When we think of vegetarian food, we normally think of carbohydrate-laden foods. Rice and pasta dishes often feature heavily. Lentils, beans and chick peas are frequently touted as great sources of vegetarian protein. Even some manufactured mock-meat products are very high in carbohydrate and sugars. And the humble sandwich, how do you get by without bread!
It might seem hard, if not impossible, to navigate this minefield. But it need not be. In fact, it’s quite simple… when you know how.
Here a just a few quick substitutions that anyone can easily make:
Rice: Try making “cauliflower rice”. To do this, simply process some raw cauliflower florets in a food processor until the pieces are quite fine. Then lightly steam or boil, and use in the place of rice in your favorite recipe.
Pasta: A simple substitution for spaghetti is shredded cabbage. Just slice up a cabbage, and the long strands created will look just like spaghetti or linguini, and will taste delicious with your favourite pasta sauce.
Bread: There are many low carb bread mixes available. A simple search of the internet will reveal many brands of low carb bread that are available for purchase online. You will also find low carb tortillas, which are very delicious. So there’s no need to go without bread in the low carb lifestyle!
Mashed potato: This family favorite can easily be made from cauliflower. Simply mash some cooked cauliflower with butter, milk or cream and there will be no way of telling the difference. It is simply delicious.
Legumes: All sorts of legumes, beans and peas can easily be substituted with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) in recipes. This is simply the protein component of soy beans. It is far lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein, and is extremely versatile.
Sauces and syrups: Once again, there are many manufacturers producing low carb versions of your favourite sauces and syrups. You will come across brands such as Jok n Al, who make a range of savoury sauces, and Da Vinci, who produce delicious sugar-free syrups.
Mock meats: Boca and Morning Star make a wide range of packaged meat substitutes. These are very helpful to the time-poor or beginner vegetarian, however it is essential to be able to read the labels to determine the net carbohydrate content. As you become more experienced with low carb, your skills in reading labels will increase.
Sugar: Hunt down stevia in you local health food store, or find it online. Stevia is a natural sweetener and is completely free of carbohydrate and calories. Use it anywhere you would normally use sugar.
So, now you can see how easy it is to follow a low-carb diet as a vegetarian. There’s absolutely no need to go without your favourite meals, just change the ingredients a little and start enjoying the benefits.
For further tips, information and recipes be sure to visit Low Carb Vegetarian Living and enjoy the benefits of being a part of this new online community, supporting people to improve their diet and achieve their health goals.