I’ve talked with a few people recently who are interested in losing weight or making a bigger push to lose weight–not surprising, as we approach the New Year and people start planning 2012 goals for themselves. I got into a discussion about carbs, and I made the case for starch vegetables over grains.
Maybe it’s residual habit from having done the South Beach Diet for a minute, but I tend to go light on pasta, rice, and white potatoes. (With the exception of French fries–I try to make them less damaging by opting for frozen fries crisped in the oven. I do eat bread regularly, however–a slice of whole wheat, a fat-free tortilla, or light hamburger buns.) No, they are not outlawed with Weight Watchers, but these days, I’d rather work my Points in a way that gives me more nutrition in a serving of something.
So I regularly eat starch veggies as sides. What am I eating?
- Corn. Technically corn is considered a grain (read an interesting article about that here), but most people call it a vegetable. I’d eat a half cup of corn with or without a bit of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light mixed in. I’ve also eaten it with Cajun seasoning.
- Carrots. I like roasted carrots; again, with or without the butter substitute. You could add a little honey to the carrots for a richer flavor. I also eat carrots raw as a side for sandwiches.
- Sweet potatoes. I like to roast them and mix in a little raw sugar and/or light butter substitute. When I’m short on time, I drain and mash up canned sweet potatoes.
- Canned pumpkin. I like this with Adobo seasoning and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light. (See a pattern yet?)
- Winter squash: I eat spaghetti, acorn or butternut squash, and I prefer to roast it. I give it the Adobo/light butter substitute treatment.
- Peas: I have shied away from peas for quite some time, but I think I’ll give them another chance. I’d go with a steamer bag of peas, seasoned with salt and pepper, with or without the light butter sub.
When I eat these vegetables as sides, I’m also still typically eating another kind of vegetable with them, like broccoli, spinach, or greens. For the innate value they offer over pasta, rice and potatoes, I choose these natural wonders any day!