There are a few options that come to mind when asked about favorite foods—pizza, mac ’n’ cheese, and fried chicken are often suggested but rarely are these items on the “yes” list for your healthy eating plan. So instead of depriving yourself of something you love and swearing off of them all together (impossible, let’s be honest), try these simple substitutes and calorie-cutting hacks for a healthier dining experience.
Keep scrolling for ideas on how to cut the calories from the foods you love.
A new rival for the Paleo-favorite cauliflower crust, sweet potato pizza crust gives you a gluten-free, veggie-filled option for your favorite indulgence. This delicious vitamin A-rich recipe offers a nice crunchy crust on the outside and tastes like fluffy mashed potatoes in the center. Also, sweet potato crust gives your pizza an antioxidant boost, thanks to the beta-carotene found in this fall-favorite veggie.
This editor-approved recipe for quinoa mac ’n’ cheese not only makes the perfect work-week lunch; it will also be a hit at your next office potluck or Sunday night football party. High in protein and fiber, yet still cheesy and delicious, this tasty, low-calorie dish will not only satisfy your hunger but guarantee you an invite to the next Sunday funday festivities.
When it comes to comfort food, few things compare to your mom’s mashed potatoes. They’re always delectable and almost always made with butter, cream, and salt. Looking for a mashed substitute that won’t affect your heart or your waistband? Enter: mashed cauliflower. This sneaky potato substitute provides less calories and offers a healthy dose of fiber while still giving you that creamy consistency you crave.
Pasta, while delectable, is famously high in carbs, and can leave you feeling bloated and tired. The next time you are in charge of Sunday dinner, forgo traditional spaghetti noodles and try your dish with zucchini noodles. Using a vegetable peeler, you can easily transform fresh, whole zucchinis into thin, pasta-like noodles. This healthy substitute supplies nearly 20 percent of your daily intake for potassium—that’s more than four times its starchy counterpart.
If you love fried chicken, you’re not alone. This mouthwatering dish is the ultimate indulgence, thanks to the grease, butter, and calories. Looking for a healthier option? Try baking your fried chicken in the oven! This preparation will give you the same great taste without all of the guilt, fat, and calories of the deep fryer.
Looking for more calorie-cutting ideas? Check out The Substitute Yourself Skinny Cookbook ($3).
Which of these recipe substitutions will you try? Tell us below!