Using Junk Food in Diet-Friendly Recipes

Using Junk Food in Diet-Friendly Recipes

Junk foods don’t have to be off-limits when you are on a diet. Think of junk foods as the “garnish” or the smallest part of a diet-friendly meal. Throughout the years, I’ve found ways to incorporate my favorite junk foods into refreshing and slimming meals.

The recipes satisfy my cravings for junk foods, yet keep me trim. Yes, you can eat junk food and still lose weight. Here are few of the ways I get to indulge without gaining weight:

Taco Salad

My favorite taco salad is one that uses cheddar flavored corn chips such as Doritos or Late July brand organic corn chips. I first cook grass-fed ground beef on the stove, drain the fat, add taco seasoning and water. I prepare a salad with organic greens, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese and tomatoes. I sprinkle the crumbled cheddar flavored corn chips on top along with the taco meat mixture. The perfect salad dressing is Catalina or an organic French dressing.

Beer Fondue

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One of the easiest ways to eat more fruits and vegetables is to have a tasty dip or fondue. Instead of drinking beer, try boiling a cup of beer and then reducing to medium heat. Add in 4 cups of cubed cheeses (that have been tossed in a little flour) such as white cheddar, yellow cheddar or/and Swiss cheeses. Whisk until melted. Stir in herbs such as parsley or chives. Steam pieces of broccoli and cauliflower. I also like to cut up fresh slices of green and red peppers, carrots and snap peas to serve with the fondue.

Yogurt Parfaits

Sometimes I get tired of yogurt, but I love the whipped chocolate yogurts. I sometimes layer the yogurt with whipped cream and strawberries and top with peanuts and shavings of my favorite mini chocolate candy bar or an Attune probiotic bar. When I’m trying to cut back on sugar, I opt for a low-sugar yogurt that uses Agave nectar or natural stevia sweetener.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

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I absolutely love potato chips. I could eat an entire bag when I crave salt. Instead, I’ve created a hot and crunchy chicken salad that satisfies my potato chip craving. I cook chicken breasts or cut up a rotisserie chicken from the deli. I also chop up celery. In a separate bowl I mix together the low-fat cream of celery soup, a few teaspoons of pimentos and just a few tablespoons of mayonnaise for flavor. I stir the chicken, celery and wet ingredient together, season with salt and pepper and pour into a baking dish. Then sprinkle crunched potato chips on top. Sprinkle a little reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese on top as well and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Sometimes all you need is the taste or texture of your favorite junk food. I find combining healthful greens, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and nuts with just a little junk food hits the spot. Use portion-controlled bags of chips and candies to avoid overeating. Instead of regular soda, try diet soda sweetened with stevia such as Zevia to go with these diet-friendly junk foods.