Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Healthy Food Swaps: Featuring Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower and Turkey Meatballs

In a previous post here I talked about portion control.
An alternate technique, to get around reducing the portion size, is to replace an unhealthy/high calorie food with a healthier/lower calorie one.  
For example:  Instead of having a large serving of rice with our chicken (or shrimp) and broccoli/mushroom stir fry I might substitute cauliflower rice for the long grain rice I would have normally had.  The cauliflower rice is a healthier option and far less calories...so I can have a good amount of it and not feel deprived.  We use cauliflower rice in other meals as well.

Another example of a beneficial food swap would be to replace regular spaghetti with spiraled zucchini.
The spiralizer we have is a Paderno.  At this site it is under $30...and that includes shipping.  It is very easy to use and clean.
Zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) are very good topped with a ground turkey marinara sauce.  You can add mushrooms, red peppers, onions, etc. to the sauce alsoAnother good way to serve zoodles is topped with turkey meatballs and marinaraYou can use zoodles in any pasta dish.

Pictured above are the Trader Joe's brand frozen cauliflower rice and the turkey meatballs that we like and keep stocked up on.  They are quick and easyIt just takes a few minutes to heat them in the microwave.
Since we no longer buy beef the turkey meatballs are a good swap for us.  I also use ground turkey to replace beef in other meals.  It's great as a burger patty or in taco salad to name a couple of options.
We have learned to eat our taco salads without the tortilla chips we used to have.  So now just lots of spinach, ground turkey w/ taco seasoning, a bit of light Catalina dressing, black beans, avocado, salsa, and low fat sour cream.  We are more particular about when we choose to have our carbs.

With many food swaps, I have come to enjoy them and don't find them a terrible trade off.  
Believe me...to hear myself making the above statement almost makes me turn my head to look to see who said that.  It boggles my mind to think that I could now feel that way.  I think I had preconceived ideas about food and was just set in my ways about what I thought I liked, disliked, and what I thought I would and wouldn't enjoy eating.  I just had to give these healthier foods a fair chance and give myself a chance to realize I could be happy and satisfied using them as a better option in many of our meals.


  1. Thank you for sharing some of your food swaps. :) I have a question for you about the cauliflower...does it make you gassy? I have a problem with it causing gassiness even though I love this veggie.

    1. Well, I'm not sure. I haven't really noticed or thought about it, so I guess not. :)

  2. Lisa, masz świetną figurę...pozdrawiam...

  3. Cauliflower is a very versatile veg. We haven't tried making a pizza crust with it yet. We use ground turkey for lots of things. Our local Earth Fare store makes a very good turkey breakfast sausage. After talking to you, I'm doing better about how much I pile on my plate...ha!

    1. We haven't tried the pizza crust either. It seems like more work than I want to do. ha So instead we eat the Trader Joe pizza burgers that are soy I think. But they're really good and give us the taste of eating pizza...but no crust. We have those a couple days a week for lunch and it seems like a treat.
      I'm glad you're doing better on your portions. My toughest time is my night time snack. If I have something that's already divided into portions, like the bag of popcorn, then I do okay. But if I'm left to decided my own portion of something I can go over the amount I really should have. I am always trying to do better because I have not mastered this thing yet. haha


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