Craving Carbs? Try This Cauliflower 'Pasta' With Tahini Sauce 

Written by Caroline Muggia

Image by Helen Rushbrook / Stocksy

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Carbs get a bad rep, but it's essential to differentiate which carbs we're talking about. Simple carbs are often found in foods like pasta and white bread, and these simple carbs have less nutritional value and can cause a rise in insulin when broken down in the body leading to weight gain over time, but there are some healthier ways to get your carbs. This is where nonstarchy vegetables come in. Veggies like cauliflower, kale, and asparagus have what are called complex carbs, which contain high amounts of fiber, nutrients, and minerals. These are the carbs that actually contribute to your energy and will keep you fuller for longer.

If you're looking to incorporate some healthy carbs into your diet, this cauliflower pasta from The Diabetes Weight Loss Cookbook by Katie Caldesi and Giancarlo Caldesi should be in your rotation. Instead of feeding your body empty carbs, you'll be munching on cauliflower, one of our favorite cruciferous veggies, known to balances your hormones and blood sugar. This dish will satisfy whichever texture you're in the mood for, thanks to the nutty crunch of hazelnuts and the soft mix of cauliflower florets and tahini. Just like your favorite pasta, the tahini sauce will stick to the cauliflower bites so you'll get the full pasta effect.

There's no need to deprive yourself of pasta; you just need to be willing to mix things up!

Cauliflower Pasta With Tahini Sauce & Hazelnuts

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 oz) hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 spring onions or 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets, with leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
  • 1 small green chili, finely sliced, or pinch of chili flakes (according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) almond or cow's milk
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handful of coriander leaves, to serve
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Put the nuts onto a baking tray and roast for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and lightly crush with a rolling pin or in a small food processor. Keep them fairly chunky. 
  3. Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the spring onions, cauliflower, and salt and pepper, and sauté with the lid on for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender. 
  4. Remove the lid and allow any water to evaporate. Add the garlic and chili and let them sizzle for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin and stir through. 
  5. Warm the milk and tahini together in a microwave or a small pan over medium heat, whisking until smooth. Pour over the cauliflower in the pan and stir through. 
  6. Transfer to a warm serving dish or leave in the pan garnished with the nuts, a swirl of the remaining oil, and the coriander and sesame seeds. 
Based on excerpts from The Diabetes Weight Loss Cookbook by Katie Caldesi and Giancarlo Caldesi with the permission of Kyle Books. Copyright © 2019.

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