There’s an old saying that everything that tastes good is bad for you. And there is some truth to that. There’s no denying that fried foods such as fried chicken and rich foods that use heavy cream and whole fat dairy products are tasty. But there are ways that you can still enjoy these foods while eating healthier. Here are TK secrets to healthier cooking.
1. Get crispy “fried” food without the grease. Instead of deep-frying your chicken, fish or vegetables, try using this oven-frying technique instead. First, dip the food in milk, buttermilk or a beaten egg. Then dredge it in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, or any other seasoning you desire, or dredge it in breadcrumbs. Next coat the food lightly with olive oil or cooking spray. Place it on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and back at 425 degrees F until the crust is crispy. Using this method, two pieces of oven-fried chicken have about 40 percent few calories and 4 grams less saturated fat than two pieces of deep-fried chicken.
2. Use egg whites in place of whole eggs. An egg white has only 16 calories and 0 grams of fat compared with 54 calories and 5 grams of fat in an egg yolk. When your recipe calls for a whole raw egg, substitute 2 egg whites instead. This works for the vast majority of recipes.
3. Add grains or vegetables to meat dishes. To cut back calories and fat in ground meat dishes such as hamburgers and meatloaf, add in cooked whole grains such as brown rice or bulgur or diced vegetables like carrots, mushrooms or bell peppers. Not only does this help bulk up the portion size of meat dishes, but it is also a great way to get more whole grains and vegetables into your diet or into the diet of a vegetable-hating child. A good ratio is to add ¾ to 1 cup of cooked grains or diced vegetables to each pound of meat.
4. Cut back on the salt. The USDA recommends that everyone 2 years of age and up consume no more than 2300 milligrams of salt per day, which is only about a teaspoon of salt. Try using less salt than the recipe calls for or no salt at all. Substitute other spices for the salt in recipes or use no-salt alternatives such as Morton Salt Substitute. When using canned ingredients in recipes such as chicken or vegetable broths, choose low-salt or no-salt versions.
5. Use low-fat dairy products. Try substituting low-fat milk instead of whole milk in recipes. Use our recipe for cream without the cream in recipes that call for heavy cream such as cream-based soups and pasta sauces. Use low-fat cheeses or use super tangy cheeses such as sharp cheddar cheese and lessen the amount that the recipe calls for without sacrificing taste.
6. Use good fats. Not all fat is bad for you. Use unsaturated fats such as olive oil instead of saturated fats such as butter. Even then, use all fats in moderation because even good fats are loaded with calories.