I am the queen of finding the healthy alternative to fattening foods. Another royal leader of finding weight loss friendly alternatives for foodies is Hungry Girl, who can now be seen on the Food Network. She has lots of wonderful recipes online and in her many cookbooks, doesn't believe in eating tiny portions, lettuce meals, or giving your taste buds anything less than pleasure. And she is expert at making your heart, head and tummy happy and your waistline small.
Like Hungry Girl, I love the challenge of finding a yummy alternative to anyone's favorite indulgence. Once a friend was on a major weight loss journey and I offered to make her birthday cake. I made her the most delicious chocolate cake that no one would ever have known was a healthier, weight loss friendly, recipe. To this day it is one of my favorite cake recipes.
You have to be stealth, though, to remain under the radar of the taste buds, eyes and nose. No one can trick me. I can taste fake butter, sugar, maple syrup, etc. a mile away, and I literally can't bear the counterfeit flavors. They generally all have an aftertaste too. Shaking the assault to my taste buds takes a while. No faux foods for me. But, I will use less sugar or fat, as well as fresh herbs, lemon, applesauce, or other fruits and veggies to pump up the flavor and health factors.
I found one of my favorite substitutes accidentally. My newfound healthy addiction is Trader Joe's Goat's Milk Creamy Cheese. One serving for those of us on Weight Watcher is only one PointsPlus®. If you are counting calories, it gives big bang for your calorie buck. If you are not blessed with having a Trader Joe's nearby, search for a creamy, whipped goat cheese in your market's cheese section. It is incredibly versatile and easy to use.
One of my favorite meals is a giant baked potato and a big salad. I often order this meal in restaurants when everyone around me is eating steak and I'm in non-pig heaven. At home, this is a regular dinner. I sauté up a big bunch of green beans or asparagus, mushrooms, and fresh herbs, throw them on top of the potato and I am literally in foodie bliss. One night when making one of my monster potato creations, I was out of butter. I looked in the fridge and thought that maybe the goat cheese could work. It turns out when it melts it has the creaminess of butter, and the bite of sour cream. I now prefer it to butter on my potato. I actually wouldn't think of putting butter on my baked potato now. Outrageous.
So, not only is it possible to find a delicious substitute, it's possible you will leave your old less slimming favorites in the dust.
Feel free to email me if you want me to come up with a healthy alternative for your favorite indulgence.