Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great Calorie-Reducing Idea

Once again, the idea is not mine, but I think this is a good article. I always advocate cutting back on restaurant portions, sharing meals, and gaining awareness of how many calories we consume. This article presents ways to "remake" restaurant favorites at home with way fewer calories. One reason I like this approach is that just reading the recipes gives you an idea of how to make your own cooking healthier and less fattening.

Those of us who grew up eating rich foods, heavy in gravies and sauces, might require a weaning process to cut way back on that "style" of eating. Instead, we should consider replacing our usual menu items with what I call "clean" food. By this I mean grilled or roasted meat with herbs, garlic, and other seasonings, but no gravy or sauce. Likewise, vegetables prepared in the microwave with just a sprinkling of water, a little olive oil, and seasoned with herbs, such as oregano (delicious on broccoli), basil, or tarragon. Of course, tomato based sauce prepared with a little olive oil and lots of garlic and herbs adds almost no fat and great taste to whole grain pasta or vegetables. Try it on steamed cauliflower.

Some food manufacturers do get the need to present healthier choices, and whole-grain pasta in moderation is a great example. Likewise, try substituting whole wheat flour for white flour in almost any baked goods recipe and enjoy the wholesome nutty flavor it adds to oatmeal cookies, pancakes, and nut breads, for example. We routinely cut the amount of sugar in recipes by half or more, and they are still plenty sweet enough. As many of you know, pureed vegetables can be added to cake, cookie, and bread recipes as well.

This reminds me of the "glop" I discussed in one of my first blog posts. When you throw whole carrots, spinach, squash, blueberries, bananas, oranges, apples, or virtually any fruit into a blender along with orange or cranberry juice, you get a smoothie-like drink that could not be healthier. You can't really taste the vegetables and you can play with the combinations until you have your own favorite "glop." The point of this being that you are consuming healthful food, not just juice.

Couldn't resist adding a random pictue of one of my jewelry art designs. This is "Yellow Wood." Hand-sculpted pure silver tree and leaves, with amber and man-made yellow sapphires fired into the silver, with gold wire trim.