Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cooking Light & Getting Creative In the Kitchen

Cooking light is one of the keys to developing a healthy lifestyle. Healthy cooking is a crucial component in accomplishing any diet and fitness goal. Easier said that done right? Below are some healthy tips to lighten your meals, get more creative and feel more satisfied.

Switch it up Tapa's Style! Cut back your portion, by using small plates and bowls. One trick for eating anything you like is to try tapas-style small plates, tastes and bites, as opposed to full-on meals. Not only will you feel satisfied faster, but you'll try new things, share food with friends.

Leave the scene! Once you've served yourself in the kitchen, get out of it, and away from the family style buffet. You'll be able to track easier, and eat less. Just remember no one is going to take the food away from you so If you use a small plate and want to go back for seconds, go for it, just don't forget to track it.

Just add veggies! Whether it's starting your meal with a salad, adding a side of roasted veggies, broccoli, zucchini or carrot to a main dish like pasta. Look at every recipe like a detective, asking yourself, "How can I add more veggies to this dish?" Add shredded vegetables like carrots and zucchini to dishes they can “hide” in, like spaghetti sauces. The vegetables will cook down and add extra fiber and nutrition to the dish. In the world of weight loss, fiber is a good thing because it adds bulk and helps keep hunger pangs at bay.You'll be surprised how much bulk your gaining in your dishes with out add bulk to your waistline.

Substitute! Substitutions are one of the best ways to lighten any recipe. If it calls for sour cream, substitute plain nonfat Greek yogurt. It the recipe wants full-fat cheese, try a low-fat version, or cut the portion in half. Making something with white flour? Sub in whole-wheat flour, or rice flour.

Measure! Always measure the oil you put in the pan with the appropriate tool. If the recipe calls for a tablespoon of oil, use a tablespoon to measure. If it calls for ¼ cup, use a measuring cup. One tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories and 13.5g of fat. That’s not bad if you only use 1 – 2 tablespoons in a dish, but if you free pour oil it’s likely to double the oil the recipe requires. This can potentially add another 240 calories to your dish and 27g of fat!

Broths are your friend! Sauté foods by using half the amount of fat called for in a recipe, then as the pan begins to dry, add a tablespoon or two of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Don’t add too much, or you will steam your food and not sauté it!

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