We’re back with Healthy Food Swaps Dinner Edition! As you may remember from our previous article, healthy food swaps are a simple way to continue on your healthy lifestyle journey, all while not sacrificing the satisfying flavors. In this edition, we’re focusing on simple swaps that’ll make dinnertime meals healthier, without a bunch of extra work. Because let’s face it; having simple, healthy, and delicious dinners make busy weeknights much easier to handle.
Fried Chicken Wings → Baked Breaded Chicken
First, let’s look at fried chicken wings. Fried chicken wings are a staple at family gatherings or watching the big game. While they aren’t the healthiest, you definitely still can make a delicious wing without all of the guilt. Instead of frying your chicken in a bunch of oil, bake them in the oven instead. Coat some skinless chicken wings (or tenders) in an egg wash and toss them in some seasoned bread crumbs. Bake them at 375° until their crispy and golden brown. Alternatively, if you’re still missing that fried taste, try adding a scoop of mayo to your egg wash. Once everything is crisped up, you’ll think you’re eating wings from your favorite restaurant.
Mac & Cheese → Turkey Broccoli Mac & Cheese
Mac & cheese is one of those holy grail meals that shouldn’t be changed, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved! You can easily make delicious mac & cheese from scratch with some noodles, butter, cheese, and milk. This way, you’ll be getting vitamins and minerals without the processed junk. Make the dish even better by tossing in some browned ground turkey and chopped broccoli or cauliflower. Once everything is coated in creamy cheesy goodness, you won’t even realize that you’re eating healthier.
Fajitas → Fajita Bowls
We love pasta and bread as much as the next person, but not all dinners have to have carbs as the star. You can’t deny the urge to turn and stare at the waiters as they bring this sizzling entrée through the restaurant. Avoid the unnecessary carbs by putting your ingredients into a bowl instead of folding everything into a flour tortilla. Take the opportunity to load up a bunch of veggies like spinach, cherry tomatoes, and corn, whatever you have available. Swap out the sour cream for a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt.
If you’re really missing the carbs, try crumbling a few tortilla chips on top to give your dinner a little extra crunch. Even better, you can make a few fajita bowls ahead of time to keep in the fridge as an easy go-to option for extra busy days. (Bonus: you can apply this same principle to tacos and burritos too!)
Burgers & Fries → Lettuce Wrapped Burger & Crispy Cauliflower
Nothing beats a good old fashion burger and fries combo. However, with a few adjustments, you can upgrade this iconic meal to be both delicious and nutritious. First, swapping ground beef for ground turkey will give you a great mix of protein and good fats. Adding flavorful ingredients like avocado, tomatoes and even a fried egg will let you cut back on your need for condiments. Ditch the buns and wrap your patty in a piece of iceberg lettuce. grab a fork and dig in! In addition, toss some cauliflower florets in a bit of olive oil and garlic powder, then crisp them up in the oven or air fryer. You won’t even miss french fries.
Pizza → Pizza Bites
Instead of ordering a greasy delivery pizza, give your dinner a new twist by making pizza bites. To start, line the bottom and sides of a muffin tin with pepperoni slices. Next, fill each pepperoni cup with marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Then add your favorite veggies and proteins. Finally, top off with a bit more cheese and toss them in the oven for 5 minutes.
Making dinners doesn’t have to be overly complicated- or bland! Small, simple food swaps can take your favorite meals up a notch, all while taking little to no extra time at all. Don’t just take our word for it, give some of these swaps a try to see for yourself!