I'd like some potatoes, hold the carbs.
April 19, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

What are good vegetable substitutes for otherwise carb-laden fare? For example: mashed cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes and spaghetti squash to (kind of) replace spaghetti.
posted by sickinthehead to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
You can also do mashed celery root or a parsnip puree to substitute for mashed potatoes. Both are very delicious and easy to make. There are tons of recipes online.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:21 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: What you want to replace spaghetti is broccoli slaw (not the mayo-y side dish, but the broccoli bits themselves). You can also buy it packaged in the store. When lightly sauteed and covered with sauce, broccoli slaw's texture and flavor is quite convincingly spaghettish. The only problem is that the broccoli bits are short, so they're more like spaghetti someone chopped with a fork. Still, they're a huge improvement over any faux-spaghetti I've tried!
posted by vorfeed at 3:23 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Roasted eggplant slices in place of bread.
Jicima sliced in place of fries.
posted by benzenedream at 3:25 PM on April 19, 2010

A lot of people use eggplant as a substitute for noodles in stuff like lasagna.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:25 PM on April 19, 2010

I like mashed butternut squash instead of mashed potatoes.
posted by bunnycup at 3:28 PM on April 19, 2010

I like thin strips of sautéed zucchini in place of pasta. Delicious even with a little butter, parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice.
posted by arha at 3:42 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Cauliflower couscous is pretty darn good. I was surprised, because I hate cruciferous vegetables, but it won me over. Maybe it was the butter.
posted by melissam at 3:47 PM on April 19, 2010

I often replace a pasta side dish with sauteed cabbage. I know, it sounds gross, but it's not, and it's really filling, like the carbs would be. Just slice the cabbage into long strips, melt a tiny bit of butter in a pan (or use olive oil), toss the cabbage in with the butter/oil, and sauté for five or so minutes. Add a little chicken broth or wine (or, for pure decadence, cream) and "braise." Don't overcook -- the cabbage should still be somewhat crisp and not at all soggy. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
posted by devinemissk at 3:50 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

easier than jicama:

carrot sticks instead of fries

(note: make the carrot sticks as soon as you get the carrots home from the store. They will be instantly and always available for noshing. Otherwise, the prep time needed acts as a barrier to actually eating them, and it becomes easier to just eat some bread or fried thing.)
posted by amtho at 3:52 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: You may get some good ideas by checking out raw food substitutions for carb-fare. Parsnip rice, sea spaghetti, zucchini pasta, flax pizza crusts, tortillas...
posted by shoesandships at 3:55 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's the NYT on zucchini pasta.
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:57 PM on April 19, 2010

I like roasted green beans in the place of fries. Take some fresh green beans, snip the tips, toss them with a bit of oil (a tiny bit) and some salt. Throw them on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven at 325F until they're done. (You can cook them in some water before throwing them in the oven but I find it's an unnecessary step if you bake them for a bit longer at a lower temp.)

They are good if you drizzle some balsamic vinegar on them after they are done though it's not necessary.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2010 [8 favorites]

If you're into layered dishes then Moussaka is a great substitute for Lasagna, especially if you use a recipe that doesn't include a layer of potatoes.
Roasted cauliflower is awesome. There's a restaurant here that has a "vegetarian steak" that is basically a really thick slab of cauliflower that's grilled.
posted by Runes at 4:28 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Baked kale chips are amazing. Just kale + a tiny bit of olive oil + kosher salt + oven.
posted by limeonaire at 4:43 PM on April 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like mashed butternut squash instead of mashed potatoes.
posted by bunnycup at 3:28 PM on April 1

Butternut squash has 11g carbohydrate/100g (about 1/2 cup) and would not be a suitable substitute in most LC diets.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:56 PM on April 19, 2010

Lettuce wrap instead of a sandwich. Also, at Chipotle, I sometimes ask for a big handful of lettuce in my burrito bol instead of rice.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:05 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like to mix a cup or two of grounded fine flax seed with eggs and butter. Then I pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes to make faux bread. It taste ok but not great, but it works for me.
posted by rtmfeng at 8:21 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: This article has a dozen good ideas...

I can vouch for the awesome lower carb pancakes, even though they're not a vegetable. :(
posted by for_serious at 8:36 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

occhiblu's broccoli arrabiata.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:52 AM on April 20, 2010

Not a vegetable, but I find that CarbQuik is a lifesaver, and crucial for staying on the diet. I don't believe you should go overboard (especially if your diet has a "phase 1"), but it's better than giving in to weakness and buying a bag of corn chips and eating in a single setting. We use it once every week or two, usually to make waffles on a sunday morning, or pizza...I see they have a recipe for wonton wrappers which can double as pasta (been meaning to try that one). You can also buy it from Amazon.

Last year, we tried this recipe for Dorito-like chips, but I personally couldn't get into them. However, some people swear by them, so results may vary. Also for chips, trader joe's has some fairly low-carb options for tortilla chips (we eat a lot of pico de gallo).

If you like chicken recipes, We found that chicken breast can be flattened and rolled with various cheesy/vegetable concoctions. One of our favorite is sauteed spinach and goat cheese. Not strictly vegetable, but after a couple months, you start looking for new recipes that are also simple, which this falls under. Bonus is all the different ideas for "filling" you can try.

I too am a cauliflower mashed "potato" convert. Like most things, if you put enough cheese on it, it becomes pretty good. We tend to do it in a "twice-baked potato" style in the oven.
posted by mysterpigg at 9:03 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Quartered radishes browned in butter/olive oil are a pretty good substitution for potatoes. Also, french green beans instead of pasta with a good meat sauce is pretty good!
posted by kiwi-epitome at 9:36 AM on April 20, 2010

Wherever you could use wonton wrappers/spring rolls/polenta rounds/tortillas you can probably substitute crisp rolled cabbage or lettuce leaves.
posted by ifjuly at 11:26 AM on April 20, 2010

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