If you’re trying to slim down, your best bet is to watch what kind of carbohydrates you ingest. In my cookbook Eat More, Burn More, I spend a great deal of time explaining which high-glycemic carbs you should avoid, and how to replace carbs with healthier, low-glycemic options. I also give you chef tips on how exactly you should cook high GI carbs so that they become low GI.
But sometimes, it’s best to just replace bread, pasta, couscous, or potatoes, with secret substitute ingredients that will trick your body and help you lose a lot of weight.
Here are 10 amazingly smart ways to replace carbs:
#1 Smart blend of flours
If you think pizza is out of reach when you’re trying to lose weight, think again. There is a way to hack anything from cookies, chocolate cake, to pizza, if you replace white flour with my smart blend of whole grain flour (I like this one), almond flour, and coconut flour. Try this pizza recipe.
#2 Veggie noodles
Zucchini, yellow squash, and spaghetti squash do a very good job imitating pasta. With the great advantage of eating naturally fat-burning vegetable instead of pasta. You get lots of fiber, vitamins, nutrients and it’s as satisfying as eating pasta. Check out my Zucchini Pasta Shrimp Scampi.
#3 Eggplant lasagna
Nothing is as satisfying as a good lasagna dish. But if you’re trying to cut down on carbs, your best bet is to grill a few slices (cut them lengthwise) of eggplant and use them as you would pasta sheets. You can use my recipe on page 171 of Eat More Burn More.
#4 Lettuce wraps
Sometimes, I cook tacos for my family, but I replace the tortilla with lettuce leaves (Romaine, bibb, or Boston lettuce works great). I also make enchiladas using this trick. Click here for an enchilada recipe using chard leaves.
#5 Portobello “bread” buns
Look at the size and shape of Portobello mushroom caps. This is perfect for every grill-out where hamburgers are out. Just marinate the caps with a drizzle of olive oil and herbs like oregano or basil, grill them, and use them as if they were hamburger buns. This is an easy and a great way to burn fat.
Cauliflower is amazing. A marvel of nature. Anyone interested in eating healthier should know that cauliflower can be turned into “rice” (just blend pieces in a food processor until they crumble and look like rice or couscous). That’s perfect for risotto or couscous dishes, such as my Tabouleh recipe.
#6 Root vegetable mashed “potatoes”
Yet another great trick: Use root vegetables such as celery root, rutabaga, beets, parsnips, or even carrots to replace half of the potatoes in your mashed potatoes, or even entirely. The right way to do this is to steam or bake the root vegetables, blend them in a blender or hand mixer, and fold them into the mashed potatoes.
#7 Kale chips
Use my recipe on page 203 of Eat More, Burn More and everybody (kids included!) will love those as a substitute for potato chips.
#8 Broccoli sandwich “bread”
That’s right: Broccoli “bread”. This is a trick I use to replace bread and make a cheese sandwich. My No-Bread Grilled Cheese Recipe is on page 175 of Eat More Burn More.
#9 Hacked “breading”
One way to dramatically lower your high-glycemic carb intake is to hack recipes involving breading. I have written about this extensively and you can find an article here.
#10 Root vegetables
Carrots, celery root, rutabaga, beets, turnips, and parsnips are so filling and satisfying (and delicious!) that they do a great job replacing potatoes.
Check out my Not-so French Fries recipe on page 193 of Eat More, Burn More.