The 5 Best Low-Carb Vegetables You Can’t Cook Without

Article posted in: Nutrition
fresh uncut cauliflower in a colander

Diets can be, well, boring. Sometimes you feel like you’re eating the same things over and over, while other times you’re suffering through a meal because you don’t know how the heck else to cook that low-carb veggie. Repeat after us: You’re not alone. The Palm Weight Loss Blog is here with low-carb vegetable recipes, tips, ideas and solutions to your DIY meal dilemmas. Case in point: Here is a list of five low-carb vegetables that will change the way you cook, eat and think about “diet food.”

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1. Spaghetti Squash

roasted and seasoned spaghetti squash

There’s no doubt this fall vegetable lives up to its name. When cooked until tender, the flesh of a spaghetti squash peels off the skin in ribbons—just like spaghetti. Unlike “real” spaghetti, spaghetti squash (like most winter squashes) is rich in vitamin A and carotenoids to promote heart, immunity and skin health, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.1

To roast a spaghetti squash, slice it in half and drizzle it with some oil. Top it with some garlic powder (maybe a little smoked paprika, then bake it face down at 400 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes. Allow it to cool before scraping out the flesh. Enjoy it with marinara, pesto or alfredo sauce for a low-carb Italian dinner. Try our 4-ingredient recipe for Low-Carb Cheesy Southwest Baked Spaghetti Squash Pasta! >

2. Mushrooms

fresh mushrooms and scallions

Bella. White. Shitake. Cremini. Button. Portobello. There are plenty of mushroom varieties sold in stores and dozens of recipes that call for these earthy, meaty morsels. Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins and contain protein, dietary fiber, selenium and vitamin C, says Medical News Today. They credit mushrooms for promoting heart health and potentially protecting against cancer and diabetes.2

Mushrooms are versatile and delicious in salad, pasta and stir-fry. You can also grill mushrooms and use them as a low-carb bread swap for a sandwich or burger. Speaking of burger, a large portobello mushroom makes the perfect plant-based burger patty in lieu of meat. (Try our Marinated Portobello Mushroom Burger recipe here! >) Use them to create a hearty, homestyle meal with our One-Pan Beef Stroganoff recipe. Stuffed mushrooms are the perfect healthy appetizer for your next party.

3. Cauliflower

a closeup of cauliflower in a colander

Like spaghetti squash, cauliflower is one of our “eat this, not that” favorites here at South Beach Diet. Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower. Instead of stir-fry over rice, have stir-fry over cauliflower rice. The texture is very similar and cauliflower is mildly flavored, blending in easily with other ingredients. Plus, with every bite of cauliflower, you’re enriching your body with vitamins C, plus folate and fiber, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.1

We have dozens of recipes that showcase cauliflower but here’s a collection all in one article! > (Wait till you try our cauliflower crust pizza recipe.)

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4. Bell Peppers

two red bell peppers on a wooden cutting board

When it comes to versatility, bell peppers are one of our favorite low-carb vegetables for cooking. They’re also really good for you! According to Harvard Health publishing, bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and a variety of antioxidants. You can enjoy one entire medium bell pepper for just 30 calories. Talk about low-carb AND low-calorie! 3

Of course you can snack on bell peppers raw and use them as dippers with hummus, pesto or salsa. However, there is so much more you can do with them! Grill them up for fajitas or kabobs. Stuff them with meat and cheese for a terrific meal. Season, roast and blend red bell peppers to make a delicious pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless with this impressive veggie!

5. Kale

fresh kale in a large white bowl

When you need a crunchy chip, kale’s there. When you want to make hearty soups, you’ve got hearty, keeps-its-texture kale. When you make a morning smoothie and add some nutrition…you get it. This versatile veggie is out-of-the-park good for you, thanks to antioxidants called quercetin and kaempferol (both known to be anti-inflammatory, protect the heart and more!), a ton of vitamin A and vitamin C, says Healthline. Plus, one cup of raw kale contains just six grams of carbs, making it one of the best low-carb vegetables for your weight loss plan.4

You can make the perfect low-carb snack with kale. Try our recipe for Crispy Kale Chips! > We also love kale in our Greek Stir Fry recipe. It even holds up perfectly in our Instant Pot Tuscan Soup! Want to make a kale salad? Massage the leaves first. The squeezing motion tenderizes the leaves so kale tastes more like lettuce.

Looking for more low-carb vegetables that you should stock up on? Check out these 5 Summer Veggies for a Flat Tummy! >

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