CUTTING CARBS? – a few simple ideas

So you have decided to cut down on your carbohydrate intake but still crave their ability to soak up sauces and fill you up.  Well, worry not because listed below are a few great alternatives to the normal carbohydrate rich meal fillers you are used to.

Hash Browns

Substitute: Squash for potatoes

Summer squash (the rugby ball shaped yellow kind) tastes similar to potatoes when cooked—but has just a fraction of the carbs. Grate the squash, mix in an egg as binder, make patties, and fry them in olive oil.

Carbs Eliminated: About 15 grams (g) per hash-brown patty

Mashed Potatoes

Substitute: Cauliflower for potatoes

Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower in the microwave. Then spray the cauliflower with butter substitute, add a little nonfat half-and-half substitute, and puree in a food processor or blender.  Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve got something that quite honestly can compete with the real thing any day. To make it even better, try adding roasted garlic, cheese, or sour cream to the mixture.

Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup


Substitute: Cauliflower for Rice

Finely chop (or use food processor) some raw cauliflower.  Put in a bowl with a tiny drop of water, cover with cling-film and microwave for 3 minutes.  Perfect cauliflower rice.

Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup


Substitute: Zucchini slices for noodles

Slice four to five medium-size zukes lengthwise into three-quarter-inch-thick strips. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the strips, place them in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. You want them firm, not crisp.  Then simply make the lasagna as you normally would, replacing lasagna noodles with the baked zucchini.

Carbs Eliminated: 36 g per serving


Substitute: Spaghetti squash for spaghetti

A cooked spaghetti squash is like Mother Nature’s automatic spaghetti maker—the flesh becomes noodlelike strands.  All you have to do is cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Then place each half—cut side down—on a plate with a quarter cup of water. Nuke the squash for 10 minutes or until it’s soft to the touch. Let it cool, then scrape out the “spaghetti” strands and top with pasta sauce and cheese.

Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup


Substitute: Oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix

Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash each of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Process in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake.

Carbs Eliminated: 45 g per pancake

Macaroni and Cheese

Substitute: Diced vegetables for macaroni

Even instant mac and cheese (if you have to) can go lower-carb; use only half the pasta in the box and bulk it up with a couple of cups of frozen mixed vegetables.

Carbs Eliminated: 13 g per cup


Substitute: Napa or Chinese cabbage or nori sheets for bread

Slap your turkey and Swiss and other normal wrap ingredients onto a leaf of cabbage and roll it up.. Dip the roll in low-fat mayonnaise or mustard.

Carbs Eliminated: 29 g per sandwich

Spring rolls

Substitute: Napa or Chinese cabbage for pastry

Steam or microwave the cabbage leaf until soft.  Add spring roll incredients (julienned carrots, bean sprouts, cooked chicken) and shallow fry for a delicious low carb alternative.

Carbs Eliminated: 21 g per roll

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