I found a copy of the publication Women's Weekly used to put out around seven years ago, Simply Lite, which was kind of their take on Slimming Magazine but was primarily focused on food. Even though this copy was over six years old, I enjoyed reading it and photocopied a few recipes to try (and I'll let you know how I go). There was a very interesting article in it called "Indulge Yourself" which featured healthy alternatives to traditionally high-fat, high-calorie, low-fibre food. Some of the ideas were really good, so I thought I'd share them here (as well as a few of my own):
If you crave.... dry-roasted salted peanuts Give in to .... "Survival Snack Pack" - combine 2 cups of air popped popcorn, 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, 1/2 cup sultanas, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots and 1/2 cup dried apple.
If you crave... takeaway fried chicken Give in to ... "Crispy Chicken Bites" - cut two skinless chicken breasts diagonally into strips. Combine 1 egg, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp crushed garlic and 1/4 tsp ground mustard powder in a mixing bowl. (You could also add 1/4 tsp schezuan seasoning, which I think makes chicken taste like KFC!) Dip chicken strips in the egg mixture, coat in cornflake crumbs and place strips on a foil lined baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden.
If you crave... premium chocolate-coated ice-cream on a stick Give in to .. Frozen chocolate coated banana. Insert an icecream stick into one end of a peeled banana, wrap in plastic and freeze overnight. When ready to eat, drizzle 2 tsps of chocolate flavoured Ice Magic on to the frozen banana. NB: with the price of bananas at the moment, this might have to be a rare treat!
If you crave... nachos Give in to ... mexican bean pizza. Preheat oven to 180 C. Top 1 lebanese pitta bread with 1/4 cup refried beans, 1/4 cup kidney beans (or Mexibeans - are they still available? Remember this was 2000!), 1/4 cup tomato salsa and 30g light cheese. Cook in oven for 15 minutes. Garnish with a few thin slices of avocado and serve.
If you crave ... a jam and cream bun Give in to ... Strawberry and Light Philly muffins. Scrape two English muffin halves with 100% strawberry jam. Top with 4 large sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp Light Philly cream cheese (or low fat ricotta cheese).
If you crave.. donuts Give in to ... homemade donuts! Weight Watchers site has a great recipe for jam donuts that are oven baked rather than deep fried! They sound divine!
If you crave.. apple crumble (like Brooke and I were yesterday!) Give in to ... Mixed Berry and Apple Strudel! I got this recipe from M last year, and it was my staple dessert throughout the winter of 2005. I usually serve it with a tub of Nestle Diet Custard. Very yum.
Do you guys have a favourite alternative to a less than healthy snack? I've found that with a bit of creativity and thinking outside the square, that there is always an alternative. But, of course, there are things that are sacred, that are best left alone and cannot be tampered with! I'm speaking of spaghetti carbonara, Brie and Camembert cheese, sticky date pudding - all of which used to be a regular part of my diet, but now they only visit every now and then. In fact, spaghetti carbonara has not been seen since April last year. And you know why - because even though I know it's very yummy, and that I could have it if I really wanted to, there are things that I would rather have instead, that are both healthy and yummy! I like eating healthy things, in fact they are often my preference these days. And I would rather have a combination of healthy and indulgent, rather than a great big blow out.
It's all about getting the best value for my points, and about putting the best things into my body. Life is too short for second best. Having said all this though, I am yet to find a decent substitute for chocolate! *wink*! The key there is portion control!