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5 Pasta Substitutes for Low Carb Diets
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What is a great substitute for pasta salads?
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5 Pasta Substitutes for Low Carb Diets
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If you can name every type of pasta and describe its shape, then, you know you’re a pasta lover. Problem is, you may think that parting with that pasta to start a low-carb diet will be such sweet sorrow. But, don’t despair. There are some incredible pasta substitutes that just might appeal to even the biggest pasta fans among us.First up, vegetable ribbons. You might be shaking your head but, surprisingly, many stringy vegetables make a tasty substitute with traditional pasta sauces like Marinara and Pesto. Use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, peppers and yellow summer squash. Steam the veggie ribbons, which will give them a taste and feel similar to homemade pasta ribbons. A serving of one to one and a half cups only has 15 grams of carbs.Pasta aficionados will even tell you that spaghetti squash has a similar texture to angel hair pasta. So, why don’t they call it angel hair squash?Next, there’s barley, which has a similar texture to pasta but considerably less carbs and twice the fiber. It works well hot or cold, and is a great substitute for pasta salads. Third, there’s Quinoa, which is an Incan grain that’s gained a lot of popularity recently. It has a texture that is similar to couscous and pairs nicely with fish or chicken. You can cook it in vegetable, chicken, or beef stock to enhance the flavor. It also has twice the fiber as traditional pasta.Another pasta substitute that adds an Asian flair to your menu is to use low-carb Asian noodles. Some great examples are Shirataki noodles and Tofu noodles. Not only are they tasty, but they are also high in fiber and very low-cal. They taste great with pesto and only take minutes to prepare.
Finally, for those of you having a difficult time letting go of regular pasta completely, there are some low-carb pastas now available to help you convert. There is whole-wheat pasta, which is similar to white pasta but contains three times the amount of fiber. Another great option is fortified pastas, which have been modified and include flour made from egg whites and legumes, barley, oats, and flaxseed and provide more protein, fiber, and omegas-3s than traditional white pasta.
Just be sure to check the carbs on the package before you dive in, as whole wheat and fortified pasta can still run higher than you might want. This is an excellent time to experiment with the sauces you use as well by dicing up vegetables. Not only does this add more flavor and color, but it’s an easy way to round out a complete meal, all in one bowl. Happy eating!
I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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