Veggie “Pasta”

Abstract Carrot

Low-carb diets are becoming more popular as people increasingly recognize the negative health effects of overindulging in carbohydrate-rich foods. However, many people find it difficult to give up certain carb sources like bread, potatoes and especially noodles. Fortunately, someone somewhere got creative and discovered that many vegetables, when prepared in certain ways, can mimic and replace traditional pasta in many dishes. Here are some ideas for you to try.


Zucchini and summer squash are ideal for use as a veggie noodles. Their naturally firm yet flexible characteristics make them a convincing and healthy replacement. When sliced into thin circles, you will get larger "noodle" that can be used in place of shells, ravioli or penne. Consider slicing your squash into thin lengthwise strips to use instead of lasagna. When they're julienned into long strings, they're fantastic in soups, salads and lightly steamed dishes.


Carrots are slightly more difficult to work with due to their hardness, but they produce a unique and interesting substitute. Julienned carrots are the most commonly used, but you may also shred them on a food grater or make long strips with a peeler. When they're lightly steamed or sauteed, they retain enough of their texture to make a convincing noodle alternative.


Pasta can be made from spinach and other greens, but it's a time consuming process for the average person. If you don't want to make it yourself, you can find this unique and versatile product at most health food stores and many grocery stores. Spinach noodles are great for people who are short on time because they work well for make ahead meals. They can be used just like any other noodle, except they're much more convenient since they don't require as much preparation.


Even onions can provide a noodle-like charm to your meals. Simply take a whole peeled onion and cut it into thin horizontal slices. Take your stack of whole slices, cut them in half and use them in any dish that calls for noodles. Because onions are strongly flavored, it's recommended that you combine them with other veggie noodles. Keep a baggie of them in the fridge for easy use in meals you can make ahead of time.


Scallions are practically designed to be used for veggie pasta dishes. Chop off the bulbous bases and set them aside for other parts of your recipe. Save the long, green portions and, depending on their size, slice them in half lengthwise. These are great in onion soups, vegetable soups and many Asian dishes.


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