The Low Carb Lovers Guide to Pasta and Rice + 6 recipes to get you started

I LOVE carbs and you’ll never catch me removing entire food groups from my diet. It smacks too much of deprivation for one thing, but carbohydrates also play a vital role in good nutrition and I’m all about that.

But as I said in my last post I’m an uber Carb Queen at the moment and something’s gotta give (preferably not the button on my jeans). So I’ve expanded on the idea of replacing some carbs with vegetable options. That way I don’t miss out on my faves and I can keep everything light, healthy and balanced. LOVE that!

So here are my ideas for getting more vegetables into your diet and low carbing it:

Sandwiches

I’m starting off with the breadless sambo because I’m completely addicted to them right now. Any large leafy green will do for bread, but I confess my faves are lettuce leaves or thinner cabbage leaves like wombok. Try out your fave fillings in a lettuce sandwich and see how you go, but if you’re stuck for inspiration (which I never am when it comes to sandwiches – LOVE a good sandwich), you might want to try these:
1.    Chicken, spring onion, light mayo and avocado
2.    Tuna, spring onion, celery and light mayo
3.    Chopped egg, cucumber, grated carrot and cheese
4.    Chopped egg and ham
5.    Reduced fat bacon and egg
6.    Last night’s leftovers, warmed or left cold.

Last night's chickpea curry in lettuce sambos

Last night’s chickpea curry in lettuce sambos

Cauli Rice

Oh, how I love cauli rice. I make mine two different ways all depending on what I’m serving:

  1. If I’m having a big flavourful curry then I just steam the cauli. Cut the florets off and pulse in the food processor until the cauli resembles rice. Whack it into a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for about 8 minutes. Done!
  2. If I’m making something a little more subtle and want a little more flavour from the rice, I pulse the cauli to make rice and then cook it for a couple of minutes in a non-stick frying pan with a little sesame oil, salt, pepper and herbs. YUM!

Vegetable Fettuccini

Vegetable fettuccini can be made with just about any vegetable you have but my faves would have to be zucchini, carrots, leeks and celery. You can use just one vegetable or lots, whatever you’ve got in the fridge. To make vegetable fettuccini all you need to do is grab a vegetable peeler and make thick ribbons of your vegetables. I eat mine one of 3 ways:

  1. Raw. When I need some crunch I love to keep the fettuccini uncooked.
  2. Lightly steamed or blanched. If I want to soften it up but keep the fettuccini quite plain, I steam it or blanch in boiling water for a minute or so.
  3. Cooked in oil. As with the cauli rice, sometimes I like the fettuccini to be more of the hero by cooking it in a non-stick frying pan with a little oil, garlic, seasoning and herbs. Delicious.

Vegetable pastaf

Vegetable Angel Hair Pasta

I’m a fan of really thin pasta, my favourite being angel hair. So when I need a vegetable pasta hit, I use a fine grater to make my ribbons really thin. I then cook them the same way as the fettuccini but for less time as they are much thinner.

 

Vegetable Lasagne

It’s easy (and really tasty) to make a low carb pasta-free lasagne by using vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant. Just slice the vegetables and sauté them in a pan to soften them slightly, then layer them as you would pasta lasagne sheets. So good.

 

Cauli Pizza Base

If you’re a lover of pizza like I am but want to cut down on the carbs, you might like to try making the base with cauliflower. It’s a little more involved than picking up a pre-made base at the supermarket but definitely no more difficult than making your own dough.  Check out my recipe for Cauli Pizza Base on Kidspot.

Cauli Pizza Base

Cauli Pizza Base

Ideas for Asian Dishes

We eat a lot of Asian style food in our house and so I’ve come up with low carb ways of getting my noodle fix without the noodles. Try replacing:
1.    Rice noodles with shredded cabbage and spinach
2.    Noodles with bean sprouts
3.    Rice for finely chopped cabbage, stir-fried in oil and garlic or cauli rice

Here are 6 fantastic recipes you might like to try:

  1. Soft Shell Tacos from The Healthy Chef
  2. Low Carb Turkey Tacos from The Moodie Foodie
  3. Zucchini Lasagne from Skinny Taste
  4. San Choi Bao from The Moodie Foodie
  5. Vegetable Fettuccini with Fresh Tomato Sauce from The Moodie Foodie
  6. Chickpea Meatballs in Tomato Sauce on Zucchini Pasta from The Moodie Foodie – this one is vegetarian but you can so easily make your normal meatballs and serve them on zucchini pasta.

Have you tried replacing some carby carbs with vegetables (even though vegetables are carbohydrates too – you get my drift)? What are your favourite ways to do it?

Healthy eating!

jay

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