Choosing Flavor over Fat!
Updated: Jan 3
Occasionally I love to indulge in fattening dishes, as I‘m sure many did over the festive season, but on a daily basis I watch my food intake and focus on cooking with flavor instead of fat. The notion that low-fat cooking is dull, bland and lifeless is a definite misconception. Although fat offers a temporary feeling of satisfaction, fresh flavorful ingredients will not only ensure that your diet is healthier overall, but also that your fat intake is reduced without much effort!
I pretty much follow a healthy Mediterranean diet which helps me stay in shape and gives me all the necessary energy to get through my days with ease. This traditional diet promotes eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, pulses, nuts, grains, olives, olive oil and of course plenty of water and some wine. I also eat meat and eggs now and then, lots of salads and when I crave something sweet, I love indulging on lusciously thick Greek yogurt (2%fat) with a generous drizzle of Greek thyme honey and for an extra touch, crushed walnuts or chopped baked apples sprinkled with cinnamon.
For those who need to shape up a bit, I recommend cutting down a little on your food portions and take note of the cooking tips below . . . and before you know some of the extra weight you may have put on over the holiday season will start to melt away, leaving you energized and feeling much better about yourself!
Below take note of more than 20 tips to help you cook healthy delicious meals without much effort!
Add fresh and dried herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of a dish.
Use capers and olives in recipes instead of adding extra salt. These add extra flavor to whatever you are cooking and you won’t miss the salt.
Add anchovies to your tomato sauce instead of salt. It gives a zesty flavor to the sauce which is definitely not fishy.
Use small amounts of olive oil - if you like flavored oils with herbs and pepper
Adding roasted red and green peppers gives added dimension to a recipe
Make sauces with fruit juices or vegetable purees
Thicken sauces with arrowroot or cornstarch rather than cream or butter
Use low fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for dips, sauces and in baked goods
Make clear broth soups or pureed vegetable soups where the vegetables, rice or potatoes act as a thickener (rather than cream)
Buy naturally lean cuts of meat
Remove any visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking. Remove skin from poultry
Add flavor to meats and vegetables without adding a lot of butter or oils by trying different cooking methods such as . . . Roasting or or grilling or braising or slow cooking in stock.
Marinate meat and vegetables in a light vinaigrette
Enhance the nutritional value of salads with pulses and oven roasted seeds
Use reduced-fat cheeses in your cooking.
Instead of heavy salad dressing, use lots of fresh lemon juice or a dash of balsamic vinegar with little olive oil
Use low fat strained yogurt rather than sour creamy or mayonnaise to make a creamy salad dressing
Use stock-based vinaigrette to substitute stock (thickened with a little arrowroot) for part of the oil
Snack on olives, fresh & dried fruit, raw veggies and low-fat yogurt
Start your day with breakfast and don’t skip meals
Eat fiber rich foods to keep you sustained for hours
Drink lots of water and only small doses of wine and coffee
Finally keep your fridge stocked with plenty of fresh produce and your pantry full with ingredients suitable for preparing healthy meals any time of the day!
Among the list of things to include make sure to have sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, capers, herbs, spices, mustard powder, canned beans, tuna, sardines, whole grains, low-fat breakfast cereals and whole-meal pasta!
Last but not least, always eat lots of delicious, colorful and filling salads that are low in calories, high in vitamins and please the eye . . . as well as your tummy & waist line!