Losing weight doesn't mean you have to give up the dishes you love. The women of the 2018 Woman's Day Live Longer and Stronger Challenge are shedding pounds by substituting processed, starchy ingredients with nutrient-rich alternatives. With help from WD contributor and nutrition expert Joy Bauer, R.D.N., they're making long-term changes to their diets without sacrificing mouthwatering flavor. Fill up on their favorite healthy meals.
Veggie Stir Fry
Dominique Addison-Iboyi, 31
Addison-Iboyi doesn't get home from picking up her younger sister, Aniya, from school until 6 p.m., so she tries to make quick dinners. Her go-to simple meal is a low-carb veggie stir fry. When she adds chicken to the stir fry, she sautés diced onions in olive oil cooking spray and pan sears both sides of boneless skinless chicken breast. Then, she removes the chicken from the pan and slices it into smaller pieces. Using the same pan, she sprays a little more olive oil cooking spray and throws in a defrosted bag of pre-cut broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. After, she cuts up and adds fresh red, yellow, and green bell peppers. Instead of using salt, she seasons the veggies with Mrs. Dash garlic or onion powder. Finally, she puts the chicken back on the pan, drizzles a small amount of teriyaki sauce, and lets everything cook for a little longer. "I try not to let the vegetables sit too long so they can keep the nutrients," Addison-Iboyi says. In just 15 to 20 minutes she has a filling dish.
Marilyn Arnold, 64
Arnold loves making a healthier version of Chipotle's burrito bowl - but she uses cauliflower instead of rice, more veggies instead of meat, and no sour cream at all. After sautéing onions in olive oil, she adds asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, half a cup of organic low sodium pinto beans, and a dash of garlic powder. When the veggies and beans are cooked, she loads them up with shredded salad greens, a bit of salsa, and 2% shredded cheese. "I'm getting my burrito bowl fix that I love. And it's still very filling!" says Arnold.
Tina Hoffman, 54
Cooking five nights a week, Hoffman sticks to her healthy diet by planning her dinners a day in advance. Now, stuffed peppers are her staple meal. After cutting off the top and removing the seeds from whole green peppers, she fills them with raw cauliflower rice, diced zucchini, and ground turkey. She adds just enough spaghetti sauce into the peppers to make them moist. Then, she places the stuffed peppers in a casserole pan filled with half a cup of water and covers the pan with foil. She bakes the peppers at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. "I love the way all the flavors blend together with peppers," says Tina.
Christie Jones, 40
When Christie makes spaghetti with ground turkey and tomato sauce, she swaps out starchy pasta for vitamin A and potassium-rich spaghetti squash. First, she browns the ground turkey in a saucepan. Then, she adds Ragú Garden combination sauce, black olives, and mushrooms and lets it simmer for about an hour. While the sauce is cooking, she puts a cup of water in the bottom of her instant pot. Then, she cuts the spaghetti squash into halves and places them on the trivet inside her instant pot. She drizzles olive oil over the meat part and seasons them with salt and pepper. After, she closes the lid and sets it for manual pressure cook for 8 minutes and then natural release for 8 minutes. Once it's done, she sticks her fork around the edges and the easily peels off the meat part from the skin. Because she thinks the mild flavor of spaghetti squash makes it versatile, she also eats it with grilled chicken and Parmesan cheese. She's even started adding it inside her morning omelets. "It's a way to bring more vegetables into your diet without a lot of sacrifice," says Jones.
Eggroll in a Bowl
Melissa Oakley, 51
For a healthier take on eggrolls, Oakley sautés ground chicken breast in a skillet with olive oil spray. Then she adds fresh ginger, diced scallions, low sodium soy sauce, and a bag of Marketside’s kaleslaw salad on top. She covers the skillet with a lid until the coleslaw starts to wilt. And if she's craving additional crunch, she'll sprinkle almond slivers or chestnuts on top at the end. "It feels like you're eating healthy even though it doesn't taste like you are," says Oakley. "If I need to slow down because I'm a fast eater, I'll try and eat it with chopsticks."
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