I’ve been doing a low-carb diet with pretty great results. It consists of meat, a ton of vegetables, and a little bit of dairy. I don’t have to give up caffeine so the only real sacrifices are sugar and grain, both of which I can re-incorporate in small doses once I’ve reached my goal weight. Since I mostly eat vegetables anyway this hasn’t been too challenging, and I’ve come up with lots of tasty substitutions for my favorite foods.
One HUGE missing piece are potatoes. They are high in carbs as vegetables go, so they are off-limits for the time being. <<sad face>> My ideal breakfast includes hashbrowns or oven roasted potatoes or yams with fried eggs on top. Possibly my favorite food sensation is warm yolk over a crisp root vegetable.
One day I was really missing hashbrowns, so I decided to get creative. What did I have that could substitute? I opened the fridge and found some listless broccoli stems (I refuse to throw them out). Aha! I thought. Those are firm enough to behave like root veggies. I shredded them (you can use a blender with a shredder attachment or a cheese grater) and tossed them in a frying pan with some oil, salt and pepper, oregano, and garlic. They didn’t take very long to cook and soon I was enjoying faux hashbrowns with fried eggs. It was tastier than I thought possible.
What else could I make into hash, I wondered? So far my favorite and easiest substitute hash veggie is cabbage, but I’ve also used zucchini.
Here’s how I do it.
- Shredded broccoli stems or zucchini, or thinly-sliced cabbage
- Onion and/or bell pepper, shredded or finely sliced (optional)
- Any seasonings you use on hash browns (salt, pepper, Italian spices, garlic, Creole or other spicy seasoning, etc.)
- Butter or olive oil
Throw everything together into a large frying pan over medium or medium-high heat and mix well. Note that broccoli stems will cook faster and burn easier.
If you’re cooking broccoli stems or cabbage, stir frequently (I do this by picking up the whole pan and jostling it like chefs do.) With zucchini, resist the urge to stir or flip (overstirring means they won’t get crispy – also true with potatoes). Let cook for 3-4 minutes (note that potatoes take way longer) before flipping as evenly as possible to cook the other side.
Fry eggs in a separate pan in butter or oil. I like mine overeasy so I don’t start them until the hash is almost done. I sprinkle a little turmeric over my eggs for flavor and health benefits.
Put everything on a plate and enjoy a delicious, low-carb breakfast!
For another potato substitute, I can’t wait to try this whipped cauliflower recipe from my friend over at Paleo Jake.