Take advantage of the vegetables in-season during the summer and make these simple low-carb swaps in your favorite dishes.

To avoid heavily-processed, nutrient depleted carbs over the summer, try getting your carbs and fiber from the abundant vegetables that summer brings. Here are a few quick and easy ideas:

Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice

A veg-packed Thai curry can be light enough for summer but a filling meal, too. If a plate of brown rice is too much alongside though, try cauliflower rice. Simply grate fresh cauliflower and steam for a few minutes on the stovetop or microwave, ready to soak up the sauce of your curry or whatever else you fancy. Keep a bag of grated cauliflower in the freezer, ready to go in minutes.

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Spiralized vegetables are all the rage–but many fads come and go. When the summer zucchini crop hits they are a great, light alternative to pasta. If you don’t have a spiralizer to make those appealing twirls you can try a sharp knife or mandolin….but a decent spiralizer makes it temptingly easy. And you can use it to make your salads more special, too.

Aubergine Lasagna


A great hearty vegetable that is already popular as a stand-in for meat, it also works well as a substitute for pasta sheets in lasagna. Not as quick and easy as other dishes, but makes a good filling meal and comes packed full of a wide range of nutrients and anti-oxidants.

Lettuce Wraps

lettuce wrap

For a light lunch or quick snack, replace a tortilla wrap with a large lettuce leaf such as Romaine or Cos varieties and pack with whatever filling you fancy.

RELATED: Get Creative With Your Carbs

Kale Chips


Rip up a few kale leaves, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper or a dusting of paprika and spread on a baking tray. Cook in a hot oven for just a few minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning) and you have a great substitute for potato chips. Works well with parsnips, carrots and similar starchy vegetable, too—and you can make it less oily and salty than many of the store-bought versions.

Mushroom-‘Wrapped’ Burgers


Like aubergines, mushrooms give great body and flavor to veggie dishes—and mushroom based, meat-free burgers are well known. But what if you love a fresh beef burger but don’t want the stodgy bun? A couple of portobello mushroom caps can serve just as well as bread substitutes. A touch of oil and grill or roast for a few minutes while you cook your beef, and you have your quarter pounder with ease. Accompany with parsnip crisps or sweet potato fries plus a crisp side-salad for a veg-tastic meal!

Dr Sally Norton is an NHS weight-loss consultant surgeon and UK Health expert. She is founder of VavistaLife.