Carrot “Rice” Leek Risotto with Bacon
While you dig your fork into this fluffy bowl of “rice,” you won’t believe it’s not real rice. Made of spiralized carrots with leeks and bacon – it’s quick, gluten-free, paleo-friendly and dairy-free. If you just bought a spiralizer and need new recipe ideas, look no further! Ali, from Inspiralized loved her spiralizer so much, she created a blog dedicated to spiralized vegetables. (By the way, this is my favorite spiralizer, Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer which you can buy on Amazon or Williams Sonoma) Please welcome her….
First off, ever since I started food blogging, I’ve been a fan of Skinnytaste. Now, I’m not just saying that because Gina kindly let me share a recipe here today. When you first start off as a healthy food blogger, you can’t help but discover Skinnytaste and immediately start drooling.
Needless to say, she’s been an inspiration to me from the beginning. In June 2013, I started my food blog, Inspiralized. Inspiralized is a blog dedicated to cooking with spiralized vegetables. Yes, that’s right. All of my recipes use vegetable noodles!
Imagine my happy surprise when I saw Gina’s Zoodles and Meatballs, her Asian Turkey Meatballs and Zoodles with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce and her Zoodles with Lemon Garlic Shrimp. Somewhere along those lines, she mentioned that she was on a “zoodle kick.” Welcome to my world, Gina!
Like me, Gina wanted to share that spiralized veggies (noodles made of vegetables using a spiralizer) are a healthy, Paleo, gluten-free, unprocessed alternative to regular pasta. Of course, these noodles can also similarly be made with a mandolin or julienne, if you don’t happen to own a spiralizer.
Aside from spiralizing zucchinis, there are many other vegetables that can be turned into noodles. Actually, spiralizing is a great way to eat seasonally. For example, over at Inspiralized, I made a lot of butternut squash and sweet potato noodles this winter.
While these veggie noodles allow us to make hearty bowls of low-calorie and low-carb pasta, they can also be turned into rice! By simply placing your spiralized vegetables into a food processor and pulsing for a few seconds, the noodles are transformed into rice-like “bits,” perfect for using as rice.
Not only is this “spiralized rice” clean-eating friendly, it’s quicker and easier! No more waiting for water to boil, no more expensive rice cookers and no more accidental mush. For my how-to video on this process (using butternut squash as an example), click here.
What vegetables work best as rice? Any vegetable that doesn’t have a high water content (ie zucchini), such as butternut squash, beets, plantains, sweet potatoes and of course, carrots.
That brings us to today’s recipe: Carrot Rice Leek Risotto with Bacon. Using springtime leeks really gives this dish a fresh seasonal taste. The carrot “rice” is seasoned simply with pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. Add in the salty, richness of the bacon and that’s all you need to make this flavorful and savory bowl of rice.
This recipe is not only Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s a refreshing, light way to enjoy an otherwise mundane vegetable: the carrot.
This carrot rice dish saves well when refrigerated, so make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it at work for lunch or reheat it for an easy weeknight dinner.
Well, I hope that I’ve Inspiralized you today and that you’re now on your way to the kitchen to make vegetable “rice.” Most importantly, I hope to see you around on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and on YouTube or Vimeo. Thanks again to Gina – I can’t wait for the Skinnytaste cookbook!
Carrot Rice Leek Risotto with Bacon
Servings: 1 • Size: • Points +: 4 pts • Smart Points: 3
Calories: 173 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 22 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 10 g • Sugar: 9 g
Sodium: 726 mg • Cholesterol: 0 g
- cooking spray
- 2 slices of center cut bacon
- 2 (175g) carrots, peeled, spiralized into noodles
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup of sliced leeks
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp freshly chopped parsley, to garnish
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and then add in the slices of bacon. Cook the bacon for about 5 minutes or until almost crispy. When done, remove the bacon with tongs or a slotted spatula and set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
While the bacon is cooking, place your carrot noodles into a food processor. Pulse for 5-10 seconds or until the noodles turn into rice-like bits. Set aside.
In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add in the garlic and leeks. Stir to cook for 1 minute and then add in 1 tbsp of the vegetable broth. Stir to combine and then add in the lemon juice and carrot “rice.” Stir to combine again and season with pepper. Let cook for 1 minute and then add in the rest of the vegetable broth. Let reduce until the liquid is fully absorbed.
Taste the “rice.” If the carrot is no longer crunchy, it’s done. If not, cook covered for 3 more minutes.
While the rice is reducing, dice your slices of bacon. Set aside.
When the rice is done, fold in the diced bacon, stir to combine and then pour into a bowl. Top with parsley.