I’ve wanted to write this blog post for so long!
Something that personally annoys me is honestly just the lack of total food choices 😂 - like, can’t there be more fat options than cheese, bacon, avocado, nuts, and oil? (Of course there are a more than this - but it does feel limiting sometimes!).
SO here are a number of ways to make the same BASE meal different by cuisine type - Asian, Greek, Italian, etc.! It’s by no means a perfect list and I do make some generalizations, but I hope it’s helpful in some capacity :)
Salads with a tomato, cucumber, feta, olives, and onion, dressed with olive oil, vinegar, basil & oregano
Tzatziki sauce as your meal’s fat source - buy it or make it with (4 servings):
1 cup plain 2% yogurt + 1 medium cucumber, chopped as small as you can + 2 Tbsp olive oil + season with dill (fresh if you can get it) + dash of salt + tsp vinegar if you have any! + the juice of 1 lemon + 2 tsp minced garlic
Melt a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese over chicken, meatballs, you name it!
Using pesto sauce as your meal’s fat source
Season your meal with basil & oregano
Use canned, roasted tomatoes instead of tomato sauce - you can then count this as your veggies!
Use zoodles instead of pasta - the frozen pre-spiraled zucchini noodles I find work best
Make zucchini “lasagna” by scooping out the middle & filling with canned, roasted tomatoes and ground turkey
Look for whole wheat naan in your grocery store (or make it yourself!)
Add spinach to your cooked meals - frozen spinach works well!
Look for chutney or masala sauces in your grocery store - my rule of thumb is to generally add no more than 50 calories of a sauce to a meal - so just be mindful of that if calories are important to you
Add ginger, cumin, coriander powder, red chili powder, and tumeric as spices
“Open-faced” (with 1 or just fewer tortillas, eating mostly the insides!) fajitas and burrito bowls are definitely my go-to’s here - make them with tomato salsa, some cheese, grilled meat, and lots of stir-fried veggies
Make nachos with 1 serving of whole grain chips
Use chili powder, crushed red pepper, oregano, and garlic and onion powders
Eat your burgers or hot dogs open-faced (using half the bun), in a lettuce-wrap, or without any “bun” at all!
Make zucchini “fries” by baking cut-up zucchini strips with grated parmesan cheese and salt & pepper in the oven (at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes - or use an Air Fryer - seriously makes them soooo good and crispy)
Fill your plate with cut-up veggies like carrots and celery instead of chips or pretzels
There are so many different Asian varieties! I’m of course not doing them enough justice - but here is an overview of things to do
Have rice or stir-fried cauliflower rice (I like to make mine with grated parmesan cheese and everything bagel seasoning) as a side
Make a stir-fry with snap peas, carrots, and broccoli
Use low-sodium soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, and seasonings such as cinnamon, fennel, ginger, and nutmeg
Make a DIY poke bowl with smoked salmon, edamame, and cucumbers
Make it Hawaiian by adding 1/2-1 cup pineapple to your stir-fry’s
Make fried rice with eggs, regular or cauliflower rice, and cut-up small veggies
Let me know what cuisines I missed that you’d like to see and I’ll add them!
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