of March 30, 2008
is an easy way to prepare healthy meals. Vegetables
and meat are cooked at medium-high heat in a small
amount of oil. You must stir constantly because
the foods cook so rapidly. After cooking, toss
with your favorite sauce in the same cooking pan
uses high cooking temperature, so choose an oil
with a high smoke point - canola and peanut oil
are good choices.
are a few pointers to make your cooking experience
you start, combine sauce ingredients and have
all ingredients cut up before you begin.
that is partially frozen can be sliced more
easily and thinly for quick and even cooking.
assure even cooking time, cut vegetables in
a uniform size. Add firmer vegetables that need
slightly longer cooking time to the pan first.
oil in a nonstick skillet or wok. When the oil
shimmers and gives off a waft of steam, you
are ready to go. If the oil emits a darker smoke,
the oil is too hot and will give your dish an
of March 16, 2008
Fat Cooking Methods - Braising
Braising is a cooking method where meat or vegetables
are first browned in a little oil, then slowly
cooked in a tightly covered pot with some cooking
liquid over low heat for a long period of time.
method of cooking is great for tough cuts of meat
but also works well with chicken, fish and/or
vegetables. You can braise in a crock pot, pressure
cooker, large saute pan or the most often used
cooking vessel for braises, a Dutch oven.
can braise just about any meat, fish or vegetable
you want and be as creative as you like with seasoning,
but there are some ingredients that are better
for braising and some you want to cook using other
techniques like grilling or roasting.
that braises will are firm fish like shark, swordfish
but tender filets like tilapia or even cod will
just fall apart on you. If you do braise a more
tender cut like flounder, be sure to shorten the
braising fruits and vegetables, you want to stay
with the hardier varieties. Squash, sweet potatoes,
leeks, parsnips, carrots, beets, cabbage and onions
are great braised alone or along with meat and
chicken. In the fall try braising meat with firm
pears and apples and in the summer, try braising
chicken with pineapple.
of March 9, 2008
a Healthier Cut of Beef
the amounts of saturated and transfats in your
diet does not mean that you have to totally give
up beef if you are smart about the cuts you use.
food-labeling laws determine which cuts of beef
can be called "lean" or "extra-lean"
based on fat and cholesterol content. Here is
a breakdown of the leaner cuts.
A 3.5-ounce serving that
contains less than:
10 grams total fat
• 4.5 grams saturated fat
• 95 milligrams cholesterol
• Round steak
• 95% lean ground beef
• Chuck shoulder roast
• Arm pot roast
• Shoulder steak
• Strip steak
• Tenderloin steak
• T-bone steak
3.5-ounce serving that contains less than:
• 5 grams total fat
• 2 grams saturated fat
• 95 milligrams cholesterol
Eye of round roast
• Top round steak
• Mock tender steak
• Bottom round roast
• Top sirloin steak
tips for decreasing the fat content of beef include:
Select beef that is labeled "Choice"
or "Select" instead of "Prime"
- which usually has more fat.
buying ground beef, look for packages with the
lowest percentage of fat - 10 percent or lower.
Most grocery stores offer several types of ground
beef with varying percentages of fat by weight.
beef with the least amount of visible fat (marbling).
preparing beef, trim off any visible fat.
Small - Keep portions to around 4 ounces, which
shrinks to about 3 ounces after cooking. This
doesn’t sound very much, but beef is very
rich and packed full of important vitamins and
minerals, including iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus,
vitamins B6, B12 and niacin. You don’t
need a 12-ounce steak to benefit from these
nutrients. They’re all there in a 4-ounce
If you can get it, choose grass-fed beef, which
is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and
higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered
problem with opting for the leanest cuts of beef
is that, without the tenderizing effect of all
that marbling, they can be tough. Be sure to choose
the appropriate cooking method for the cut of
beef. Often lean cuts benefit from a moist cooking
method such as braising, which helps break down
the structure of the meat, making it fork tender.
of March 2, 2008
Thickener for Salad Dressings
you are eating salads to loose weight, the
last thing you need is a calorie laden dressing
for your salads.
is an easy way to thicken salad dressings
without adding fat and extra calories. Use
xanthan gum, a white powder available at
health food stores. You will see this ingredient
on the labels of many food products that
use it as a natural thickener.
most dressing recipes, use 1/8 teaspoon
or less. For best results, mix it with other
dry ingredients (like spices and seasonings)
before adding to liquids.