Zucchini and Eggplants
Thinly sliced zucchini makes a great substitute for pasta in a lasagna. Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler, and slice large zucchinis in thin slices, and grill. If you use them raw, they might ‘weep’, leaving you with a watery dish. Use the grilled zucchini together with a bechamel sauce and a beefy ragu to make a low carb lasagna. Alternatively, make zucchini cannoli. Using ragu and ricotta, place a small amount of filling on a ribbon of zucchini, and roll. Place the rolls in a roasting dish, and top with cheese. As with zucchini, you can use eggplant in a carbohydrate-free lasagna or savory cannoli dish.
We all love a meaty spaghetti bolognaise, but that pile of spaghetti can rack in the carbs. A great substitution is spaghetti squash. It’s low in calories, and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And once cooked, you can make perfect spaghetti lookalike strings, by scraping your fork over the squash surface. Simply slice the squash in half, roast until tender, and scrap into spaghetti strands.
This vegetable has gotten somewhat of a superhero status after the paleo and keto diets became more popular. It’s a perfect low-carb substitute for many foods. Make a buttery mash with cauliflower instead of potatoes. Roast cauliflower, and mash with butter, parmesan, and a bit of garlic. Yum!
Feel like a pizza, but don’t want to break your low carb diet? Make a cauliflower pizza base. Pulse cauliflower florets (from one head) in a food processor until fine. Steam or microwave the fine cauliflower until cooked, and let it cool. Combine with ½ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and 2 eggs (beaten). Spread the mixture in a circle, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C. Add your toppings and bake until cooked.
Ever heard of cauli-couscous? Make ‘couscous’ from cauliflower (also known as cauliflower rice). Simply pulse cauliflower florets in the food processor until fine. Sauté with a little bit of olive oil until cooked.
Mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute, but did you know they make a great substitute for carbs? You can use big portobello mushrooms instead of buns (rolls) next time you’re making hamburgers! They’re much healthier than normal carbohydrate-laden buns, as they’re high in fiber and vitamins, but low in calories.