Whether you are an experienced chef or struggle boiling water, there are simple tricks that can help make your meals healthier. Below are a variety of ideas for how to make your meals in a healthier way.
Tips for Success
- Start with lean cuts of meat and trim off the fat before cooking. These include cuts of meat that include the word “round” or lean (look for 93-99 % lean ground beef or ground chicken or turkey breast). Use skinless poultry or remove the skin before cooking
- Instead of frying your food, try baking, barbecuing, broiling, boiling, poaching, or roasting
- Instead of basting with butter or meat drippings, baste with chicken or vegetable stock, wine, tomato juice, or fruit juice
- When a recipe calls for vegetables sautéed in oil, instead, try using water, wine, chicken or vegetable stock
- Prepare stews, soups, gravies or other dishes containing fat in a liquid base a day ahead of time and refrigerate. The hardened fat can be spooned off the top before re-heating
- Use a non-stick skillet for fat-free frying or sautéing (no oil or other fat added). If you don’t have one, go buy one! Good Will, Ross Dress for Less, TJ Max, Nordstrom Rack, or other discount stores have great deals on these!
- Avoid browning vegetables with the meat; they are notorious fat sponges!
- Drain the fat from browned ground beef, using a colander and paper towels
- If you must have sausage, give it a bath: prick it with a fork and boil it in water, allowing the fat to escape. Drain water and brown it in a skillet
- Tenderize leaner cuts of meat by soaking in a fat-free marinade and/or by cooking longer at a lower temperature (try crock pot cooking)
- The amount of fat or oil can often be reduced by ¼ to ½ in recipes for baked goods, and left out entirely in recipes for soups, stews, and casseroles
- Buy a few healthy cookbooks that use healthy ingredients and cooking methods
- Cooking Light: 5 Ingredients 15 Minute Cookbook OR Cooking Light Superfast Suppers:Speedy Solutions for Dinner Dilemmas by Cooking Light editors
- Robin Rescues Dinner: 52 Weeks of Quick-Fix Meals, 350 Recipes, and a Realistic Plan to Get Weeknight Dinners on the Table, Robin Miller
- Healthy Homestyle Cooking by Evelyn Tribole
- American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook: More Than 200 Healthful Recipes You Can Make in Minutes, by American Heart Association
- Cooking Light
Tip provided by Wellness Dietitian, Claire Kjeld, at MultiCare Center for Healthy Living.