August 12, 2016

When I was little, we had Italian food at least once a week. It was a tradition, and I looked forward eagerly to a big plate of spaghetti, lasagna, or ziti. To make the experience even better, our weekly Italian dinner almost always included a thick slice of buttery garlic bread. When I hear the words “Italian food,”  these are my memories.

Now that I’m trying to avoid gluten and grains in general, I’ve found myself missing my weekly Italian meals. I’ve decided that I need to find a few ways to enjoy Italian food without eating gluten or grains. Here are my favorite five substitutions and recipes:

Pizza With Cauliflower Crust

Instead of using a traditional pizza crust, it’s possible to create a crust using cauliflower. The crust is a combination of cauliflower, egg, cheese, and herbs. It’s just as yummy without the carbs and won’t leave you feeling stuffed and sluggish. Try this healthy recipe from Detoxinista.

Spiralized Spaghetti

If you haven’t added a spiralizer to your list of kitchen gadgets, you need to. A spiralizer cuts strips of vegetables (like zucchini) into long strips that resemble spaghetti. Next time you’re craving spaghetti, make a big plate of spiralized zucchini and serve it with your favorite homemade spaghetti sauce. Check out this recipe from Be A Healthy Mom.

Enjoy it on Polenta

There’s a debate about whether corn is a vegetable or grain—or a bit of both. Either way, I love polenta with homemade tomato sauce and fresh basil, topped with melted mozzarella cheese. Find my favorite recipe on Confessions of an Overworked Mom.

Italian Meatball Soup

Meatballs are one of my favorite additions to homemade spaghetti sauce. While you can always enjoy them without adding them to pasta, you can also try them in a healthy Italian soup. Bonus: this soup is loaded with healthy fresh vegetables. Try the recipe I found on Beauty and the Foodie.

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant parmesan and have ever since I was a child. Since eggplant is easy to grow, I plant it almost every year so I can enjoy eggplant parmesan. To keep it grain free, try almond flour to create the breading, instead of using bread crumbs. This recipe from Fit Paleo Mom sounds amazing.