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Must-Try Alternatives to Rice and Spaghetti (Recipe Included)

March 17, 2016

alternative to rice

Must-Try Alternatives to Rice and Spaghetti (Recipe Included)


If you’re trying to steer away from white, starchy grains like rice and pasta for your weight, your blood sugar, or to control your cravings, these two alternatives might come handy.


Cauliflower Rice


We know and love cauliflower as a salad topping and a steamed side dish. But you might not know about its satisfying alter-ego where it doubles as rice!


You’ll need a food processor or box grater to break down florets into small, rice-like pieces. You can stop there and use these raw “rice” grains as a crunky, satisfying salad topping.


Or, you can go one step further and sauté the “rice” in a small amount of olive oil. The result will be a light, fluffy, rice alternative that’s awesome as a side or as the base of a main dish where you’d typically use traditional rice.


The calorie difference between a cup of white rice versus cauliflower rice s about 150 calories. Plus, cauliflower is packed with nutrients, making it very useful for reducing unwanted inflammation and boosting the body’s detox system. It also improved heart and digestive health.


Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium, and it’s low in carbs.


For more on cooking with cauliflower rice plus a step-by-step guide, read this article from The Kitchn.

alternative to pasta

Spaghetti Squash


This bright yellow vegetable is different from other squash varieties because it separates into noodle-like strands when cooked. And, like real spaghetti (with its own unique flavor), it makes a tasty base for savory sauces and protein-filled cheese.


Spaghetti squash is a double-hitter for cutting calories and carbs; a serving of pasta has around 160 calories, while a serving of squash has about 30. That same serving of pasta contains 31 grams of carbohydrates, while squash has just 7.


Moreover, squash can provide you with good amounts of eye-protective antioxidants, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. It is also an excellent source of copper and manganese, and a very good source of vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K.


One of our favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash is also the simplest: drizzle with homemade tomato sauce and top with ground turkey and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.


If you want to get a bit more creative, Greatist offers more than 40 yummy-looking recipe ideas using the versatile veggie.



Nutritional Profile Reference: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=126