Cacio e pepe – zucchini style!

Last year C and I went to Rome for a little holiday – and before you ask me, no…I did NOT manage to follow the LCHF lifestyle while I was in Italy – are you kidding me? The land of amazing pasta and pizza and you expect me to have discipline…..? However both C and I did try to modify our behaviour so we didn’t indulge too much.

Instead of ordering our own pasta dish – we always shared one, and then made sure our other order was a meat and vegetables of some kind. Needless to say we ate very well in Italy 🙂

One of the dishes we had been dying to try was Cacio e Pepe – a typical Roman pasta dish which basically consists of butter, cheese and pepper. So simple, so delicious, and we loved it. When we got back to Brazil, we (unfortunately) managed to make it ourselves quite successfully. Which is such a pity – as pasta does not fit in the LCHF diet in ANY form!

However, butter, cheese and pepper does…..!

So yesterday inspiration struck – why not make cacio e pepe using zucchini noodles? And although it is not quite the same as the pasta version (slightly more watery), it really was incredibly delicious as well as incredibly quick to make. We served it as a side for lovely pan fried pork chop and voila – dinner is served.

IMG_3917 (2)

Zucchini Cacio e Pepe – serves 2

  • 2 large zucchinis, noodled (see post on noodler here)
  • 3 tblsp butter, cubbed and divided
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padero or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 finely grated Pecorino

Melt 2tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook swirling pan until pepper is toasted (1-2 mins)

Add zucchini and remaining butter. Stir until butter is melted.

Once butter is melted reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano cheese, stirring and tossing with tongs until cheese has melted.

Remove from heat, add Pecorino cheese, stirring and tossing until it has melted and the cheesy sauce coats all the zucchini.

Serve immediately!

 

IMG_3918 (2)

 

Side note: The Grana Padano and the Pecorino cheese here are the star ingredients and is what makes this dish so delicious. I really encourage you to use both types of cheese if you attempt to make this. It will be worth it!

New Rice Alternative

The other night I made a wonderful fish curry! It was delicious! Not only was it creamy, spicy and wonderfully LCHF, but it was incredibly easy to make! You can find the recipe over at The Travelling Chopsticks.

However, like many of us LCHFers, I too have certain food that I miss, especially in relation to other food. Rice being one of them. I love everything about rice. The look of it, the texture of it, the amazing way it works as a vehicle for wonderfully rich sauces.

Not eating rice along with my curry seems almost like sacrilege – ok, ok I am being overly dramatic, but you get the picture! I have mentioned previously cauliflower rice proved to be an adequate alternative, and I have recently discovered another alternative…..bean sprouts!

It’s small, it’s crunchy and not only does it give a great texture, but it too proves to be a great vehicle for all that lovely sauce. Now, I am going to be honest with you – it is NOT rice, it will NEVER be rice, but importantly for me I didn’t MISS the rice!

IMG_3035

According to Nutrition Data:

  • 100g bean sprouts = 6g of carbs
  • 100g of white cooked rice = 28g of carbs

If I am avoiding 22g of carbs in one serving – than that bean sprout ‘rice’ is suddenly looking even better 🙂

Preparing the bean sprouts is incredibly easy and quick. In some fat/oil (of your choosing) quickly fry the bean sprout. For me it was important that the bean sprouts were really just warmed through – I wanted to maintain the crunch and make sure they were not soggy. I added some salt and pressed garlic for a bit of extra flavour.