Links to sources to buy these ingredients.
You can get polydextrose from Netrition for less than $3.00 for a two pound bag.
Almond meal is available in most supermarkets, and you can make your own almond, pecan and walnut meal by grinding the nuts in a food processor.
House Foods pasta is becoming more available locally. You can get it at an Asian market, some supermarkets are carrying it now, and it is available at Sprouts markets. Look for it near the tofu.You can also get it online, but it is more expensive that way because it is a liquid pack and that makes it heavy to ship.
The key to converting regular recipes to low carb lies in finding low carb ingredients you can substitute for the high carb ingredients in your recipes.
There are many different artificial sweeteners (AS) on the market. My sweetener of choice is liquid Splenda, (such as EZ Sweetz) which is zero carbs. Powdered Splenda, Nutrasweet, Sweet and Low, etc. contain about 24 grams of carb per cup of sugar equivalent because of the dextrose used to make up the powder that carries the sweetener. Liquid Splenda or other liquid artificial sweeteners avoid the extra carbs in the powdered sweeteners. Stevia is another popular sweetener available in both liquid and powdered form.
Sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, malitol and erythritol are also available, but can cause intestinal distress in sensitive individuals. Use them with caution until you find out if they upset your system. In general erythritol is less likely to cause problems than are the other sugar alcohols, but they can all have a laxative effect on some people, or if consumed in excess. Malitol will caramelize like sugar, and can be cooked to soft crack and hard crack stages. For brown sugar substitutes, use malitol brown or brown Diabetisweet. Warning: Splenda Brown is half real sugar!
If you can't find the brown sugar substitute, you can use splenda, malitol or other sweetener and add one teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. The blackstrap molasses has a very strong flavor and one teaspoon will flavor a cup of artificial sweetener to taste like brown sugar while only adding 4 grams of carbohydrate. Be sure it is blackstrap molasses. It is much stronger flavored than regular molasses. A teaspoon of blackstrap molasses will give as much flavor as an ounce of regular molasses.
You can also use Torani or DaVinci Caramel flavored sugar free syrup to give a mild brown sugar flavor to foods. Substitute it for some of the artificial sweetener in the recipe.
Sugar free pancake syrup can be used in recipes to replace corn syrup or honey. Sugar free honey is also available. It is actually a honey flavored malitol syrup.
Polydextrose is a fibre that replaces the bulk of sugar in recipes. Most artificial sweeteners lack the bulk of sugar so the recipes don't turn out right. poly-d will caramelize like sugar and can cook to soft crack and hard crack like sugar, but is not sweet. So I use a combo of liquid splenda and polydextrose to replace sugar in certain recipes.
My favorite flour substitutes are Tova Industries’ Carbquik and Carbalose flour Carbquik is basically a low carb biscuit mix similar to Bisquick. It has 2 grams net carb per serving, and 14 grams of fiber. You can basically take most any Bisquick recipe and convert it to low carb using Carbquik. Carbalose is the flour used in Carbquik, and I use it when I do not want the baking powder and fat that are in the Carbquik.
The other key flour ingredient is Wheat Protein Isolate. Wheat Protein Isolate comes in two forms: 8000 and 5000. WPI 8000 is basically a dough conditioner. It is what gives the crust its chewy texture. It makes a more “European” type bread. You can substitute WPI 5000 for it if you want a softer, more American type crust. WPI 5000 is a flour substitute. It is wheat flour that has had the carbohydrate and fat removed, leaving only the protein. It doesn’t make a very good flour substitute by itself, but when combined with Carbquik, it provides the gluten to make yeast breads rise properly.
Resistant wheat starch also is a dough conditioner.
Nuts and nut meals are used in many baked goods and breads either as a flour substitute or to add texture, flavor and body to Carbquik recipes. You can buy almond meal in most grocery stores (Bob’s Red Mill is a well known brand) or you can grind it yourself in a blender or food processor. I use pecan and walnut meal more than almond meal because they have less than half the carbs of almond meal. You can make your own pecan meal in a food processor, or buy it online. Coconut flour can be substituted for wheat flour in many recipes. I don't use it simply because I am allergic to coconut.
Adding pasta back into your meal plans opens up a wealth of new recipes.
I make my own home made low carb pasta. However, if you don't want to make it, you can use a tofu/shirataki noodle blend made by House Foods. It comes in angel hair, fettuccine, spaghetti and macaroni shapes. It has less than 2 grams of carb per serving, and is amazingly like regular pasta. As with any shirataki noodle, be sure to rinse it thoroughly, since the solution they pack it in has a distinctly fishy smell that disappears when well rinsed under running water.
For milk substitutes, I use a mixture of half cream and half water, or unsweetened almond milk. I am allergic to coconut, so I don’t use coconut milk or flour in my recipes. You could also use soymilk if you prefer. If you live in an area where you can get Hood Calorie Countdown milk, that is also good, but it is not available in Arizona.
For thickening sauces and gravies, I use glucomannan (also called konjac) powder. It is the powder that shirataki noodles are made from. . I use it like you would use flour or cornstarch for thickening sauces. Another product is Thick It Up by Dixie Diner. It is a xanthan/guar gum blend, but I don’t like the mouth feel it gives to sauces. It adds great texture to the yeast breads, though.