Louisiana cookin’ in my house is a staple. Almost every night we are cooking something with carbs, whether it be rice, pastas or potatoes. The house smells like roux most days.
The problem is? Mama has been eating healthy nine years now. Yes, I have cheat meals, but I try not to.
How do I do it and still eat what everyone else is eating at the dinner table? I try not to cook something separately than what everyone else is eating because who has time for that?!
My favorite products/hacks are below:
- Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice – I have to start with this one first! Yep, I still eat my gumbo and jambalaya. I either eat this with a grilled chicken breast and a no-added sugar or low-sugar sauce. If I do eat gumbo, I do minimal roux, and mainly meats over this. If I do a jambalaya, I pull out the meat in the big pot and eat it over this, as well. Red beans and sausage? You know the drill. This can go with almost any protein! Be sure to measure your portions.
- Spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles are a must have when the family is eating pasta! I get the frozen bags of noodles of either, and microwave. Yes, you can make your noodles fresh and beforehand, but if you are on a crunch for time, this is a go-to. Be sure to pat dry, before serving, with a towel because both of these veggies tend to have excess water when cooked/heated.
- Roux without flour can be done, but yes, it won’t be the same. Will it work? All you need is 1 stick of butter, browning sauce, and 1/3 cup of Whey Protein Isolate (unflavored). Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once you have your butter melted, add your whey protein isolate. Whisk it out until it becomes thick and bubbly, add browning sauce and stir. I do not recommend this for gumbos, but this is great for soups! My favorite soup hack with this is broccoli and cheese soup!
- Zevia is a game changer, but it is an acquired taste. I ditched my cokes year ago, but I still need something occasionally. I have tried many of them, but my favorites are Cola, Creamy Root Beer, Cream Soda & Strawberry. It may take a while to grow and like it, but it’s a great swap!
- Non-fat milk, cornstarch or almond flour, light cream cheese is a great swamp for your typical Cajun cream sauce with butter and heavy cream. If making this sauce, whisk the milk and cornstarch or almond flour together. Then, pour this into a skillet with butter while whisking. Turn heat on low, then put room-temperature cream cheese into your skillet. Other than this change, cook your pasta dish like you would normally with veggies and your protein of choice.
- Plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream makes for a great swap in recipes requiring sour cream or on tacos. Yes, you won’t even notice the difference! One ounce (28 grams) of regular Greek yogurt contains 37 calories, 3 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein. The same amount of full-fat sour cream contains 54 calories, 6 grams of fat and 1 gram of protein.
- Lettuce wraps or Ezekiel Bread when eating your sandwiches or tacos is a great swap! Ezekiel bread is an acquired taste, but once you get used to eating it, it’s not so bad. Cool fact? Carrie Underwood says this bread is her “go to” when eating her sandwich at lunch. Her legs? I’ll eat this bread all day long then.