Going grain-free doesn't mean you have to give up comfort food entirely. While paleo pasta might sound like a contradiction in terms, it's really not! With the right ingredients and tools, you’ll discover this paleo swap tastes and feels like the real deal. Change is nothing to be afraid of. Opting for dietary alternatives opens up tons of room for creativity, and paleo pasta is a prime example. Variety is the spice of life (and the key to a healthy diet), and there's an abundance of different vegetables to choose from when reinventing your favorite pasta, from linguini to lasagna! The essentials To make paleo pasta, start with the right tools. A spiralizer or julienne peeler is essential. These nifty gadgets will help you create the perfect delicious noodles out of an assortment of vegetables, ranging from zucchini to cucumbers to carrots. The julienne peeler is ideal for making thicker, stiffer noodles. With the peeler, you can cut into anything with a little toughness it, even including carrots and pumpkins. It’s versatile and incredibly easy to use. The spiralizer is a larger device, where the size of the vegetable really matters. It processes smaller, cylinder-like vegetables — that's why zucchini is often the go-to green. Hot and cold paleo pasta dishes The exciting thing about paleo pasta is how much room it gives you for experimentation. Whether you’re looking to make a cold light pasta salad or a hearty stir-fry, veggie pastas are solid swaps for grain products. CUCUMBER The cucumber's cylindrical shape makes it perfect for the spiralizer. Once you’ve prepared your noodles, place it in a bowl and toss it with lemon juice, sea salt, and your favorite herbs. Cumin is always a hit, along with rosemary and thyme. Add some chili flakes for smoke spicy goodness. BEETS Beets are among the world’s healthiest foods (and oh so delicious). Spiralize the beet by removing its tougher outer ‘skin’ and chopping off both ends. In a bowl, toss your beets with some crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery. Add tahini, lemon, salt, pepper, and voila! Your pasta is good to go. Serve immediately, or leave it in the fridge to marinate and serve cold. SWEET POTATO Before putting the potato through the spiralizer, you'll have to peel it and cut off the ends. The noodles might get a little long, so using a julienne peeler works as well. Melt your choice of cooking fat in the pan (try olive oil or coconut oil). Place the noodles in the pan on medium heat, tossing occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. Add your sauce and vegetables, and bon apetit! ZUCCHINI Zucchini is packed with nutrients and among the best sources of dietary fiber. Zoodles (don't laugh) are clear winners for making paleo pasta. To start, put the zucchini through the spiralizer to create your zoodles, then set them aside. Next, in a pan combine your favorite vegetables to sauté. Some goodies are garlic, red pepper, mushroom, and spinach. Add some pesto to the zoodles and enjoy!