If you’re trying to lean out, indulging in a plate of hearty pasta isn’t the best idea, right? It depends on the recipe, really. Olive Garden’s Spaghetti with Meatballs, for example, has 740 calories and more carbohydrates than eight Oreo cookies. Not to mention, the dish is seriously lacking in vital nutrients.
Luckily there are healthier options out there, but tricking the taste buds does require some creativity. That’s why we’ve teamed up with some of the nation’s top chefs to bring you vitamin-packed “pasta” recipes with a fraction of the calories and carbs. Click through to check out six dishes that allow you to dig in guilt-free whenever a starchy craving strikes—no restaurant reservation required.
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Courtesy of Brandon Boudet, executive chef and owner of Little Dom’s in Los Angeles
Risotto is the epitome of Italian comfort food but it won’t do your waistline any favors. Boudet’s take on the dish will leave your stomach satisfied without sacrificing your physique. Not only is cauliflower rich in vitamin C, it’s also super low-calorie and has just 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup.
8 cups grated cauliflower (grated with large holes of a box grater)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1) In a large sauté pan add butter and olive oil on medium heat.
2) Add green onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
3) Add crushed red pepper and salt to taste, sauté 30 seconds; add grated cauliflower and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. You do not want to brown the cauliflower.
4) Top with Parmesan cheese and salt to taste.
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