I used to love rice – and I couldn’t ever think I could cut it out of my diet, partly because I would be denying myself the pleasure of enjoying Nigerian delights like Jollof rice and because, well….carbs used make me happy.
Yes, I’ve said it: carbs used to make me happy. Pasta, rice, bread. All-of-it. There’s something about this food stable that I can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s because it’s a reminder of the food I eat with my family and friends. It is always a staple at African parties.
Despite my previous unbridled love for rice (basmati rice to be specific), even I have to admit, it’s not the best carb around. So, what’s a girl to do with this carb conundrum?
I was strict with myself and cut out all bad carbs. In fact where I can help it, I don’t it eat at all. Not everyone is as insane as me, but try swapping out the bad carbs.
What we really need is complex carbs, to give us more energy for longer. So, instead of simple carbs like white rice, potatoes and pasta, try these alternatives:
- Baked butternut squash chips: Full of potassium and heart-protecting properties, butternut squash it a great alternative to fried chips. Just cut into strips or cuts, drizzle with oil, sprinkle on salt, pepper and smoked paprika then bake till crisp.
- Mexican Black Bean Spaghetti: The great thing about this is it’s firmer than white pasta and makes an interesting colour change to the beige white strands you normally get with pasta. You can pick this up from a health food store and it’s pretty much ready to go. Like dried white pasta, all you have to do is boil.
- Brown rice: even I, the white rice evangelist, will have to admit that brown rice is a good substitute to white. It’s nutty in flavor and the fiber content of brown rice makes you feel fuller for longer.