Carbs. To some, they are the enemy. To others, they’re your best friend. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than coming home after work to a giant plate of this
But let’s be honest. I’m going to want to eat my entire refrigerator in about an hour. After I wake up from my carb coma, of course.
So I decided to try something different. I decided to break up with pasta and rice. Not forever. But let’s just say we are taking a break.
Enter vegetables. My ‘rebound’, if you will. Eat less carbs and up your vegetable intake all at once. Goodbye gluten, see ya later spikes in blood sugar, au revoir stored fat.
Here’s three ways you can replace pasta and rice with, yup, you guessed it, vegetables.
With only 36 calories in a cup of zucchini versus the 220 in a cup of fettucine noodles, you can eat these guilt-free! Zucchinis are high in manganese, folate, potassium and vitamin A, help lower pressure, and are high in fiber, helping to eliminate carcinogenic toxins in the colon.
Zucchini noodles are simple to make. Just grate a zucchini lengthwise to create fettucine-like noodles. Cook them in a frying pan with garlic and your favourite spices. Try using parmesan cheese for added flavour. Serve this alongside some protein (pesto chicken? mm).
Cauliflower Rice/Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower is full of anti-oxidation and detoxification properties. Low in calories and high in dietary fiber, it’s a no-brainer that cauliflower is rich in health benefits. Why not replace a heaping scoop of rice with some cancer-fighting cauliflower.
To make cauliflower rice, cut a head of cauliflower into chunks. Put them in a food processor (or grate by hand if you have the patience that I lack) until the florets look similar to rice or couscous. Do not over-process or you will end up with cauliflower mush. Not so appetizing. Heat the cauliflower rice in a frying pan until soft and add spices to give it some taste.
Craving some mashed potatoes instead but don’t want the added carbs? Steam or boil cauliflower until it is soft. Transfer this to a food processor with butter, garlic and parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Eat as much as you want without the starch from potatoes.
Who wouldn’t miss a heaping bowl of spaghetti? Spaghetti squash is full of vitamins and minerals (like manganese which helps with the healthy production of bones, tissues and even sex hormones). It’s also rich in fiber but low in calories. It resembles spaghetti when cooked and tastes delicious.
The only downpoint of spaghetti squash? Cutting that sucker open! Make sure you have a good knife. The outer shell of spaghetti squash is tough to pierce. Once you’ve cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, place it open side down in a pyrex dish filled about an inch high with water. Bake in an oven on 375 for about an hour or until the spaghetti squash is soft. For faster cooking, pierce holes in the outer shell of the spaghetti squash with a knife. Scrape out the insides of the spaghetti squash with a fork and top with whatever sauce you would normally use on your pasta.
And there you have it. Three vegetables that can replace your favourite carbs. Looks like the breakup with pasta and rice isn’t going to be so difficult.