Sunday, 16 November 2014

Homemade low-carb spaghetti bolognese – with courgette ‘spaghetti’

 Who doesn’t love a spaghetti Bolognese??? It is perfect for this time of the year when the nights are colder and our bellies need warming meals. However if you’re on a low carb diet, looking to ditch a couple hundred calories or simply wanting a meal where you can up your veg intake, then you swap your usual spaghetti pasta for “zoodles”. Aka courgette noodles. 

low carb spagetti bolognese 

Why "zoodles"? Because across the pond, our cousins call the courgette a “zucchini” and zucchini + noodles = zoodles!


The great thing about zoodles is that it offers the great same base for your Bolognese (you can even do the twisty fork thing to gather them up) and they offer an extra potion to your five a day and each 100g comes in at only 17 calories! I tried this recipe the other day and I am converted to the zoodles. I’m thinking about what else I can add my zoodles too (perhaps a strifry?).

the twisty fork and spoon way to eat spagetti 

And it couldn’t be simpler to make – all you need is a spiralizer. I bought my one for about £7 off the internet. Just google “spiralizer” and you’ll find loads of options. Mine is a simple hand held device – pop in the courgette and twist. The blades will produce a fine strip of courgette.

so simple to work! 

I made my Bolognese with Quorn mince as I am not the biggest fan of beef mince (give me a fillet of steak any day though!) but it tastes just as good. Even if you’re not a veggie, give it a try as it tastes the same once you’ve added all the spices but comes in at just 80 calories and 2g of fat per 100g so makes a brilliant alternative to red meat (which we shouldn’t eat too often anyway).

A pack of beef or Quorn mince
1 large white onion, finely diced
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 sticks of celery, chopped and finely diced
2 carrots, chopped and finely diced
½ courgette, chopped and finely diced
2 tbsp of tomato puree
2 tbsp of sundried tomato paste
1 beef stock cube
5 sprigs of rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of dried oregano
Olive oil
Glass of red wine (optional)
1 small courgette per person for the zoodles

serves 3-4 servings

top tip - don't lick a bay leaf - it tastes bloody disgusting 

in a large saucepan, heat a little olive oil and sauté the garlic and onion for a few minutes as you chop the vegetables

add the chopped carrots, celery and courgette and sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until the veg has softened. Add the rosemary – don’t add the whole sprig, just add the little leaves

this spag bol is packed full of veggies! 

add the mince and stir well. Cook until browned then add on the tin tomatoes and the remaining herbs and stock cube and sundried tomato paste (and wine)

smells good when it simmers away 

stir well and reduce the heat to simmer. Pop a lid on and leave it to simmer away for an hour to hour and 15 minutes. This will reduce to a thick rich sauce

when it is time to serve, add your zoodles to a pan of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. You want them cooked but not overdone as they won’t retain their shape. I also found that it was best to use a thicker setting – making them too thin will mean that they might disintegrate

zoodles take minutes to cook 

once cooked, simply drain the zoodles well

Serve your spaghetti bolgonese by topping your mince sauce on top of your zoodles! I added a grating of parmesan cheese and sprinkling of spring onions. mmm 

serve with lashings of tasty parmesan 

courgette spagetti and mince 

I added a little extra –I served with a little green side salad and a  grilled portabello mushroom (with philly and a touch of sundried tomato paste and breadcrumbs)

Perfect winter dinner! 

X x X 

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