There aren’t many things that I miss from when I used to eat carbohydrates, but pasta is definitely one of them! It was always the perfect go-to meal option, because it is quick, can inexpensively feed an army, and it can transform into basically any type of cuisine. Feeling Asian? Then whip up some Pad Thai. Comfort food? Is there anything better than mac and cheese? And of course Italian, with a hearty bowl of ziti and bolognese, which immediate brings me back to Sunday dinners growing up.
Since surgery in November, I have been strict with my no carbohydrate rule, in an effort not to get sucked back down into the carb lifestyle. For me, its an addiction, and I used surgery as an opportunity to “get clean.” Overall, I feel so much better, but that’s not to say it isn’t difficult sometimes.
So, over the last 9 months, I’ve tried many alternatives to the classic noodle, and thought I’d share my top three favorites. Each have their own uses, and are good for different reasons, but their common link is that they have all satisfied that pasta craving at one time or another for me! Hope you enjoy!
1. Zucchini/Cucumber Noodles
I use the above spiral cutter approximately twice a week to make zucchini and cucumber noodles! Whether it is a cold Thai peanut cucumber noodle or even a side to my Lemon Sole recipe, these noodles are a perfect option if you’re looking for a little texture. I got mine on Amazon (since I’m a Prime fanatic), and there are a lot of great inexpensive options available. I even gifted this kitchen tool to one of my vegetarian friends for her housewarming party, and she is already as obsessed as I am with it!
2. Spaghetti Squash
B and I were a fans of this noodle alternative long before I went no-carb, because it is delicious! We love to use it for pasta bakes, and when cleaned and roasted it is the perfect vessel for chunky sauce and gooey cheese! Here are some helpful links on how to cook it: Whole Foods and The Lean Green Bean. Even restaurants like Ruby Tuesdays are hopping on the bandwagon and offering it as a healthy side!
3. Shirataki Noodles
This is a recent discovery and I’m already a convert! Of my top three noodle alternatives, this is the most like your classic noodle experience. The version they have at my local food store is only 3g of carbohydrates and 10 calories per serving, so it is a perfect guilt free way to get your pasta fix. They have a slight fishy odor when you first open the bag, but just rinse them well and then “dry fry” them in a pan so that all the liquid is evaporated before you add in your sauce. (Note: by “dry fry” I simply mean putting them in a hot pan, with no oil, and letting them cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until there is no more liquid in the pan.) I recently used the angel hair option to make a light summer pasta with pesto, grilled corn, and cherry tomatoes from my CSA. So delicious!!!
What are some of your favorite noodle alternatives?
xoxo – SavvySleever