Look for a healthy alternative when you have a craving for greasy fries or pizza at the end of a long day. Although pizza may be the healthier choice, this article focuses on recipes to make these items suitable for a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s face it, potatoes are vegetables too and although they’ve received a bad rap in the past for their starch content, they deserve a place in your eating plan. The key is your preparation of the delicious potato and the quantity. Instead of frying your potatoes (or having them fried for you at the local fast food stand) try baked potatoes, broiled potato pieces or coins, boiled potatoes, or mashed with skim milk and green onions.
One baked potato with skin on provides 220 kcalories, 51 grams of carbohydrate, 4.7 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of fibre. Potatoes provide the following nutrients:
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc
Thiamin, Riboflavin, B6 – in small quantities
The difference in caloric and nutrient intake between a baked potato and french fries fried in vegetable oil is staggering. A measure of 10 individual french fries provides 158 kcalories, 19.8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of protein, 8.3 grams of fat and 1.6 grams of fibre. That’s 47% of your calories in the form of FAT (and I’m not talking healthy fat). You know your little take-out container of fries contains a lot more than 10 french fries – you do the maths.
A healthy alternative to french fries is broiled potato coins.
Broiled Potato Coins
Scrub potato and slice into coins, approximately ¼ inch thick. In a small bowl, combine potato coins and olive oil. Place potato coins in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with seasonings. Place in oven and broil 6 inches from the heat. Broil 8-9 minutes on one side and turn over. Add a touch of parmesan cheese and continue broiling for 4-6 minutes or until cheese melts. Enjoy!
Pizza is another popular fast food. With the amount of toppings and cheese, you’re looking at a large calorie expenditure. Take a 15” round cheese pizza for example. One slice will provide 290 kcalories, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat – but the popular choice is a lot of deli meat toppings and possibly extra cheese…and more than one slice. It all adds up to a sticky situation for your GI tract.
A healthy alternative is to make your own pita pizza where you control the amount of cheese, dough, and meat and opt for healthy toppings.
1 whole wheat pita pocket, 6 ½ inch diameter
½ can tomato paste with herbs and spices (small 5.5 fl. oz can)
Fresh vegetables, sliced and diced: 5 mushrooms, ½ red pepper, ¼ cup red onion, ½ cup broccoli florets
¼ cup shredded, partly skimmed Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pita pocket, unopened, on a non-stick baking sheet and spread with tomato paste. Add vegetables and top with mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
You’ve just made a healthy alternative to commercially prepared pizza. It’s fast, easy to prepare, and won’t leave you feeling bloated.