Pasta is delicious, but full of carbohydrates. This nutrient is important for people who do high-cardio exercises such as long-distance running. But for the average Jill or Joe, eating extra carbohydrates means weight gain. And since most Americans don’t get enough fiber or vegetables in their diets, substituting pasta with vegetables is a smart way to tackle both issues. You’ll consume a lower-calorie dish and get your fiber at the same time!
You can buy a shredder to turn zucchini into spaghetti-like noodles. Cook the zucchini shreds like you would noodle and toss with whatever pasta sauce you fancy. Try to make just enough for one meal since zucchini tends to leak water overnight.
If you’re looking for something with a sturdier or tougher texture than zucchini, try shredded carrots. This is a great option for people who prefer their pasta al dente instead of well-done. Carrots tend to leak less water, so if you like leftovers, carrot pasta is a better option than zucchini pasta.
You can replace couscous or rice with cauliflower. This tough cruciferous vegetable is full of healthy minerals that holds up to boiling and cooking. Its flavor isn’t too strong, so it pairs well with light sauces. You can even use cauliflower to make pizza dough! Keep in mind that if you’re not used to eating cauliflower, you might find yourself passing a lot of gas in the first few days. Once your intestines become used to digesting this vegetable, you should be fine.
Lasagna is cheesy, comforting, and really high in fat and calories. But if you replace the noodles with eggplant, you get the same delicious taste without the carbohydrates. Granted, you’ll still have to contend with the cheese, but at least you’re getting extra fiber. Eggplant is mostly tasteless so it’s great for people who don’t want to know what vegetable they’re putting in their mouth.
Cabbage is another good noodle replacement if you find the orange color of carrots off-putting. This white vegetable might smell funny when you’re cooking it, but it disappears into the background once you add sauce and spices. As with cauliflower, cabbages are known to give you gas, so be prepared!