A few weeks ago I got a lovely message from one of my new Simple Meal Plans members.
Kamila wrote to tell me how using the meal plans had allowed her to radically change her diet.
She cut out sugar and carbs.
In a fast and simple way.
She’s already feeling the benefits…
No longer sleepy all the time.
Eczema clearing up.
And much less irritability!
But Kamila had one more question…
“I have a serious addiction to pasta with olive oil, garlic and chilli (and nice chunk of parmesan). Is there any chance to switch it to low carb / low gluten and still keep it that tasty?”
7 Best Low Carb Pasta Substitutes
My favourite low carb alternative to pasta is cabbage.
It’s seriously the best.
This Cabbage Carbonara is my fave if I’m craving a big bowl of something pasta-ish
If Kamila wanted to keep the flavours similar to her olive oil, garlic and chilli, I told her to use the cooking method for the cabbage in the carbonara recipe.
Then use the cooked cabbage the same way you would use the pasta.
2. Steamed Broccoli
Cooked broccoli is another excellent pasta substitute.
It’s a lot more vibrant and green than boring old pasta (which may or may not be a bad thing!)
I just chop my broccoli into bite sized florettes. And then boil about 1cm deep salted water in a large saucepan. Then ‘steam’ the broccoli covered for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and it’s ready to be used anywhere you’d toss in cooked pasta.
3. Cooked Greens
Especially Kale! But any cooked greens like spinach, collards, chard are all good too.
Like this Killer Kale Gratin.
Or just serve your pasta sauce on a bed of cooked greens instead of the pasta. Especially delicious with meaty ragus.
4. Baby Spinach
If I’m short on time, opening a bag of baby spinach and topping it with sauce is a winning simple meal.
Especially in the warmer months.
5. Spiralized Zucchini
Certainly the closest to spaghetti in appearance.
I generally spiralize a few minutes ahead and toss the zucchini ‘noodles’ with a little salt to help them soften. In summer I serve them cold with the sauce on top.
If it’s cooler, I take the extra time to toss the zucchini in the pan so it warms properly.
You can use carrot as well, but I tend to stick to zucchini because it’s much lower carb. And the texture and flavour is a closer match.
6. Roast Veggies
I made a roast veggie bolognese recently using cauliflower and onion which was absolutely delicious. But the same idea could be applied to any roast veg. Think roast mushrooms, roast eggplant, roast zucchini and red peppers. So many options!
If you don’t mind some carbs, like my boys, roast spuds or sweet potato can be lovely.
7. Half & Half
And if you can’t bring yourself to skip the pasta all together, using a combo of one of these ideas with your pasta is a good starting place.
What about you?
Would you like to cut down on pasta and carbs? Is there something you’re really missing?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
And have fun in the kitchen!