I apologize I have neglected to post a new entry for quite some time. With the craziness of the holidays and summer time in general, I am now just finding the time to post.
I have a lot of readers/friends who are ultimately curious how to go about cooking their meals once they have gone shopping. You can buy all the organic, healthy and clean foods as possible, but since many don’t know how to cook them or what kinds of recipes you can make, those foods get pushed to the back of the fridge and spoil.
I’ve decided to make a list of the most popular substitutes in cooking your favorite meals as well as a list of more easy and clean recipes I have made for my family.
The staples ‘most’ people have in their houses include butter, table sugar, white flour and vegetable oil. Bad news, those items are detrimental to your health and slow weight loss. Good news, there is an alternative for every one of these (plus more). Not only are the foods we eat overly processed, but sometimes they’re more expensive than making them yourself! Whether you are concerned about what you’re putting in your body or need a replacement food because of an allergy (like gluten, eggs, soy or dairy), these foods will do the trick to satisfy a craving!
List of my top 20 food substitutions/alternatives:
1. Greek yogurt or avocado spread for butter/sour cream. (adds protein and good fatty omega-3 in your diet instead of processed hydrogenated fat)
2. Stevia or raw honey for table sugar. (We already get too much sugar in a day. Stevia is plant-based sugar replacement and equally sweet and natural!)
3. Rolled oats for breading or bread crumbs. (Add lots of beneficial fiber).
4. Honey or raw syrup for processed syrup. (Less sugar and mystery ingredients)
5. Brown rice or quinoa for white rice/pasta. (closer to rawest form and also has higher protein than processed ‘white’ foods)
6. Almond cheese for shredded cheese/sliced cheese. (Less dairy will be beneficial in the long run)
7. Soy or almond yogurt for high sugar flavored yogurts (always chose plain and add your own fruit or honey for flavoring)
8. Dried fruit for candy. (be sure there is no added sugar!)
9. Whole wheat flour/coconut flour for white flour. (Less white, happier life)
10. Coconut oil for vegetable oil. (Filled with good, beneficial fats)
11. Oven popped popcorn instead of microwave bagged popcorn. (No added salt and faux- butter flavoring)
12. Mug cake (use oats, fruit and egg in mug. Microwave for 1 minute) for cake or pastries.
13. Whole wheat English muffin for bagel. (Bagels are equivalent to 5 pieces of bread).
14. Sweet potatoes for potatoes/french fries. (Less starch and gives a healthy dose of beta-carotene)
15. Chicken/fish for beef/pork. (Although some lean cut grass-fed beef is not too bad on occasion).
16. Water or green tea for Gatorade, flavored waters or soda. (Empty calories add up and your body needs water to maintain its daily functions).
17. Mrs. Dash spices for table salt. (A couple dashes of standard table salt is actually the amount of salt we are supposed to have in one day. Mrs. Dash comes in all flavors and is MSG-free and made with herbs and spices instead of salt).
18. Homemade chips (flaxseed, tortilla, veggie) for potato chips. (Chips in bags are filled with fat, salt, sugar and artificial fillers. To satisfy the crunch without the guilt, make your own Kale, zucchini, or tortilla chips in the oven!)
19. Ranch packet + Greek yogurt for bottled ranch dressing. Or choose natural dressing (oil, vinegar) for creamy or salty condiments like ketchup, Italian dressing or Mayo. (Condiments are the worst contenders for added calories and serving size is only 2 tablespoons! Something many of us forget).
20. Homemade ice cream (peanut butter, whey protein, banana blended and frozen) for ice cream. (Ice cream is basically frozen fat and sugar. Homemade you get protein and a dose of natural sugars).
I hope this gives people an idea of quick fixes for unhealthy choices.
I thought I’d also post more recipes of my clean-eating journey. Hope you enjoy 🙂
-Whole wheat oats (2 cups)
-1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
-3 egg whites
-Kashi granola for the topping
-Frozen or fresh rhubarb
-1 Tbsp of honey to drizzle
Mix ingredients together and bake for 15 minutes on 350. Add frozen Greek yogurt on top if preferred.
Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups:
-Whole wheat lasanga noodles
-Plain Greek yogurt
-Frozen or sauteed Spinach
-Low sodium tomato sauce
-Slices of almond cheese or part-skim cheese
Spread Spinach, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt mixture on one cooked lasagna noodle. Roll up. Add piece of cheese and pour tomato sauce over. Cook for 15 minutes on 350. Have 2-3 for a serving size.
Mexican Spaghetti Squash:
-Cooked spaghetti squash (also called winter squash)
-One can of no sodium black beans
-Frozen corn (1/2 cup)
-One can of low sodium Rotel (canned tomato and chiles)
-2 Tbsp of salsa
-1/4 cup of chopped jalapenos (optional)
-4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook squash for 45 minutes on 380 until tender. Cut in half and scoop out seeds/’guts’. Scrape sides to make ‘spaghetti’ and add all other ingredients. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes.
Squash Stir-fry Skillet:
-One can of low-sodium black beans
-1 sliced zcuhinni
-1 sliced yellow squash
-2 cups of brown rice
-1 can of Rotel
Cook rice beforehand (about 30 minutes). Add all other ingredients to skillet and cook for 10 minutes until squash becomes soft.
Oat-Crusted Chicken w/ Brown Rice and Honey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes:
For ‘breading’: rolled oats (1 cup) and crushed almonds (1/2 cup)
-Honey (1/4 cup)
-3-4 sweet potatoes
-2-3 pieces of chicken
Mix almonds and oats in blender. Dip chicken in egg and coat chicken with mixture. Cut sweet potatoes into small one-inch pieces and drip honey onto them. Cook brown rice for 30 minutes on stove. Bake chicken for 40 minutes (until coating is browned) and cook potatoes for 30 minutes until tender. Serve on spinach (optional).
I hope these turn out as good as they were for me and my family! Cooking for 1 or 2 doesn’t mean relying on boxed dinners or frozen meals. It also doesn’t mean boring. These are all twists on common favorites loaded with veggies and healthy alternatives. Once you go healthy, you never go back :p
Thanks for reading!