We can train ourselves to do almost anything with a little willingness. Do you turn your nose up at trying new foods or healthier recipes for fear that it won’t taste good? Perhaps you have a little too much emotion invested in the outcome. While eating should be enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be a “cloud 9” experience.
Try these smart cooking ideas for a healthy twist! Be sure to allow your mind and palate an adjustment period to get accustomed to new tastes and textures.
- For crunchy tacos or tostadas, bake your tortillas in the oven rather than frying in a pan or buying prepared shells. Drape your tortilla over one or two metal rungs in the oven (or lay flat on the rack) and bake on low heat until crispy!
- Make a switch to preparing more vegetarian meals like chili, tofu stir fry or veggie burgers. These will usually have less fat (as long as you don’t add heavy sauces or lots of oil!).
- When making deli sandwiches, skip the mayo! Use veggies, hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, salad spritzers or sprays, or mustard for moisture and more flavor.
- For garlic bread, drizzle olive oil rather than slathering butter or margarine on top. You’ll get a healthier type of fat and generally use a smaller portion.
- If you drink juice, get into the habit of diluting it with water. You can still enjoy the flavor with less sugar
- Buy lean meats such as skinless chicken and lean ground beef (90% lean or higher). When buying ground turkey or ground chicken look for ground breast meat. Use lean cuts of meat (pork or lamb tenderloin, loin chops or leg cuts: beef round, chuck, sirloin, or tenderloin) and choose beef that is labeled “Choice” or “Select” instead of “Prime,” which usually has more fat.
- Trim the visible fat from chicken and meat before cooking.
- Drain the fat from the pan after cooking.
- Consider using a BBQ or grill (like the George Foreman Grill) so the fat drains off while cooking.
- Use cooking spray in the pan rather than butter or oil.
- Replace half the oil in the pan with water, broth or wine when cooking or stir frying veggies.