A couple days ago, I shared 10 ways to sneak healthier habits into your snacks. Today, here are some tips for meal time; some for at home, some for eating out.
1. Keep baby spinach in the fridge. It keeps for several days, and has a subtle flavor which makes it easy to slip into dishes unnoticed. (Confession: I once passed it off as “herbs” to a certain picky eater.) Add it to scrambled eggs, soups, pasta dishes, pizza… even smoothies.
2. Sneak in some extra Vitamin A by adding grated carrots — or just V-8 Juice — to chili and spaghetti sauce.
3. Replace potatoes with cauliflower in your favorite recipes. (Check out Crazy Cauliflower: 15 things to do with the other white vegetable.)
4. Replace white tortillas with whole wheat ones, or with lettuce wraps.
5. Make your own salad dressings. Store-bought is usually loaded with corn syrup! Which isn’t just a factor for the calories you ingest: it can also kick off cravings an hour or so after you eat. Check out several of my salad dressing recipes.
6. To boost the Vitamin C in your salads, add thinly-sliced cabbage. You can also use cabbage to replace iceberg lettuce in tacos and sandwiches.
7. Eating out and can’t avoid something-in-between-two-pieces-of-white-bread? Cut the burger or sandwich in half; put all of the stuff on one half of the bread, discard the now-empty bread. Or order with a side salad, and put all of the sandwich contents on top of your salad; cut into bite-sized pieces.
8. When eating salad in a restaurant, avoid these sugary salad dressings: French, Catalina, most vinaigrettes, Italian, poppyseed (usually LOADED with sugar). Instead, choose: Caesar, bleu cheese, Greek, or vinegar-and-oil.
9. Replace croutons with sliced almonds, or roasted, salted pepitas.
10. Don’t be afraid of avocados; they’re healthy fat! Add them to salads, sandwiches, smoothies. My mom and dad used to spread them on toast like butter.
Bonus. Almost everyone’s diet could be improved with just eating more (non-starchy) vegetables. Try one or two new vegetable recipes every week. You might be surprised; you could discover you love something you thought you hated. My husband discovered he like brussels sprouts so much, he started taking them to work for lunch!
Here’s to healthier eating in 2012, because you’re worth it!