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Cooking with Karina: Healthy Food Swaps

Karina Arnold
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Avocado Dip

Avocado dip is a heart-healthy, delicious appetizer, side or spread. (Photo: Karina Arnold)

Karina Arnold, summer intern at The Buzz, is a rising sophomore at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. Stay tuned every Monday this summer for creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating from Karina.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be as extreme as Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s diet, nor does healthy have to involve the workout routine of a Victoria’s Secret model. Pursuing healthy eating can be as simple as swapping one ingredient for another.

Turkey wrap

This turkey wrap is a healthy, easy grab-and-go lunch option. (Photo: Karina Arnold)

One easy swap is replacing condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard, etc.) for an avocado spread. Avocados are incredibly nutritious. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, fiber and potassium, spreading an avocado on sandwich bread, tortillas or making a dip for fries or chips - like this Avocado Dip - is much more beneficial and filling than generic, sugar and sodium-loaded spreads like mayo or ketchup. 

Additionally, swapping whole wheat tortillas or lettuce wraps for buns or the usual sandwich bread, rolls or croissants reduces your carbohydrate intake, while still providing you with the fiber you need in your diet. You can find a good example of a Homemade Turkey Wrap here.

Chicken, vegetables and quinoa

Mix baked chicken, steamed vegetables and cooked quinoa for a delicious, filling, healthy meal. (Photo: Karina Arnold)

Using quinoa rather than rice boosts the nutritional value of any meal. Quinoa (pronounced: kinwa) has 150 percent more fiber and 100 percent more protein than white rice. Quinoa is easy to make, store and has a long shelf life. Also, you can eat this super-food hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try this Cinnamon and Banana Quinoa Bowl for breakfast or Baked Chicken and Veggies Plate for dinner.

These three food swaps are an easy, great way to get started. What are your favorite ingredients to swap? Happy shopping!

See more from Karina every Monday and more Buzz recipes here.

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