Take advantage of the vegetables in-season during the summer and make these simple low-carb swaps in your favorite dishes.
To avoid heavily-processed, nutrient depleted carbs over the summer, try getting your carbs and fiber from the abundant vegetables that summer brings. Here are a few quick and easy ideas:
A veg-packed Thai curry can be light enough for summer but a filling meal, too. If a plate of brown rice is too much alongside though, try cauliflower rice. Simply grate fresh cauliflower and steam for a few minutes on the stovetop or microwave, ready to soak up the sauce of your curry or whatever else you fancy. Keep a bag of grated cauliflower in the freezer, ready to go in minutes.
Spiralized vegetables are all the rage–but many fads come and go. When the summer zucchini crop hits they are a great, light alternative to pasta. If you don’t have a spiralizer to make those appealing twirls you can try a sharp knife or mandolin….but a decent spiralizer makes it temptingly easy. And you can use it to make your salads more special, too.
A great hearty vegetable that is already popular as a stand-in for meat, it also works well as a substitute for pasta sheets in lasagna. Not as quick and easy as other dishes, but makes a good filling meal and comes packed full of a wide range of nutrients and anti-oxidants.
For a light lunch or quick snack, replace a tortilla wrap with a large lettuce leaf such as Romaine or Cos varieties and pack with whatever filling you fancy.
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Rip up a few kale leaves, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper or a dusting of paprika and spread on a baking tray. Cook in a hot oven for just a few minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning) and you have a great substitute for potato chips. Works well with parsnips, carrots and similar starchy vegetable, too—and you can make it less oily and salty than many of the store-bought versions.
Like aubergines, mushrooms give great body and flavor to veggie dishes—and mushroom based, meat-free burgers are well known. But what if you love a fresh beef burger but don’t want the stodgy bun? A couple of portobello mushroom caps can serve just as well as bread substitutes. A touch of oil and grill or roast for a few minutes while you cook your beef, and you have your quarter pounder with ease. Accompany with parsnip crisps or sweet potato fries plus a crisp side-salad for a veg-tastic meal!
Dr Sally Norton is an NHS weight-loss consultant surgeon and UK Health expert. She is founder of VavistaLife.