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TIP: The Easy Way To Healthier Cooking

Struggling with that “eat healthier/lose weight” new year’s resolution?

Nutritionists tell you that you can have your favorite rich foods, just in small portions. One piece of pizza instead of two. One heaping tablespoon of ice cream instead of half a pint.

But overall, eating healthier means better nutrition and fewer calories. The good news is that even historic “bad eaters” can appreciate the delicious flavors of these other foods. It’s a mind thing.

So start looking at your favorites an see where you can make revisions. You might want to start with a copy of Cooking Light: The New Way To Cook Light, Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook.

While there are numerous books in the Cooking Light series, this books starts with the principles of eating lighter:

 

Continue to enjoy pasta, but make it whole wheat pasta and 50% “primavera” (half pasta, half vegetables). Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

  • Healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado oil, rather than butter and cream
  • Larger portions of vegetables and more modest portions of meat
  • Whole grains rather than refined ones (white flour, white rice, e.g.)
  •  
    The recipes use “real” ingredients instead of fat-free sour cream, artificial sweeteners, etc.

    They provide more than enough flavor, texture, color and mouthfeel to satisfy everyone at the table.

    The adjustments are easy, the taste results negligible, the overall transition painless. And if you want to lose weight without working at it, this is how!

     

    The best way to start a new eating regime:
    Read an inspiring, calorie-cutting cookbook like
    this one. Photo courtesy Cooking Light.

     

    OUR PERSONAL TIPS

  • Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream and cream cheese. Whether on a bagel or a burrito, it works!
  • “Pad out” pasta and rice with vegetables. Aim for a half and half ratio, and vary the veggies and the cuts (dice, julienne, circles, etc.) so they don’t get routine.
  • Make exciting salads. A plate of boring greens cries out for caloric dressings. Instead, add other, more flavorful vegetables and a vinaigrette: artichoke hearts, broccoli, capers, edamame, hearts of palm, olives, pimento and/or water chestnuts, for example. When tomato isn’t in season, it’s pretty flavorless—again, crying out for caloric dressings. Substitute grape or cherry tomatoes in red or the more catchy yellow, pimento or sundried tomatoes. And don’t use inexpensive oil and vinegar: treat yourself to the good stuff.
  • Drink lots of water or plain iced tea with meals. The more you drink, the fuller you get. Vary with club soda, flavored unsweetened seltzers and other low calorie options. Drink wine in spritzers (half wine, half club soda).
  •  

  • Enjoy your favorite cake in cubes. We’d rather eat a tiny piece of rich cream cheese cheesecake than a slice of “cheesecake lite.” A solution:
    Bake the cheesecake in a pan, like brownies—shorter than a standard cheesecake. Keep it in the freezer, and cut small squares as needed for a “fix,” or to top a larger dish of mixed berries for dessert.
     
    Send us your favorite tips, and keep working it.

      





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