5 Healthy Cooking Tips

Dec 13, 2013   //   by Susan Harrell   //   Cooking For Endurance Athletes  //  No Comments  //  Affiliate Disclosure  

Healthy cooking doesn’t have to be bland. Follow these healthy cooking tips to add flavor to your dish without any added fat.

Saute and Reheat Without the Fat

A couple of tablespoons of low-sodium vegetable broth can be used instead of oil or butter in your stir fry or as the basis for a sauce. This method will add a nice flavor to your dish as well as a little moisture—and you’ll save calories to use elsewhere.

When reheating leftovers, like a pasta dish, put a little water or broth in the pan and bring back up to temperature.

To get a dose of unsaturated fats, serve your broth-sautéed veggies with a side salad, and pour an olive oil-based dressing over the top

Make Your Own Marinade

Marinate lean meats in vinegar and citrus combos (with a bit of oil added) rather than a pre-made oil-based dressing. You can also try a fruit juice or wine. These agents will still tenderize and flavor the meat, and a mix of herbs, garlic and spices will bring out the flavor! (You’ll also save sodium by not using the store-bought varieties!) Try cutting the meat in strips before dousing it to really let the marinade take effect or overnight to really get a big pop of flavor.

Brining

Brining is a great way to add a lot of flavor to lean meats without adding any fat. Soaking the meats in a brining solution helps ensure moist, juicy cooked meat. Make sure you are using all natural meat. Not Purdue, Tyson, etc., that have already been injected with a water/salt concoction. The salt-water brine solution increases the juiciness of the meat by loosening the protein structure. This in turn allows extra water and flavors to be trapped by the protein during the brining process…and the moisture and flavor are retained during the cooking process, making the meat delightfully juicy and tender.

Steaming

One of the simplest cooking techniques is steaming food in a perforated basket suspended above simmering liquid. It’s a great way to cut extra fat out, that is very easy to add to much oil when sautéing food. Add seasoning to the water to add extra flavor to your meat or vegetables.

Use Herbs

Herbs add a lot of flavor to dishes without adding any fat or calories.

Dried Herbs have a stronger, more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs. Crushed or ground herbs become lackluster more quickly than whole, dried herbs. Dried herbs are best used when you are cooking a dish that takes a longer time like a bolognese sauce or any other braised meat/vegetable dish. Dried herbs are also cost effective when using them in marinades.

Fresh Herbs have vibrant flavor and smell to them. They are much more delicate than dried herbs and only last in the refrigerator for 5 days – maybe 10 if they heartier like rosemary or thyme. Fresh herbs are best used at the end of the cooking time to add a burst of fresh flavor.

About The Author

Susan is a classically trained chef with a bachelors degree in Culinary Management from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute and also received further dietary culinary training while at The Hilton Head Health Institute. Susan is also certified as a Sports Nutritionist, Personal Fitness Chef and Personal Trainer. She started My Cuisine Coach and Healthy Meal Coach as way to help people learn how to cook healthy and great tasting food!!

 

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