December 18, 2012
Lower Calorie "Carbs"

It can be hard to imagine giving up your favorite high-carb dish while you are following stages 1-6 in the meal plan. But eating grain-free for a time does not mean you have to live without some of your family's staple meals! Some examples include:

1. Pasta

Try Shirataki brand tofu noodles (found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store), spaghetti squash or egg plant. Note: Shirataki brand noodles have a soft texture, so use them in soups or stir-fry recipes. Spaghetti squash has a crunchier texture, so try it in your favorite spaghetti recipe. Egg plant goes well in lasagna.

2. Rice

Cauliflower makes a fantastically simple "rice" base for your favorite teriyaki or stir-fry dish. Simply take cauliflower florets, place in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1-1.5 minutes, then pulse in food processer ~8 to 9 times or until it is the consistency of rice, and voila! (Note: it is easy to over-puree the cauliflower, so only pulse as many times as needed to get the granule size you desire!) The cauliflower taste will be predominant if there is no sauce or strongly-seasoned meat with this. That may or may not be what you desire. But if it is not, note that the sauce (i.e. Teriyaki) you add will take over your taste buds, and the cauliflower will just give you that great "rice" texture!

3. Potato

Cauliflower saves the day again as a great mashed potato alternative. With a little lemon, onion, garlic and low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, it has all the creamy and smooth texture and great flavor you are looking for.

4. Oatmeal

Try TVP (textured vegetable protein) on for size. It can be found in the bulk foods baking section of your grocery store. TVP is primarily soy protein. When cooked slowly with water, it yields a dish shockingly similar to oatmeal. Here's a sample recipe:

TVP Oats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30minutes – 2 hours (depending on method used)

Servings: ~10


2 C TVP granules (Such as Bob's Red Mill brand)

1 quart unsweetened low-fat milk, soy milk or unsweetened almond milk


Mix all ingredients in crockpot, large saucepan/Dutch oven, or extra-large, covered casserole dish.

Crockpot/Slow Cooker: Set to high and cook for 2 hours.
Oven: Cook at 350F for approx. 1 hour.

Stovetop: Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will yield a product that looks like oats when finished cooking. Top with your favorite nuts or nut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg or chopped fruit as desired.

Written by Erika Brown

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