Fab Food Month Week 3: Healthy substitutions
Choosing alternatives that are lower in saturated fat, less sugar and reduced sodium will result in less calories consumed and greater nutritional benefit. You can make many of your favourite recipes healthier by substituting a few key ingredients.
Lentils belong to the same legume family as beans and chickpeas. They come in different shapes and colours, and once cooked offer a variety of textures.
Dried lentils can take about 20-30 minutes to cook. Canned lentils are a great low-calorie option for quick meals, just rinse with water to wash off excess sodium.
Lentils contain no cholesterol and are low in saturated fat and sodium. They are a good source of fibre, protein and iron. Legumes also have a low glycaemic load – meaning that they don’t cause a ‘spike’ in blood sugar levels.
|Lentils, or other legumes||Mince|
|Eggplant, sliced||Lasagne sheets|
|Cauliflower mash||Potato mash|
|Brown rice or cauliflower rice||White rice|
|Lettuce||Hamburger bun, taco shell|
|Cottage cheese or
|Almond flower/meal||Plain flower|
|Pita bread||Pizza base or white bread|
|Corn tortilla||Flour tortilla|
|Prosciutto or pancetta||Bacon|
|Two egg whites||Whole egg|
|Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit||Flavoured yoghurt|
|Edamame hummus||Chickpea/regular hummus|
|Herbs, citrus, garlic powder||Salt|
|Homemade salad dressing||Bottled dressing|
|Olive oil||Butter (for cooking)|
Tacos – but now as you know them!
Substituting the mince for lentils (or half/half) can be applied to most mince-based meals. We also suggest using lettuce ‘shells’ instead of the hard/soft taco shell, and cottage cheese instead of sour cream. Enjoy!
1 x 400g can of lentils, drained
Packet reduced salt taco spice mix
200mL taco sauce
1 Onion diced
1 Carrot grated
1 Zucchini grated
1 tbs Olive Oil
Iceberg lettuce (pulled apart but left in cups)
Spring Onion chopped
Avocado or Cottage Cheese (optional)
1. Heat oil in fry pan and cook onion, carrot & zucchini for 5 mins. Brown beef for 5 mins using a wooden spoon to break up mince. Add lentils, taco spice mix 3/4 cup of water and half the taco sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens.
2. Serve cooked beef, lettuce cups, tomato, spring onion, remainder of taco sauce, avocado/cottage (optional). Let everyone fill their lettuce cups just the way they like…roll and enjoy!!!
NB: Vegetarian option replace mince with another can of lentils (or black beans)