A light, simple side dish with flavors that can compliment a variety of main dishes. Trade in some carbs for vegetables by combining carrots and rice!
Carbs. Are they good or bad?
I don’t have the answer (I wish I did). It’s something I’ve thought a lot about, though. The food pyramid says we need a whole bunch of carbs, but there are schools of thought in the nutrition world that say we shouldn’t be consuming carbs like bread, rice, and pasta. Navigating the world of healthy eating can be difficult!
Through my own experimentation I’ve figured out that carbs in moderation is what works best for me. Without any, I’m just too hungry, and end up making poor food choices out of hunger. Too many carbs, and I’m burping like crazy and have an upset stomach.
This side dish came out of my desire to decrease my carbohydrate intake. I wanted to replace those cut carbs with something better. Enter carrots. Cooked, they both have a similar texture and consistency to rice. Both also absorb flavors easily. And served with a sprinkling of green onions, the bright colors make it almost impossible to resist.
The carrot noodles couldn’t be simpler to make. After you peel the outer layer of the carrot, just keep peeling! Eventually, the carrot won’t be sturdy enough to peel anymore. You could discard the remaining carrot, or coarsely dice it (which is what I do). Cooked in a bit of olive oil over medium heat, it takes under five minutes for the carrot noodles to soften.
The flavors here are simple intentionally. Just a tablespoon of soy sauce and an optional teaspoon of sriracha. The idea is that as a stand alone side dish it will have flavor, but it can also be served along side a variety of main dishes and compliment that flavor well. I’ve found that this rice and carrot combo is just as good as plain rice when it’s mixed with a stir fry. It also works quite well as an accompaniment to fish. Specifically, Thai Basil Chicken, Five Spice Chicken Tenders, and Asparagus and Chicken Stir Fry, and just three recipes from this blog that would be a yummy match.
Stir Fry Style Carrot Noodles & RiceIngredients
- 1/2 c uncooked rice (white or brown will work)
- 1 c water
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 2 green onions, slice
- 1 tbs gluten free soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Amino Acids)
- 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
- Put the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, at let simmer.
- While the rice is simmering, peel both of the carrots. After you have discarded the outer layer, keep peeling the carrots. You’ll end up with a bunch of thin, noodle like carrot strands. When the carrot is too small to keep peeling just coarsely dice the rest of the carrot. If you’d like, you can cut the “noodles” into smaller pieces, or leave them as is.
- When the rice is almost finished cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- When the oil is warm, add the carrot noodles and stir to coat them with the oil.
- Keep stirring the carrot noodles as they cook to prevent sticking. When the carrot noodles reach an al dente consistency (about 3 -5 minutes) add the now cooked rice into the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the GF soy sauce and sriracha, stirring enough to make sure the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the rice & carrots.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with the green onions before serving.