Pastabilities Are Endless: 12 Gorgeous Grain & Vegetable Noodle Recipes


Let’s talk pasta, shall we?  Yep, you know, that food so many of us steer clear of because, well, #calories and the dreaded #glutens. I for one spent many years under the illusion that pasta was the leading cause of weight gain. I feared pasta. Pasta and guilt became a partnership, and I therefore missed out on so many delicious dishes over the years because I was petrified that my carbonara would leave me with immediate cellulite. I hadn’t yet become  acquainted with the dynamic duo: the vegetable boodln

  • Teaser Alert: 12 Eye-Candy Grain & Vegetable Noodle Recipes Below …

It wasn’t until I really started to delve into the facts behind both food and nutrition that I begun to learn that many of my fears were irrational and they were actually preventing me from enjoying real food. Also, that link between carbs and weight gain that I’d crafted in my mind was naivety and lack of understanding. Like with various other foods, there are of course healthier alternatives, but how we enjoy these foods are also crucial. It goes without saying that health flies straight out the window when foods become deep-dried or slathered in sauces that are laden with butter, cream and cheese. Carbonara, I’m looking at you, girl.

So, what’s the deal with white pasta? Foods such as white pasta, flour and bread have all been processed and refined and this process strips these foods of their fiber. Vitamins and minerals are then frequently added back in to these foods to enrich them, but they’re not as wholesome as other options that haven’t been through this process to start with. Carbs that have been refined can be linked to weight gain, just not in the way that I originally used to think. Processed and refined carbs simply aren’t as satisfying for our body. Why? Well, the body absorbs the sugar in these foods quickly which causes a spike in our blood sugar. That means an hour or two after eating, we’re no longer feeling satiated, hunger has returned and this is where over-eating and weight gain then occurs.

So, shall we cut carbs for good? I’m saying Hell to that No. Carbs are delicious. Pasta is delicious. It’s all about learning to find ways to eat the foods we love with our health at the forefront of our mind. The first step to take is to switch out white pasta for healthier versions. Whole wheat pasta is the first change people tend to go for when ditching the white stuff, and good food reason: nothing has been stripped from whole wheat pasta during the milling process, so it remains full of both fiber and protein. Brown rice pasta has become increasingly popular over the years, and it also happens to be gluten-free which is great for anyone with gluten allergies. There are actually endless ways to enjoy pasta in both a healthy and delicious way.

Here are 12 eye-candy vegetable noodle recipes that will taunt your taste buds and keep you erring on the side of healthy…

1. Rainbow Kelp Noodle Salad with Lemon-Almond-Ginger Dressing 

Kelp noodles are noodles made from kelp that have a crunch to them. They have a neutral taste, so when you throw them into a dish with an abundance of flavor, they will work with it, and boy is there plenty of that going on in this dish! This is packed full of bright, vibrant veggies and fruit that all have different tastes and textures, and it just looks divine! But don’t take my word for it, give this vegetable noodle concept a try for yourself!

Get the recipe here.

2. Garlicky Butternut Squash Noodles with Spinach & Ricotta 

They say we eat with our eyes first and our mouths second, just look at the vibrancy. There’s nothing more appealing then seeing your plate brimming with color and these garlicky noodles are made from butternut squash. They’re tossed with wilted spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts for a real infusion of flavor. It’s topped off with a dollop of ricotta and voila, this is what you call a masterpiece.

Get the recipe here.

3. Cauliflower Carbonara  

Whilst we might love carbonara, it’s not healthy. All that dairy that usually goes into the sauce is a short ride to cellulite, but not when you make this healthier sauce. Cashews and cauliflower are the base, so not only is it heaps lower in saturated fats, it’s also cholesterol free and retains its creamy texture. You can make this and spread it on top of any pasta of your choice, I’d choose brown rice penne.

Get the recipe here.

4. Spicy Asian Zucchini Cucumber-Noodle Salad  

Pasta salad can sometimes be a little heavy, especially when enjoyed with something else, like salmon. Why not skip the heavy pasta and switch it for this light, refreshing Take noodles made from spiralized cucumbers and zucchinis. They’re infused with Asian flavors with delicious salmon on top. This is such a perfect recipe to have on hold for BBQs – you can just wrap the salmon in tin foil and leave it to bake.

Get the recipe here.

5. Easy Carrot Spaghetti 

When life hands you carrots, you better make sure you make carrot spaghetti. Crafting veggies into ‘pasta’ dishes is great if you find pasta generally a little heavy. It’s so easy to make and just as delish as leftovers the next day. The best part? If you’re out of carrots, you can easily make this recipe using other vegetables, such as cucumber or zucchini.

Get the recipe here.

6. Salmon BLT & Avocado in a Sweet Potato Bun  

OK guys, please, can we just stop what we’re doing for a moment and take a look at this piece of artwork. Even if it’s not in the pastabilities category, we had to go with it.  Sweet potato noodles turned into a burger bun. W-H-A-T-!?! Let’s face it. Burgers are delicious, but they’re not exactly healthy. Until now! Sweet potatoes make such a great bun, and you can throw whatever you fancy between the buns but this salmon, avocado and red onion combination is a real winner.

Get the recipe here.

7. Zippy Garlic-Basil Marinara with Zucchini Noodles 

Once spiralized, Zucchini makes a fantastic alternative to pasta. They look like noodles, once cooked in a little oil they become firm and adapt a pasta-like texture and you can throw sauce onto them and turn them into all kinds of delicious dishes. The garlic-basil marinara sauce is so full of flavor from the garlic, basil and oregano that the vegetable noodle will soak up the goodness like a sponge.

Get the recipe here.

8. Healing Miso Noodle Soup 

Whilst broth is wonderful for both the taste buds and body, it can sometimes get a little boring. So that’s when it’s great to invite some noodles along to the party. This recipe literally takes five minutes to whip up, will leave your hunger more than satiated while also holding lots of flu-fighting ingredients that will work to keep your health game strong. The noodles in this are made from brown rice, but you could also use buckwheat.

Get the recipe here.

9. Stir-Fried Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms & Baby Broccoli 

If you’re craving a pasta dish that is healthy, soba noodles are a pretty good choice. They have this wonderfully nutty flavor and buckwheat itself is a fabulous source of both magnesium and copper. This dish may look simple, but it will soon become a staple in your household. Plus they can be a base for pretty much anything, whether you fancy some fried tofu, portobello mushroom steaks or salmon.

Get the recipe here.

10. Shrimp Puttanesca with Sweet Potato Noodles

Not only do sweet potatoes have that special sweet flavor, but they pack a hearty punch of nutrients, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, D, iron, magnesium and beta-carotene (Vitamin A.) These orange noodles absorb this delicious puttanesca sauce and soften as they cook in the saucepan. The shrimp cook with the pasta sauce and result in a beautifully fragrant seafood dish. Your kitchen smells will make your mouth water! The best part? This is an easy, one-pot dish! All of the ingredients are added to a single saucepan for an easy weeknight meal that’s packed with flavor, essential nutrients and lean protein.

Get the recipe here.

11. Raw Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado-Cucumber Sauce 

My favorite thing about using zucchini as a replacement for pasta is that you don’t even need to cook it. You can simply spiralize it, throw it with some sauce and you’re good to go, so it’s perfect if you’re on the go or looking for something tasty to whip up with limited time. And if you’re not too keen on eating your veggies, seriously, zucchini has such a subtle taste and with the creamy dressing you’ll be wanting seconds.

Get the recipe here.

12. Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti with Avocado Cream 

When ditching white pasta your options are endless and varied. And another pastability you should be sure to check out is black bean spaghetti, made from none other than black beans. They’re used in this simple, eclectic dish with a southwestern vibe. This dish is bursting with fresh corn, crunchy peppers, onion, mushrooms and roasted tomatoes + a mixture of spices that will really get those taste buds revved up!

Get the recipe here.


Lora O'Brien

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