"Cut Calories With These 9 "Pasta Poser" Recipes" Review

If you're like me, you probably grew up on pasta. While the popularity of pasta hasn't subsided, the rates of obesity and diabetes have skyrocketed. Luckily, you can still indulge in "Noodle" heaven without compromising your health or gaining weight. Check out this super list of pasta alternatives-your personal trainer will thank you! Once you find the dishes you like, print the recipes off the Livestrong website (from article "Cut Calories With These 9 "Pasta Poser" Recipes").

1. Thai Peanut Sweet Potato “Noodles”


These "zoodles" are inspired by vegetarian pad Thai. But instead of rice noodles, this recipe uses spiralized or julienned sweet potatoes, providing a burst of flavor and color. You’ll also get a load of beta-carotene in each serving -- much more than your body needs in the entire day! Interestingly, when sweet potatoes are cooked with fat, it makes their beta-carotene more absorbable. They're super easy to make: Just stir-fry the sweet potato spirals for a few minutes in a little grape-seed oil, toss with a three-ingredient sauce and then garnish with peanuts and fresh basil or cilantro. CALORIES: 305

2. Simple Spaghetti Squash With Pesto


Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that has a naturally stringy flesh when cooked, kind of like spaghetti. It’s an ideal pick to replace the regular version of pasta from time to time, especially when you find yourself behind on daily veggie or fiber intake. Cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave in about 12 minutes; no lengthy oven roasting is required. (Make sure you pierce the skin with a fork or knife to let steam escape). Then toss the squash strands with a dollop of your favorite pesto sauce, sliced grape tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil. Even without the actual pasta, you’ll get full-flavored Italian taste. CALORIES: 340

3. “Macaroni” Salad


At your next picnic or backyard cookout, this “macaroni” salad will be the surprise star of the party. This yellow summer squash is cut to look like macaroni and then quickly cooked and chilled. All of the other comforting and familiar flavors of traditional macaroni salad are still part of the recipe, including eggs to provide high-quality protein. It’s a delicious alternative, especially for folks trying to cut down on calories. Enjoy this vegetable lover’s “macaroni” salad as a side dish or salad -- or even as a lunch. CALORIES: 167

4. Spicy Asian Carrot “Noodles”


One culinary attribute of Asian cuisine is the balance of flavors like sweet, salty and spicy. You get all three of these taste sensations in this dish: sweet from the coconut nectar or honey, salty from the soy sauce and spicy from the Asian chili paste. You’ll also get some natural sweetness from carrots, which are the actual “noodles” in this vibrant side. There’s plenty of tang from brown rice vinegar, and don’t be shy with it: Preliminary research suggests it may play a potential role in protecting the liver and regulating blood sugar and blood cholesterol. CALORIES: 172

5. Baja Chicken and Pepper “Pasta”


The easiest way to transform veggies into a pasta-like dish is to thinly slice your chosen vegetable into long strips and serve it like you would regular pasta. The “noodles” here are a combination of fettuccine-like strips of bell peppers and red onion. The chicken is cut the same way, so it’s acting a bit like the noodles too. From there, this recipe has the flavor essence of Baja Med cuisine, which is kind of like a flavorful marriage of Mexican, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. Serve warm, soft organic corn tortillas alongside to enjoy the sauciness of this unique “pasta” dish. CALORIES: 215

6. Bell Pepper Cacio e Pepe


Cacio e Pepe is a classic Roman pasta entree that’s traditionally made with three basic ingredients: Pecorino Romano cheese, plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and, of course, pasta (usually spaghetti). It’s such a simple concept, but it’s divine when done right. So this recipe takes the classic concept and gives it new life by using orange or yellow bell pepper strips as the “pasta” of choice. Bell peppers are rich in nutrients, especially vitamin C, but they’re low in calories and make this dish a beautiful side. CALORIES: 160

Moody Wisdom: Easy on the cheese-160 calories can easily turn into 300 calories.

7. Zucchini “Fettuccine” Alfredo


If you’ve got a vegetable peeler, this recipe is a breeze. You’ll make long, thin “noodles” from a couple of large zucchinis. Though the most memorable part of this dish may be the sauce on the “fettuccine” noodles. It’s Alfredo. Yes, the rich stuff! It’s OK to have a little decadence in your diet, as long as you portion it properly and balance other calories and “bad” fats in the meal, for instance. That’s exactly what’s done here by using low-calorie vegetables as the “pasta” and a just-right amount of butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. Keep everything else light that you serve alongside. Then go ahead and thoroughly enjoy this comforting dish. CALORIES: 207

Moody Wisdom: This recipe is a great alternative to the high caloric, traditional fettuccine alfredo that delivers a whopping average of 1200 calories per plate. Nevertheless, be mindful of the inflammatory foods in your diet (i.e. red meat, refined sugars, DAIRY, etc.): They can still undermine your weight loss efforts even if your calories are in check.

What other popular dishes deserve a "weight loss" alternative?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: Livestrong.com - Is it possible to eat fettucine alfredo while pursuing a weight loss goal?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " Cut Calories With These 9 "Pasta Poser" Recipes " on Livestrong.com.
"Cut Calories With These 9 "Pasta Poser" Recipes" Review
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