We get it; you’re on a diet but craving your fave comfort foods like ice cream and chicken noodle soup. With our new food series, #NotCheating, we’re turning these cheat-day dishes into compliant recipes. If you’re dabbling with gluten-free, vegan, keto, paleo, Whole30, or other plans, allow these takes to curb your hankerings healthfully.

Need a healthy dish that can cure the darkest of days? Warm, comforting ramen can be easily converted into a low-carb recipe if you replace the traditional wheat noodles with zucchini noodles (or Skinny Pasta noodles) and swap out soy sauce for liquid coconut aminos. Our keto version still has all of your favorite parts of traditional ramen, from the deeply flavored, mushroom-accented broth to the jammy soft-boiled egg and melt-in-your-mouth crispy pork belly. Dress up your bowl with whatever low-carb toppings you like, such as sliced green onion and seaweed sheets, and you’ll impress even yourself with a tasty, ‘grammable dish that takes less time to make at home than it does to order at a Japanese restaurant.

Keto ramen zoodles

(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pork belly, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 3 1/2 ounces (about 2 heaping cups) shiitake mushrooms, sliced into matchsticks
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces zucchini noodles
  • 2 to 4 soft-boiled eggs (sliced into halves), to garnish
  • 6 sliced green onions (just the crunchy light green part), to garnish
  • 6 to 8 nori seaweed sheets, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook pork belly in a large pan over medium heat until crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes on each side.
  2. Turn off the heat and remove pork belly and all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Allow fat to cool slightly.
  3. Return heat to low-medium (fat will still be hot), and cook garlic and ginger, stirring often until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add bone broth, coconut aminos, chili paste, mushrooms, and salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add zoodles, and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.
  6. Divide ramen into bowls. Top with eggs, green onion, and seaweed sheets, and serve.

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(Photo and recipe via Sara Cagle / Brit + Co)