WIKA-Paleo Episode 2: The Art of Substitution

First, I’d like to thank all of your for reading my last post (WIKA-Paleo) and for sharing your positive feedback.  It has been my highest viewed article to date and that is so motivational for me.  I offer you my most heartfelt gratitude.  You guys are AWESOME!

Today, I’d like to start talking about the most important tip I have learned about implementing a paleo diet.  SUBSTITUTION! 

When trying to replace the “no-no” carbs, I’ve found a few tricks that have helped me A LOT.

PASTA – Oh how I love me some pasta!  However, regular pasta is filled with gluten and is therefore, at least for me and the paleo population, the devil.  (There are MANY gluten-free pastas made with rice, corn, or quinoa.  Not considered pure paleo, but a great substitute if that’s not a concern.)  So here’s what I use for pasta:

  • Spaghetti squash – Good sub for spaghetti, sometimes a little watery so just drain or squeeze out water first.
  • Quinoa – I get mixed reviews on this – some people love it and others hate it – and it is another controversial topic in the paleo blogsphere.  It reminds me of an earthy couscous but is actually a high protein seed of a grain.  For more info and recipes, check out The Queen of Quinoa.
  • Sweet potatoes – These can be used like noodles if shredded.  They have an different texture, of course.  They can also be used like fettuccine. (wait for it…  there’s going to be something super cool to show you how in a second 🙂 )
  • Zucchini – One of my favorite pasta substitutions is ZOODLES!  No, I did not make that up.  It’s a real thing.  It’s when you julienne a zuke to make spaghetti-like noodles… or you use The Spiralizer!  (Also, check out this site that is nothing but ways to noodle up your veggies.)
My "Spiralizer"

My “Spiralizer”



POTATOES – I don’t think I want to live in a world where I cannot have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.  But what is a paleo girl to do?!?!?!


  • Cauliflower – This veggie is the all-purpose substitute for potatoes.  Steam and puree cauliflower just like you would mash potatoes (I add organic cream and butter too).  Like this.
  • Butternut squash – I whip these up like mashed potatoes and put them on top of my shepherd’s pie.  Wicked awesome.

DICED (like for roasted)

  • Parsnips – I often use parsnips in place of potatoes when I want to have something like roasted potatoes.  (SQUIRREL – I also add them to my mashed faux-tatoes for a more potato-y texture.)
  • Turnips – These also can be used in place of spuds.  I don’t use them as often though unless they are in a soup or stew or something.
  • Sweet Potatoes – If the sweetness doesn’t mess up how the dish is supposed to taste, I use these in place of white potatoes as well.  They have a higher nutrient density than white potatoes so most paleos approve of them (especially as a post-workout, good carb food).

RICE – Since it is technically a grain, this is usually omitted from paleo diets.  However, many of the people I follow still use brown rice for their recipes.  But if you want to get all paleo “purist”:

  • Cauliflower – Rice it in the food processor and use it wherever you would use rice.  (SQUIRREL – I make a mean Spanish “rice” from cauliflower… but I saute that stuff in bacon grease.  Boom.)
  • Quinoa – Also a good substitute for rice.

Hope that helps!  🙂  And don’t miss the next episode of WIKA-Paleo where we will substitute…  DAIRY!  (Hi Wy!)

But finally, from a special request (SM – This is for you.  You thank your mom for this and I’ll thank her for turning you into one of my new fans.  😉 )

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato recipes!


2 thoughts on “WIKA-Paleo Episode 2: The Art of Substitution

    • Hi there! I’ve never seen them ready for use in a store. I use the spiralizer but I know that some people use a julienne tool to make them. I have one of those too that I got from Pampered Chef.

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