Heavily processed, nutrient-depleted carbs can make us feel heavy and sluggish at times, so why not try getting your carbs and fibre from nutrient-packed vegetables instead? Health and weight loss expert, Dr Sally Norton, shares six quick and easy lighter-carb options…
1. Cauliflower Rice
A vegetable-packed Thai curry can be light enough not to leave you feeling over-loaded, while still being a filling meal too. If a plate of brown rice is too much alongside though, try cauliflower rice. Simply grate fresh cauliflower and steam for a few minutes on the hob or microwave, ready to soak up the sauce of your curry or whatever else you fancy. Keep a bag of grated cauliflower in the freezer, ready to go in minutes.
2. Courgette Spaghetti
Spiralised vegetables are all the rage and courgettes are a great, light alternative to pasta. If you don’t have a spiralizer to make those appealing twirls, you can try a sharp knife or mandolin, but a decent spiralizer makes it temptingly easy. And you can use it to make your salads more special too.
3. Aubergine Lasagne
A great hearty vegetable, already popular as a stand-in for meat, aubergine also works well as a substitute for pasta sheets in lasagne. Not as quick and easy as other dishes, but it makes a good, filling meal and comes packed full of a wide range of nutrients and anti-oxidants.
4. Lettuce Wraps
For a light lunch or quick snack, replace a tortilla wrap with a large lettuce leaf such as Romaine or Cos varieties and pack with whatever filling you fancy.
5. Kale Crisps
Rip up a few kale leaves, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper or a dusting of paprika and spread on a baking tray. Cook in a hot oven for just a few minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning) and you have a great substitute for potato crisps. Works well with parsnips, carrots and similar starchy veg too – and you can make it less oily and salty than many of the shop-bought versions.
6. Mushroom Burgers
Like aubergines, mushrooms give great body and flavour to veggie dishes – and mushroom-based, meat-free burgers are well known. But you can use them to replace the stodgy bun too, and a couple of portobello mushroom caps can serve just as well as bread substitutes. Just use a touch of oil and grill or roast the mushrooms for a few minutes while you cook your patty. Accompany with parsnip crisps or sweet potato fries plus a crisp side-salad for a veg-tastic meal.
For more weight-loss advice and tips for healthy food and nutrition, visit VavistaLife.com