By now you all know exactly what the spiralizer does: it turns vegetables into noodles.
What you choose to do with those noodles afterwards is what truly makes spiralizing magical. You can even transform your vegetables into rice.
Today, we’re all about the rice – and specifically, an unexpected one: zucchini rice. Zice!
I’m going to tell you upfront – you can’t take a grater and make zucchini rice. I tried it. There’s something special about how the vegetables starts off in thin stands that makes it possible to make the most rice-like final product.
I had tried out zucchini rice months ago and had written this recipe, planning on making it during the fall when I just didn’t want to give up zucchini. This dish has all of the makings of an autumn-friendly dish: cranberries, salty bacon, smooth goat cheese and maple syrup. But, it’s made with everyone’s favorite squash: zucchini.
If you haven’t made my rice yet, I hope this motivates you – I actually have a video on my YouTube page which you can watch here. With this zucchini, it’s crucial that you don’t overpulse! If you pulse too much, the zucchini will become too mushy (as if you grated it.) The mushiness of course comes from the high water content.
Honestly, this dish barely needs the dressing – the velvety creaminess from the goat cheese with the salty oils in the bacon and the sugars from the cranberries make their own lip-smackingly good taste. Did I really just say lip-smacking? Please forgive me, it’s Friday and I’ve had a long week!
If you’re a vegetarian, skip the bacon and add in some crispy chickpeas (either buy them fresh or learn how to make them in this post.) The bacon’s saltiness works so well with the sweetness in the cranberries, though – it’s tough to beat that flavor! Alas, crispy chickpeas are my jam, so they’re a close second.
When would you eat this? For breakfast, lunch or dinner! Seriously. Top this with a fried egg and have it for brunch – or eat this for lunch on a gloomy fall day – it’ll brighten you up and fulfill you for the rest of the day. If you’re having this for dinner, serve it alongside some roasted potatoes or sweet potato fries for some added oomph! Honestly though, it’s perfection on its own.
What do you think of zucchini rice? Are you going to try it?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Zucchini Rice with Cranberries, Bacon, Goat Cheese and Walnuts with Maple-Dijon Dressing
- 1 medium to large zucchini Blade C
- 4 strips of bacon
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 oz crumbled goat cheese
- For the dressing:
- 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
- Place the zucchini noodles in a food processor and pulse until rice-like, being careful not to over-pulse, as the zucchini will turn to mush. Set the zucchini rice into a colander and let drip into a sink or bowl while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
- Place a large non-skillet over medium heat. When skillet heats, add in the bacon and cook until crispy, 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the maple-dijon dressing into a small bowl or dressing shaker and whisk together. Set aside.
- Pour the zucchini rice into a large mixing bowl and press down with paper towels to absorb any leftover excess moisture. Add in the cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese and crumble in the bacon. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.