Portion control is a huge part of weight loss and when it comes to pasta, consuming the recommended serving size can be difficult for most people. Traditional pasta is made with refined wheat flour. The refining process of flour involves removing fiber, vitamins and minerals out of the wheat. Therefore, these noodles lack many important nutrients and are mainly just a source of energy. There is nothing wrong with a balanced diet including carbohydrates like pasta, but sometimes we over-do it. Vegetable alternative noodles can help replace some of your carbohydrate heavy meals and improve your diet.
Vegetable alternative pastas have become very popular, especially because many people are now interested in low-carb, gluten free, and paleo diets. These noodles can be helpful to people with diabetes that may need to pay close attention to the amount of carbohydrates they are consuming at each meal. They can also be beneficial to people with celiac disease who must eliminate gluten completely from their diet. These alternatives can help people get more vegetables into their diet.
Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which make them far more nutrient dense than any kind of pasta. Due to the low-calorie content in vegetable alternative noodles, the typical serving size is much higher than the average pasta serving size. These noodles will help keep you feeling full because of their high fiber content. You can buy them in your local grocery store, or you can purchase a vegetable spiralizer to cut them yourself. You can also use a vegetable peeler to make your own noodles. Keep in mind, cutting them into thinner slices will make it quicker and easier to cook. These veggies can be prepared by sautéing, boiling or roasting. Olive oil and seasonings are recommended to add some flavor to the dish. You can even add in tomatoes, chicken, shrimp, or plant-based proteins. Some vegetable alternatives include, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potato, cucumber, turnips and carrot noodles.
Here is a delicious zucchini noodle recipe for you to try!
ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH GARLIC SHRIMP
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
4 medium zucchini
1.5 lbs (approximately 30) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and cut the ends of the zucchini. Using a spiralizer, make the zucchini pasta. Then, set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in one flat layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes without stirring, so the bottom side gets a little crispy.
- Add the chopped garlic, then stir the shrimp for another minute or two to cook the other side. Use a large spoon or tongs to remove the shrimp to a plate.
- Add the butter, lemon juice and zest, red pepper flakes and white wine to the pan. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
- Stir in the parsley, then add the zucchini pasta and toss for 30 seconds to warm it up. Add the shrimp back to the pan and stir for another minute. Serve immediately.