Healthy Swaps: Dinner Edition           

From our partners: Pilates Platinum

This weeks article for healthy swaps focuses on dinner ideas. A great deal of Americans grew up on family staples for dinner that most likely include: pasta, pizza, meatloaf, burgers, potatoes, and food of this nature. Don’t get me wrong I still love these foods as well but when I am not occasionally indulging because remember life is about balance, I like to recreate some of the American Family dinner staples into healthy meals.
Dinner: Pasta for Dinner-swap out your noodles to at the very least whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta. I like to take it a step further and replace my noodles with zucchini. The color of the zucchini adds a nice touch to the dish plus you can cut them into wonderful ribbons or spirals. If you can find these products close to you there are also black bean noodles, but be careful they can be very delicate; as well as no calorie shiritaki noodles.For the sauce, skip the store bought and make your own. Chances are there are hidden sugars in those store bought sauces. Make this swap for your pasta and your pizza.Pizza for Dinner: skip delivery, skip frozen and easily create your own. Take a whole wheat or gluten free pita-which ever spectrum you lay on for dietary needs. Dress and decorate your pita as if it were a pizza. Take some homemade sauce, add some cooked fresh veggies, throw on cooked lean meat and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese or a low fat cheese. Also some great flavorful add on I like is basil. It makes the pizza so much more flavorful!

Grilling on the Grill: Lets use a different dark meat. Ever tried bison? How about goat? Both are very lean meats that are a great alternative to beef. Skip the bun and wrap it in a lettuce wrap if you want to save on some carbs. Or they have skinnier buns now that may be worth the flavor but less carbs. If possible try and find buns that are made from whole sprouted grains as well as with your other bread type products!

Meatloaf: (I can’t help but think of the band whenever this is mentioned) Like with the burgers swap out the beef for a different leaner meat. For the breadcrumbs, use oatmeal. Simply place the dry oatmeal in a blender to create more of a breadcrumb powder. Instead of brown sugar try adding a little black strap molasses, it is full of vitamins and minerals. Please please please look at the ketchup you use in your house and most likely will be putting in your meatloaf recipe. Most ketchup has high fructose corn syrup in it. This is not something you want as an ingredients list in your foods. Find ketchup without. Your body will thank you!

Potato and French Fry Alternatives: Try sweet potatoes for both a regular potato or fries. I personally think they taste way better than a regular potato. Remember your swap from last week and use greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a topping. I think this works better on the regular potato, for the sweet potato experiment a little and add some soft goat cheese. It will be amazing. Almost guilty tasting! To ride of the potato all together but create the same texture and consistency a popular swap for mashed potatoes is making mashed cauliflower! Adding the right seasonings and splashes of milk make these very comparable to the real deal.

As a basic rule, add some more fresh veggies to your plate. Some staples I always turn to and can easily go with any meal is asparagus. Steaming up or baking asparagus is super simple all you need is some oil and a little salt and pepper. Same with brussel sprouts. Very healthy and simple to make. I personally like to roast mine!

Happy Dining!