If you are like me, living low carb makes you give up the fattening delight of a big plate of noodles. I’m fond of Italian recipes as my mother was part Italian and growing up we always had ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, and the like.
You can prep a low carb pasta sauce or buy them – and you can have meatballs (without breadcrumbs), Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, romano cheese, ricotta cheese – but when it comes to the noodles, what can you use as a substitute?
The title of this post is a bit misleading. Frankly, there is no ‘perfect low carb pasta’ – it’s an impossibility because pasta is by definition empty carbs if it’s perfect.
What follows is my list of replacements – each has it’s Achilles heel.
Whole wheat pasta. Ugh. The texture is so wrong. Yeah, you can make it look like just about any pasta, but it still tastes like boiled cardboard. The only reason anyone eats the stuff is because they think it’s healthy. Well, even whole wheat pasta has way too many carbs for induction – and it’s pushing it even if you have reached your target weight and are maintaining. Why waste your carb limit on this stuff? Forget it.
Shiritaki Noodles. Weird. These are an Asian noodle with almost no calories and no carbs made from a plant called devil’s tongue. They are ‘wet noodles’ – you find them in the refrigerated section and they are in a bag usually. They are stretchy and somewhat slimy noodles with no flavor so you can use them without the taste issues I find with the whole wheat pasta. I made a fried spaghetti with them once and it wasn’t half-bad, but their cost and the effort to track them down was a deterrent for me to pick these up very often. You can eat these on induction. There is also a variety made from tofu which I have not tried – anyone out there tried these?
Dreamfield’s Pasta. This is the best tasting of the lot, but you can’t eat this on induction – at least I can’t. I can’t tell the difference between this and regular pasta – except in my wallet because it’s pretty expensive. It’s high carb, but it’s a slow-to-digest carb so it supposedly doesn’t spike your blood sugar. That great, but it’s not enough for those of us in induction. I’ve also heard some people have digestive problems eating this stuff. If it doesn’t give you stomach upset, then it’s a great product if you are in maintenance and can afford it.
Spaghetti Squash. This isn’t bad. It’s pretty good, actually, but the fact is – it isn’t noodles. Unlike the others on the list, it isn’t trying to pretend it’s something it isn’t. It’s squash, and it does have it’s own flavor and it ain’t bad – but it ain’t noodles either. This is the best of the lot as you can have it in induction, it’s good for you, and it’s a decent stand-in for the junk it replaces.
There are others I haven’t tried – there is a soy pasta that looks promising, but with 11 grams net carbs per serving, it isn’t on anybody’s induction menu. I also haven’t seen it locally, and as I have never incorporated mail order food into my lifestyle, I doubt this one will end up regularly on my table even in maintenance.
Really – to ask for a low carb pasta you can eat in induction is like asking for low carb popcorn – it just doesn’t exist. The good news is that when you’ve reached your goal weight you can eat Dreamfield’s pasta for an honest-to-goodness ‘can’t tell the difference’ pasta dish.