Are you looking for a great way to avoid heavily processed, nutrient depleted carbs in your meals? Why not try getting your carbs and fiber from the abundance of wonderfully tasty vegetables on your grocery aisle?
Here are a few quick and easy ideas to get you started!
A veggie packed Thai curry can be light enough for summer but 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.
A great hearty veg, already popular as a stand-in for meat, it also works well as a substitute for pasta sheets in lasagne. Not as quick and easy as other dishes, but makes a good filling meal and comes packed full of a wide range of nutrients and antioxidants.
Spiralized veg is all the rage – but many fads come and go. When the summer courgette glut hits they 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.
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.
Like eggplant, mushrooms give great body and flavour to veggie dishes – and mushroom based, meat-free burgers are well known. But what if you love a fresh beef burger but don’t want the stodgy bun? A couple of portobello mushroom caps can serve just as well as bread substitutes. A touch of oil and grill or roast for a few minutes whilst you cook your beef, and you have your quarter pounder with ease. Accompany with parsnip crisps or sweet potato fries plus a crisp side-salad for a veg-tastic meal!
Dr Sally Norton is a NHS weight loss consultant surgeon, a UK Health expert and founder of www.vavistalife.com.