5 Genius Low-Carb Swaps

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
mashed turnips

Of course you can still use sourdough for your sandwich and enjoy fish on a bed of (whole grain) rice—these carb-y foods are packed with fiber so they’re digested more slowly, helping you feel fuller longer. But if you’re looking for a creative twist with a lighter load of carbohydrates, try one of these alternatives:

Swap: Cauliflower for rice
The super easy way is to toss raw cauliflower into a food processor and pulse; or hand-grate for a little extra effort and voila!—raw “rice.” Then steam, sauté or bake until desired doneness and use it like you would a standard grain. Watch as Nutrisystem’s own Deanna Otranto demonstrates how to make a delicious Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice in this quick video tutorial. For other surprising ways to use cauliflower, read this article.

Swap: Eggplant slices for bread
Cut them thick, grill them up, and melt your favorite low-fat cheese in between for a delicious spin on a lunch-time classic. Want more low-carb bread swaps? We’ve got you covered right here.

Swap: Spiralized zucchini for spaghetti
Yes, there’s a tool for that, aptly named the spiralizer: it spins the vegetable—in this case, a zucchini—toward a blade, slicing it into long, thin noodles. These strands contain hardly any carbs, match the texture of pasta almost perfectly, and take less than a minute to cook in boiling water. A vegetable peeler can work well, too; or just slice the zucchini into thin strips for a flatter “noodle.” For more veggies that make great pasta substitutes, check out this comprehensive list.

Portabella mushrooms for pizza crust
Don’t top your pizza with mushrooms, when you can bottom it instead. And the “how-to” is simple: Remove the stems and scrape the insides of the mushroom. Spray a flat pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray; place the mushrooms, and give the cleaned-out caps a quick spray as well. Top with thin slices of tomato and mozzarella, and bake at 400 degrees for about eight minutes. Sprinkle a little dried oregano or fresh basil before devouring. Watch as Nutrisystem’s Deanna Otranto makes this delicious dish in this video.

Swap: Turnips for potatoes
Never tried one of these root veggies? Here’s your excuse to give them a shot. They mash like potatoes, but contain fewer carbs. Just bring a pot of water to a boil, toss them in, reduce to simmer and cook until tender (about five or six minutes). For a mashed turnip and apple recipe, and other alternatives to this standard side dish, check out this great article.