Fab Food Month Week 3: Healthy substitutions

Fab Food Month Week 3: Healthy substitutions. image from marquet.com.au

Fab Food Month Week 3: Healthy substitutions – try ribbons of zucchini instead of pasta.

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.

Try… Instead of…
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
low-fat yoghurt
Sour cream
Almond flower/meal Plain flower
Quinoa Cous cous
Zucchini spirals Pasta
Rolled oats Breadcrumbs
Pita bread Pizza base or white bread
Corn tortilla Flour tortilla
Prosciutto or pancetta Bacon
Two egg whites Whole egg
Turkey Beef
Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit Flavoured yoghurt
Edamame hummus Chickpea/regular hummus
Popcorn Potato chips
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!


250g mince
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)
Tomato Sliced
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)

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