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Feb 17, 2012 08:58 AM

Going no-carb- some modern ideas

I'd like to revisit carb-cutting with my fellow hounds. Have had some great luck perusing the Weight Watchers boards and a few other threads, but since Atkins is no longer in fashion (although if you examine some of the newer diets it's obvious they follow the same rules) there aren't as many ideas as I'd expect so I'm posting to share a couple of my experiments here

The only thing I haven't come up with was a substitute carrier for bolognese! The thought of using spaghetti squash as an alternative grosses me out but I'll try it... Any other thoughts?

Pad Thai- sliced cabbage, sautéed on high with some sesame oil. Cabbage makes great noodles and can be flavored with the Thai flavor profile. Add shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts. Mmm May not be authentic but mimics the restaurant stuff and satisfies the craving.

Stroganoff- there goes that cabbage again. Slightly less thinly sliced, salted and sautéed in evoo, great noodles for that sour cream sauce!

Chocolate mousse- all the online recipes call for basically making whipped cream, then adding cocoa powder and Splenda. Not bad, but it's not quite there. I have modified it to use unsweetened baking squares incorporates using the traditional method. Chocolate has more carbs than cocoa powder so Careful measurement is necessary.

Anyone else have some original no-carb creations? I'm starting to run out of ideas!

Anyone know what I should use for bolognese? (or just wait for a cheat day)

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  1. Shirataki noodles or firm tofu cut into noodle shapes are the only decent noodle substitutes I've found, but please be aware that Bolognese has carbs from the tomatoes, wine, vegetables and milk that are used to make it, as do all of the other vegetable creations you've mentioned. If you truly want to do a NO-carb diet (and there are those that do), you are pretty much limited to meat and eggs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      I agree about the mushroom noodles. I find the fettuccine ones great fot pasta as well as Asian noodles. I am an insulin dependent diabetic & I find using whole wheat pasta beneficial as compared to the bleached flour pastas. I really prefer their nuttier taste.

    2. I usually choose not to count the carbs from most veggies as carbs (tho I know they have carbs in them, my low carb is just no bread/pasta, etc)....

      Anyway, I use green beans a lot as a base for things....lightly steamed green beans. And I like the spaghetti squash too - it's pretty good! Also, how about making "pasta" out of zucchini or some other type of squash?

      8 Replies
      1. re: jenscats5

        Using the veg peeler to make zucchini ribbons works great!

        1. re: weezieduzzit

          Agree with weezie, cheap and easy to make zucchini fettucini or wider noodles with a peeler.

          I have this also:


          which makes lovely spaghetti out of zucchini. Can warm your zucchini pasta or serve raw under sauce.

          Also, this site can be useful for determining carbs (edit: and other nutrients) in foods:

          1. re: DuchessNukem

            the spiralizer gizmos are SO FABULOUS!
            i'm not a gizmo person, but I bought this and i'm so glad i did! i only use it for "pasta" ribbons but it is incredible how important it is to me to still be able to eat pasta like this!

            I can do a whole huge bowl of raw zucchini with raw pesto.. delicious! (guess I shouldn't be bragging about that;)

            1. re: rmarisco

              Brag away -- zucchini is practically a free food in near-any diet. Amazing how it gives the feeling of eating a big satisfying plate of pasta. :)

        2. re: jenscats5

          You are smart not to count the carbs from most veggies as their benefits outweigh the minimal amount of carbs they contribute. When I was first diagnosed w/ type 1 diabetes waaay back when that is what I was told and it's good advice that I've always followed.

          As for wine, red wine generally has very little carbs and little affect on your blood sugar. In fact, most dry wines will lower your blood sugar. Most of the sugar has been converted into alcohol.

          I like the idea of zucchini ribbons, that's a great idea. Another option is an egg white omelet. Add some parm or pecorino romano cheese and top off w/ your bolognese.

          1. re: lynnlato

            Re: Lynn....I love egg white omelets!! I eat one practically every day! Also a big fan of red wine....

            As for the zucchini as pasta, there is apparantly a hand tool you can use to julienne the zucchini into thin strands if you don't have a mandoline.....

            1. re: jenscats5

              I eat egg whites daily too... and red wine is a very good friend of mine - distant relatives maybe? ;-)

              I'm going to have to try the thin zucchini "pasta". I could definitely dig that.

          2. re: jenscats5

            I've done this a little. I use green beans as a sub for pasta in a layered dish I call "green bean lasagna." I use canned tomatoes with restraint for the sauce.

            I don't care for spag squash as sub for spaghetti. Oddly, I'm not in love with actual spaghetti either.

          3. I use Dreamfields low carb noodles for all my pasta dishes. They are a little different than regular pasta, but I really can't tell the difference.

            When I was being more restrictive, I would use shirataki tofu noodles for Asian preparations and spaghetti squash for bolognese. The squash is slightly sweet, so you'll want to use a sauce that is a little saltier and a little spicier.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JungMann


              you may want to consider your use of dreamfields. many find it spikes their insulin just like regular pasta.

              i have been eating low-carb over 2 years. start googling low-carb, primal or paleo recipes. they may help your roadblock.

              as for pasta, you will stop missing it. i promise you.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Couldn't agree more about pasta, bread on the other hand was more difficult but I found manageable as well.

            2. Wonton lasagna cupcakes - not no-carb but def lower-carb. Here is one recipe (13 carbs per cupcake) but there are many more on the web. Works for taco as well.

              1. One low-carb but not low-calorie solution:

                String Cheese torn into noodles! Maybe go half cheese-half zucchini noodles for more balance.