Pasta in all its various types constitutes a large part of our fast living, fast food culture. Busy mums and dads can very quickly throw together a selection of meat and/or veggies in a stir-fry or casserole to produce a quick tasty filling meal.
But, alas, with a very highly refined base of flour, pasta has far too many carbohydrates for our new low carbohydrate way of eating. Fortunately, very acceptable substitutes do exist.
Here is a compilation of ideas and recipes I have gathered over a period of time. The authors and original sources are acknowledged when they are known.
This comes from an idea shared by Edee Kalmi.
Many of the different forms of pasta, lasagna, noodles, etc., can be substituted with shapes cut from cabbage leaves. How do we do it? To a pot of boiling water, (size depending on how much you are preparing), add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cream. Add your shapes and cook until tender. Drain and rinse. The addition of the cream helps to remove the cabbage taste and leaves you with a very bland, ideal substitute pasta base.
Cut rectangles about 3 inches by 6 inches (75x150mm) from the thinnest part of the leaves. Prepare as above. Fill with 1/2 tablespoon of your prepared filling or try this cheese filling.
Cheese Filling For Ravioli
Shared by Edee Kalmi.
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (Check the Parmesan first to see if it’s really salty.)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix all of the above and use 1/2 tablespoon at a time to fill cabbage rectangles. Fold sides of rectangle over filling and then roll up like cabbage rolls. (Makes 2 1/4 cups filling at 1.3 grams of carbohydrates for 10 ravioli.) Place in a baking dish with rolled side down and cover with a low carbohydrate tomato sauce.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 30 minutes until sauce is thick and bubbling.
EXTRA FIRM TOFU Lasagna:
Use thin-sliced, extra firm tofu. Take a cheese slicer, the wide type, and cut the tofu into thin slices. Try and make them the same thickness as pasta slices. Prepare the dish as normal. Experiment with a small casserole dish to get the cooking times right.
Tofu Macaroni By Kim Birney
- This really tastes like macaroni and cheese – the homemade kind, not the Kraft kind.
- 1 pound extra firm tofu (500gr)
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt and garlic powder (to taste)
Smash up the tofu with a fork. Mix all the other ingredients and add to the tofu. Put the mixtures in a casserole dish and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbly and lightly browned on the top.
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Steam the squash in the microwave or bake in a baking dish in 1 inch of water at 350°F (180°C) for 1 hour. The squash is done when you can pierce it easily with a fork.
Holding one half of the squash with an oven mitt, use a fork to scrape out the flesh, which comes out looking like thin spaghetti or vermicelli.
Serve hot with your favorite pasta sauce.
You can use thin slices of lightly sautéed or steamed (until flexible) eggplant to replace the traditional. Lasagna noodles in your favorite recipe.
Peel a large eggplant slicing lengthwise it very thinly. Dip each slice in olive oil and microwave for a couple of minutes.
Peel an eggplant and slice it lengthwise very thin. Sprinkled the slices with a little salt to let them leach out some water and firm up. rinse and dry the slices and steam until tender.
Sort-Of Lasagna Shared by Jan Eppler.
I can’t be very exact about the ingredients, since this was an experiment, but it turned out pretty well.
Peel a large eggplant and slice it very thin, lengthwise. Dip each slice in olive oil and microwave for a couple of minutes. Use a small amount of tomato sauce (an 8-ounce or 250-gram can), and layer the eggplant slices with mozzarella and ricotta cheese, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper, plus ground meat.
You should end up with three or four layers of eggplant with the other ingredients.
Bake the whole thing in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
Eggplant Lasagna Shared by Alan Siegle.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken, cooked shredded
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese (200gr)
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 8-inch by 12-inch (200x300mm) Pyrex baking dish
Slice the eggplant and zucchini in thin slices lengthwise, and slice mushrooms in pieces. Sauté the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil. In an 8-inch by 12-inch (200x300mm) Pyrex baking dish, lay eggplant and zucchini strips on the bottom, next, layer the mozzarella, sauce (I mix the garlic in the sauce), chicken, Parmesan, ricotta. and mushrooms.
Repeat this process for the next layer, but put the Parmesan on top of the ricotta. (It will get crispy.)
Bake in the oven on 350°F (180°C) for about 45 minutes, then briefly slip under the broiler/Griller to brown the Parmesan.
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna Shared by Melissa Collins.
- 4 medium zucchini, washed and sliced 1/4-inch (6mm) thick
- marinara sauce equivalent to about 1 jar regular pasta sauce
- 1 pound ricotta cheese (500gr)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 8-ounce package mushrooms, sliced (250g)
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper (optional)
- 1 pound mozzarella sliced (500gr)
- grated Parmesan cheese
Thinly slice the zucchini around 1/4-inch thick (6mm). Steam and pat dry.
Take two oval shallow baking dishes and layered all the ingredients. Start with the sauce, then the zucchini, onion, and mushrooms. Sprinkled the oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and Parmesan cheese over the ingredients in the baking dishes.
I used slices of ricotta, then some mozzarella, over the spices, then repeated the process a second time, ending with the mozzarella.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.
Low Carb Noodles
- 2 egg whites
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or rice wine
- butter (to grease the skillet)
Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly.
Fry the batter in a large well-buttered skillet as you would crepes or pancakes. Use scant amounts of the batter for frying. You want the finished product to be very then.
Remove the crepes from the skillet as they are done and slice them into thin strips to resemble noodles.
Serve hot with your favorite pasta sauce.
Faux Noodles Shared by Trish Tipton.
- 1/2 cup protein powder
- 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon soy flour
- dash of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup water (may vary)
Blend the protein powder with the vital wheat gluten, soy flour, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add the egg and water. Mix together to get a bread-type dough. Roll out the dough and cut it into strips, like fettuccini, or pinch off into little pieces.
Drop into boiling water. Let boil about 1-2 minutes. (Not too long or it may get gummy) Drain and top with your favorite sauce. (I like to use the Five Brothers Alfredo Sauce.)
And, finally, A Simple Vegetarian Pasta Sauce Shared by Paula from Maryland.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Add about the two cloves of minced garlic and brown the garlic, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t burn.
Add the diced tomatoes, fresh oregano, fresh parsley, and salt & pepper (to taste) to the garlic. Stir to combine, and simmer for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can machine blend the finished sauce in a blender or food processor if you prefer a very fine sauce is required.