Low Carbohydrate Replacements that WORK!!
Last updated: May 2021
A recipe was posted here on T2D the other day for a great recipe for Goulash. The picture showed the meat on a bed of noodles. Now, just because you have Diabetes, it does not mean you can’t have noodles. Portion control can make almost anything work in your Diabetes-Compatible eating plans. However, there may be better choices for you. But it does not matter if it is good for you, or better for you, or what you SHOULD do, if you don’t like it, you probably won’t eat it.
Bottom line is that there are some foods that have to be eaten in moderation or we have to find a substitute that gives you the same sense of the food that satisfies you on all levels: taste, texture, body, look and most important emotional.
I have talked and sung the praises of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta in casseroles, “Mac” and cheese, and even as a dessert. I look forward to making these dishes for my family and friends. Spaghetti squash works really well for these dishes. Where it doesn’t work well (for me) is with spaghetti sauce and meatballs.
I saw a recipe today that used polenta (a corn meal substitute for pasta), but polenta has far too many carbs for my eating plan. This is the perfect place to substitute spaghetti squash for a high carbohydrate food. I often serve the spaghetti squash with butter and parmesan cheese and we really enjoy eating it. Polenta is basically corn meal cooked with water or milk, butter and parmesan cheese. It is a perfect swap. It has the same sense and texture in the original dish and the carbohydrate grams are less than half that of the polenta. I will never tell you that spaghetti squash is an EXACT replacement. It does not taste the same and it does not eat the same. But like pasta, it is a neutral food. The way you serve it makes it different and wonderful. Like spaghetti with meatballs is a totally different taste than spaghetti Primavera, the “sauce” you serve the spaghetti squash makes each preparation.
I love cauliflower as a substitution for potato so much that I don’t even think about not using mashed cauliflower to catch the gravy and make lakes, rivers and damns on my plate of Pot Roast.
Cauliflower au gratin is as good as potato au gratin and just as easy to make. It actually cooks in less time. Rather than noodles, cauliflower is a great base for a casserole.
For those of you, like me that really miss eating rice, cauliflower makes a great replacement for that as well. It is not the same taste, but for texture and low carb bulk on your plate, it works very well.
Substituting some of the flour in my baking with toasted ground nuts not only works, but actually makes my desserts even better. Sure, I have to add a little sour cream and baking soda to my cake batters to help them rise, but that too adds moistness and flavor to my cakes. The ground nuts/ flour combination also work as a “breading” for chicken. Parmesan cheese too works very well in combination with a “little” flour for a breading. As if by magic, both the nuts and the cheese add a little “extra” flavor and texture to a poor boneless chicken breast.
Spinach has always been a favorite vegetable of mine. Now I use it as a great base for chicken Parmesan or any recipe using a chicken breast.
It is a great stuffing for chicken, fish and pork. Mix it with some toasted nuts and parmesan cheese, garlic and onions. If meat is not your thing, spinach makes a great filling for mushrooms (either as an appetizer or whole meal (stuffed into a Portobello mushroom cap).
It really tastes Great!
It is possible to eat the good life even if you have Diabetes. I have found all of these substitutions easier and more delicious than when I was told (100 years ago) to cut back on salt and tried using salt substitutes or just cutting way back or leaving the salt out of a recipe.
Enjoy, be happy, be healthy and BE DECADENT!
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