Convert your favorite recipes into tastier, healthy meals. It is very easy to stick to family favorite meals because you can make them in your sleep and family members love them. Favorites might include meatloaf, fried chicken, sloppy Joe’s, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, or chicken fried steak. Although these dishes sound high in fat you can make them tastier and better for you by following these 7 simple tips:
- Substitute lean ground turkey breast mixed with extra lean ground beef in recipes where you previously used regular ground beef. Keep in mind that ground turkey breast cooks much faster than ground beef. In cases where ground beef was used in a sauce, such as sloppy joe’s and spaghetti, add meat at the end instead of at the beginning. Cooking times for meatballs and meatloaf will be shorter. In some cases you may be able to substitute half of the meat with kidney beans. One example might be chili where you can use all beans and no meat.
- For breaded, pan-fried entrees such as fish, chicken, turkey cutlets and even onion rings, dip item into nonfat plain yogurt, then bread crumbs. The key is to keep items and yogurt cold so yogurt coats them thickly. Add spices, parmesan, cracker crumbs, crushed baked tortilla chips, corn flakes, corn meal and/or fresh herbs to the breading.Turn items over in the bread crumbs several times to get a thick coating. Lightly spray the top of the breaded item with vegetable oil and bake at a high (425º) temperature.
- Low-fat, reduced-sodium cream soups (such as Healthy Choice and Campbell’s Healthy Request) make excellent quick cream sauces. Fat-free half and half will also stand in for cream.
- Use thin-sliced chicken breasts in place of veal cutlets, sandwich steaks and chicken fried steaks. Remember that chicken breast cooks very quickly.
- For oven-fried French fries, the key is to make wedges very thin and keep the oven temperature high around 450º F. Season the potato wedges well with cajun seasoning, parmesan, black pepper and/or dried herbs. (Use vegetable oil spray or egg whites to make seasonings stick.)
- Use a spray oil wherever possible and be cognizant of how much oil, butter, or margarine you are using. When reducing the amount of butter, margarine, or oil from a recipe, add another flavoring in its place, such as herbs (basil, oregano, dill, thyme, and/or cilantro), spices (black pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin, garlic powder and/or chili powder), a little cream or broth, or parmesan cheese.
- Incorporate fresh or frozen vegetables for color, texture and flavor. Get in the habit of adding sliced veggies to almost everything you make from soups to pasta dishes to skillet meals or grilled dinners.
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