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10 Healthy Alternatives to Favorite Dishes

Written by S.O.

Posted on February 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Many of our favorite ‘guilty pleasure’ dishes can be substituted with alternatives that are much healthier but equally as delicious. Here are 10 of our favorite not-so-guilty pleasure healthy alternatives. We hope you find some new favorites here to incorporate into your meal plans!

1. Cauliflower Green Pizza

Pizza lovers, rejoice! This Food Network recipe includes a cauliflower crust topped with spinach and zucchini. It also makes a great substitution for those with gluten or egg allergies. Another healthier alternative is a veggie-based tortilla as the crust, then add your favorite toppings for a delectable, thin crust pizza.

2. Oatmeal Pancakes with Fruit

These flapjacks just require a few ingredients: eggs, oats, baking powder, salt and your choice of fruit. You can either put the fruit on top afterwards or add it to the batter (we are partial to blueberries). They wouldn’t be complete without a bit of regular maple syrup, or use an alternative such as agave syrup.

3. Black Bean Brownies

Check out these black bean brownies that actually taste like regular brownies – not only does it disguise the main ingredient from your tastebuds, but also they are gluten free and sweetened with stevia and agave syrup. What more could you ask for?

4. Lettuce wraps

For your next lunchtime wrap, try eliminating the wrap or bread altogether, and substituting it with a piece of romaine lettuce for a healthier, ready-to-eat roll. This way, you ditch the extra calories, but still get your fill and the same convenience.

5. Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Try adding different veggies, such as peas, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower or spinach to your favorite mac and cheese recipe for additional nutrients. You can even go a couple steps further and use less cheese, adding some low-fat cream cheese for texture.  Other options include using veggie noodles, brown rice or spinach-based pasta.

6. Spaghetti Squash

To make spaghetti squash, you simply poke some air holes in the exterior of the squash, heat it in the microwave for a few minutes, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. Use a fork to scrape at the squash flesh to create “pasta” texture. Then add your favorite homemade sauce and some turkey meatballs, and you have a satisfying supper.

7. Cinnamon Toast “Munch”

This is a great healthy homemade cereal substitute for your favorite sugary store-bought breakfast cereals. It includes sprouted whole grain (or puffed brown rice for a gluten free option), nuts, cinnamon and stevia to create a mouth-watering, healthful breakfast.

8. Roasted Chickpeas

A great savory alternative to chips, chickpeas are high in fiber, and much lower in fat, calories and sodium than most chips you’ll buy. You can buy roasted chickpeas, or you can make them! Simply drain a can of chickpeas, spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and bake at 400’F for about 25-30 minutes depending on how crunchy you want them. Delicious!

9. Mashed “No-tatoes”

Mashed cauliflower has a texture similar to potatoes. Take a whole head of cauliflower, cut it up and boil or steam it, then mash it with your favorite ingredients like chives, light mayo or a bit of butter, and any other seasonings you enjoy in traditional mashed potatoes. You can even use it in place of potatoes in another recipe such a Shepherd’s Pie!

10. Smoothie Popsicles

This last one is so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first! Blend up a smoothie with berries, bananas,  protein powder, flax, or whatever you prefer, then pour it into popsicle mold and freeze for a sweet and icy treat.

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