Let's talk carbs. Specifically pasta.
Yes the whole point of this diet is to cut out a lot of carbs and all sugar but you can still have carbs there are just a lot of rules. First you can only have carbs one meal out of the day, preferably for lunch when your metabolism is working harder. That means one carb/low fat meal and one protein meal a day. Secondly only whole grain carbs are allowed, brown rice and whole wheat pasta for example. Lastly the carbs have to be eaten with as little fat as possible so that your body doesn't absorb a load of fat along with the carbs.
So what does this leave for you to eat for low fat/carb meals? Plenty you just have to get creative, give up the idea of ever having cheese on your pasta, and look really hard for the couple grocery story products that you can eat. Lucky for you I've already done the last step, the intensely annoying and soul draining part for you. Seriously I was torn between breaking into tears or throwing sauces on the floor the first couple times I tried to shop and found how little there was to eat that was sugar free and diet friendly.
The other rule with pasta is that it has to be very thin angel hair pasta made with hard wheat. Montignac claims the pasta dough being forced through the thin metal pasta extruder during production causes a reaction in the wheat that makes it harder to break down into bad carbs while being digested. A lot of his quasi science leaves me scratching my head so I just take his word for it and any of my scientist readers can let me know if this is total crap.
There are three pasta brands I've found in stores in Madison that fit all these quantifiers. Bella Terra Organic Capellini Angel Hair, Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Angel Hair, and Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Grain Angel Hair. In regular grocery stores these brands hide in the organic section rather than in with the regular pasta.
Pasta sauces get a little more complicated depending on how strict you want to take the low fat rule. I've found some good sauces with less than 2 grams of fat per serving from Barilla and Classico. The roasted red pepper and tomato basil in both brands were especially tasty. I was very surprised that the least expensive brands more consistently were sugar free.
In the past I've been posting pasta recipes with penne and lasagna noodles going off the French version of the diet that didn't specify the angel hair only rule. Apparently the American diet needed more rules to keep us fat lazy poor eaters under control. Substituting angel hair in for my earlier recipes will make them perfectly legal for the diet however.
For now I'll post a very tasty and very easy recipe that will work for the weight maintenance stage of the diet when you can add a little more fat into carb meals without any dire consequence. This is when you aren't losing weight but are following most of the same rules to keep your weight steady. It works, I haven't lost or gained a single pound while eating this way. Next week the fella and I are going hard core on the weight loss phase again to see how much more weight we can get rid of, though the vacation from counting GI levels has been nice. I highly recommend taking a month off from the strict eating after a couple months just so the low GI doesn't break your will to live too much.
This recipe just involves tossing some marinated veggies into store bought pasta sauce to make it a little more special and give it a home made feel. It was delicious. We had pan roasted cauliflower with thyme and lemon juice as a side and El Coto Rioja which I believe I may have already raved about once before. It really is a wonderful spicy Spanish wine in the under $10 price range. With wine this good for that price I see no reason to spend more. Plus I'm a sucker for quirky labels.
1 16-ounce package whole wheat angel hair pasta
1 28-ounce jar sugar free pasta sauce
1 4-ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained, halved
1 10 to 12-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, cut into strips
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following package directions, until tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, place the marinara sauce, artichokes, peppers, and olives in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Add sauce to pasta. Stir to combine. If desired, add some of the cooking water if too thick. Top with basil. Serve.
Original recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs Enlightened Cooking.