Want to Splurge? Just Make a Swap

Everybody loves a good “splurge” meal every now and then – occasionally indulging in something that brings you comfort. But what if you could swap a few ingredients on your favorite “splurge” and create a healthier alternative that is supportive of keeping your glucose levels in range?
We’ve recreated some of our Level2 members’ favorite splurge dinners with a few healthy changes to help lower sugar and insulin levels.  You might even be surprised by some of the delicious ingredients that don’t need to be swapped.


Carnitas (or Tacos with Pork):

Original ingredients:

  • Shredded pork filling
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Salsa

Swaps:

  • Swap for pork: roasted shredded chicken, heated in a pan with salsa
  • Swap for flour tortillas: corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • No swap for cheese, avocado, lettuce and fixings (they’re all fine!)
  • Extra credit: Use lettuce wraps or cauliflower tortillas

Steak & Mashed Potatoes:

Original ingredients:

  • Steak (6 oz.)
  • Mashed potatoes

Swaps:

  • Swap for steak: make it a 3 oz. portion
  • Swap for potatoes: mashed cauliflower
  • Extra credit: add veggies like green beans and carrots

Cheeseburger & French Fries

Original ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Bun (white)
  • French fries (potatoes)

Swaps:

  • No swap for beef
  • No swap for cheese
  • No swap for bacon
  • Swap for bun: whole-wheat bun
  • Swap for fries: jicama or rutabaga fries
  • Swap for ketchup: mustard or sugar-free ketchup
  • Extra credit: skip the bun and wrap the patty in lettuce or serve it over leafy greens

Nachos with Cheese & Sour Cream

Original ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese
  • Salsa

Swaps:

  • Swap for chips: sweet potato, sliced and baked
  • No swap for sour cream
  • No swap for cheese
  • No swap for salsa

Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Chips

Original ingredients:

  • Cheese
  • White bread
  • Butter
  • Potato chips

Swaps:

  • No swap for cheese
  • Swap for white bread: sprouted wheat bread
  • No swap for butter
  • Swap for chips: Popcorn or carrots

Shrimp, Tofu or Chicken Fried Rice

Original ingredients:

  • Shrimp, tofu or chicken
  • White rice
  • Eggs
  • Soy sauce

Swaps:

  • No swap for shrimp, tofu or chicken
  • Swap for white rice: Cauliflower rice
  • No swap for eggs
  • No swap for soy sauce (but consider low-sodium)
  • Extra credit: add non-starchy vegetables, like snow peas or green and red peppers

Pasta & Red Sauce

Original ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • Red sauce
  • Herbs (parsley, oregano)

Swaps:

  • Swap for pasta: prepared zucchini or squash noodles
  • Swap for red sauce: no swap or low-sugar pasta sauce (or make your own)
  • No swap for herbs
  • Extra credit: load up the sauce with non-starchy vegetables and serve with a big salad