7 Healthy Carb-Free Recipes That Are So Delicious You’ll Forget About Pasta

In the past decade, carbs have become the primary saboteur of diets everywhere. While healthy carbs such as fruits, veggies and whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet, overdoing it on items like bread and pasta can lead to huge gains on the scale. The past few years have also seen a rise in instances of gluten intolerance and Celiac’s Disease, causing many to look for substitutes for their favorite foods, including pasta. Ditching the full carby goodness of traditional pasta can be tough, but with these recipes, you can get your fix without blowing your diet or angering your guts.

 

1. No-Noodle Lasagna

(Allrecipes.com)

Get your lasagna fix with this recipe, which substitutes zucchini for noodles. The dish packs all the heartiness of traditional lasagna, but with zucchini and other fresh vegetables, it is much healthier.

Ingredients
2 large Zucchini
1 tbsp. salt
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 onion
1 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp. chopped oregano
1 egg
1 15 oz. container low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
16 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 lb. fresh mushrooms
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. grated parmesan cheese
hot water as needed

Directions
Grease the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the zucchini into thin slices and lightly salt. Cook the ground beef and pepper over medium heat for five minutes. Add the diced green pepper and onion to the mixture and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, basil and oregano to the mix and stir until combined. If needed, thin the sauce with hot water. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. In a bowl, combine egg, ricotta and parsley. Add 1/2 of the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan and follow with zucchini slices and the cheese mixture. Continue layering until all ingredients are in the dish. Top with parmesan cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, and then increase temperature to 350 degrees, remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

 

2. Rad Rainbow Pad Thai

(Oh She Glows)

Salad
1 medium zucchini julienned
2 large carrots, julienned
1 thinly sliced red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
3 thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Dressing
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. low-sodium tamari
2 tsp. water
2.5 tsp. real maple syrup
1/2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger

Directions
Prep veggies and combine in a bowl. To make the dressing, add ingredients to a mini processor and combine. If you don’t have a mini processor, you can whisk the ingredients until combined. Toss salad with dressing and top with edamame.

 

3. Easy Spaghetti Squash Pasta

(The Fitchen)

Ingredients
1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Directions
Line a baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and clean out the seeds. Drizzle each half with salt, pepper and olive oil, and place face up in the baking pan. Roast for 45-50 minutes. In a bowl, combine basil, salt and paper. Scrape the roasted squash with a fork, placing the insides on a plate. Sprinkle with basil mixture. This recipe is very low cal, so play with it by mixing in your favorite vegetables or adding a sauce.

 

4. Paleo Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

(Paleo Fitness Mama)

Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breast
1 spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
3.25 oz. sliced black olives
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
basil

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and clean out the seeds. Fill a baking sheet with 1/4 inches of water, and place the squash face down. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pan sear the chicken in heated coconut oil for a few minutes. Reduce heat and let simmer until the chicken is completely cooked. Add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, arrowroot powder, lemon zest and juice to the pan and let thicken. Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, scrape the insides onto a plate. Top with the chicken mixture.

 

5. Cucumber Noodles With Peanut Sauce

(Two Peas and Their Pod)

If you’re not into zucchini noodles, or simply want to try something different, try making this pasta dish, which uses cucumber as the noodle substitute.

Peanut Sauce
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. gluten free tamari
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
1/3 cup warm water
red pepper flakes

Cucumber Noodles
2 large, seedless cucumbers
1/3 cup chopped cilantro to garnish
1/3 cup chopped peanuts to garnish

Directions
In a bowl, combine peanut butter, rice vinegar, Tamari, sesame oil, honey and lime juice and whisk until smooth. Whisk in garlic, ginger and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add warm water as needed to thin the sauce. Julienne the cucumbers, or spiral cut them until they resemble noodles. Toss the cucumbers with the sauce and garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 

6. Sweet Potato Fettuccine With Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

(Adapted from The Healthy Family and Home)

For those looking for a dish with some substance, try substituting traditional noodles with julienned sweet potatoes or sweet potato fettuccine. They are less starchy than other varieties, but they are just as filling, and they pack lots of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients
1 packet Sweet Potato Fettuccine
2 cups cashews
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup rosemary with roasted garlic dipping oil
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

Directions
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook for 12-14 minutes until al dente. Salt lightly with the Himalayan pink salt. In a food processor or small blender, blend the cashews and dipping oil until smooth. Toss with the cooked fettuccine and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

 

7. Green Papaya Salad

(The Real Girl’s Kitchen – Cooking Channel)

Ingredients
4 cloves garlic minced
5 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 finely chopped dried Thai chiles
5 tbsp. peanut oil
1 tbsp. chili oil
12 green beans
1 to 1 1/2 lb. green papaya
2/3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

Directions
In a medium sized bowl, combine garlic, lime juice, honey and fish sauce and whisk. Slowly add the peanut oil and the chili oil. Blanche the beans by boiling in a medium saucepan of salt water for about 5 minutes and then transferring them to a bowl filled with ice water. Peel the papaya, cut it in half and clean out the seeds. Grate the papaya into a bowl. Add the beans, cherry tomatoes and onions. Toss with the dressing and garnish with peanuts.

 

This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Local.

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