Ingredient substitutions for lighter meals

Easy ideas to make lighter meals.

After a large meal we can all start to feel a bit heavy and sleepy. After a large lunch, staying alert at work can be a nightmare, and after a heavy dinner, you might find it harder to fall asleep.

Light meals are especially good to eat at night, when we want to help our bodies to get ready for their well-deserved rest. A simple way to make lighter dishes is by using simple ingredient substitutions. And we are here to provide some inspiration.

Benefits of eating light meals.

There can be some advantages of eating light meals, which you maybe haven’t thought of before.

  • Less bloating- having a smaller, lighter meal will decrease the chance of bloating
  • Better sleep. Heavy meals can cause indigestion and bloating, which can interfere with sleep.
  • Better food choices. Swapping unhealthy foods for lighter and healthier alternatives can help you to make your diet more balanced and varied.

How can you start making lighter meals? Check out our tips below.

7 easy tips to make your dishes lighter.

Having a clear idea of what you choose when shopping for groceries or when cooking at home can be very useful. To make it easier, make sure that your kitchen is full of veggies, fruit, plant proteins and starchy carbohydrates. Do this, and cooking varied and balanced meals will be a piece of cake. Are you ready to start? Then here are some tips to lighten up your meals.

  • Add vegetable proteins to your diet. Peas are a great source of protein, so having a bag of frozen peas on hand is a good idea when you want to substitute animal protein with plant-based protein. Pulses are also great staples to include for a plant protein boost.
  • Avoid added sugar or salt when possible- check the label!
  • Try half-fat crème fraiche or plain low-fat yoghurt instead of cream. Your sauces and dips will have a tasty tang, and will still be delicious.
  • Swap chips for boiled new potatoes. You can flavor your boiled potatoes with a drizzle of rapeseed oil, some lemon juice, and a twist of black pepper for a healthy yet delicious alternative.
  • Use olive oil or rapeseed oil instead of butter. While butter contains a large proportion of saturated fat, olive and rapeseed oil contain more healthy unsaturated fatty acids. However, remember that oil is calorific, so use sparingly.
  • Dress your salads with herbs and lemon juice, instead of heavy creamy dressings. This is a great alternative that will help you to explore new flavour combinations, and keep your salads light and zingy.
  • Choose more salads. They’re light and refreshing, and because you don’t have to cook all of the ingredients, they retain their nutrients!

Pea salad recipes from Birds Eye.

If you don’t feel like cooking, then go with salads. Salads are a perfect light meal, which offer you multiple advantages: they are very easy to prepare, they can help you to eat a large variety of vegetables, and you can get creative with the endless combinations of ingredients. Have you ever tried a pea salad?

Peas are sweet and tender, and are so versatile that once you try a pea salad you will always have a bag of frozen peas in your freezer. The best thing about having your frozen peas handy is that there are lots of possibilities in front of you just when you need them. Short of ideas? You can try a Pea Salad with Smoked Salmon or a  Summer Super Pea Salad or even better Warm Pea and Chicken Noodle Salad As you can see, making light dishes with peas has never been so easy!