Swap pasta for:
Soba (buckwheat) noodles
Brown rice pasta
Spelt is higher in fibre and protein than regular wheat pasta. It is a great option for fussy eaters as it tastes similar to white pasta.
Soba noodles and brown rice pasta are great for stir fry’s and have a lighter flavour, unlike wholegrain pasta or noodles. Both are gluten-free too.
Zucchini noodles or zoodles are spaghetti-like strands of zucchini and are great to use instead of pasta. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a mandoline slicer or a vegetable peeler (see recipe below).
Swap flour for coconut flour or almond meal.
Both coconut flour and almond meal are high in protein and fibre plus gluten-free.
Coconut flour is very absorbent, so when substituting you need less coconut flour than regular flour. A ¼ of a cup of coconut flour usually requires one egg, so you will notice a lot of the dishes use more eggs.
Both of these are low in carbohydrates, but as the almond meal is made from almonds it is higher in healthy fats. This is great if you want your family to eat more of these but if you are watching your waist just limit your serves. Almond meal is also more expensive out of the two.
Swap vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil.
Vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated and contain trans fat which causes inflammation in the body and are linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.
Whereas extra virgin olive oil is cardioprotective and linked to lower levels of cardiovascular disease.
Swap store-bought salad dressings for homemade dressings. Salad dressings usually contain vegetable oils and sugar. Making your own is as simple as mixing some olive oil, balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. You can also add a little mustard, crushed garlic, lemon juice and herbs. Get creative.
Swap white rice for brown rice, brown basmati or quinoa.
Brown rice and brown basmati are whole grains and both are high in fibre, nutrients, antioxidants and great for your guts microbiome. They also help you stay full for longer and don't raise your insulin levels like white rice.
If you are swapping from white rice and have young kids I would opt for the brown basmati first.
Quinoa is high in protein as it contains all the essential amino acids. Therefore it is great for vegetarians. I personally love adding it to salads and for making falafels.
Swap bread purchased from the supermarket to organic sourdough.
Traditional sourdough is made with live fermented cultures and does not require commercial yeast. It should only contain flour, water, salt and the starter culture.
Whereas the bread you purchase from the supermarket comes with a long list of ingredients and numbers.
Many people who can’t tolerate regular bread can enjoy sourdough. Purchase your sourdough from a baker where you know it's made the traditional way.
Swap soft drinks, iced tea and juice to:
Mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
Swap dessert of sweet treats for dark chocolate.
If you are trying to quit eating sugary snacks try having 1-2 pieces of dark chocolate (70% or higher).
Summer Zucchini, tomato and garlic pasta Recipe (serves 4)
This is a super easy lunch or dinner for the family. Serve with a large side salad.
4 medium zucchinis
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
¼ tsp of chilli flakes (optional)
2 -3 medium tomatoes chopped
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves torn into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim and spiralize the zucchini, keeping the skin on.
Add olive oil, garlic and chilli to a large frying pan, cook slightly.
Add the3 zucchini noodles, tossing until al dente (about 5minutes).
Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further minute.
Transfer to 4 plates and sprinkle basil leaves and grated parmesan over the top.
If a little dry, drizzle with some extra olive oil.
Feel free to add different ingredients such as mushrooms, feta, olives.