by Susan Burke March
With just a little preparation and forethought, you can enjoy nutritious food and never “diet” again. Using just a few simple strategies, you can enjoy favorite recipes with less fat, sugar and calories… without sacrificing flavor. It’s easier than you might think.
Prepare to Succeed! Plan your meals in advance, eat a healthy snack, and then go shopping to better avoid impulse purchases.
The Recipe Rule: Keep it simple! Avoid recipes with too many steps… and ingredients.
Think Lean: Buy the leanest cuts of meat and trim all visible fat before cooking. Ground meat should be at least 95% lean.
Stick to Non-Stick: Nonstick pans allow you to avoid using oil in favor of healthier options like cooking spray, wine, water, or fruit juice.
Mission-Critical Method: Bake, broil, grill, poach your proteins. Cut the saturated and trans fat by basting with flavorful vegetable broth, white wine, or orange juice.
Crumbs Count: Instead of commercial breadcrumbs, usually full of oil and trans fat, substitute a low sugar crunchy breakfast cereal.
Sweeten Naturally: Replace half the oil with applesauce or fruit puree for an equally moist muffin or cake; use one-third less sugar in cakes or cookies and use dried unsweetened fruit such as raisins or diced dates to add natural sweetness to cereal.
Dairy Do’s: Switch all dairy consumption to non-fat or 1%, including milk, cheese and yogurt. Nonfat evaporated milk has a creamy consistency and works well as a lower calorie but pleasing condensed milk substitute. Low-fat buttermilk makes a good substitute for whole milk in many recipes. In all recipes, substitute two egg whites for one whole egg and cut the fat, cholesterol, and calories.
Just Desserts: Keep it sweet, but smartly reduce calories and fat in decadent desserts by substituting low-fat ricotta cheese for whole-milk. Instead of sour cream, try lower fat Greek-style, creamy plain yogurt instead.
Double up: Double the recipe ingredients and freeze half in a microwave-safe container.