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Use marinades and rubs to add an ethnic flair and to tenderize leaner cuts of beef.
When roasting beef, put a rack in the pan to allow fat to drip away from the meat.
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Week of February 24, 2008

How to Peel Tomatoes

If you love the flavor of fresh tomatoes in sauces and cooked dishes but don't like the texture when the skins are left on, try this simple trick for peeling tomatoes.

Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato, then place them one at a time in boiling water for just 5 - 10 seconds.

Using tongs, pull the tomato from boiling water and dunk into a bowl of ice water. (After a few minutes, they are cool enough to handle.) Then you can easily peel the skin off with a small paring knife.

Week of February 17, 2008

Using Eggs and Egg Substitutes in Baked Goods

Eggs help to bind batters and have leavening properties.

  • Egg yolks provide fat, which give much of the fine texture and color to baked goods.
  • Egg white are a drying and leavening agent.

Replacing a whole egg with egg white or egg substitute can be a good nutritional savings, if watching your cholesterol. One whole egg contains 5 grams of fat and 210 milligrams of cholesterol. The equivalent of 1 egg in egg whites or egg substitutes contains 0 fat and 0 cholesterol.

If more than one egg is called for in a recipe that you are baking, you will obtain the best results when you replace only part of the eggs with egg whites or egg substitute. That way you will retain the texture of the original recipe. Using only egg whites usually results in a baked good being dry and rubbery. If a recipe call for 3 large eggs, consider using one large egg and 4 large egg whites.

Keep this guide in mind when substituting:

  • 1 large egg = 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg = 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 large egg white = 2 tablespoons egg substitute

Week of February 10, 2008

One of the easiest and quickest ways to interest and flavor to a dish is to a ZEST.

Use lemon, lime, orange or tangerine zest, the colored part of the peel. It holds the true flavor of the fruit.

When zesting a fruit, be very careful to get only a thin layer of skin and none of the white pithy parts, as this is very bitter.

A grater or citrus zester can be used to obtain zest. For larger pieces of zest, simply use a potato or vegetable peeler and cut the pieces into thin strips.

Zest can be used in breads, muffins, cakes, desserts, salads, sides dishes, as well as savory entress, dressings and soups and stews. It is usually subtle but definitely taste tingling.


Week of February 3, 2008

We usually try not to mention or hype brand names on this site, but we have to break the rules every once in a while when an exceptional product can help our visitors.

If you have not seen it or tried it, take a look at Reynolds Wrap® Release® NON-STICK foil. If you are trying to cook with less fats and oils, this stuff is FANTASTIC!

According to the Reynolds web site, "It has an added food-safe coating that gives it outstanding non-stick qualities. In the manufacturing process, the non-stick coating is applied and cured onto the foil. The foil is also imprinted with the words "NON-STICK Side" on one side to indicate the side that provides the best non-stick surface."

Where I have found it to be exceptional is when oven frying foods with a coating. Before this, I was always spraying more oil on than I wanted to because the coating would always stick to the pan or plain foil and half of the breading would rip away from the food. With the release foil, you can turn your breaded food and the breading holds to the food without having to spay lots of oil on the pan or food.

It is also wonderful when baking with sticky sauces (like sweet barbeque or honey sauces). And like with all foil, cleanup is easier.

I have got to say this product has made low fat cooking a lot easier.

 


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