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Stir Fry Style Carrot Noodles & Rice

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Stir Fry Style Carrot Noodles & Rice

Ingredients
  • 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)
Directions
  1. Put the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, at let simmer.
  2. 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.
  3. When the rice is almost finished cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. When the oil is warm, add the carrot noodles and stir to coat them with the oil.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the GF soy sauce and sriracha, stirring enough to make sure the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the rice & carrots.
  7. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the green onions before serving.

 

 

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Carrot Noodle Stir Fry

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Everyone needs quick & healthy meals ideas, and I have a great one for you today. Even better, this tastes like any oil coated, sodium loaded stir fry but it’s totally healthy. Carrots + broccoli + a 2-ingredient sauce. It doesn’t get much more simplier or healthier than that! Plus, this stir fry is naturally gluten free!

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So, carrot noodles. You’ve probably noticed vegetable noodles and spiralizers are all the rage on Pinterest and food blogs. I love the idea of eating my vegetables in noodle form but seriously have no room in my kitchen for another fancy appliance. It turns out that you can easily make vegetable noodles with a vegetable peeler, no spiralizer needed!

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When I first started experimenting with veggie noodles, carrot noodles were not on my radar. I hate carrots. They taste like chalk to me. Even dipped in hummus – still gross. Then one evening Steve made some carrot noodles. It’s hard to remember how it all happened. I was in the bathroom vomiting from coffee withdrawal sickness and not really paying any attention to anything. Steve came in the bathroom with a small plate of food, saying I needed to eat. I was too sick to care and just ate whatever he gave me. I guess there had been some carrot noodles in there.

{If you’re interested in my coffee story, check back on Friday for a post about how and why I beat caffeine addiction!}

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Well, the carrots weren’t so bad. It turns out that cooked and flavored carrots taste amazing. There is really no carroty taste at all! I’ve now been honing my carrot noodle recipe, and found that carrot noodles are very well suited to stir fry. The carrots suck up all the flavors from the sauce. It’s very similar to eating a bowl of rice noodles slathered with sauce, but instead you’re eating a bowl of vegetables. Not only will you love how this stir fry tastes, but you’ll love how good it feels to be eating something that is truly healthy and good for you!

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Carrot Noodle Stir Fry

Serves 1. For a more substantial meal, serve with rice. I cook 1/4c rice (dry) for each serving of carrot noodles.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, divided (or other cooking oil, like coconut oil or sesame oil)
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 Tbs Bragg’s Amino Acids (this is a soy sauce replacement. If you don’t mind the sodium, just sub in soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp chili garlic paste (check label to be sure it’s GF)
Directions
  1. Heat half of the oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.
  2. While the oil and the skillet are heating, cut the broccoli into florets. When the oil is hot add the broccoli to the skillet. Stir the broccoli until it is coated with oil and bright green. Add the water to the skillet (be careful, it may splash/steam), reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Let the broccoli simmer until it is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the broccoli is simmering prepare the carrots noodles. First, peel the outer layer off of the carrots. Using the same vegetable peeler, continue to peel along the entire length of the carrot to make long noodle shapes. Once the carrot is down to the small stub you are holding onto use a knife to cut it up into small pieces. Do this with both carrots.
  4. When the broccoli is tender move it to a plate and drain any extra water out of the skillet. Add the other half of the oil to the skillet and bump the heat back up to medium high.
  5. When the oil is hot add the carrot noodles. Stir to coat them with oil. Continue to cook for about 3 -4 minutes, stirring. The noodles will go from firm to softer, and be brighter in color. Once the noodles have softened add the Amino acids and chili garlic paste. Stir to combine. Add the broccoli back into the skillet and cook for just a minute more to heat up the broccoli.
  6. Serve hot.
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