One of the hardest things for me when I'm trying to be healthy and eat right is my addiction to carbs... Probably more like love affair, but I digress. I truly LOVE all things bread, pasta, and potato related. It's one of the main reasons I have such a hard time staying on the right path, food-wise.
But recently, I discovered Shirataki noodles (cue the trumpets!). I've only been able to find them at Wal-Mart and Ingles stores (with the tofu), but I'm on the lookout other places as well. They have really saved my bacon (aww, bacon... that's a whole other post!) when it comes to my pasta cravings. Although there is a bit of prep that goes along with Shirataki noodles, they are ready super fast. They come refrigerated in a bag with liquid mixed with the noodles. What I do is drain the noodles into a colander and rinse for a couple minutes with cold water. The rinsing is not actually required, but the noodles do kind of have this strange smell right out of the package. Then, once they're rinsed, I toss them in a DRY (no oil or spray of any kind) in a non-stick skillet until they are heated through. And essentially, they're done. Just toss them with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy! A couple of my favorite recipes to use Shirataki noodles are caprese pasta and eggplant parmesan. Hubby and kiddos aren't a huge fan of them (the texture is just a bit different that regular pasta), so I just fix them whole wheat noodles instead. With only 4 carbs per serving (compared to 40+ in regular pasta), Shirataki noodles satisfy my love for carbs without the consequences! A win-win in my book!
Next on my list is chia seeds. Not really a swap, but more of an addition. I have started using chia seeds in A LOT of breakfast dishes. They are great in cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt... The list goes on and on. Chia seeds absorb many times their weigh in fluid, so they expand in your stomach and make you fill fuller longer. For the past couple years on Pinterest, I have seen many posts on "overnight oatmeal" like this one here. And it really is quick, easy, and delicious!
As far as bread goes, I haven't really found anything that satisfies that true craving for a good homemade biscuit or a couple pieces of bread for toast. But there are some great healthy versions of breads (as well as pitas, tortillas, etc.). For example, Sara Lee makes a great 45-calorie bread that is really good. There are also many "thin" breads that have less calories and carbs.
On my agenda to try soon is kale chips. That is one thing I haven't really been able to talk myself into. Have any of you tried them or found a great recipe that you just love? Send them my way!