Carb-Loaded or Carb-Free Comfort!

April 28, 2020

A wise man once said humanity cannot live on bread alone, and while we love a good zoodle as much as the next carb-conscious foodie, we find it nigh-on-impossible to completely eliminate carbs from our lives! If that sounds like you, read on for a wide range of recipes —  from carb-free to coma-inducing food for every mood, diet and palate. We’ve collected a bunch – from Italian and pseudo-Italian, to a few from the good old American heartland! Bon Appetit!

Family-Friendly Italian Pastas

This yummy dish from Southern Living combines milk and buttermilk plus lots of Parmesan cheese to deliver a creamy sauce for Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken and Spinach Pasta. The chicken is easy-rotisserie and combined with baby spinach and rigatoni – it’s crowd-pleaser for adults and kids, and trust us – the littles will hardly notice the green stuff!

An Italian Casserole from Southern Living has a few surprise ingredients that are guaranteed to tickle your palate. From the spaghetti noodles to the Italian sausage – hot or mild – garlic, tarragon, marjoram and ricotta cheese, it’s a combination of lasagna, spaghetti with a downhome creamy soup twist. Plus, you can double the batch and freeze this 13×9 dish before you bake it and save it for another day!

And for more healthy green spinach, which is in both of those yummy pasta dishes – make like Popeye and harness its prevention power. Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and folate, which like kale and Swiss chard, are immune-boosting foods, a great deterrent for rogue viruses! Vitamin C not only packs a powerful antioxidant punch, it helps fight off infection and regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E.

Leave it to Chungah at Damn Delicious to concoct a Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta that makes your mouth water just looking at the photo. This likely isn’t an Italian recipe per se with the red pepper and baby arugula, but with enough garlic, butter and parmesan you cam copse your eyes and pretend as you savor every scrumptious bite.

One Pan / One Pot Pastas

This first recipe is everything you love about fajitas, transformed into a bold, delicious pasta dish – and the best part is it’s made all in one pan! Blogger Lauren from Tastes Better from Scratch knows her way around comfort food and while One Pan Fajita Pasta checks that box, it’s not heavy in calories. With homemade fajita seasoning, fresh veggies and whole wheat penne noodles, this is another family-friendly dish that takes about 30 minutes from prep to serving.

Lauren’s Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta is the kind of meal you throw all into the same pot and BAM, in about 15 minutes you’re tucking into the first bite. This dish starts with chicken breasts sautéed in the pot then removed and cubed. Lauren cooks the penne in chicken stock to deepen the flavor and then, adds back the chicken with sundried tomatoes, spinach and parmesan cheese. 

Oodles of Zoodles

If you’re curbing your carbs, check out Dinner at the Zoo and blogger Sarah’s take on 39 different zoodle recipes. Whether you’ve got a craving for Asian, a passion for pesto – with basil and avocado! – Sarah majors on dishes with Japanese, Thai and Chinese influences. From Spicy Sesame Zoodles with Crispy Tofu and Teriyaki Chicken Zoodles, to Zucchini Pad Thai and Basil Chicken Curry, you’ll find a favorite among these 39! One quick tip with zoodles, they cook very quickly – in one to three minutes – so you have to pay close attention to avoid a bowl of zucchini mush!

Another swap you can make for carbs is cauliflower rice. This Garlic and Herb Cauliflower Rice recipe from Inspired Taste is full of flavor with garlic sautéed in melted butter, lots of fresh herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro and basil, lemon juice and toasted almonds.

Blogger Gina at Skinny Taste sometimes cuts her carbs with this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice, which she sometimes tops with her beloved Orange Chicken, or Spicy Shrimp. After blitzing a head of cauliflower in a food processor to get the “rice” bits, Gina adds sesame oil, egg whites, ½ diced onion, garlic, scallions and soy sauce. It’s another great option when you’re craving takeout!

Kitchen Comfort in Southshore

Comfort food just tastes better made in the brand new kitchens you’ll find throughout the master-planned community of Southshore. Home chefs love the spaciousness of both the culinary space, and the neighborhoods, tucked into the only lakeside community in Aurora. Take a virtual or private tour of the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers for a taste of Life at the Lake. These ranch and two-story designs are priced between the $400s and the $700s.