Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this […]

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This week I had a killer craving for some classic spaghetti and meat sauce. But, as you may know, I like to add vegetables whenever and wherever I can to recipes. So I shredded a couple of handfuls of vegetables, tossed them into the sauce, and added some extra herbs and spices to make this absolutely incredible “hidden vegetable” pasta sauce. It has more flavor, more color, and more texture (read: fiber). It’s a win-win-win!

 Originally posted 11-21-2015, updated 4-17-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread

Balance Your Costs with Vegetables

My favorite trick for stretching ground meat in recipes is to use vegetables or beans to replace half of the ground meat. This time I shredded vegetables, which mimicked the texture of the ground meat, but added a subtle sweetness and a whole lot of extra flavor, texture, and nutrition to the sauce. This sauce is so delicious that I couldn’t stop sneaking spoonfuls while I took photos!

Can I Make This Sauce Vegetarian?

If you want to make a vegetarian version of this hidden vegetable pasta sauce, I suggest mincing an 8oz. container of mushrooms and sautéing them with the onions and garlic. The minced texture will mimic the ground meat and mushrooms have that umami flavor that is similar to ground meat.

Is Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce Freezer Friendly?

This sauce freezes great if you want to make a double batch and have it on hand in your freezer for busy nights. Just make sure to cool the sauce completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer. The sauce will stay good in the freezer for months. To reheat, empty the freezer container into a sauce pot and heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Side view of hidden vegetable pasta sauce in a skillet with a spatula

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Spaghetti with Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

Give your spaghetti an upgrade with this hidden vegetable pasta sauce that contains a medley of vegetables plus extra herbs and spices for maximum flavor.
Total Cost $6.21 recipe / $1.55 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 366.78kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini $0.57
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • 1 24oz. jar pasta sauce* $1.49
  • 12 oz. spaghetti $0.75

Instructions

  • Use a cheese grater to grate the zucchini and carrots. You'll want about 1.5 cups of each, but the amount is flexible. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the olive oil and ground beef to a large, deep skillet. Cook the ground beef over medium heat until it is fully browned. Add the diced onion and garlic and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with the basil, oregano, salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are wilted (about five minutes).
  • Add the pasta sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Allow the contents of the skillet to come up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and simmer the sauce as you prepare the spaghetti. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the drained spaghetti to the pot with the heat turned off. Add one cup of the prepared sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Divide the pasta into serving bowls and top with additional sauce.

Notes

*Use your favorite brand or flavor of red pasta sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 366.78kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.73g | Protein: 25.98g | Fat: 13.53g | Sodium: 979.83mg | Fiber: 7.78g

Close up of a fork twirling spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

How to Make Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Shredded zucchini and carrot on a cutting board

Start by preparing your vegetables. Use a cheese grater to grate one small zucchini and two carrots. You’ll want about 1.5 cups each, but this is flexible so don’t sweat it if you have a little more or less. Also dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic.

Browned ground beef with onions and garlic

Add 1/2 lb. ground beef in a large deep skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook over medium heat until the beef has browned. Once browned, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Shredded vegetables added to the skillet with the meat

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the skillet along with 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Continue to sauté the vegetables until they soften, or about five minutes. 

Pasta sauce being poured into the skillet with the meat and vegetables

Finally, add one 24oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come back up to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low and continue to let the contents of the skillet simmer as you begin to prepare your spaghetti.

Simmered hidden vegetable pasta sauce in the skillet

Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers. The vegetables will continue to soften as the sauce simmers, further “hiding” them in the sauce.

Spaghetti and sauce in the stock pot

Cook 12oz. of spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the cooking pot with the heat turned off and add about 1 cup of the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti with hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Divide the pasta into serving bowls, then top each bowl with additional sauce. This stuff is seriously so good, my mouth is watering just looking at that bowl!

Pasta sauce in a freezer bag

And don’t forget, this sauce is freezer-friendly! Just make sure to cool it completely in the refrigerator first, then place in a freezer-safe container (I used freezer bags), label, date, and freeze for later! It can be thawed in a saucepot over low, stirring occasionally.

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Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.

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I get so excited for asparagus season every year! Not only are they way less expensive when in season, but they’re also just so much more delicious. And because the price is just so inflated the rest of the year, I pretty much save all my asparagus eating for the spring, when they’re in season. This simple method for Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is one of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus and it’s so scrumptious that I could just about eat the entire bunch myself. Consider that a fair warning. ;)

Originally posted 3/5/2011, updated 4/16/2021.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus on a white roasting pan with lemon wedges

Why I Love Roasted Asparagus

There are several ways to cook asparagus, but roasting takes first prize for me. Roasting kind of concentrates the flavor, so you get a much more deep, savory flavor than lighter cooking methods like steaming or sautéing. The edges get a little brown and crispy, which gives them so much wonderful texture. They’re just a delight to eat.

When is Asparagus Season?

As I mentioned in the introduction, asparagus is definitely one of those vegetables that you want to buy in season to get the best price and flavor. Asparagus are in season during the spring months, or from late February to early June, depending on where you live.

How to Pick Good Asparagus

Avoid choosing asparagus that aren’t kept moist at the grocery store. Check the cut ends to make sure they’re not dry (even better if they’re displayed with cut ends in water), and make sure the asparagus itself is crisp and not soft or rubbery. The flowering end should be tightly closed to the stalk.

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus are a classic, simple side dish for roasted or grilled meats. These asparagus would go great with Lemon Pepper Chicken, Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, Honey Mustard Pork Chops, or Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Crispy Onions.

Close up overhead shot of lemon garlic roasted asparagus on the sheet pan
Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus is an easy side dish with vibrant flavors that pair well with grilled or roasted meat.
Total Cost $3.13 recipe / $0.78 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 56.28kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 lb.) $1.88
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 fresh lemon $0.89

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse the asparagus well, then trim off the dry or woody end of the stem (usually about one inch needs to be removed from the ends). Mince two cloves of garlic.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired. Place the trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet along with the minced garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over top, then add the salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they are coated in garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer the asparagus to the preheated 400ºF oven and roast for 20 minutes or until they have browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir once halfway through roasting.
  • While the asparagus are cooking, zest the lemon using the fine side of a box grater or a small-holed cheese grater. You'll need about 1 tsp zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.
  • Once the asparagus are roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon as desired. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 56.28kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.05g | Protein: 2.58g | Fat: 3.63g | Sodium: 106.38mg | Fiber: 2.45g

How to Make Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus – Step by Step Photos

Ends trimmed off asparagus

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Rinse one bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb.), then trim off the dry woody ends. Sometimes I leave the rubber bands on while trimming to make it a bit easier. Mince two cloves of garlic.

asparagus, garlic, oil, and salt on a baking sheet

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you prefer easy cleanup. Add the trimmed asparagus to the baking sheet along with the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and about 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus until they’re coated in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast.

Zested lemon on a cutting board with a small-holed cheese grater

While the asparagus is roasting, zest one lemon. You’ll need about 1 tsp lemon zest. After zesting, cut the lemon into wedges.

Lemon being squeezed on roasted asparagus

Roast the asparagus for about 20 minutes, or until they are browned to your liking (roasting time may vary depending on the girth of your asparagus). Stir the asparagus about halfway through roasting. Once roasted, add the lemon zest and a couple squeezes of lemon juice. Toss the asparagus to coat in lemon. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon to your liking.

Lemon Garlic Rosted Asparagus on a sheet pan with lemon wedges

Serve the roasted asparagus with the remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy! And try not to eat the entire batch yourself…

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Secret Ingredient Cherry Almond Smoothie

This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full.

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I’ve been playing around with riced cauliflower over the past week, and one of the fun and unexpected ways to use it is in fruit smoothies, like this Cherry Almond Smoothie. This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full. So if hiding cauliflower in a fruit smoothie has you curious, keep on reading!

Cherry almond smoothie in a short glass with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries behind it

Why Add Cauliflower to a Smoothie?

Cauliflower is a really great neutral ingredient that adds fiber and body to the smoothie, which helps give it a lighter, more creamy texture. Plus, it’s a really simple way to add an extra dose of vegetables to your day.

I used frozen riced cauliflower to my smoothie, but if you have a really good blender you can use frozen cauliflower florets as well.

How Does it Taste?

You can’t taste the cauliflower in this smoothie. Not only is cauliflower mild in flavor already, but I find that ingredients that have a bit of fat (like the almond butter in this recipe) help mask that cruciferous vegetable flavor.

This smoothie has a subtle, natural sweetness, thanks to the banana and cherries. If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, you can add some honey, brown sugar, another sweet fruit like blueberries, or use sweetened almond milk.

Can I Sub the Almond Butter or Almond Milk?

If you can’t eat almonds, another good option is to make this a cherry coconut smoothie. In place of using almond butter and almond milk, you can use some full-fat coconut milk. The creamy coconut flavor will offer that same richness as the almond butter and help hide that cruciferous flavor.

A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back
A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie, with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back

Cherry Almond Smoothie

This rich and creamy smoothie has a natural and subtle sweetness, a creamy texture, and tons of protein and plant fiber to keep you full.
Total Cost $1.69 each
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 (12 oz.)
Calories 254.7kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust the liquid as needed to make it blend smoothly. Serve immediately.

Notes

*I used plain, unsweetened almond milk, but you can use sweetened if you prefer a sweeter smoothie. Vanilla flavored almond milk will also work well. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1smoothie | Calories: 254.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.8g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 11.6g | Sodium: 229.5mg | Fiber: 6.8g

How to Make a Cherry Almond Smoothie – Step by Step Photos

smoothie ingredients in a blender, almond milk being poured in

Add ½ cup frozen riced cauliflower, ½ of a frozen banana, ½ cup frozen sweet cherries, 1 Tbsp almond butter, ⅛ tsp cinnamon, and 1 cup almond milk to a blender.

Looking down into a blender with a blended cherry almond smoothie

Blend the ingredients until smooth. Sometimes with smoothies you may need to adjust the liquid up or down to make it blend smoothly. Taste the smoothie and adjust the sweetness (honey, sugar, more fruit) to your liking. Serve immediately.

A glass filled with a cherry almond smoothie, with bananas and a bowl of frozen cherries in the back

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Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Ground turkey can be kind of, well, boring if you don’t dress it up right. That’s why for these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers I added fun add-ins to the burger patty for maximum flavor and color. And instead of the ketchup and mustard treatment, these juicy burgers get a homemade lemon dill yogurt sauce, crunchy slices […]

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Ground turkey can be kind of, well, boring if you don’t dress it up right. That’s why for these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers I added fun add-ins to the burger patty for maximum flavor and color. And instead of the ketchup and mustard treatment, these juicy burgers get a homemade lemon dill yogurt sauce, crunchy slices of cucumber, and a few slivers of red onion. If you’re looking to change up your burger game, these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers are it!

Originally posted 3-26-2011, updated 4-9-2021.

Overhead view of a mediterranean turkey burger, top bun off, on a paper lined plate next to cucumber salad

Can the Turkey Burgers be Grilled?

Yes, you can definitely grill these burgers instead of cooking them in a skillet. An outdoor grill or even an indoor countertop grill, like a George Foreman grill, will work great.

Why 19 oz. of Ground Turkey?

I’ll never understand why, but some brands sell ground turkey in 19 oz. packages instead of one-pound packages (if you work in that industry and know why, please let me know). If you can only find a one-pound package of ground turkey, you can still make this recipe. I wouldn’t adjust any other ingredients, just make four patties instead of five and they’ll be a little extra flavorful. 

What to Serve with Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Since I had a half cucumber and red onion leftover from the recipe, I used them to make a small batch of my Super Fresh Cucumber Salad. It’s the perfect light side to these burgers. You could also serve them with something like Steak Fries, Mediterranean White Bean Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh, or a simple green salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, and a vinaigrette). 

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, you can use fresh spinach in this recipe instead of frozen, if you prefer. I suggest chopping the spinach until it’s in small pieces so it’s easier to mix into the meat. You may also want to sauté it briefly in a skillet to get some of the water out. You’ll want about ¼ cup once sautéed.

Side view of a closed Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate

 

Overhead view of an open faced Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate with cucumber salad on the side

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Spinach, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and a dilly yogurt sauce make these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers full of flavor and color.
Total Cost $10.18 recipe / $2.04 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 396.62kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02

Turkey Burgers

  • 19 oz. ground turkey* $3.89
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes $0.83
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion $0.08
  • 2 oz. frozen spinach (1 cup when frozen) $0.25
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta $0.57
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

For Serving

  • 5 hamburger buns $3.04
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced $0.75

Instructions

  • Make the lemon dill yogurt sauce first. Stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, dried dill, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Prepare the add-ins for the turkey burgers. Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes, mince or finely dice the red onion, crumble the feta, and then thaw and squeeze all the moisture out of the frozen spinach (2 oz. will be about 1 cup when frozen, ¼ cup when thawed and squeezed dry).
  • Add the ground turkey, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, spinach, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt to a bowl. Mix the ingredients together until evenly combined.
  • Divide and shape the turkey mixture into five burger patties. Make them flatter and wider than usual because they will shrink up and in as they cook.
  • Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium. Once hot, add three of the turkey burgers and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining cooking oil and the rest of the burger patties.
  • To serve, smear some of the lemon dill yogurt sauce on a bun. Add a turkey burger, some sliced cucumber, and sliced red onion, then enjoy.

Notes

*I used 93% lean ground turkey

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger | Calories: 396.62kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.58g | Protein: 30.8g | Fat: 16.16g | Sodium: 602.96mg | Fiber: 2.32g

Close up side view of a mediterranean turkey burger, open-faced

How to Make Mediterranean Turkey Burgers – Step By Step Photos

lemon, garlic powder, and dried dill being stirred into yogurt

Make the lemon dill yogurt sauce first, so the flavors have a little time to blend. Stir together ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ Tbsp lemon juice, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp dried dill, and ⅛ tsp salt. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to use. And yes, you can use plain non-Greek yogurt if needed, it just makes a less thick sauce. :)

Chopped burger add-ins on a cutting board

Prepare the burger add-ins. Chop about ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (I use the dry pack, not the kind packed in oil), mince or finely dice ¼ cup red onion (save the rest to slice and place on the burgers), crumble 1 oz. feta (about ¼ cup), and thaw then squeeze all the moisture out of 2 oz. frozen spinach. The spinach is about 1 cup when frozen, ¼ cup after it has been thawed and squezed dry.

Ground turkey and burger add-ins in a bowl

Place 19 oz. ground turkey, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, spinach, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl (sorry, I forgot the oregano, garlic powder, and salt until after the photo was taken).

Turkey burger mixture in the bowl

Mix the ingredients into the ground turkey until it’s all evenly mixed.

Shaped Turkey Burgers on an orange cutting board

Divide and shape the meat mixture into five burger patties. Make the patties thinner and wider than you’d expect because they do shrink up and inward as you cook them.

Three cooked turkey burgers in a skillet

To cook the burgers in a skillet, add ½ Tbsp cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add a few of the burger patties and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Repeat with the second half of the oil and the remaining burger patties.

Overhead view of an open faced Mediterranean Turkey Burger on a paper lined plate with cucumber salad on the side

To serve, spread some of the lemon dill yogurt sauce on a bun, add a cooked burger patty and a few slices of cucumber and red onion. Enjoy!

Greek Turkey Burgers are a healthy mix of ground turkey and Mediterranean flavors. BudgetBytes.com

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How to Make Riced Cauliflower

Homemade riced cauliflower is quick, freezable, and less expensive than buying it pre-made from the freezer aisle. Storage, uses, and more.

The post How to Make Riced Cauliflower appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Riced cauliflower, or “cauliflower rice,” has become so popular over the past five or six years. So popular, in fact, that it’s become a staple in the freezer aisle of most major grocery stores in the U.S. While it is convenient to buy frozen bags of pre-made cauliflower rice, it’s also really easy to make at home from fresh cauliflower, so I want to show you this quick technique. It can help you shave a few dollars off your weekly food budget, especially when cauliflower is on sale!

Overhead view of a bowl of riced cauliflower with a red spatula in the side

What is Riced Cauliflower?

Riced cauliflower, also known as cauliflower rice, is simply cauliflower that has been chopped into tiny rice-sized pieces. Many people use this as a low-carb alternative to rice, but it’s so versatile that it can be used many other ways as well.

How to Use Cauliflower Rice

The most basic preparation of cauliflower rice is to just sauté it in a skillet with oil or butter, then add the seasonings of your choice. It’s really that simple. But riced cauliflower also makes a great bed for bowl meals, you can stir it into rice pilafs to up your vegetable intake, you can add it to stews, stir it into casseroles (it almost disappears!), stir it into your morning oats, or even blend it into a smoothie (recipe for that coming next week).

It’s one of those ingredients that once you start adding it to things you begin to see all the other millions of ways it can be used.

Freeze Some for Later

The best part about making your own riced cauliflower rice is that you can freeze it for later and just use a little here and there as needed. I’ll include instructions for how I freeze cauliflower rice in the step by step photos below. I usually use riced cauliflower straight from the freezer. It thaws and cooks through in a skillet in just a matter of minutes!

Do I Have to Use a Food Processor?

There are several methods for making riced cauliflower (knife, box grater, etc.), but I find using a food processor the fastest, easiest, and least messy. I’m limiting this tutorial to just showing the food processor method because the other methods either require a lot more work or a lot more cleanup, making them not quite worth doing yourself (in my opinion, anyway). If you want to see some of the other methods, check out my friend Jessica’s post about How to Make Cauliflower Rice 4 Ways.

How to Make Riced Cauliflower – Step by Step Photos

Stem and leaves removed from cauliflower head

Step 1 – Clean the Cauliflower

Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower. Make sure to rinse the cauliflower well and then let as much water drain off as possible. The less wet the cauliflower rice is the easier it will be to freeze without it making large clumps.

Cauliflower chopped on a cutting board

Step 2 – Chop Cauliflower

Chop the cauliflower into one to two-inch pieces. This helps the cauliflower move around more easily in the food processor, which will result in a more even texture of your cauliflower rice. If you have a smaller food processor you’ll want your pieces to also be smaller.

Cauliflower in the food processor

Step 3 – Fill the Food Processor

Add the cauliflower chunks to a food processor, only filling it about halfway, working in two batches if needed. Again, you want the cauliflower to be able to move freely within the food processor, or else you’ll end up with finely minced cauliflower on the bottom and large, unprocessed pieces at the top.

close up of minced cauliflower in the food processor

Step 4 – Pulse the Cauliflower

Pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until the cauliflower is minced to your desired size. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides if you need to. When deciding how small you want your riced cauliflower, keep in mind that smaller pieces cook a little faster but also disappear into recipes more. If you plan to use it like rice you may want slightly larger pieces than what is shown in the photo above. I like to use mine in smoothies, so smaller pieces work a little better.

How to Store Riced Cauliflower

cauliflower rice in a freezer bag

You can refrigerate the riced cauliflower for one to two days, but keep in mind that it does let off gas like any cruciferous vegetable, so it can get stinky quick. I prefer to freeze mine. To freeze, simply scoop it into a freezer bag, spread it out flat, and then place it in the freezer. The flatter the better because it’s easier to break it up into pieces if it’s frozen in a thin layer.

Frozen cauliflower rice in a freezer bag

Here is what it looks like after it’s been frozen (and I’ve used some of it). You can see that some of it does freeze in larger chunks, but it’s fairly easy to break up into crumbles. Again, the less water on the cauliflower the easier it is to break apart when frozen.

You can keep the riced cauliflower in the freezer for one to two months.

Cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spatula

And then I just use it straight from the freezer into my recipe (in most cases). It thaws and cooks through in a matter of minutes! (shown here being prepped for Southwest Cauliflower Rice)

Cauliflower Rice in a measuring cup

How Much Rice Cauliflower Does it Make?

The volume yield for making your own cauliflower rice will obviously depend on the size of your head of cauliflower, but I got about six cups out of one medium head of cauliflower. And just to compare prices, one head of cauliflower is $2.49 at Kroger right now (or $0.42 per cup), but frozen riced cauliflower is $3.49 per bag (or $0.93 per cup).

So is it worth it to DIY your cauliflower rice? That’s up to you. But at least now you know how and can make the choice!

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Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!

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Look, I’m not one to say that cauliflower tastes like rice. It doesn’t. Not to me anyway. But there is something to say for cauliflower that has been “riced.” Or cauliflower that is minced to the size of small granules. It’s a fun and useful ingredient in its own right. So today I’m highlighting a really easy recipe using riced cauliflower. This Southwest Cauliflower Rice makes a super flavorful and easy side dish, or you can spruce it up and turn it into an entire meal! Keep on reading to find out how.

Overhead view of a skillet full of Southwest Cauliflower Rice garnished with lime and a bowl of salt on the side

What is Cauliflower Rice?

Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been minced to rice-sized granules. It takes on flavors really well and is an easy way to add a bunch of vegetable fiber to your meals. You can find this in the freezer section of most major grocery stores, or you can make your own with a food processor or a knife. I’ve got a tutorial for this coming later this week!

Cauliflower rice gained in popularity with the low-carb movement because a lot of people use it as a substitute for rice. I don’t find them to be similar at all, but I think that it’s useful as its own unique way.

Take a Short Cut with Taco Seasoning

I seasoned this dish with my Homemade Taco Seasoning (minus the cayenne and garlic powder), but if you want a short cut or don’t yet have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use one packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the herbs and spices listed in the recipe below.

Overhead view of a bowl full of southwest cauliflower rice with a fork on the side

Is it Spicy?

I would rate this as a “medium” on the spicy scale. All of the heat is going to come from either the diced tomatoes with green chiles or the chili powder. Some brands of both chili powder and diced tomatoes with green chiles do make mild versions (no heat), so if you can’t handle spiciness, make sure you look for non-spicy versions of both of these ingredients. You can also try using fire-roasted diced tomatoes in place of the tomatoes with green chiles.

How to Serve Southwest Cauliflower Rice

This simple recipe makes a great side dish to any southwest-flavored dish, like Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Beef and Black Bean Tacos, or Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas. But you can also add a few ingredients and just make the cauliflower rice into a whole meal…

Make it a Meal

To make this Southwest Cauliflower Rice into a full meal you can add a can of black beans, ground beef or turkey, top it with some shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and maybe a couple of jalapeños. In fact, let me just put that on my list of recipe to make because now I want some!!

Overhead view of a skillet full of southwest cauliflower rice with a bowl of salt and cilantro on the side
Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Southwest Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Cauliflower Rice is a quick, easy, and flavorful side dish that can also be spruced up and turned into an entire meal!
Total Cost $3.00 recipe / $0.75 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 83.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice $1.66
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is slightly softened and fragrant.
  • Add the cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower is a little softer.
  • Finally, add the diced tomatoes with green chilies (and all the juices from the can), as well as all the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Taste the cauliflower rice and adjust the salt or other spices to your liking. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 83.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.13g | Protein: 3.33g | Fat: 4.08g | Sodium: 456.33mg | Fiber: 3.95g
Side view of a fork picking up some southwest cauliflower rice out of a bowl

How to Make Southwest Cauliflower Rice – Step by Step Photos

Cauliflower rice in a skillet with a spatula

Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until soft and fragrant. Add 4 cups of cauliflower rice and continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened.

Tomatoes being poured into the skillet with cauliflower rice and spices

Add one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with the juices), ½ Tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper.

Finished southwest cauliflower rice in the skillet

Continue to sauté the cauliflower, tomatoes, and spices for about five minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Give the cauliflower rice a taste and adjust the salt or other spices to your preferences. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Close up overhead of southwest cauliflower rice in a skillet with a wooden spoon

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Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sooooo ready for the lighter foods of spring and summer! This week I made a deliciously light and fresh noodle bowl with crispy tofu, fresh vegetables, and a simple peanut lime dressing. I’m just loving all the cold crunchy vegetables and the light and airy rice noodles in this bowl. As always, I’ve got some substitution options for these Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls below, so make sure to keep reading!

Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl on a blue background and a fork on the side

What Kind of Noodles Can I Use?

I love rice noodles for this bowl because they’re super light and they taste great cold. I used a vermicelli style rice noodle because that was what was available at the store, but a slightly wider noodle would probably work best (wider noodles tangle less).

If you don’t have rice noodles available or want a less expensive option, these bowls are very similar to my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, which uses whole what spaghetti, so I think that could also work here.

A third option is to serve these bowls over rice in stead of noodles. Jasmine rice would be my pick!

A fourth option is to serve this like a salad over shredded cabbage or lettuce.

Can I Substitute the Tofu?

Sure! I think both chicken and shrimp would also go great in this bowl. For chicken, just cube it up and sauté in oil until cooked through. You could even toss it in a little bit of the peanut dressing, making sure to save some for the rest of the bowls. For shrimp, just make sure they’re peeled and tails removed, then sauté in oil over medium until they’re opaque and pink (this only takes a few minutes).

Are Tofu Peanut Noodle Bowls Served Hot or Cold?

I eat this bowl cold. When you make them fresh the noodles may still be slightly warm or room temperature, but they’ll be cool enough to not heat the rest of the ingredients. The tofu also cools very rapidly.

How Are the Leftovers?

These bowls hold up pretty good in the fridge! The tofu doesn’t stay crispy, like any fried food, but it’s still tasty in the bowl. You can refrigerate these bowls, with the dressing kept separately, for about 4 days.

Three peanut tofu noodle bowls in glass containers, dressing being poured over one
Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl with a black fork on the side

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.
Total Cost $10.40 recipe / $2.60 serving
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 53.25kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $2.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

Peanut Lime Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter $0.38
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil* $0.04

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice noodles $2.69
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 cucumber $1.49
  • 1 carrot $0.08
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro $0.40
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • Start by pressing the tofu. Remove the tofu from the package, then place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board, plate, or another flat object over top, then place something heavy on top of that, like a cast iron skillet or a pot of water. Let the tofu sit with the weight on top for about 30 minutes to press the excess moisture out of the tofu.
  • While the tofu is pressing, prepare the peanut lime dressing. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • You can also prep the vegetables while the tofu is pressing. Slice the red bell pepper, slice the cucumber into thin sticks, shred the carrot using a cheese grater, and remove the cilantro leaves from the stems (or just roughly chop them).
  • After the tofu has been pressing for about 30 minutes, pour off the excess water from the baking sheet. Transfer the pressed tofu to a cutting board, and cut the block into ½-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a bowl or shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu cubes until they are coated in cornstarch.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu cubes and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy. Once crispy, remove them from the heat.
  • Finally, cook the rice noodles. Bring a pot of water to a full boil, then add the noodles. Boil only for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the noodles drain well.
  • To assemble the bowls, place ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Top with some bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and crispy tofu. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts over top, then drizzle with the peanut lime dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

*Any light, neutral-flavored oil will work here, like canola, peanut, sesame (not toasted), avocado, grapeseed, etc. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 53.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.08g | Protein: 25.35g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 437.33mg | Fiber: 6.05g
close up side view of peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

How to Make Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls – Step by Step Photos

A block of tofu on a baking tray with a cast iron skillet on one side, cutting board on the other side

Start by pressing the tofu. This removes the excess moisture and takes about a half hour, so start with this first. Remove the tofu from its package and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place something flat on top, like a cutting board or plate, then place something heavy on top of that. I use a cast iron skillet, but a pot of water also works. Let it press for about a half hour. You can see in the photo above all the water that came out.

Peanut lime dressing being whisked in a bowl

While the tofu is pressing, make the peanut lime dressing. Add 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ½ tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ cup neutral oil (anything light flavored) in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Prepped vegetables on a cutting board

You should also have time to prep the vegetables while the tofu presses. Slice one red bell pepper, one cucumber (depending on the size you may only need half), grate one carrot using a cheese grater, and pull about ½ bunch cilantro leaves from the stems.

Cubed tofu being sprinkled with cornstarch

After the tofu has pressed, transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl or shallow dish, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu until it is coated in cornstarch.

Crispy tofu in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove the tofu from the heat.

package of rice noodles

Lastly, cook the rice noodles. I used vermicelli, but if you can find a slightly wider rice noodle that may work better because they won’t tangle as much. I used one 8 oz. package of rice noodles.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a colander

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and boil for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and rise briefly with cool water. Let them drain well.

rice noodles in a bowl topped with tofu, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots

Now it’s time to build the bowls! Place ¼ of the rice noodles in each bowl. Top with bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, and tofu.

Finished peanut tofu noodle bowl, minus dressing

Top the bowl with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

And finally, drizzle that delicious peanut lime dressing over top of the peanut tofu noodle bowls when you’re ready to eat!

Half-stirred peanut tofu noodle bowl with a fork in the center

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Homemade Butter Biscuits

Big homemade weekend breakfasts are one of my favorite things ever and no weekend breakfast is complete without homemade biscuits. These butter biscuits are my “basic” biscuit recipe that I’ve been using for years. They’re quick, simple, and perfect alongside some fried eggs and bacon. Slather on some butter and honey, or maybe your favorite […]

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Big homemade weekend breakfasts are one of my favorite things ever and no weekend breakfast is complete without homemade biscuits. These butter biscuits are my “basic” biscuit recipe that I’ve been using for years. They’re quick, simple, and perfect alongside some fried eggs and bacon. Slather on some butter and honey, or maybe your favorite jam, and enjoy your morning. That’s breakfast heaven. 

Originally posted 7-27-2010, updated 3-31-2021.

Side view of baked butter biscuits on a baking sheet close up

What are Butter Biscuits?

Butter biscuits are a tender, flakey quick bread that is often served with breakfast, or sometimes as a side dish with other meals (similar to what is known as a scone in the rest of the world). I’m calling them “butter” biscuits because this recipe uses butter in the dough, unlike my Freezer Biscuits, which use heavy cream. Both recipes make great biscuits, but the method and texture of the final biscuit are different. These butter biscuits are a bit more sturdy than the cream biscuits and will hold up better to something heavy like sausage and gravy. 

The Biscuit Method

This recipe uses a cooking technique called The Biscuit Method. This technique involves working butter or another solid fat into flour. When fat is combined with flour in this way the fat prevents the flour from forming a gluten matrix (like you have with kneaded bread), which leaves the dough quite soft and tender. To keep your biscuits as soft and tender as possible, you’ll want to avoid kneading the dough and work with it as little as possible as you shape and cut your biscuits. You can read more about the mechanics of the biscuit method here

Use Buttermilk for More Flavor

The recipe below uses a buttermilk substitute (milk + vinegar or lemon juice) because I don’t often have buttermilk on hand. But if by rare chance you do have buttermilk use that in place of the milk and vinegar and you’ll have the most delicious biscuits ever. While buttermilk substitutes provide the same acidity as buttermilk, they don’t quite have as much flavor.

Butter Biscuits are Freezer Friendly

If you have a smaller household don’t skip this recipe just because it makes 8 biscuits! You can either freeze the baked biscuits or freeze the unbaked biscuits to cook later. To freeze the unbaked biscuits, simply freeze them on a lined baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Label, date, and freeze up to three months. to Bake from frozen, simply add a few minutes to the baking time. 

To freeze the baked biscuits, allow them to cool completely to room temperature. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze up to three months. Thaw at room temperature or microwave for 15-30 seconds.

Two butter biscuits on a plate, one sliced open and topped with butter and honey

 

Side view of baked biscuits on a baking sheet

Homemade Butter Biscuits

These classic homemade butter biscuits are simple and delicious. Perfect for slathering with butter, honey, or your favorite jam! 
Total Cost $1.80 recipe / $0.23 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 237.85kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp butter (salted) $0.84
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour $0.39
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder $0.06
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 cup whole milk $0.38
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar* $0.06

Instructions

  • Freeze the butter for 30-60 minutes before you begin the recipe to make it extra cold and more solid for grating.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bow, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • Use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the bowl with the flour. Once grated, use your hands to work the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal.
  • Stir the vinegar into the milk. Pour the milk into the bowl with the butter and flour mixture, then stir until a dough forms.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, then press it into a large rectangle. Fold the dough in on itself in thirds, like folding a letter. Then press it into a rectangle once again, about ½ to ¾-inch thick.
  • Use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass (about 3-inches in diameter) to cut biscuits out of the dough. Gather up the scraps, press them down again, and cut a few more biscuits until all of the dough is used up.
  • Place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. For extra brown tops, brush a little milk on top.
  • Bake the biscuits in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Enjoy warm.

Notes

*Use any light vinegar, like apple cider, rice, or white vinegar. Lemon juice can also be used in place of vinegar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 237.85kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.73g | Protein: 5.13g | Fat: 9.99g | Sodium: 563.73mg | Fiber: 1.06g

Side view of a plate full of butter biscuits

How to Make Homemade Butter Biscuits – Step By Step Photos

biscuit dry ingredients in a bowl

Before you begin, freeze 6 Tbsp butter for 30-60 minutes to make it extra cold and solid. This makes it easier to grate into the batter. When you’re ready to start making the biscuits, begin to preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, combine 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir until they are well combined.

Grated butter added to the flour mixture in the bowl

Use a cheese grater to grate the semi-frozen butter into the flour mixture. Once grated, use your hands to work the butter into the flour until it kind of resembles cornmeal. 

Milk being poured into the batter

Combine 1 cup whole milk and 1 Tbsp vinegar (or lemon juice). Alternately, you can use 1 cup of buttermilk. Pour the milk into the butter and flour mixture.

Biscuit dough in the bowl

Stir until it forms a cohesive dough. Be careful not to overstir. Don’t worry if there is a little flour left on the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little flour in the next step. 

Folded biscuit dough

Place the dough onto a floured surface and press it down into a large rectangle. Fold the dough in on itself into thirds, like folding a letter. This helps create a few layers in the biscuits. Finally, press it down into a rectangle once again, this time about ½ to ¾-inch thick.

Biscuits being cut out of the dough with a drinking glass

Use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass to cut the biscuits out of the dough. The glass I’m using is 3-inches in diameter. When you’ve cut all you can from the one piece of dough, gather up the scraps, press it down into a rectangle again, and cut a couple more. I got 8 biscuits out of my dough.

Unbaked biscuits on a lined baking sheet

Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you want the tops to get extra browned, you can brush a little milk on top.

Baked biscuits on the baking sheet

Bake the biscuits in the fully preheated 425ºF oven for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Overhead view of a plate full of butter biscuits with honey and butter on the sides

Enjoy warm, slathered with butter and drizzled with honey or a dollop of your favorite jam!

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Tajín Shrimp Tacos

These bright and zesty Tacos feature Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw dressed with a homemade avocado dressing.

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As the weather starts to warm up I start craving light, fresh food, like these Tajín Shrimp Tacos. These tacos are so simple, with bright chili-lime flavored Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw made with homemade avocado dressing. They’re the perfect little bites to enjoy with the first warm rays of sun of the season! As always, I’ll list some substitutions and add-on ideas for you below!

Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board, ingredients on the sides

What is Tajín?

Tajín seasoning is a Mexican spice blend containing chili, lime, and salt. This super simple blend packs huge flavor and is incredibly delicious when sprinkled onto fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, or really just about everything. You can find this seasoning in the produce department of most major grocery stores in the U.S. Scroll down to the step-by-step photos below to see a photo of the bottle, so you know what to look for! :)

Can I Substitute the Shrimp?

If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can also use Tajín to season white fish, like cod, tilapia, or Mahi Mahi instead. You could also use the Tajín to season some cubed or shredded chicken.

Can I Substitute the Avocado Dressing?

Yes, you have a few different options for dressing the slaw for these tacos. When I first made this recipe, I actually used a store-bought guacamole salsa mixed with a little bit of mayonnaise to make the slaw. You could also use something like an avocado ranch dressing, or make my Cilantro Lime Coleslaw.

Take a Short Cut with Coleslaw Mix

I had half a head of purple cabbage in my fridge that I used for this recipe, but you could also use fresh green cabbage, or even take a short cut by using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots). Green cabbage may even work a little better here because the natural pigment of the purple cabbage turns kind of brown when mixed with the green avocado dressing.

What Else Can I Add to the Shrimp Tacos?

Tacos are great because they’re so flexible. There are so many things you could add to these tacos to make them your own. Here are a few ideas:

What to Serve with Tajín Shrimp Tacos

I suggest keeping your side dish light, with something like Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad, Cucumber and Black Bean Salad, or Warm Corn and Avocado Salad. Or you can go with some simple sides like Quick Seasoned Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice.

A hand picking up one Tajín Shrimp Taco off a plate of three
Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board

Tajín Shrimp Tacos

These bright and zesty tacos feature Tajín seasoned shrimp and a simple slaw dressed with a homemade avocado dressing. 
Total Cost $9.62 recipe / $2.41 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 three tacos each
Calories 420.35kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/4 cup sour cream $0.12
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro $0.20
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Tajín Shrimp

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 head red cabbage (about 4 cups shredded) $0.93
  • 12 small corn tortillas $1.20
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Make the avocado dressing first. Add the avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • Finely shred the cabbage, so the slaw is ready to be mixed just before serving. Thinly slice the jalapeño (if using).
  • Toast the corn tortillas. You can do this over the open flame of a gas stove, or in a very hot dry skillet. When the skillet is very hot, the tortillas only need to touch the skillet for about 10 seconds on each side to give it that toasty corn flavor. This also helps strengthen the tortillas a bit.
  • If you shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cool water over top until thawed. Remove the peel and tail, if attached. Allow the shrimp to drain well, then place them in a bowl and add the Tajín. Stir to coat the shrimp in Tajín.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the seasoned shrimp and sauté until the shrimp are opaque (this should only take about three minutes). If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the skillet, remove the shrimp and then allow the liquid to simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat and then toss the shrimp in the thickened sauce.
  • Just before serving, combine the shredded cabbage with about ½ cup of the avocado dressing and stir until the cabbage is evenly coated. The rest of the avocado dressing will be drizzled over the tacos.
  • To build the shrimp tacos, add a handful of slaw to the bottom of each tortilla then top with a few shrimp and a couple slices of jalapeño. Drizzle a little of the remaining avocado dressing over top, then enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 3tacos | Calories: 420.35kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.33g | Protein: 19.63g | Fat: 23.88g | Sodium: 752.5mg | Fiber: 7.83g
Close up of three Tajín Shrimp Tacos on a plate

How to Make Tajín Shrimp Tacos – Step by Step Photos

Avocado dressing in a blender

Make the avocado dressing first. Add one avocado, ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 clove of garlic, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ tsp salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Shred ½ head cabbage (about 4 cups) and slice one jalapeño.

Toasted tortillas in a skillet

Toast 12 small corn tortillas. You can do this over the open flame of a gas stove or in a very hot dry skillet. They only take about 10 seconds per side to toast. This gives them a deliciously toasty corn flavor and helps strengthen them a bit.

Shrimp seasoned with Tajín in a bowl

If your shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cool water over them until thawed (it’s pretty fast). Remove the peels and tails, if still attached. Place 12oz. raw medium peeled shrimp in a bowl and add ½ Tbsp Tajín seasoning. Stir to coat the shrimp in seasoning.

Cooked shrimp in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium. When the skillet and oil are hot, add the seasoned shrimp. Sauté the shrimp until they are opaque (this should only take a few minutes). If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the skillet, remove the shrimp and let the liquid simmer a few more minutes to thicken. Turn off the heat and toss the shrimp in the thickened sauce.

Finished avocado slaw in a bowl with a spatula

Just before serving, prepare the slaw. Add about ½ cup of the avocado dressing to the shredded cabbage and stir to coat. The rest of the dressing will be used to top the tacos.

Avocado dressing being drizzled over a shrimp taco on a plate

To build the tacos, add some of the prepared slaw to each tortilla, top with a few shrimp and a couple slices of jalapeño. Drizzle some of the remaining avocado dressing over top, then enjoy!

Three Tajín Shrimp Tacos open faced on a wooden board

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How to Freeze Kale

Learn how to freeze kale (or spinach) to reduce food waste and always have prepped kale on hand to add to your favorite recipes.

The post How to Freeze Kale appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever let a bag of greens go bad in the back of your fridge. 👋😬 I know I’ve been guilty of that. But guess what? You can freeze kale (and bagged spinach), so you can keep it on hand without it getting all gross and stinky in the back of your refrigerator. It’s incredibly simple to do, but if you’re new to freezing vegetables make sure keep reading to understand how to make the best use of your frozen kale (or spinach).

A freezer bag of kale spilling out onto a marble surface

Why Freeze Kale?

As I mentioned above, freezing kale is a great way to reduce your food waste because it can be hard to eat an entire bunch or bag of kale before it starts to get slimy. A lot of times I’ll freeze half my kale as soon as I get home from the store, just to make sure I don’t forget later and to make sure I freeze it while it’s the most fresh!

And since you’ll need to prep your kale before freezing it, it’s a great way to consolidate your kitchen work and make cooking faster and easier later. Once the kale is prepped and frozen, it’s ready to toss into any number of recipes later without any further work.

How to Use Frozen Kale

The most important part about freezing kale is understanding what recipes you can use it in later. Frozen vegetables generally get a little softer after freezing and thawing, so I don’t suggest using the frozen kale in a salad or any recipe where you want it to have the same texture as fresh kale. Frozen kale also tends to be quite delicate when frozen, so it can break into small pieces easily, which also makes it less ideal for salads. For this reason, I also wouldn’t recommend it for kale chips, where you’d want large pieces.

Frozen kale is great to use in any recipe where the kale will be sautéed or added to a hot liquid, like a soup or stew. And because it thaws so quickly in the hot pan, you don’t need to thaw before adding it to your recipe. Here are some great examples of recipes where you could use frozen kale:

Frozen Kale is also great for adding to smoothies! Just go ahead and toss a handful into your blender with the rest of your fruits and vegetables!

How Long Does Frozen Kale Last?

Frozen kale will slowly dry out in the freezer over time, causing the flavor and texture quality to decline. For best flavor and texture, I suggest trying to use your frozen kale within a few months.

How to Freeze Kale:

Okay, this is kind of a no-brainer, but I’m going to offer a few helpful tid bits with each step…

1. Prep Your Kale

Make sure you fully wash and chop your kale before freezing, so it’s ready to go straight into your recipe from the freezer. I buy bags of pre-chopped kale, but I always give it another wash and pick out any larger pieces of stem. If you’re buying a bunch of kale, remove the stems, chop it to your desired size, then give it a good rinse.

Chopped kale in a colander

2. Pack the Kale

After rinsing, make sure to let the kale drain well, then just place it in any air-tight freezer safe container. I prefer freezer bags because they lay flat and don’t take up a lot of space in the freezer. Avoid packing or squishing the kale too tightly in the container so you can easily grab a handful or two at a time later, instead of having a large solid block of greens that you can’t break apart.

kale in a freezer bag that is labeled and dated

And, as always, make sure to label and date your container! This will help you use frozen goods in a timely manner and will help prevent those mystery containers in the bottom of the freezer.

3. Cook the Kale

When you’re ready to use your frozen kale, it can go straight from the freezer into your recipe. Because the kale is so thin, it thaws almost instantly when added to a hot pan or soup. So easy!

Sautéed Kale in a skillet

And that’s it! So easy, but so easy to overlook. So I hope this simple tutorial inspires you to freeze some of your next batch of kale, and saves you some dollars!

Want More Freezer Tips?

Check out these other ingredients that I like to save in the freezer:

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