One of the struggles of healthy eating is avoiding comfort food, guilty pleasures, and flat out junk food. If you grew up with these foods and decided to cut them out later in life, it’s just that much more difficult to avoid them, knowing how tasty they are. Luckily, health junkies are a creative bunch and have found a loophole: healthy alternatives to unhealthy recipes.
Portobello Mushroom Burger Buns
Is that a mouthful or what? Even if you’re a dedicated vegan/vegetarian/whatever, you have to admit that there’s nothing like a juicy burger. Unfortunately, there’s nothing like the starches and sugars that go along with the bun in that burger. Sure, you could replace that bun with lettuce, but let’s be real. Substituting lettuce for bread buns are just… sad. Portobello mushrooms1 to the rescue! While they don’t have the same mildly sweet taste of hamburger buns, they get the job done, and pretty well if we do say so! Feel free to substitute the burger for your other favorite fillings, or read on for a veggie burger alternative.
Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, don’t! These burger alternatives are actually good. Really good. Burgers are an important staple of every person’s diet every person deserves the most delicious burger available, whether it’s traditional or something more creative. That’s where the lentil burger2 comes in. It may not taste like red meat, but it’s insanely satisfying all the same. It may take some patience and practice to get right, but it’s worth it.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
What would life be without pizza? Unsatisfying and sad, probably, but hopefully we will never have to find out! Replacing carb-loaded crust with riced cauliflower makes pizza a zillion times healthier and cuts calories as well. The recipe3 gets rave reviews, so you can be sure it’s as satisfying as the real thing.
Sweet Potato Fries
Can we really call them fries if they aren’t fried? Sweet Potato Bakes4 doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, so fries it is! It’s likely that you’ve tried these fries before, or at least heard of them, but if not, you’re in for a treat! They’re great with ketchup or on their own, and since they’re both sweet and salty, they’re even more satisfying than average French fries. Plus they’re straightforward to make and who doesn’t love that?
If you’re trying to eat healthy, normal nachos are a pretty obvious no-no. That just doesn’t sit well with us so we had to find a suitable alternative. We think that these zucchini nachos5 are just that. For one thing, they’re easy to make and for another, they’re good! Baking zucchini chips are a much healthier alternative to processed corn tortilla chips. As for toppings, you can continue to pile on healthy choices like veggies and lactose-free cheese, or call it a day at the zucchini chips and opt for the shredded cheddar and meat.
Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese
The butternut squash in this recipe allows you to use much less cheese which reduces calories drastically and adds an immense nutritional punch. Doesn’t hurt that it tastes great too! While many of the best macaroni and cheese recipes load cheese and butter and cream to achieve the delicious factor, this butternut squash6 version achieves just as much with so much less.
Black Bean Brownies
For chocolate lovers, dessert alternatives are vital to our well-being. As a result, we found not one but TWO brownie recipes. The first, the black bean avocado brownies7, are made from healthy ingredients and taste incredible, but are a little high in calories. So we found a lower calorie alternative,8 at only 37 calories. Make one. Make the other. Make both. Combine recipes. Share with us. And as always, be sure to undercook them for ultimate ooey-gooey goodness!