizes any fruit or veg into a beautiful, bouncy, noodle-like shape.
But I was skeptical at first: sure, it looked pretty, and was fun to use, but WHY?
Then I tried zoodles, and there was no going back. Spiralized zucchinis grilled in the pan for a few minutes and then sprinkled with pesto and parmesan cheese tasted just as good, took less time, and looked even more beautiful than its carb-heavy alternative, pesto pasta.
Yet, for those of you out there who do not own the one of a kind spiralizer (which I highly recommend), do not fret! Here are some creative ways to substitute veggies for your favorite grains and carbohydrate dishes:
Zucchini noodles! Where it all began. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a regular vegetable peeler to make all your friends green with envy for this delicious pasta alternative. Just peel, grill on a skillet for 3-5 minutes, and add any toppings!
2. Cauliflower Rice
Faster than rice, and even the same color! Fool your friends and family with this yummy alternative. Simply grind up cauliflower and grill in a skillet until golden brown.
3. Plantain Nachos
No longer be plain with these plantains as your nacho base! Slice these guys up real thin and either fry or bake them. And just like that, tortilla chips are a thing of the past.
4. Sweet Potato Waffles
I’m sure even Leslie Knope would kill for these grain-free, 3-ingredient goodies. And yes, this does count as one of your five-a-day. Check out the recipe here.
5. Almond Pesto Turnip Noodles
Turnip for what?? Another variation on the classic zoodle.
6. Portobello Mushroom Buns
For all you gluten-free gals and guys out there, this time you can enjoy your burgers with the bun– and an extra serving of veggies!
7. Grain-Free Kale Green-ola
The granola is always greener on the other side (or with some kale). To try it out, use this handy recipe here.
8. Butternut Squash Risotto
Butter-nut forget to try this one! And no worries, we’ve got the recipe here for you.
9. Lettuce Wraps
This time, your wraps can feature veggies on the inside and outside, too. Check out this list of creative lettuce wraps to get your cuisine juices flowing!
10. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Taking veggie pizza to a whole new level. Paleo pizza-lovers, rejoice! Read more on this recipe here.
Veggie lovers, rejoice.