Hi all! Coach Stefanie here!
We all know that we need to get our daily fruits and veggies in. But it’s usually easier said than done! Many products have been released with extra vegetables in them or as replacements for something else. But do they taste like the real thing (or at least good)? These items often feature a higher price tag so I decided to put 4 of them to the test for you!
I made slight “recipe” adjustments to all 4 items: cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower rice and zucchini pasta. Below I am sharing both my recipe, as well as my opinion on the taste and how comparable it is. I do want to add a slight disclaimer that I have been on this journey a while and may not have eaten the equivalent in a while. I do find the longer you’ve been without the original, the easier it is to eat the dupe.
First Up: Cauliflower Gnocchi
I just recently found these and had to give them a try. I love gnocchi and am definitely planning to make my own one day (I love learning how to make stuff from scratch). These cauliflower gnocchi came in a small frozen pack. Mine came in at 12 bites (better balance) for the pack. I scanned them, so there is no reduction for the cauliflower and bites are based on the nutritional value.
I made a delicious cream sauce with mushrooms to go with them. Here is what you’ll need:
1 bag of cauliflower gnocchi
1 package mushrooms of your choice
¼ cup fat free half and half.
I started by sautéing my onions and mushrooms until they started to brown. Then I added my frozen gnocchi and a little bit of water and let them heat up like the package suggested. Lastly, I added the fat free half and half and gave everything a good stir and slight simmer. I seasoned with salt, Italian seasoning and a bit of garlic but choose whatever you have on hand. I also topped it with some parmesan which has extra bites. I ate half of the recipe.
I thought they were super delicious. They had a very similar texture to potato gnocchi with a slight hint of cauliflower. I will definitely have them again!
Second: Zucchini Pasta
This has been a favorite of mine for a while. I get portion packs at Costco and keep them in the freezer for days where I need an easy 0 bite dish or when I don’t have anything for lunch. The zucchini spirals are 0 bites if they have no additives.
You can buy the frozen zucchini pasta or make your own using a vegetable slicer or spiraler. I love the convenience and texture of the frozen. If you make your own, definitely add salt to it first and let it sit for a bit. Then wash off the salt and pat dry. This will draw out some of the moisture and make the texture better.
For my recipe I combine:
1 pack of zucchini noodles
0 bite marinara
Quick and easy, just how I like it!
The frozen zucchini pasta is a little hard to drain so I often have some extra water floating around. It is a great substitute but does not taste like pasta nor does it have the same texture. It is a great carrier for a delicious, hearty sauce. I do not recommend using it with a light sauce but with marinara it works great. You get a fresh taste and they are slightly crunchy.
Next: Cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice is a very well known alternative to the bite heavy rice. You can buy it frozen, fresh or make your own by chopping cauliflower up in a food processor. Just like the zucchini noodles I like keeping the frozen stuff on hand. It is zero bites if there are no additives.
My go to recipe with it is taco bowls:
1 package of taco seasoning
Fat free shredded cheese
I cook the cauliflower rice in a bowl in the microwave per the instructions. Before getting that ready, I sauté my ground turkey until it is brown and then add the taco seasoning and some water to create a sauce. Once my meat is done and my cauliflower rice is hot, I top the cauliflower rice with the meat and then add tomatoes, cheese and Greek yogurt.
I really like it as an alternative but my husband was not a fan. The texture is different from rice and that bothered him. The best way to use it is probably in a 50/50 mix with actual rice which is what I have started doing.
Lastly: Cauliflower pizza
There are different brands who offer this option. You can also make your own even though I have not tried this. I usually get a cheese or veggie version. Bites vary based on which kind you get. I generally scan mine which will give me a bite value based on nutritional value so there is no “discount” for the cauliflower.
A fun thing I like to do is add some extra toppings to the pizza about 5-10 minutes before it is done. I often choose something light like vegetables or ham but you could also add turkey pepperoni.
I am not a fan of pizza but I did enjoy this. Since I don’t like pizza that much to begin with, I have no strong feelings for or against any pizza. In this example, I grabbed the cauliflower pizza from Aldi which was very affordable and a good alternative. Even my husband (who loves pizza and is much pickier) thought it tasted good. I have also had the cauliflower pizza from Costco which my husband and I both liked.