Replace Your Pasta with Vegetables

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How ’bout a little less dough, and a little more green?

I love pasta. I’d call it one of my favorite foods, which is why I eat it on a pretty regular basis. There’s lots of different ways to prepare it, it goes with all kinds of sauces, and it’s super easy to make in 20 minutes. Of course, the problem with overindulging in pasta is the same as overindulging in bread: carb overload. Because pasta is basically just bread in a different guise, a single serving can be quite high in carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and a bloated feeling. I don’t think I could ever cut pasta out of my life entirely, but if you want to eat a little less pasta, there are alternatives.


Part of the appeal of spaghetti is more on mouth feel and less on basic taste. Plain spaghetti doesn’t really taste like much of anything, after all. If you’re creative, you can replicate that mouth feel with certain vegetables. Using a vegetable peeler or spiralizer, you can make little squiggles of veggies like zucchini, carrots, and of course, spaghetti squash. Obviously, it’s not a one-to-one flavor, but preparing vegetables noodles in the ways you’d normally prepare pasta may open up some interesting new avenues of taste for you, not to mention give you heartier helpings of vital vitamins and minerals.

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The stuff you put on top of your pasta could also do with an update. Many commercial pasta sauces tend to be a little high in additives like sodium and sugar. Opting for organic, chunkier sauces will give you more of a tomato’s natural flavor and benefits, as well as a more robust flavor profile. You should also try to lay off of things like powdered cheese, and opt instead for greener choices like pesto. Pesto has a very smooth flavor profile, so it can serve pretty much the same purpose as cheese.

The other part of pasta’s appeal is adaptability, so be a little more like your pasta and be adaptable with how you eat it.