Sometimes, in an effort to lead a healthy lifestyle, we have trouble giving up foods that have emotional ties for us. Whether that’s grandma’s pecan pie, Mom’s beef louise, or a fast-food milkshake, the key to living healthfully but still fabulously is to enjoy them in moderation. A slice of pie at Thanksgiving isn’t going to kill you, just like a serving of Mom’s casserole isn’t going to bring back the 40 pounds you lost. It’s when those splurges begin to happen every day, and those kinds of foods take precedence in your kitchen that it becomes a real problem.
One thing that can help is to find healthy substitutions for some of those old favorites. Then, you can treat yourself more frequently and with less guilt and less harmful side effects. So, today, I’d like to share some of my favorite healthy substitutions with you:
- Healthy Pop-Tarts: B and I were just reminiscing about our favorite Pop-Tart flavors when we passed by them at the grocery store this weekend. (His was chocolate fudge, mine was cinnamon and brown sugar.) We resisted putting them in our cart, but I’m thinking a round of this recipe might be in order for the near future.
- Chicken Tetrazzini: This Weight Watchers recipe became a favorite in our house when my mom and I started WW back in 2007. I’ve made it for lots of non-WW-type-folk, and they never even guess that it’s a healthier version. The creamy sauce is made with fat-free chicken broth and skim milk. I usually use whole-wheat pasta to increase the fiber.
- Chili Mac: I have always loved a good ol’ chili mac. This recipe from the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet cookbook is a great substitution. It’s meatless–using chili beans and white beans for protein–but chock full of veggies and flavor. The thick texture is pefected with a few saltine crackers crumbled on top, and of course some Parm cheese.
- Chicken Pot Pie: We are obsessed with this Hungry Girl recipe. Whenever I ask B what dinner requests he has, this one (or spaghetti) is a clear choice.