Swap out pasta for zucchini ‘pasta’ and swap out rice for cauliflower ‘rice’.
Purely on calories in/out basis, you are talking 130 cals for 100g of pasta vs 17 cals for 100g of zucchini. The comparison when it comes to the rice is pretty much the same – 130 vs 25! Not to mention you are getting the benefits of eating FRESH VEGETABLES vs either a processed product (pasta) or one that has been (at best) stored/packaged for an extended period of time.
Veggies > Grains! 🙂
Well – I am going to go another way here with my ‘prep’ cheat of the week. It isn’t about replacing veggies with grains – it IS about having some carrot sticks, cucumber, celery, mushrooms, broccoli (and any other raw vegie YOU like) sliced up in your fridge and ready for snacks…remember, no-one lies in bed dreaming of celery but if you open the fridge and it is already cut up and waiting for you, well, the chances are that will be what you choose to snack on.
Simple. Look up how to make cauliflower rice and use it as a rice replacement with at least one meal this week. It is seriously simple to make and you will find it is an amazing (and healthy) alternative.
– About 500g of beef mince (or split between beef and pork mince!)
– 6-8 tomatoes – diced
– 1 whole onion – chopped
– 2-3 garlic cloves – peeled, crushed (with a knife) and ‘quartered’.
– 1 medium size chilli – seeded and diced.
– 1 cup of tomato puree. You can make this yourself but there are a few ‘natural’ ones on the market you can buy which makes life easy!
– 4-5 whole zucchinis, sliced ‘lengthways’.
– A handful or 2 of spinach leaves
– Some parmesan cheese if you like it.
– Add in some paprika, black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Throw the chilli, onion and garlic in a (largish) pan and stir them around until the onion is soft. Add the mince and cook until it is brown – throw in the paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomato puree and the diced tomatos – stir all of this through until it is all ‘cooked’ and is a nice, smooth, consistent mix. All up, this shouldn’t take too long. If you need to use a potato masher on the mince/tomato mix to make it ‘smooth’, well, do what you have to do!
In your ‘normal’ lasagna dish, put some olive oil on the bottom then create a ‘layer of zucchini. Some people might use eggplant as well but I don’t like eggplant so wont be including it here. Spoon a layer of the sauce (you can be generous) on top of the zucchini, followed by some parmesan (again, optional), a layer of spinach and another layer of zucchini. Repeat. Ideally the top layer is zucchini covered in a ‘light’ covering of the sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan.
For me, this is best when eaten the next day, so I would recommend covering it all in foil and putting in the fridge for the next 24 hours…when that is done, stick the whole think in the oven at around 180-200 degrees for 30 mins or so.
You can happily mess around with this, add a ricotta sauce etc – but WHY??? It is a super lean and healthy dish and if you give it a go you will find it is super delicious just as it is!
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