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Natural Paleo Pasta Substitutes

Updated on March 26, 2013
Sweet Potato "Noodles"
Sweet Potato "Noodles"
Zucchini "Spaghetti"
Zucchini "Spaghetti"

Vegetable Substitutions for Pasta

  1. Zucchini Spaghetti: Wash zucchini well. Trim off each end. Using a julienne peeler, peel continuously over a bowl until the zucchini is too small to hold. You should have a pile of "spaghetti" and can cut the rest of the zucchini with a knife into similar sized pieces. If you do not have this kind of peeler, you can use a regular vegetable peeler for thicker slices, and then trim down to spaghetti size with a knife.
  2. Sweet Potato Noodles: Wash and remove the skin from the sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the flesh of the sweet potato into a bowl. The result will be wide "noodles" of sweet potato.
  3. Cauliflower Couscous: Wash cauliflower well. Cut the head in half and remove the leaves and core. Using a knife and cutting board, cut into individual florets, and then cut again into smaller pieces. Keep cutting until the pieces of cauliflower are small and similar in size to couscous or rice.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous"
Oven Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous"

Don't Go "Gluten-Free"

Avoid pasta that is labeled as "gluten-free" in your grocery store. These boxed substitutions are often full of chemicals and highly processed. Using vegetables in place of pasta in your favorite recipes allows you to control the quality of ingredients.

How to Prepare

After you cut and prepare your "pasta" it's time to cook it. One great thing about using vegetables in place of traditional pasta is the reduced cooking time. Because the vegetables are all cut to a small size, they will only need a small amount of time before they are done.

The cauliflower couscous is delicious oven roasted. Just spread out on a baking pan, add olive oil and a bit of salt. Cook in a preheated 375 degree oven anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you like. Once it's cooked, I like to top it with a marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

The spaghetti and noodles are terrific sauteed in a pan with some butter or olive oil. Keep an eye on the time because the zucchini spaghetti will be done in just 3-5 minutes. It is really nice with some garlic and grated cheese as a side dish. Or make it the main dish and add meatballs for a healthier dinner.

The sweet potato noodles will take a few minutes more than the zucchini. It is truly delicious and satisfying sauteed with butter, sage and salt.

Try It

Even if you aren't counting carbs, vegetable "pasta" is a great way to incorporate more wholesome foods into your diet without spending a lot of money or time. Kids will enjoy eating their vegetables a new way. It's also a great way to lighten or breathe new life into your favorite recipes.


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