5 Genius Low-Carb Swaps

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition

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.

Swap:
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.