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Cut Your Carb Intake with these Yummy Substitutions

Before and After BMI

January 20, 2014

Cut Your Carb Intake with these Yummy Substitutions

I just received an e-mail from Men’s Health magazine that had some great tips for taking your favorite carb dishes and replacing them with really tasty lower-carb alternatives. These sounded so good to me, I wanted to share them with you.

For Sandwiches

Substitute: Napa or Chinese cabbage for bread
Put your turkey and Swiss onto a leaf of cabbage and roll It up, then dip it in mustard or light mayo.
How many carbs you eliminate: about 29 grams per sandwich
For Beef-a-Roni
Substitute: Eggplant for pasta
Mixing diced eggplant with ground beef is healthier and more highbrow than this old skillet special. Soften the eggplant first, cut it in half, brush it with olive oil, and then broil for 10 to 20 minutes. Once it’s cool, dice it up, and mix with hamburger, tomato sauce, and spices.
How many carbs you eliminate: 26 grams per cup

For Pizza

Substitute: Portobello mushrooms for pizza crust
Cut the gills out of the inside of the mushroom, place the mushroom on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes so it dries out slightly. Then add tomato sauce, mozzarella, and turkey pepperoni or other toppings and broil until the cheese begins to melt.
How many carbs you eliminate: about 20 grams a slice
For Cheese-Flavored Chips
Substitute: Low-fat string cheese for chips
Cut sticks of string cheese into quarter-inch-thick slices and scatter the rounds on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray, leaving them an inch or two apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and turns golden brown. Let them cool, and then peel the chips off the tray.
How many carbs you eliminate: Up to 90 grams per serving

For Pasta Salad

Substitute: Mixed vegetables or black beans for half the pasta
Try black beans, diced tomatoes, and chunks of ham, tuna, chicken, or hard boiled eggs. You can top the salad with Vinaigrette dressing or lime juice and slices of avocado.
How Many carbs you eliminate: 10 grams per cup

For Macaroni and Cheese

Substitute: Diced vegetables for macaroni
You can even use this in instant mac and cheese; just use only half the pasta in the box and bulk it up with a couple of cups of frozen mixed vegetables.
How many carbs you eliminate: 13 grams per cup

For Pancakes

Substitute: Oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix
Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash each of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Process in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake.
How many carbs you eliminate: 45 grams per pancake
For Spaghetti
Substitute: Spaghetti squash for spaghetti
When spaghetti squash is cooked, the flesh becomes noodle like strands. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Then place each half, cut side down, on a plate with a quarter cup of water. Nuke the squash for 10 minutes or until it’s soft to the touch. Let it cool, then scrape out the “spaghetti” strands and top with pasta sauce and cheese.
How many carbs you eliminate: 30 grams per cup

For Lasagna

Substitute: Zucchini slices for noodles
Slice four to five medium size zukes lengthwise into three-quarter-inch-thick-strips. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the strips, place them in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. You want them to be firm, not crisp. Then make the lasagna like you normally would, just replacing the lasagna noodles with the baked zucchini.
How many carbs you eliminate: 36 grams per serving

For Mash Potatoes

Substitute: Cauliflower for potatoes
Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower in the microwave. Then spray the cauliflower with butter substitute, add a little nonfat half-and-half substitute, and puree in a food processor or blender. Salt and pepper to taste. Try adding roasted garlic, low-fat cheese, and fat free sour cream to the mixture.
How many carbs you eliminate: 30 grams per cup

For Hash Browns

Substitute: Squash for potatoes
Summer squash (the football-shaped yellow kind) tastes very similar to potatoes when cooked-but has just a fraction of the carbs. Grate the squash, mix an egg as a binder, make patties, and fry them in olive oil.
How many carbs you eliminate: about 15 grams per hash-brown patty.
I am very excited to try some of these substitutions; these sound so good, I bet we won’t even miss our favorite carbs.