Allison’s Starch Swaps
We tend to have a love/hate relationship with starches. Starches are food like: bread, pasta, rice, cereal, crackers, chips, etc. We love to eat them, but hate what they do to our bodies. Starches break down into sugar in your body and then store as fat. Thus, not a major contributor to weight loss. In fact, starches actually raise your blood sugars, signaling the pancreas to release insulin, which can ultimately cause you to experience increased hunger in between meals. Who wants that! By maintaining blood sugars, avoiding starches (or limiting to 1 serving per day), and focusing on foods that do not affect blood sugars (lean protein and non-starchy vegetables), we are able to feel satisfied for a longer period of time.
However, sometimes you just miss the texture that a starch can bring to your meal. There are many healthy options to curb your starch cravings without leading to a diet downfall! Try some of the options listed below when needing to add a little bit of texture to your meal!
Preheat oven to 400F. Slice a spaghetti squash in half and place face down on a baking pan with ¼ cup of water. Bake for 30 minutes. After squash has cooled, use a fork and scrape the insides of the squash. This will result in spaghetti like strings. Toss these “noodles” with low-sugar marinara sauce and turkey meatballs!
There are several ways you can make zucchini into pasta. The easiest method to use is to purchase a spiralizer. You can purchase a spiralizer at any major grocery store (see picture below). If you do not want to purchase a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler (peel zucchini into long “ribbons”). After zucchini ribbons have been made, cook in a skillet for 7 minutes using nonstick cooking spray. Top with Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning, parmesan cheese, and grilled chicken.
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Add 1 cup broccoli slaw and ¼ cup water to a hot skillet and sauté for 8 – 10 minutes. After broccoli slaw is cooked, strain the noodles, and toss them with boiled shrimp and low sugar peanut sauce.
Swap the fried rice for a healthier alternative! Cut fresh cauliflower into 3 inch chunks and place into a food processor. Pulsate the cauliflower until it appears rice-like. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and add cauliflower rice. Bake on 425F for 15 – 20 minutes. Once cauliflower rice is finished, add to a skillet with non-starchy stir-fry vegetables, tofu and low-sodium soy sauce for a lighter spin on a popular dish!