Today, I was in the mood for enchiladas for lunch, Mac and cheese for dinner, And ice cream for dessert. This lineup of foods could easily turn into a disaster had I gone out to eat and ordered these foods from a restaurant or bought these foods from the frozen section of the grocery store. However, these were all things I made myself but as healthier versions of themselves.
So how did I healthy-ify this recipe? Well, I started with the main ingredients that make up the enchiladas. Instead of using beef, I chose to use grilled chicken marinated in yogurt to make it extra juicy and tender. I also chose to add in some cheese (really, you can’t have an enchilada without cheese), and I added in some black beans for extra fiber. For the tortilla itself, I used a whole grain variety which contained 8 whopping grams of fiber per tortilla. For the sauce, I used a combination of yogurt, chicken broth, a small amount of butter, and some whole wheat flour. Then I topped it off with some cheese (I really love my cheese, ok?). so while this is not the healthiest lunch option, it is still healthier than the original version. When taking this into work for lunch, I only bring in 1/3rd of an enchilada and then offset the “heavy” meal with a light snack like an orange.
Example: Mac and cheese
For this meal, I chose to use a tricolor (spinach, tomato, and carrot) whole grain pasta (1 2-oz serving = half cup serving of vegetables. With this recipe, you cook your pasta on the stove in milk until it becomes really creamy. once the pasta and milk have formed a creamy union of deliciousness, you add in your cheese. The combinations are endless but if you use a strong flavored cheese, like a smoked cheddar, then you don’t need to use as much. Sometimes I just add smoked pepper to get the smoky flavor if I don’t have smoked cheddar on hand. You can also get creative and even add in chopped veggies like broccoli or cauliflower or even spinach to get an extra boost of flavor and nutrients. For a super creamy/cheesy mac and cheese, you can add in extra milk. i think i ended up using closer to 3 cups milk (instead of the recommended 2 cups so i could get an extra creamy end product). When portioning this out, i make sure to keep my serving to about 1/4-1/3 cup as this is another “hearty” meal. A little really goes a long way.
Example: ice cream
So I cheated with this one and did end up getting frozen yogurt with Edward (I’m justifying this by telling myself it is healthier than regular ice cream and it contains live and active cultures). However, more often than not, I make banana ice cream for my ice cream fix. For a chocolate banana ice cream, Simply add 1 frozen sliced banana to your blender or food processor, 1 scoop of chocolate protein (or baking cocoa), and some chocolate almond milk (or just regular milk, just enough to make it creamy) and blend until your end product resembles ice cream. It is a delicious, low fat, nutritious treat that will make you forget all about the high fat ice cream at the ice cream parlor.
So as you can see, it is possible to still have the foods you love. You just have to learn how to “healthify” your meals when you’re making them as well as practice portion control. My other little secret? Listen to your body. I don’t calorie count, rather I listen to my body. When I start to feel satisfied, I stop eating.
Are there any foods you have given a makeover to? Or any foods you attempted to makeover but it just didn’t work out (my post about cauliflower cheesy bread comes to mind here)?