With macaroni and cheese, French fries and BBQ chicken staples in many Bermudian households, it is no wonder our obesity rates are so high.
However, just a few substitutions on cooking methods and ingredients can make all the difference.
Instead of chips and dip, try veggie sticks with white bean hummus.
To make the hummus, dump a can of white beans, drained and rinsed, into a medium bowl. Add a squeeze of tomato or sundried-tomato paste, some finely diced scallions or chives, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Mash together with a potato masher until semi-smooth.
Instead of traditional macaroni and cheese, try carrot mac ‘n’ cheese.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Steam 1 bag of peeled and finely sliced Bermuda carrots with the zest strips and juice of one orange and 2 cups of water until very soft (about 30 minutes). Remove orange peel and blend to a smooth purée. Meanwhile, cook and drain a box of pasta of your choice (we like whole wheat penne), saving a cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer pasta back to the pot and add the puréed carrots and 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted (add in cooking liquid as needed). Transfer to a baking dish, top with another ½ cup cheese and bake at 350° F. for 20 minutes.
Instead of greasy, deep-fried French fries, try baked sweet potato fries.
Preheat oven to 425° F. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice into 1-inch-wide wedges. Toss with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder, and lay flat on a roasting pan or large cookie sheet. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
Instead of BBQ chicken, try BBQ chicken tenders (recipe from eatingwell.com):
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (see note)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat
Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
1. Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat a large-rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.