How To Eat Healthy When You Hate Salad

The biggest pitfall to my diet is the fact that I don't like salads. I've heard that your taste buds change every 7 years, which leads to you developing a more mature pallet. Yet, here I am still waiting for the day that I like the "adult food" that is salad. It's not salad as a whole that's my enemy, it's the LETTUCE. I love most veggies, but hate lettuce – taste and texture. Through trial and error, research and following a lot of food bloggers, I've found tricks to making healthy, non-salad meals that don't require you to be a master chef.

1. Healthy alternatives to your fave foods 

What a time to be alive – innovative people in our society have done a great job of creating genius, healthy alternatives to our fave carb-filled, fatty foods that still taste great. There are also so many natural healthy alternatives that don't require buying special, pre-made products. Here are a few of my fave food alternatives. 

Chickpea pasta - I discovered Banza chickpea pasta from a food blogger I followed and bought a few boxes on Amazon. While it's a bit pricier than normal pasta, it's the best alternative I've ever found (quinoa pasta is not good) and totally worth the money. According to Banza, their pasta has nearly half the carbs that normal pasta has. It also has more protein and fiber! 

Ezekiel bread - Ok, Ezekiel bread is still bread but it's basically the most raw, unprocessed bread you can buy. Key example: it's so natural that you have to freeze it or else it gets moldy in a matter of days. It's definitely not as good as a baguette or ciabatta, but it's definitely better for you. Since it's still bread, I eat it in moderation, but don't feel as guilty afterwards.

Cauliflower pizza crust - I have tested this stuff out and it's GOOD. I buy mine from Trader Joe's (I actually don't know any other place that sells it) and prepare it with Trader Joe's Pizza sauce. If you really want to go crazy with the health, you can top it with vegan mozzarella, but I just top it with normal, shredded mozzarella and roasted onions and mushrooms. The crust is made from corn flower and cauliflower and is gluten free. 

Riced cauliflower - This is probably the healthiest thing on the list. It is literally just cauliflower shredded up in a way that imitates rice. It sounds weird, but when stir-fried with salt, pepper and other seasonings, it's amazing! I typically top with a fried egg. You don't have to make it yourself, you can buy it in the frozen foods section of Trader Joe's and most other grocery stores. Trader Joe's also makes a riced cauliflower stir-fry medley, which is very good. 

Veggie Spirals - Veggie spirals are just vegetables, like zucchini and sweet potatoes, shred up in a way that resembles spaghetti! You can make them yourself with a vegetable spiral (you can buy them on Amazon) or buy them pre-made at the grocery store (I typically see this brand in the produce section). They taste great when sautéed with pesto sauce and there are tons of recipes online on how to prepare them. 

Vegan Cream Sauce - I became obsessed with this homemade sauce recipe when I discovered it through one of my fave healthy food blogs, Kale Me, Maybe. It's really simple to make and consists of completely pure and natural ingredients: coconut cream, cashews, garlic, etc. (link to recipe here). If you want to find even more healthy alternatives, I HIGHLY recommend checking out her blog, she's genius.

2. Healthy Pancakes

I make these by blending oats/granola, eggs and bananas and cooking them on the stove in a pan like normal pancakes! I just guestimate the ingredient amounts but you can google "healthy pancakes" and find hundreds of variations of this recipe. They taste so great and I usually cover them in almond butter with a drizzle of honey. I literally eat these for dinner (yes, dinner because they're so easy to make) at least once a week.

3. Smoothies/Acai Bowls

You probably just think about acai bowls in the context of restaurants but you can also make them at home! Lots of grocery stores carry frozen acai packets that you can bring home and blend in your blender. You can add fresh fruit, granola and different types of seeds (chia, pumpkin, etc) on top. 

4. Grain Bowls

These are really popular at trendy restaurants in NYC! And thankfully, very easy and affordable to make at home. It's basically like having a salad, except the base is quinoa, farro (if you don't know what farro is, click here) or whole grain rice instead of icky lettuce. Great things to put in grain bowls are sliced avocado, sweet potato wedges, grilled chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and sauteed onions and mushrooms. Just google "grain bowl recipes" and you'll find tons of different variations of homemade grain bowl recipes!

I hope you guys found this post helpful! I truly believe enjoying food is one of the best ways to enjoy life, so don't get stuck in a cycle of eating food you hate just because it's "healthy"!

Photo courtesy of: The Toasted Pine Nut

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