Cutting carbohydrates from your cooking can be an effective way to either lose or maintain weight. Though helpful in the weight-loss department, low-carb cooking does not offer many obvious options for variety in your meals. If boredom is beginning to consume your low-carb lifestyle, try these simple substitutions in some of your old favorite recipes.
Experiment with squash
Low cal and low-carb, squash is an alternative to pasta and an encouragement to go ahead and make your favorite marinara. Try spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti, vermicelli or baked in a casserole. Zucchini and summer squash are also yummy stand-ins for noodles. Grated or sliced -- prepare them in a way that's closest to the noodle being replaced and enjoy. Mangia!
Cut carbs with cauliflower
Replace rice with cauliflower for a carb-cutting solution. Simply shred it in the food processor and then cover and cook in the microwave until tender (no extra water needed). Or try serving pureed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing substitution. If you are not sure about making the switch completely, then try substituting a portion of your starchy staple with this versatile veggie.
Try something different than dairy
An often overlooked way to cut carbohydrates in the kitchen is to replace milk with an unsweetened soy or almond milk product. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can make your own almond milk at home. All you need is a little time, the right ingredients, a blender and the recipe below.
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- 1 cup spaghetti squash
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped, fresh spinach
- 2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- Favorite family pizza toppings
- Steam squash and zucchini until tender.
- Lightly coat the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan with marinara sauce.
- In a separate bowl, combine squash, zucchini, spinach, half of marinara sauce, Parmesan and ricotta.
- Spread squash mixture in pan. Spread remaining sauce over the squash.
- Add your favorite family toppings – turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers are all delicious.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over squash mixture. Bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes.
Raw Almond Milk
- 1 cup unroasted almonds
- 3 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 t. vanilla
- 4-8 soaked dates or other sweetener to taste, such as honey, stevia or agave (optional)
- Soak almonds in cold water for 4 to 8 hours.
- Drain almonds and place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend at the highest speed until water is white and frothy.
- Strain blended almond milk – use the pulp for cereal or in a smoothie, if you'd like. There's no need to throw it away!
- Store milk in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
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