Five pasta alternatives

Whether you are trying to lower your carb intake or someone in your family is gluten intolerant, finding a pasta replacement can be difficult. The Modern Savage kitchen has done some experimenting over the years and here are our top 5 favorite pasta replacements. Lower in carbohydrates, less likely to trigger allergies, and higher in nutrients than your standard pasta, one of these alternatives is sure to fill the pasta void.

5. Quinoa: While it is used like a grain, quinoa is not a grass, but is actually related to spinach and beets. It has a much higher protein content than rice or wheat and is safe for many people who have grain allergies. It is most often used as a rice replacement, but it's very tasty with spaghetti and meat sauce. The drawback is that quinoa is still high in carbohydrates so should be avoided or used sparingly by those with glucose metabolism issues.

4. Zoodles: Rather than hiding and pretending you aren't home so your gardener neighbors don't give you yet another zucchini, consider investing in a spiral slicer and making zucchini noodles. You can use the spiral slicer to noodleize more than just zucchini, but the mild flavor and texture makes those zukes a great base for spaghetti sauce, cream sauces, or even zucchini carbonara!

3. Broccoli Slaw: Slawing is also a great way to use up fresh broccoli stems you might normally discard. Cut off the bottom 1" of stem, then either use a course grater to shred the stem or cut it in to match-sized pieces. You can even buy precut bags of slawed broccoli at the supermarket. Either steam or stir fry the slaw, then top with your favorite tomato-based sauce and some beefy meatballs.

2. Cabbage noodles aka Cabboodles: Cut cabbage in to thin ribbons with a knife and lightly fry in butter, coconut oil or bacon grease. Cabboodles work particularly well with Alfredo sauce-based dishes like chicken and mushrooms. Precut bags of cabbage slaw can also be used. Those are great in Asian-inspired dishes where you might normally use wheat or rice noodles.

1. Sweet potato noodles: If you have a spiral or mandolin slicer, use them to turn a sweet potato in to tasty noodles with a great texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Lacking special kitchen toys? You can still make sweet potato noodles with a plain potato peeler by peeling your sweet taters in to long thin strips. Sweet potato noodles can be steamed or even boiled just like pasta. Cook them until they are al dente and use in place of regular noodles. Sweet potato noodles are a perfect option for a primal or paleo version of your family dinner favorites.