By Alyssa Boddicker
When it comes to dinner time, the last thing you want at the end of your meal is to still feel hungry because you resorted to a mini meal in attempt to eat less. Instead, we put together healthy and hearty food swaps for main courses that will leave your stomach satisfied and your body grateful.
Courgetti, aka courgette spaghetti, is the newest sensation in the “pasta that isn’t pasta” market. Fun and easy to make, you just take a spiralizer, attach the the courgette, and spin out amazing spirals of healthy “pasta”. You can choose to grill your courgette noodles in a frying pan with desired spices and a dash of oil, or you could blanch your courgetti by pouring boiling water over a sieve that’s holding the veggies. If you do miss your carbs too much, just swap out your white pasta for a multigrain counter part!
Chinese takeaway have you dreaming of fried rice? Satisfy your craving while keeping healthy by swapping out rice for quinoa. Able to be prepared in as many ways as rice but with more than twice the health benefits, quinoa is one of few plant foods that are considered a complete protein. Packed with nutrients, quinoa is naturally gluten free and full of fiber, iron, B-vitamins, magnesium and calcium to keep your body running in tip top shape.
To cook quinoa, simply rinse the grain to wash off bitter taste, over medium heat bring to a boil 2 parts salted water for every 1 part quinoa (for example 1 cup quinoa needs 2 cups water), then reduce to a simmer and cook until the grain is tender or all liquid is absorbed (around 10-15 minutes). From there, you can prepare quinoa any way you like it- hot or cold, spice or sweet, the possibilities are endless. Not too keen on the quinoa taste? Mix quinoa with multigrain rice for a still healthy alternative.
Big fan of Mexican food? Craving a taco or burrito but don’t want to put yourself into a food coma? Swapping out your burrito for a burrito bowl or salad is a perfect healthy alternative. For a simple swap, use a bowl to hold your burrito ingredients instead of tortillas and their heavy carbs. By getting rid of the carbs, as well as making a few minor changes such as swapping white rice for brown, or maybe even quinoa, as well as salsa for fresh veggies, and maybe skipping the sour cream and sticking to fresh guacamole, some serious calories can be saved and your arteries will thank you as well. If you want a more drastic swap, a burrito salad is for you. Start with a lettuce base, then instead of ground beef, go for grilled chicken with just as much protein and much less fat. Then add low fat cheese, veggies, and any other fresh toppings. Use guacamole as a dressing to get all those avocado nutrients as well as add flavor to your meal. These swaps are great because you can switch out as many or as little ingredients as you want, so you don’t have to sacrifice all your favorites to stay healthy.
Instead of ordering in a Dominos, try a healthier alternative and have fun doing it! Cauliflower crust instead of a heavy bread crust is a great healthy alternative that also doubles as a gluten free option! The process is easy. Simply pop chunks of cauliflower into a food processor until fine, pop it in the microwave for 5-6 minutes until softened, then place mixture into a clean tea towel and wring out the extra moisture. After that, mix in ground almonds, egg, oregano, and salt to taste, then pat out mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet to form a crust. Bake for 15-18 min on 200C. For full instructions, click here. From there you can prepare a the pizza however you like!
Looking for more healthy food swaps? Check out our other food alternatives when it comes to all things baking here.