While scrolling through Facebook or talking with friends, you might notice that there are always new, healthy food trends. Some of these ideas seem a little out there (I’m not quite sure I want to drink apple cider vinegar), but are intriguing nonetheless. However, as appealing as noodles or cauliflower rice sound, it may be challenging to figure out how to cook them at first.
So, here is a list of trendy meals you have read about on the Internet, spotted at local restaurants, and heard your trendiest friends talking about, along with ideas about how to turn them into delicious, healthy snacks and meals.
Noodles, or zucchini noodles, are a great low-carb and gluten free substitute for pasta that can help you to implement more veggies into your meal. To make zoodles, wash your zucchini and simply use a spiralizer or hand held grater to get that perfect noodle shape. You can eat the zoodles raw, sautéed, or lightly steamed.
If you want to eat the zoodles raw, try an Asian-inspired cold noodle salad with peanut dressing. If you want your zoodles to replace pasta in a recipe, lightly steam them and top them with your favorite pasta sauce.
Other ideas include zoodle (pasta) salad, chicken zoodle soup, chow main zoodles, and zoodle cole slaw. Spaghetti squash is another great pasta substitute!
I know what you might be thinking: How can cauliflower possibly taste anything like rice? The truth may surprise you! Cauliflower rice is surprisingly versatile, as it soaks up the flavor of whatever you choose to season it with, and making it a personal favorite of mine.
You can buy whole cauliflower, chop it up, and give it a few whirls in the food processor or blender. Or, you can simply buy bags of pre-riced cauliflower from almost any grocery store. Trader Joe’s has both fresh and frozen bags for under $3.
Think of any dish that contains rice: fried rice, Mexican burrito bowls, arroz on pollo, tacos… cauliflower rice is a great substitute in any of these dishes, as long as it’s heavily seasoned. With seasoning, you can barely tell the difference between cauliflower rice and traditional rice, but without seasoning it can be extremely bland.
For example, when making cauliflower fried rice, flavor the cauliflower with lots of soy sauce. Then, add carrots, peas, scrambled egg, chicken, and anything else you typically enjoy in fried rice. It’s a healthy alternative that tastes delicious. When making a burrito bowl, taco, or something similar, try adding your favorite salsa and spices to the cauliflower rice, as the rice soaks up the salsa nicely. Or, make “mashed” cauliflower in lieu of mashed potatoes.
Avocado toast sounds simple: just toast a piece of bread and spread a ripe avocado on top. But, you can get much more creative with it. Try spreading plain greek yogurt underneath the avocado and topping it with chia seeds to create a protein-packed vegetarian snack or breakfast. Add lemon and red pepper flakes for a refreshing, spicy slice of heaven. Or, try it with a fried egg, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. You can also replace the bread with a baked sweet potato or a rice cake, if desired. Use these ideas to get creative on your own, because avocado toast is packed with vitamins and good fats!
I think it is safe to say that, no matter how healthy we try to eat, we all enjoy a crisp bag of potato chips every once in a while. Veggie chips are an awesome alternative to potato chips because your options are seemingly endless. Slice up sweet potato, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, zucchini, squash, or just about any vegetable out there and bake it in the oven for a crunchy, healthy, and satisfying alternative.
Simply brush thinly sliced vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven on 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
If you want to add a healthy dip for your veggie chips, try mixing plain greek yogurt with onion and garlic powder.
For a sweet alternative to veggie chips, use apple slices sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon. Bake the apples at 225 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the apple chips are golden and the edges have curled up.
Banana “ice cream” can be made by freezing ripe bananas and blending them together with a few drops of water or milk. Technically, it is simply banana — but it tastes very similar to a fruity sherbet. Add your favorite ice cream toppings, such as dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, or chopped fresh fruit, and you’ve got yourself a perfect, low-calorie dessert.