Kick cravings with these tasty low carb alternatives to carb-heavy meals
Choosing to live a low carb lifestyle does not free you from craving off limit foods like pizza, bread, rice, or tortillas. Luckily, creative foodies have paved the way for low carb eating and have thought up some simple and delicious replacements for many traditionally carb-heavy dishes. These low carb hacks can transform many popular dishes into healthy, nutritious meals.
Craving pizza, bread, or rice? Try cauliflower:
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable which anyone pursuing a low carb diet should familiarize themselves with. You will be
surprised at the range of things you make using cauliflower, and pleased by how simple it is to use! Follow these steps to make cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, or cauliflower flat bred:
- Rinse and chop up a medium sized cauliflower and place in food processer.
- Process cauliflower until it is finely chopped- many people call this ‘cauliflower snow,’ which is an accurate description of the consistency you are looking for.
- Either steam the cauliflower ‘snow’ for 10 minutes or place it in the microwave for 5.
- This is the hardest part- you must extract as much water as possible from the cauliflower. You want it very dry, especially if you are making pizza crust or flatbread. Ring out the cauliflower using cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel until you cannot possible ring it out anymore.
STOP! If you are making cauliflower rice, you are done. At this stage, cauliflower can be used for any of your favorite rice dishes. If you are making pizza crust or flat bread, read on.
- Mix the cauliflower with 2 beaten eggs, ½ cup of cheese (mozzarella cheese if you’re making pizza crust, but if you’re making flatbread, any combination of hard cheeses), and season up with some salt, pepper, and herbs/other spices of your choosing.
- Use your hands to spread the mixture on a greased baking sheet until it is even and about 1/4” thick (square or round, it’s up to you), and cook in an oven preheated to 400 for 20 minutes.
- If you’re making cauliflower flat bread, you can sprinkle on some additional cheese and bake for another 5-10 minutes; if you’re making pizza, now is the time to cover it in your favorite toppings and place it back in the oven for 10 more minutes. —>Click here to see the process step by step.<—
Craving wraps or sandwiches? Try leafy greens, lettuce leaves, or cabbage:
Leafy greens and lettuce leaves make great alternatives to tortillas or bread. Here are a few examples:
- Collard Greens: These large leaves are teaming with nutrients and are very durable, making them an ideal replacement
for a large tortilla. Because they are tough, you will want to either blanch the leaves by dropping them in boiling water, or place them in the microwave for 30 seconds. You will also want to remove the tough stem that runs the length of the leaf. You can do this by laying the leaf flat and using a small knife to carefully remove the stem.
- Chard Leaves: Chard leaves not only taste great, but they’re beautiful to look at. They are more delicate then collard greens and have a milder flavor, so they can be eaten either raw or blanched.
- Romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce leaves are incredibly easy to use as a wrap replacement and work especially well for low carb tacos. Simply remove the leaves, rinse them, and fill them with your favorite taco ingredients.
- Iceberg lettuce: Although iceberg lettuce isn’t the most nutrient-dense option, it makes a great substitute for a burger bun.
- Cabbage leaves: Cabbage is nutritious and affordable. To use as a tortilla replacement, hack off the stem of the cabbage and place the whole cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. Remove after about 5 minutes and you will find that the leaves simply fall off as you peel them. Once the leaves dry, they make great wraps but work especially well for making low carb enchiladas.
Craving pasta? Try using these vegetables:
Veggie ‘noodles’ are so simple to make and there are many types of vegetables you can use.
- Zucchini noodles: Use a spirilizer to make long, pasta-like zucchini noodles. You can also do this with carrot, cucumber,
or any other vegetable that will fit in your spirilizer. You can either eat the veggie noodles raw, or lightly sauté them in a pan. To make fettuccini style noodles, use a vegetable peeler.
- Spaghetti squash: Spaghetti squash is accurately named since it resembles spaghetti noodles when cooked. You prepare spaghetti squash like any other fall squash. Cut it in half and bake it in the over at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. You will know it is done when it is easily pierced with a fork. Once it cooks, use a fork to remove the spaghetti like strands and toss with your favorite pasta toppings.
- Cabbage: Thinly sliced and lightly sautéed cabbage makes a great ‘noodle’ base for any Asian style dishes.
Why is this low-carb website named CARB-LOADED?
Because we made a documentary about modern food culture!