On a diet seven days per week? Sounds difficult and so very painful! Restricting yourself to a food diet plan is indeed challenging, with so many lifestyle changes required.
Nevertheless, this tough journey of living healthy is bound to leave you craving sugar and unhealthy food. I inevitably, the word “cheating” is right on top of your mind!
Cheat meals let you do exactly that! Such meals do not constitute a whole day of cheating. In fact, they let you eat junk food like pizza, potato chips, and desserts once or twice a week of your diet plan. Eating cheat meals can go a long way to help you psychologically. Before rushing to call your favorite pizza restaurant, try a healthier approach with just as much taste and flavor. The best way to keep good health is to prepare easy and healthy cheat meals at home, which save both time and money.
This article covers five easy to prepare cheat meals which replace refined wheat flour with whole wheat, frying with baking, fatty cheese with low-fat cheese, white sugar with dark brown sugar, and also include healthy fruits and ice cream.
1.) Pizza – Pizza, a family favorite, is certainly among the top 10 most-wanted cheat meals. In order to retain the health factor, this popular food item can be modified by using a whole wheat thin crust, adding plenty of vegetables, and using the red sauce or olive oil. If you can’t resist cheese, keep to low-fat mozzarella, a light crumbling of feta or a light shaving of parmesan. For a non-vegetarian pizza, you should go for lean proteins like chicken breast and nitrite-free Canadian bacon. Garnishing the pizza with fresh basil leaves completes this tasty dish.
2.) Homemade Oven Chips – Delicious and healthy low-fat oven chips are simple to make and taste great! Such chips could be made from potatoes or sweet potatoes and seasoned with toppings of your choice. From start to finish, this easy to prepare food won’t take you more than 40 minutes.
560 grams potatoes
1 pinch of salt (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 392 degrees Fahrenheit / 200 degrees Celsius.
Cut the potatoes into wedges, about two centimetres thick.
Wash the wedge-shaped potato chips and dress them evenly and lightly with olive oil.
Place the chips on a baking tray and season them with salt.
Bake them for 20-30 minutes. While keeping an eye on them, occasionally prick them with a knife to check if they are light and soft in the middle.
Once cooked to your satisfaction, take the chips out of the oven.
Add any other toppings of your choice. You could choose from chilli flakes, pepper, garlic spice, and fresh parsley among others.
3) Apple Tart – Cheat with a blend of rich pastry, sweet apples, maple syrup, and pecans! Let’s make two apple tarts:
4 apples of your choice. Pick a variety that would bake well.
Store-bought puff pastry (thawed). 2 buttery pastries, each weighing 250 grams.
4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar for cooking.
Another 4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar to sprinkle over the top.
About ½ cup of maple syrup.
A handful of roughly chopped raw pecan nuts to add a delicious crunch to the apple tart. A pecan is a smooth pinkish-brown nut with an edible kernel.
Icing sugar for light sprinkling.
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit / 180 degrees Celsius.
Lay the thawed pastry out and cut them only about 2cm from the outside edge. This would be the edge for your apple tart.
Peel, core and finely slice the apples.
Toss the apple slices in a bowl with the dark brown sugar kept aside for cooking and most of the maple syrup. Keep the maple syrup that stays behind for later use.
Arrange the apple slices evenly over the inner part of the pastry, in approximately two layers.
Scatter the roughly chopped raw pecan nuts all over, and sprinkle the other 4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar over the top.
Bake the apple tarts for 20–25 minutes until the sides have puffed up or become bigger. Trickle the leftover maple syrup over the tarts, dust with icing sugar and serve.
If you want to cheat further, dollop the apple tarts with maple flavored whipped cream. For making maple flavored whipped cream, just add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to 250 ml cream before whipping it.
You could also enjoy the tarts with vanilla ice-cream.
4) Tiramisu – This cheat food can be prepared in literally ten minutes! Here is a recipe that serves four:
12 finger biscuits
150 grams of mascarpone (a variety of Italian cream cheese)
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
Half a cup of espresso
One-fourth cup of Kahlúa (a coffee-flavoured liqueur from Mexico)
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
50 grams of grated dark chocolate
In a small bowl, lightly beat together the mascarpone and icing sugar.
Place two finger biscuits on a plate, and sprinkle one teaspoon of espresso and one teaspoon of Kahlúa over these biscuits.
Place a lump of the mascarpone-icing sugar mixture on top of the biscuits, then top with another biscuit. Once again, drizzle with a teaspoon each of espresso and Kahlúa. Repeat the procedure with the remaining biscuits.
Your Tiramisu dessert is ready to savor! To serve, sprinkle it with cocoa and grated dark chocolate.
5) Peanut Butter & Banana Milkshake – With peanut butter cup ice cream as a base and a blended banana, you can prepare one of the yummiest milkshakes at home! Go for any brand of ice-creams which focuses on low calories and high proteins. In this way, you get to cheat as well as retain the health factor. Just add one cup of peanut butter, one cup ice-cream, half a cup of unsweetened almond milk, and half a banana to a blender. Then blend till you get a smooth mixture. Garnish with cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder for a little extra flavor.
About the Author:
Jessica is a registered dietitian and wellness guru who loves to read, research and write. A fitness freak who believes in healthy living and doesn’t like to miss her yoga, when she’s not reading she can be found relishing her favorite foods.