Low Fat Cooking – Simple Steps to Follow

Cooking and eating is the topic of most of my days, but the thing that I like to share with you today is how to manage cooking in a healthier manner that doesn’t require you to give up on flavor and still help you stay healthy and fit. I know that the word low-fat is not so attractive to some of you; and then again to some of you it might be just what you are looking for. I love that you can actually cook and eat low-fat and all you are giving up is the extra fat that your body doesn’t need. Now, I think that your body does need fats, but there is a difference between good fats and unnecessary fats. Let’s discuss this.

For instance, I think that grilled fish and chicken is more tastier than it cooked in a pan with oil, you give up on the fat because when you grill it the fat drains, hence making it less fat and the taste is delicious.
I also love lactose-free non fat or low-fat milk vs. the whole regular milk, the flavor is pretty much the same and all I am giving up on is fat.
Also I like to make my own buttermilk at home, by using the low-fat milk and lemon, it works exactly the same way but way less fat.

This is what I mean by giving up on fat but not on flavor. Things are yummy cooked the right way, we don’t have to get scared of fat, but we can learn to select it.
For example, I love almonds and walnuts, they are high in fat but all extremely good for you, so I eat them.
I love avocados, also fat. I love to use olive oil, also fat and I do like some good old Parmigiano Reggiano and will never eat any fake low-fat version, the real one is good for you and there is no substitute in my book.

So to follow are some tips on how to cook low-fat. Enjoy!

1) Grill, broil, bake, braise, steam, poach, slow-cook, and microwave foods instead of frying them. Sautéing is ok with minimal amounts of oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil), or use nonstick spray.

2) Choose chicken or turkey sausages or burgers instead of pork or beef sausages or burgers.

3) Choose extra-lean meat and skinless chicken breasts, and remember to trim all visible fat from meats.

4) Substitute most meat dishes each week with fish or vegetarian meals.

5) Use one egg and two egg whites per person in your favorite egg dishes or cakes; or cut fat and cholesterol completely by using egg substitute. Or also substitute 2 egg whites for one whole egg or 3 egg whites for 2 eggs.

6) Substitute whole milk for non fat or low-fat milk.

7) Oven-fry, bake or boil potatoes instead of making or buying French fries.

8) Choose reduced fat sour cream or yogurt instead of full-fat versions for stews, dips, spreads, and dressings.

9) Replace some of the fat in baked goods with applesauce, plain nonfat yogurt or low-fat buttermilk. (to make your own buttermilk: 1 cup low-fat milk mixed with 1 tbsp. lemon juice fresh).

10) Use reduced fat or fat-free cream cheese instead of the regular version for cheesecakes.

11) Use evaporated skim milk in place of light or heavy cream in soups and sauces.

12) Use fat-free chicken broth or fat-free milk in mashed potatoes, soups, gravies and stews

13) As a healthy alternative to frying, coat meat or veggies in egg whites then use bread crumbs and bake in the oven.

14) Cook fish in parchment paper or foil to seal in the flavor and juices.

15) Instead of eating potato chips, substitute pretzels, pita chips, or raw fruits and vegetables.

16) Rinse canned foods such as tuna, beans, and vegetables before using to wash away excess sodium or oil.

17) Thickening the sauce with cornstarch instead of a traditional butter-flour mixture.

18) Season vegetables with herbs and spices rather than sauces, butter or margarine.

19) Cook with lemon juice or herbs — these add flavors to food such as vegetables without adding fat.

20) Use mustard as a sandwich spread in place of margarine or mayonnaise. Or use healthy fats such as nut butters on your toast.

 

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My Favorite Asian Chicken Dish Ever….You have to try this!

My sister-in-law lived in the Thiland, Japan and Philipines and while there adapted and learned how to cook really delicious food. My favorite that she makes for me pretty much anytime I  visit is Chicken Adobo. I love this dish there is just something about it that I can’t seem to get enough of I love the sauce and the way the chicken literally falls apart when you eat it, you don’t even have to use a knife. It does have soy sauce in it but when you cut that with the vinegar it somehow seems to just give it a nice a subtle flavor and doesn’t leave you swollen the next day because of the sodium.

This is her recipe that she passed on to me, I am sure that there are other variations of how to make this dish, but I have to say that this is the best ever for me. I like to accompany it with some steamed broccoli, or green beans, or a mix of veggies that are steamed or you can opt for the traditional jasmine rice, I prefer to use brown rice, but in this case I only had white. This is a very easy and fast dish to make so don’t feel pressured and let’s cook something different today so that you can show off your culinary talents. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

6 Chicken legs*

3 large Garlic cloves

4-5 dried Bay leaves

1 tbsp whole Peppercorns

1 tbsp cornstarch, optional

1/2 cup low-sodium Soy sauce

1/2 cup white Vinegar

1 cup Water

1/2 Bullion cube

11/2 tbsp Olive oil

First mince the garlic and sauté in olive oil until golden in a medium pot, add the chicken and allow to get golden brown then flip over cook for about 5 minutes.
Add all the liquid ingredients plus the peppercorns, 1/2 bullion and the bay leaves; cover and let boil for approx. 20 minutes stir the chicken, then turn heat down and let simmer for about another 20 minutes.
If the sauce needs thickening you may use the cornstarch mixed with water and throw it in, I prefer it just the way it turns out and pour it over the veggies, so you don’t have to use the cornstarch.

You may turn off the chicken and begin to serve accompanied by whatever you wish. Yum!

* I like to use chicken breast because I don’t like the fat, but keep in mind that it will be dryer, so I suggest to still add atleast 1-2 chicken legs to give your sauce that delicious flavor.

 

Eating Habits of Naturally Thin People

I know that we all have ways we like to eat. But sometimes it’s our eating habits that can cause us to feel unhappy with our bodies and ourselves, we form these habits without even knowing that it’s a habit and maybe not such a good one at that. Eating is an essential part of our daily lives and who doesn’t love to eat?! But, we do have to watch at times how we eat. This is why I want to share with you the (secret) actually; known but not practiced eating habits of thin people.
They are simple steps we all know about and actually not that hard to follow if we make them our habits too, it will help our over all mood and way we look. Let’s see:

 

Naturally Thin Habit #1 – Don’t Overeat

Have you ever noticed that naturally thin people don’t over stuff themselves with excess amounts of food? They rarely eat larger portions or go back for seconds, but more often than not they have a natural awareness of their bodies and stop eating when they recognize that little signal that says, “Thank you, I’ve had enough to eat for now.”

Start applying this habit in your own life by paying close attention to how your body feels as you eat. When your body starts communicating that it is now satisfied, stop eating.

Naturally Thin Habit #2 – Get Rid of Guilt

Naturally thin people don’t beat themselves up for eating something they shouldn’t have – in fact, there are no forbidden foods in their world. They eat what they want, but they don’t overdo it. If they do eat something they would consider to be more fattening than their normal food choices, they don’t obsess over it for days. They don’t beat themselves up for eating it, and they don’t jump to conclusions like they are out of control and can’t be trusted to make wise decisions. They simply accept that they ate the food, and move on. No regrets, no guilt.

How freeing would it feel to adopt this habit yourself? Give it a try and notice how much better it feels to not have to carry such a heavy burden of guilt on your shoulders all the time.

Naturally Thin Habit #3 – Fill Up On Greens

Eat a side salad or green vegetable like broccoli to help fill your stomach. This gives you the volume of food that you’re used to without a lot of calories. Then, eat something that will satisfy your taste buds. An example would be an appetizer of a side salad to tame my hunger, then an appropriate portion of whatever sounds good to you. Maybe it’s a juicy steak or a pasta dish that looks good. A smaller portion of pasta will go a long way when you’re already partly satisfied from the greens.

Naturally Thin Habit #4 -Don’t be Obsessive

Don’t Get Obsessive About Losing Weight. When you first decide that you want to start losing weight it’s really easy to get obsessed with it. You may find yourself spending a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to eat or Googling weight loss topics online. This will only backfire on you. What goes up must come down. The key is to fit your “diet” into your life instead of trying to fit into your “diet.” Naturally thin people don’t obsess about working out and burning calories. They think positive and maintain a healthy exercise routine, if they miss one day there is always tomorrow.

Exercise is good, just don’t over do it. Almost all of your weight loss will be a result of your “diet.”

Naturally Thin Habit #5 – Find What Works for You

Naturally thin people eat what works with their body type. They listen to their body, some can stomach grapefruit, other can’t. Some can stomach soy milk, other can’t. Some eat dairy, other don’t. Some eat beans, others don’t.

You have to listen to your body and know what makes you feel good, some food bloat certain people and others don’t so you really have to learn to listen to your body and notice what is working for you in that moment. With this being said, we can all agree that too much sugar, junk food, sodas or artificial stuff doesn’t work great for anyone.
This is just some personal habits that I find to work for me, my husband and all the fellow Mythineaters out there.Thin people shouldn’t have to worry about what they eat, because they know themselves well and don’t feel controlled by food. Have a wonderful day!! Cheers to better eating habits from my Husband and I

 

                                          

Healthy and Elegant Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Try this for your meatless Monday. I truly enjoy salads, and I like exploring in the vegetable world and seeing what I can use in a salad so that we never get bored or feel that it’s too monotonous. Salads don’t just have to be made of leaves, it can be of anything you like. I am determined to believe that the more you explore and diversify your meals the more you look forward to experimenting and eating healthy foods. i.e. if you make the same salad everyday, then you start feeling as if you are deprived but if you spice it up and add different things you start forgetting all the other bad foods and start craving and looking forward to the foods that you are eating.

I am a firm believer that you crave what you eat, if you eat too many sweets you are going to be craving sweets, if you snack on junk food, your body will crave junk food anytime it’s hungry, if you eat too much meat your body will crave more meat, and when meat (or any other food) is not included in a meal you may feel as though you are still not satisfied because your body will send signals to the brain that its missing something. So, if you eat veggies, or fish, or nuts, or any healthy eating habit you’ve formed your body will be more inclined to craving that vs. the other. I am not saying by any means that meat is bad for you, I understand that we all have our opinions and a good grass fed filet of meat is delicious; but eaten in moderation. In my opinion meat should not be eaten all the time, once in awhile is good, there are so many better for you replacements out there like; fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and etc….

However seeing that this is a dedication to meatless Monday lets stick to no meat at all. This recipe is nutritious, vibrant, healthy, low carb and most of all delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Zucchini

1 handful Rucola

1 Jalapeno, optional

1 handful Parmigiano Reggiano Shaves

2 1/2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

Salt and pepper to taste

Start off by washing all your vegetables. Get a salad bowl and a mondoline*, now get you zucchini chop off the 2 ends and lay longways on the mandoline and start shaving (slicing) you don’t want them too thin, if you have one of those that adjust make sure that it is almost transparent. Once you are done with those add your handful of rucola and if your adding your chopped jalapeno add it now as well. In a separate little bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and gently mix all the ingredients, be careful to not break the zucchini.

Plate and shave some parmigiano over the dish and serve. If you like you can drizzle a little olive oil over the dish or you could also sprinkle some toasted pine nuts. You can do what you like. I hope that you like and enjoy this recipe.

* if you don’t have a mandoline you can also use a peeler, hold the zucchini in your hand and run the peeler across, it should do the trick.

 

In a rush? Try this delicious Homemade Pizza

You ever think about wanting to eat a pizza, but would like it to be healthier? Lighter? Not as fattening as the ones you order out? Maybe more vegetables or only with certain ingredients? Real mozzarella? Well, you can have it.

My husband and I do love to indulge in pizza here in Italy they make it with really thin crust, fresh ingredients and with just about anything you want on it. One night we decided that we were going to make it at home, we didn’t have the time to make the dough from scratch but you can find fresh pizza dough in just about any grocery store, (especially here in Italy) although while in the USA I found it in quite a few grocery stores, just ask for it.
He loves his pizza with Mozzarella, Pomodoro (Tomato) and Salame Piccante (Hot Salami) and I like it with less cheese and with any vegetable offered, from Mushrooms, Artichokes, Radicchio, Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant and always topped off with Rucola. (I do love Prosciutto Crudo on it also).

Now I think that when you make it at home you get to each prep it and make it just the way you like and it is not as complicated or as time consuming as it seems. It is not something unhealthy or bad for you when made at home because you pick the ingredients, the size and you know exactly what is going in it. (and that is always a plus)

I hope that you enjoy my simple explanation and ingredients and just remember this is easy, fun and great for any evening; whether it’s an activity with your kids, something fun for an at home date night, girls night as something to munch on, friends night or while having friends over for a dinner party as an appetizer you can do it whenever and look as if you worked for hours. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

2 Balls of Pizza dough

Flour for dusting

1 qt. lb Fresh Mozzarella, grated

1  4oz can of fresh Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt to taste

And then you pick the rest of ingredients

Preheat your oven at 350°. In the meantime roll out your pizza over a floured surface to desired thickness, lay on parchment paper over a pizza tin.

Open your can of tomato sauce and ladle over the dough about 1/4 in away from edges (not too much, just enough to cover bottom evenly), sprinkle with a little bit of salt and 1 tbsp. of Olive oil. Get your mozzarella and evenly layer of the tomato sauce and then finish adding your ingredients, don’t over do it (remember healthy does it).

Put in the oven and bake in the center for about 20 minutes. You want to make sure that the cheese is melted and that the bottom in golden brown. Pull out of oven and if you ae adding rucola add it on top and serve.

*I added Tomato sauce, radicchio, proscuitto, salame and rucola.
**My Husband added tomato sauce, moazzarella, chilli flakes, prosciutto and rucola.

 

 

Delicious Dairy-Free and Eggless Chocolate Cake

I usually try to find healthy and still delicious moist desserts with the least ingredients possible so that my body doesn’t take up too long to process and digest them. Don’t get me wrong I love homemade cakes and there is nothing wrong with dairy or eggs, but I sometimes like to leave them out as so to make a healthier version; and if it tastes delicious it’s all the better. This is a great recipe if you are lactose intolerant or if you have any sort of allergies due to dairy.

This is a very simple recipe that doesn’t require much time and barely any ingredients, you should already have all of these ingredients in your cupboards so when the moment hits and you want something that tastes indulgent and sweet but healthy, you don’t have to neglect yourself of that pleasure.

My sister recently got home from work and had to bake a cake for her son and had no time to go to the grocery store so she ended up calling me I gave her this recipe and everyone loved it, now her son is 10 so to have children love it makes you know that for sure it is delicious. I hope that you enjoy it.

Ingredients:

3 cups Flour

2 cups Sugar

6 tbsp. Dark Cocoa powder

1 tsp. Salt

2 1/2 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 cup melted Margarine

2 tbsp. Vinegar

2 cups Water

Preheat your oven at 350°.

Mix all ingredients together and pour in a buttered and floured 9×12 cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Simple and yummy.

Happy International Women’s Day! Indulge with this Low-Fat and Healthy Dessert.

mythineats

This is a delicious recipe that I actually found in an addition of a food and wine magazine. I tweaked it a little, but the outcome is amazing and I feel was delicious. Perfect as a snack or dessert. Exceptionally great with a spiced themed dinner, Greek, Indian or Middle-Eastern, it’s the cooling sensation that the yogurt along with the ginger leave.

Ingredients:

12 whole graham crackers

5 pieces crystallized ginger (finely chopped)

4 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

smidgen of salt

1 egg white

2 cups of non-fat greek yogurt (drained overnight)

2 tablespoons of honey

1 1/2 – 2 cups of fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a circle  pie pan 9 x 9 and set aside. In the food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the sugar, salt and crystallized ginger until finely ground. Add egg white and butter and…

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