I’ve come to accept that zucchini noodles will never really be pasta, and cauliflower “rice” will never really be rice. For me, it’s not about pretending that vegetables can completely replace carb-heavy favorites like pasta or rice. Instead, it’s about getting out of a food rut by trying new things and switching up your old standbys. If you’re looking for a way to cut back on carbs, while still enjoying your favorite summer staples, try one of these replacements for the traditional hamburger bun or bread.
Tomato – Cut the core out of tomato, then cut the tomato in half crosswise. Using a spoon, scoop out most of the seeds and pulp. Fill the tomato halves with your favorite chicken or tuna salad or use in place of a hamburger bun. It may get a little messy, but that’s all the more reason to dine outside and enjoy the summer sunshine.
Portobello mushrooms – If you’d rather save your carbs or starch exchanges for dessert, try using portobello mushrooms instead of a bun. Remove the stems from the mushroom caps first, then broil or drizzle with oil and place on the grill. Add your favorite hamburger, turkey burger or veggie burger and top with sizzling onions, greens and a slice of avocado.
Eggplant – Bake or grill thick slices of eggplant, and season with salt and pepper or your favorite herbs and spices. If you’re skipping meat altogether, fill the eggplant with your favorite melty cheese, roasted tomatoes, grilled onions and pea shoots.
If you have ideas for replacing starchy foods with vegetables, I’d love to hear about them. Comment below!