Pasta, muffins, cake, pizza, and mashed potatoes have I successfully made you crave all the things you have told yourself you cannot have on your new low-carb diet?
Good, because I am here to wave my magic fitness wand once again and tell you that you can have all those pleasant things, you just have to be a little creative in the kitchen. Oh, Mi Amore, I am an authentic Sicilian girl who cannot live without pasta or else I will go through withdrawal, but what I also am is very conscious about my carb and starch intake. When I found out, I could not have pasta anymore immediately went on the hunt for alternatives - and I discovered it.
Two Words: Spaghetti Squash
These bad boys only have 42 calories and ten carbs per cup and take 20 minutes to make. Cut the Squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and broil on 500 for 20 minutes or until you can pierce the skin with a fork. It is. That. Easy. I like to dress mine up with Italian seasoning, stewed tomatoes, fat-free feta cheese and grilled chicken and viola! Now I have an amazing low-carb, low-fat Mediterranean dish.
Muffins are a great, fluffy breakfast gift from the Gods, that, unfortunately, have the carbs from the underworld. A regular muffin can have up to 100 carbs in it, and if you are trying to burn fat, you just maxed out your carb intake for the day. It is okay muffins, we still love you, but I made a flourless recipe for muffins that are guilt-free and super tasty (approved by the cross fitters at Solace NYC). Next time you reach for that muffin tin, take out the insulin-spiking flour and replace it with pureed sweet potato or pumpkin. I added dark cocoa mix, and Lucy’s Stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips, #NOMS.
We eat it at parties, family gatherings and after bad dates - Pizza. This greasy, fat filled junk food has been a staple in our lives since we were kids. However, with its high fat/high carb/low protein ratio, let's just say the crust is not the only thing the cheese is sticking on. Don’t worry though, just because you should not pick up the phone to your nearest pizza parlor does not mean you cannot have it.
Discover a flatbread that will change your diet game forever: Flat-out pizza crusts. Lay this low-carb/low-calorie pizza crust down and top it with light Prego and fat-free Mozzarella cheese and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to reunite with this old friend.
Cauliflower will become the low carb lifeline that saves you in moments of weakness. Not only can it turn into a great mashed potatoes but this superfood can create dishes like fried rice, pizza, hamburger buns, pancakes and so much more! Cauliflower mashed potatoes are the easiest and tastiest addition to any meal.
Chop and boil the branches until they are tender.
Drain, throw in a food processor with garlic, salt and pepper and your taste buds will never know you were not eating real mashed potatoes (but your diet will).
I eat cake every single day. All right, Ashley, you have been on the low carb kick for a little too long, and the restraint is suffocating your brain - how on earth can I eat cake every day? It is as easy as 1-2-3. Protein Mug Cakes are an amazing source of protein that fills your tummy and satisfies your sweet tooth for less than ten carbs and under 150 calories.
Simply pour a scoop of your favorite protein powder in a mug with 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder then add an egg white and two tablespoons of cashew (or almond) milk.
Cover with plastic wrap or a small sandwich bag and pop it in the microwave for 35 seconds.
Boom - cake that tastes amazing and you cannot feel guilty about it!
Now, I have taught you a few low carb basics go ahead out into the world search and create your recipes. However, don’t forget the most important ingredient, FUN!
Illustrations by Nicola Styles
Editor + Host for BCG Magazine