Pasta is one of my favorite things on this earth to eat. Something about al dente noodles and a sauce just satisfies in a wonderful way. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t stay satisfied for long as I have gluten sensitivity. Whether or not you’re gluten intolerant, eliminating wheat, or trying to reduce calories in your favorite pasta, there are many alternatives that you can use to substitute for traditional pasta made from enriched wheat flour. A healthy, easy swap that is suitable for most people without gluten sensitivity is whole grain pasta. It’s typically a little nuttier in flavor than the traditional counterpart, but it typically contains three times more fiber.
There are items made into noodle shapes that are not wheat-based and can be experimented with. Try Shirataki noodles: a Japanese noodle that is translucent and is gaining popularity quickly in the States. They can be made with elephant yam or tofu, and are often found in the refrigerated section of the grocery. You can also try rice noodles, often in the Asian food sections – just double check that there is no added flour or starch if you’re sensitive to those items.
Want to try something different? A mandolin slicer or julienne peeler are great inexpensive tools you can keep on hand in your kitchen to turn vegetables into pasta alternatives. Both tools are really simple to use and produce wonderful, even slices and strips no matter how you use them. I appreciate this, as I’m quite unsteady with a knife. Before purchasing, you can borrow one from a friend or family member and try out one of these suggestions. You may not need to buy noodles again!
Options for vegetable “noodles:”
- Zucchini: Here’s a recipe for easy zucchini noodles from The Hobby Room Diaries
- Eggplant: Slice thinly and use them to replace lasagna noodles. Here’s a recipe for no noodle eggplant lasagna from Skinny Stove.
- Spaghetti Squash: The vegetable that was named after the noodle! Here’s our primer on how to cook spaghetti squash.
- Cauliflower: Use steamed cauliflower as a base for sauces and cheese. For example, layer sauce and cheese on top of steamed cauliflower and bake until the top is brown. Serve as an oven-baked pasta.
What type of “alternative” noodles are your favorite?