Christmas table

Why do you need healthy food swap ideas?

Even with the best laid plans, the silly season often means lots of social gatherings, last minute “quick and dirty” meals out, and a bit of over indulgence. Slipping up on your food choices just once or twice, can undo weeks or months of hard work. Food intolerance, such as gluten and dairy, need to be strictly adhered to if you are doing work for auto-immune, thyroid, or gut-stuff. I often give my clients food-swap tips to help them stay on track. This silly season I will share some of my food-swaps with you, to keep you on track and in-control.

SWAP Spring Rolls FOR Rice Paper Rolls.

Deep fried spring rolls, smothered in saturated fats, are not usually gluten-free.  I like to swap these for a lighter, more “summery”, gluten-free, Rice Paper Roll. The following recipe makes 6 rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams of pre-cooked chicken, beef, or tofu
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 6 rice paper wraps
  • 1 large cucumber, cut length ways
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • Tamari sauce

Method:

Moisten the rice paper wraps, and place on a clean tea towel or paper towel.
Lay the cooked meat, carrot, cucumber, and bean sprouts on the rice paper. Wrap tightly and seal with a bit more water.
Serve on a platter with the tamari as a dipping sauce.
SWAP Hummus FOR Zucchini Hummus
This dip gets an extra serve of veggies onto your classic dips table. Serve with chopped carrots, capsicum, celery, cucumber, or a nice gluten-free seed cracker.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchinis (peeled and chopped)
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of paprika

Method:

Put the zucchini, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, and olive oil into a food processor. Blitz until the ingredients are well combined and the consistency is smooth.
Pour the hummus into a serving bowl. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, and garnish with the pinch of paprika.

SWAP Hot Chips FOR Baked Veggie Chips

Hot chips are always a favourite for kids young and old. They often make their way to the table when there’s no time to cook, or when you’re shuttling from one event to the next. High in saturated fats, and usually high in salt, take-away hot chips aren’t the most nutritious of foods. Baked Veggie Chips  are baked, not fried, which means less saturated fats. Serve these as a side at the kids table on Christmas day, or as part of a platter. This recipe serves about 5 as a side dish, or more if just a platter dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium beetroots
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 4-5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Line 4 baking trays with parchment.
Slice the sweet potato and beetroot into 3mm thick slices. Pop the slices in a large bowl.
Drizzle 4 Tbsp of the coconut oil over the beets and potato (it’s summer, the coconut oil should be liquid! If not, melt it first.)
Lay the potato and beetroot slices on the lined baking trays. Make sure the slices do not overlap or touch each other. Sprinkle with a pinch of seas salt.
Pop the sweet potato and beetroot into the oven, and set the timer for 10 mins.
Whilst the beets and sweets and baking, prepare the kale.
Using kitchen scissors, remove the kale from the thick stems. Tear the leaves into bite size pieces.
Wash the kale pieces, and run through a salad spinner, or pat dry with a clean tea towel.
Pop the kale pieces into a bowl and drizzle with the remaining coconut oil. Lay the kale pieces onto a lined baking tray, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Once your 10 minute timer goes off, turn the beets and sweets piece over, and pop back into the oven. At this point, pop the kale tray into the oven too. Set the timer of 10 more minutes.
After 20 minutes the edges should be crispy and slightly browned, but not burned. Take out from the oven and serve with lime wedges.

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