Make spaghetti from veggies
Spaghetti from Vegetables? What? How can that be?
The trouble with spaghetti is that it is basically all carbohydrates. I love spaghetti more than anything else.
I don't want to give it up.
What to do? I know the answer. Be moderate. Only eat a tiny bit of pasta.
I am still hungry if I only eat a little bit. How can I only eat a little bit?
How can I trick myself? Make vegetable noodles to add to the pasta.
What are vegetable noodles? Keep reading below. I will explain.
I had low carb veggie spaghetti for lunch today - And I didn't feel guilty afterwards
Because I didn't eat that many noodles. Maybe half to two thirds of a cup? It was totally satisfying, because the noodles I made were added to and fortified by vegetables that had been cut into long thin strips just like noodles. So when I ate them, they were completely mixed together, like a big bowl of noodles. But they weren't all noodles. More than half of them were vegetables.
Isn't it a pain? Nope. It's so easy it blows my mind. You just take the julienne peeler and peel the vegetables just like peeling a carrot or cucumber. The thin noodle like strips just fly right off the carrot, and you can cook them in a pan in no time at all.
I love sticking my fork into a big bowl of noodles and winding them up and popping them in my mouth. It's very soothing.
The kitchen tool you will need for making vegetable noodles - It is a julienne slicer
The Secret? Don't push down too hard on the vegetable, and it will slice much better than if you lean into it.
Both of these peelers work just fine. I am currently using one my husband got for me in Japan, but I have used others in the US. I have tried both of these and they work.
If you like spiral grating, try this one! - Very LONG vegetable noodles
This video takes about a minute, and once you see it, you will know exactly how this one works.
Zucchini noodles from the spiral grater - Zucchini noodles with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Here it is - for zucchini, carrots, summer squash...
Which vegetables make good noodles? - These are yellow squash and carrot noodles
If you can use a vegetable peeler on it, you can make good noodles.
Obviously lettuce might be difficult - but you can use carrots, zucchini - one of my favorites, yellow squash, cabbage, big white Chinese cabbage (bok choy), cucumbers, and even eggplant. You can grab a big green bean by one end and turn it into noodle-strips too.
If you decide you like the spiral noodle cutter, you can use any vegetable that is long and thin, like a zucchini, yellow squash, or carrots. I really like what the spiral cutter does with zucchini - the noodles are really long, and that is fun.
Once you get your vegetables peeled into strips, you can cook them with a tiny bit of oil and water, just enough to steam them if you put the lid on the pan. You don't have to cook them for very long. Cooking them lightly is more nutritious.
At the same time you will want to cook your pasta, so it is done when your veggies are cooked.
Once they are done cooking, you can mix the veggie noodles in with your spaghetti noodles all by themselves, or you can add some of your favorite sauce too. . Tomato sauce is great. Parmesan cheese on top is wonderful. Peanut sauce is rather yummy too.
Some flavors to add
Garlic slices or chopped up onions or leeks
Parsley, basil, thyme, oregano
Pecans or pine nuts
Tomato sauce or tomatoes
Parmesan or other favorite cheese
A tiny bit of Chinese Hoisin sauce
Ginger, fresh or powdered
This is what I had for lunch
A small amount of pasta with a lot of vegetable noodles. Really nutritious, and yet completely satisfying.
I sometimes eat NO carb vegetable noodles - Just don't add the pasta.
I like to put my veggie noodles with a little bit of pasta and then I feel very happy. But if you can't for some reason, you can always just do straight vegetable noodles.
One of my favorite veggie noodle dishes can be made by using a regular peeler on cucumbers or zucchini and then cooking the noodles with some cream and adding parmesan cheese at the end.
Or you can try finely shredding cabbage and stir frying it in a little oil, just enough to soften the cabbage. It makes a great "no carb noodle" for any pasta sauce. Recently we have loved putting all sorts of vegetables in a white sauce with herbs and putting this over our "cabbage noodles!" It is as satisfying as real spaghetti, and quite filling.
You can add some spices, whatever you like. I like adding a tiny bit of thyme.
It is almost as good as pasta... and you will be delighted at how satisfied you feel.
You may have a good vegetable peeler. - You may not - if yours is old, it might be time to get a new one.
If you have been using your peeler for a long time, it is probably dull. Make preparing vegetables easier by getting a sharp peeler. If you use your peeler to peel thin skinned fruits, a sharp blade will make a huge difference. I will add, watch your fingers!
Other vegetable noodle recipes
Sweet potato Mac and Cheese!
Comfort veggie noodles!
Want to make a Mac and Cheese but want to do it with veggie noodles? Use a thicker setting on your cutter and slice up a sweet potato. Cut the pieces into "macaroni" length.
Make your favorite cheese sauce. This is mine. It is creamy and made on the stove top - not baked.
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
Stir and heat in a double boiler (yes, this is important) until quite warm but definitely not boiling. If it boils it will get all separated and not be as tasty. Remove from the heat and take the double boiler apart so the sauce doesn't keep heating. You will put it back on the stove after adding the cheese, so don't empty the pan.
Sauté your sweet potatoes in some butter in a frying pan until basically done: Set aside.
12 ounces cheese, usually 1 and 1/2 blocks of cheese.
As soon as the sweet potatoes are almost done, put the cheese sauce back in the double boiler and heat until almost boiling. It will thicken towards the end, but you don't want it to boil. Add the cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted. Pour it on the sweet potato pieces, stir, and serve immediately. Some buttered bread crumbs on top are a wonderful addition.
Thoughts on which cheese is best.
Cheddar is good. You can use other cheese that are relatively easy to melt, like Monteray Jack, Colby, or other softer cheese that still has good flavor. Beware of the really dry cheddars. They don't work very well.