Vegetable Pasta: Ditch the Gluten-free Pasta Box

Pasta Love

If you know me at all, then you know that between the ages of 2 and 6, pasta was just about the only food that I would eat. It was first on a very short list of beige foods I would allow in my mouth during early childhood. You could forget about anything green, and as a Sicilian American, I was the black sheep of the family refusing all red pasta sauces and demanding that my pasta be rinsed if (god-forbid!) a spoon was used in both the plain pasta and the red tomato sauce. I would venture to guess that my subsequent gluten intolerance might have something to do with excessive wheat consumption as a developing child, but who knows really?

Gluten-free Pasta Love

Like most people starting out on a gluten-free diet, when I ventured into that territory a few years back, my first step was to replace all

the wheat products in my pantry with gluten-free ones. Pasta was first on the list of priorities – I might have dramatically expanded my diet by then, but pasta was still a big deal, and I wasn’t quite as creative in the kitchen as I am today. Not that my pasta dishes weren’t AWESOME!

“Whole Grain” Flour

Delicious as it may be, eating pasta all the time isn’t without its drawbacks. Even the highest quality gluten-free whole-grain pastas are loaded with quickly digestible carbohydrates that can lead to a spike in blood sugar and eventually weight gain. Remember, “whole grain” flour is still flour with a much higher glycemic load than it’s actual whole grain counterpart. Brown rice pasta will turn to sugar in your system more quickly than whole brown rice, for example. As such, I try to keep my processed carbohydrates to a minimum, treating starchy, flour-based foods like bread and pasta as “treats” instead of daily staples.

–> Learn more about Healthy and Delicious Gluten-free Eating <–

Through years of experimenting with variations upon low-carb eating (grain-free, legume-free, potato-free, dairy-free, and combinations thereof), my dependence on pasta has ebbed and flowed, and I’ve tried just about every “healthy” version of pasta in the marketplace. To be honest, some of the low-care varieties like shirataki noodles are great for Asian-style dishes, but they are downright gross as a substitute for Italian-style spaghetti and tomato sauce or pesto.

vegetable pasta

Have you been missing Dexter cameos? I have. Here she is!

Vegetable Pasta Love

I’m excited to share two excellently delicious and nutritious vehicles for your favorite pasta sauce! After bowls and bowls of gluten-free pasta made of every grain imaginable, I think it’s safe to say that these two vegetable pastas take the cake. They’re less expensive, low-glycemic, easy to prepare, tasty, and FAR more nutritious than anything you’ll find in a box in the grocery store. Drum roll please…

vegetable pasta

Shredded Collard Green “Fettuccine”vegetable pasta

Directions:

  1. Rinse your leaves well and find a really sharp straight-edged knife
  2. Taking care of your fingers, use one hand to stack up and flatten out two or three leaves on top of a cutting board
  3. Run the top 1/2 inch of your very sharp knife parallel to the rib in as thick or thin a slice as you’d like to eat, and repeat on both sides of the rib (I chose a “fettuccine” thickness)
  4. In a large saucepan, bring about 1.5 inches of water to boil with a pinch of salt
  5. Place the collard green “fettuccine” into the boiling water and stir for one minute, ensuring that all the “noodles” are slightly wilted
  6. Strain in a colander and either plate with sauce on top or toss in to mix – optional to add in extra veggies (stay tuned for a post with this winning tomato sauce recipe!)

vegetable pasta

Zucchini “Spaghetti”

 

Now’s the time for me to shamelessly plug an infomercial product (I’m not being paid to do so by the way!) that makes this beautiful veggie transformation possible.

The Veggetti.vegetable pasta

This little $14 kitchen gadget works better for this particular culinary task than the $50 mandolin I replaced it with.

Directions:

  1. Veggetti your zucchini – estimate about 2 per person (here’s a video to show you how)
  2. In a large saucepan, bring about 1.5 inches of water to boil with a pinch of salt
  3. Place the zucchini “spaghetti” in the water and boil on low for 3 to 5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t get too soft. You want it to be al dente, just like regular pasta – don’t let it get mushy
  4. Strain in a colander and toss in your sauce – optional to add in a meat and extra veggies (stay tuned for a post with my delicious pesto recipes!)

 


 

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About 

I'm a wellness professional with a Master's in Integrative Health, passionate about spreading health, happiness and personal fulfillment to as many people as possible. I have a professional background in health and wellness, dietary supplements, and nutrition, and embark every day to live a well, balanced, happy life. In being true to myself and what I seek in life, I hope to inspire others to do the same, to cultivate wellbeing in their own lives.

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