Last year I started doing a keto diet. I didn’t find it too hard to keep up while in the office working. Most of our meals are meat and two veg based, so just cutting out the carbs was easy enough using keto alternatives to the carbs. But then lockdown happened and I was back to working from home, and rather than the 4 dinners a week I usually cooked, it was 7 days a week, plus lots of bread at lunchtime 7 days a week for the rest of the family.
Carbs are easy and tasty, and when you’re working but also needing to get tea on the table fast, making an alternative meal for me was a hassle. Plus having more snacks and treats in the house (argh, to getting obsessed with making fudge), didn’t help. Oh and lack of motivation to exercise, so what little I did before was even more reduced. So the diet went out the window, the pounds piled back on.
But now remote learning’s finished, N’s back in school, the OH’s back having lunch at the farm, so my diet is back under control and I’m back enjoying keto again.
When I’m doing family cooking, I try and do meals that just need a tweak so I switch the carbs for a version for me. Sometimes that’s just more veg, sometimes it’s my own version (like fathead dough pizza).
We do tend to have pasta once a week – sometimes twice if we do spaghetti bolognese, then use the bolognese leftovers to make a lasagne. I tend to switch the pasta for spiralised courgette (or ‘zoodles’), or make my own ‘lasagne’ using slices of courgette. I should mix it up with butternut squash occasionally, but I know courgettes always get eaten in this house, while I’d be the only one eating squash.
I did try out making egg strip noodles the other day. Yes, they’re a bit ‘eggy’ obviously, but put lots of sauce on, and they worked really well. I’ll be trying them again, and maybe having them alongside some veg as a pasta replacement.
To make egg strip noodles
Use 2 eggs per person. Stir til combined.
Heat a frying pan wilth a little oil in. Once hot, pour the eggs in and turn the heat down to medium.
Cook the eggs (it will look a bit like a pancake) on the bottom, then before it gets brown, flip over and heat through the reverse to cook the egg through.
Remove from the pan, and leave to cool a little.
Roll up the egg circle into a spiral tube, and chop into strips to make egg ribbons or noodles.
You can eat them warm, but I prefer them cooler with the sauce just warming them through on top.
You can add vegetables like a stir fry, or use as pasta. Or just use as a garnish or a different way of eating eggs.
If you’re looking to try different keto alternatives to pasta, try these ideas.
Keto pasta alternatives
Zoodles – zucchini or courgette, use a spiraliser*, or I have these great peelers* that all peel slightly differently, so I do my spiralising with those instead. Also, try slices with a mandolin or peeler.
Spaghetti squash – best way is to roast the squash first, then use a fork once it’s cooled a bit to make the strands. Tutorial here https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/how-to-bake-spaghetti-squash-in-oven-whole-or-cut-in-half/
Veg strips – use a mandolin or normal peeler – good for butternut squash, courgette, carrots, celeriac, or cucumber
Aubergine (eggplant). Cut strips or thin slices of aubergine to replace lasagne. Don’t forget to salt first to draw out the water.
Onion noodles – roast onion rings for 30 mins on an oiled tray, then serve alongside your protein or mixed with your veg and sauce.
Miracle noodles (Shirataki) – these are low carb, in the UK mostly available online (try Amazon or Holland and Barrett) or in asian supermarkets.
Egg strip noodles
Fathead dough pasta – made with shredded mozzarella and egg yolks. I really want to try making this as fathead dough is really good as a pizza dough
Pasta made from alternative doughs like almond flour or coconut flour. Not quite the same as proper pasta, but get enough flavour with your sauce/filling, and it can work.
So like with most things keto, there’s plenty of alternative options to pasta you can try.
What do you prefer to use to replace pasta when eating low carb?