Look, we’re not saying carbs aren’t great – a pizza free life is our idea of hell – but sometimes, you just need something a little lighter, which is where these carb-imposter veggie alternatives come in pretty handy…
1. Cauliflower Rice
Either grate the head of a cauliflower or blitz it in a food processor and you’ve got instant grain sized bits of cauli that will work with everything from your favourite curry to bulking out a salad. Our fave way to serve it? As a healthy take on fried rice cooked in sesame oil. Add an egg, chilli, spring onions, peas and chicken or prawns et voila. Trust us, it tastes like Chinese!
2. Courgetti Spaghetti
Use a spiralizer or mandolin (or a knife if you’re really patient) to create strands that you can boil, stir-fry or serve raw in place of your usual pasta or noodles. Wondering what to eat them with? Our spiralizer recipes have got it covered.
3. Cauliflower Mash
Steam the cauli heads in a pan with some vegetable stock and garlic for ten minutes until soft before mashing or blitzing with a hand blender to create a smooth creamy mash. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of black pepper and a cheeky sprinkling of parmesan and prepare for mash heaven.
4. Cauliflower Pizza
The humble cauliflower really is the veggie gift that keeps on giving. Cauli pizza bases are a bit more time consuming, but well worth it – they’d convert any dough devotee. Blitz the cauli into rice, then pop into the microwave for about four minutes. You’ll need to squeeze out the excess moisture – the best way to do this is to tip it into a teatowel and wring it out. Then, place the cauli into a bowl with one egg, two tablespoons of parmesan, salt and pepper and a pinch of oregano and mix it to form a dough. Place some slightly oiled greaseproof paper on a baking sheet, then, using an 8-inch cake ring as a guide, tip the mix in and press down to flatten it out. Pop the pizza base into the oven for about 20 mins until golden and slightly crisp before removing and adding your toppings, then place it back in the oven for another five to ten minutes until fully cooked.
5. Leek or Aubergine Lasagne
Simple but genius, simply replace your usual lasagne sheets with sheets of unrolled leek or long strips of aubergine and bake as normal.
6. Root Vegetable Crisps
Carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and beetroot are all easily transformed into addictively crunchy crisps simply by slicing them super thin and roasting in the oven with olive oil.
7. Parsnip Fries
Cut your parsnips into super thin sticks – you’re going for true French Fry style here – then melt some coconut oil – about three tablespoons for two people – in a roasting tin. Toss the parsnips in the oil with some salt and pepper and add a pinch of sea salt and pepper before roasting for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
8. Lettuce Tacos
Again, this one couldn’t be easier. In place of crispy taco shells, try the outer leaves of an Iceberg lettuce – the perfect vehicle for a good dollop of chilli, cheese, guac and sour cream!
9. Banana Pancakes
Ok, so we know a banana isn’t a vegetable, but we had to give you a sweet treat! These dreamy pancakes use just two ingredients – banana and eggs – and taste out of this world. Mash one ripe banana with a fork until there are barely any lumps. Then, whisk the eggs together until the yolk and white are combined and add to the banana. Mix it all together to create a batter and ladle one to two tablespoons of the mixture into a griddle pan to fry for about one minute. You should end up with a good sized stack that will be crying out for berries, maple syrup or whatever toppings float your breakfast boat.