1. Rice Roll Wraps: These Vietnamese Spring rolls are literally a godsend to us health freaks. They are like a fresh, lighter burrito made with thin rice flour wraps that also travel well. Pack these wraps up and enjoy them later in the day at room temperature or served chilled. Get creative with slices of mango, apple, and pineapple that all work really well in these wraps. When it comes to veggies, try leafy greens like kale, lettuce, cabbage or, crunchy greens like cucumber, jicama, and bell peppers.
2. Acai or Green Bowls: These have become my “sweet tooth” obsession as of late. For those nights when you crave something sweet, try making an açaí or green bowl. It’s essentially a thicker smoothie, fortified with peanut butter or tahini. The consistency is richer and creamier than a smoothie, to the point where you can eat it like a parfait. Top it with granola, fresh fruit or any other crunchy healthy bits like chia seeds, nuts, coconut, flax, etc. To make them even healthier, toss in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens into the blender along with fresh fruit like berries, apples, citrus, pineapple and mango. No one can feel bad eating a “dessert” that has kale in it right?
3. Taco Bowls: I learned this trick when I was in high school training for volleyball season when I had to eat huge meals before conditioning days (days where you would sprint, run hills, and do all sort of tough circuits to condition yourself back into shape as the seasons begins). Instead of stuffing three to four tacos into my stomach, I would skip the shell and ask for extra meat in a bowl with beans and some Spanish rice. Then I would hit up the salad bar and top my bowl with crunchy veggies like diced cucumbers, corn, jicama, lettuce, onions, and radish and drizzle salsa and sour cream on top. This meal felt decadent without feeling heavy. The next time you are in the mood for some Mexican, try a taco bowl with all the fresh veggies you can pile on.
4. Pico De Gallo: The concept of Pico de Gallo is essentially fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs salt and lime juice. The same concept works with fruit tossing together mangos, pineapple, apple, grapefruit, melon, and pomegranate. The sweet, salty, sour, and spicy combo makes for an amazing topping for grilled meats, seafood, tacos, and wraps. You can even use it for ceviche and top the mix over some fresh greens and you’ve got yourself a flavorful, bright and light salad. Eating healthy and fresh doesn’t get any easier than this.
5. Open Faced Toast: Open faced toast is one of my favorite things to eat in the mornings. Not only is it super tasty, but it’s also visually enticing. You can use any sort of fresh vegetables you like — raw, grilled, chilled, or marinated. If using raw fresh vegetables, drizzle the toast with olive oil, salt and pepper, and balsamic vinegar, or spread the toast with your favorite mustard or compote. If you want to make it more substantial, add some of your favorite cheese, and if you feel like going sweet, make a fruit version. Toast with nut spread and fresh fruit with a drizzle of honey is divine. Not feeling like nuts, choose a spreadable cheese for your toast with fresh fruits such as figs, grapes, berries, and apples. The variations go on and on, and it’s such a fun way to eat your vegetables and fruit without feeling like you are giving up flavor or taste.