Healthy Recipes
Healthy Recipes
Healthy Recipes
Low Fat
Low Fat Recipes
Keep boullion and some flavorfull dried soup bases on hand for a quick soup base.
Keep fresh fruit in the refrigerator at all times for those sweet attacks. The fresh fruit will satisfy as well.
Heart Healthy
New Recipes


Week of October 31, 2004

Making a Tasty Vegetable Stock

A good vegetable stock is a good low fat base for many soups and dishes. It can also be used as a substitute for chicken stock. To make 4 cups of vegetable stock, you will need:

2 large onions
2 medium carrots
3 stalks of celery, remove and discard leaves
1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Chop vegetables into large chunks. Peel the garlic cloves, but it is not necessary to chop the garlic. Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot and cover all of the vegetables with water.

You may use peppercorns and a bay leaf or add other herbs for seasoning. Common additions are stems from herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary. If you are planning on using this stock in an Asian recipe, you may want to add fresh, ginger or lemongrass.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Once the water has begun to boil, turn the stove down to low. Allow the vegetables to simmer for an hour.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh. The stock will be sweet, light in color and clear.

Week of October 24, 2004

Basting for Added Flavor - Not Fat

Basting poultry and meats while roasting or grilling is a great way to add flavor without fat to meat dishes. You may use it along with spice and herb rubs or baste just by itself. Basting sauces are brushed onto meat while it is cooking. If the sauce is tomato based or contains sugar it is best to baste just during the last 10 to 20 minutes of cooking to keep from over-browning.

Here is one of my favorite basting sauces: In small saucepan, mix together ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar; bring to boil. I particularly like this on chicken.

Of course many combinations of fruit juices, honey, mustards, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, marmalades, jelly and spices may be combined to get the flavor you desire. Let your imagination and your taste buds be your guide.

Week of October 17, 2004

Tasty little beans are good for you and they are easy on your pocketbook too. In fact, beans are one of the most inexpensive sources of protein that you can find. Beans cost one-third to one-half that price of hamburger meat. Beans are available frozen, canned or dry for ease of preparation and storage.

Beans have lot of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins including folic acid and iron.They are also low in fat and calories and contain fiber to help with digestion. Beans are so nutritious and so rich in protein that they are included in both the vegetable and the protein groups in the USDA's new Food Guide Pyramid.

A plant protein, beans are called incomplete proteins because they are missing some of the amino acid building blocks needed by the human body. It is very easy, however, to add food grains to a meal containing incomplete proteins to make them just as nutritious as animal proteins. Baked beans and whole wheat bread, refried beans and tortillas or just beans and rice will all make up a complete protein. By combining foods from two or more of the following columns below, you create a complete protein. The foods in one column may be missing amino acids that are present in the foods listed in another column. When eaten in combination at the same meal or even separately throughout the day, your body receives all nine essential amino acids.

You can combine the following vegetable proteins to make complete proteins.

Sources of Complementary Proteins

Chick Peas
Pumpkin Seeds
Dried Peas
Sesame Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Soy Products
Other Nuts

Beans offer tremendous variety and versatility. Working with dried beans takes a little forethought, since it is best to soak the beans overnight or during the day when at work. Remember if you use canned beans in your recipes that you will need to use salt free canned products or adjust spices and salt in your recipe accordingly.

Week of October 10, 2004

Phyllo Dough - A Low Fat Alternative to Pie Crust

For a practically fat-free pie crust, use frozen phyllo pastry instead of a traditional pie crust. Thaw phyllo as directed on package. Then carefully lift two phyllo sheets or leaves from the stack and center in a 9 inch pie pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Lay two more phyllo leaves in pan at right angles to first and lightly spray again. Then stagger two more on the bias to fill gaps and spray, then two more so pan is fully lined.

With damp cloth or paper toweling, gently press phyllo into pan. Carefully remove towel making sure towel does not adhere to the phyllo and tear. Fill pie as directed, then to crisp or lightly brown the crust, bake the pie 10 minutes on a heavy-duty baking sheet, preheated with the oven to 425° F. Finish baking the pie, still on the baking sheet, at 350° F. or as recipe directs. (Cover edges with foil if they begin to overly brown. For cream pies, just bake crusts until golden brown and crisp, then fill.

COOKS NOTE: Traditionally phyllo comes in 14 by 18 sheets. To keep from wasting phyllo dough, I usually cut the phyllo into 14 x 14 inch square sheets for the 9 inch pie shells and cut the remaining into 4 inch squares press in muffin tins for tart shells or mini quiches. Place several layers of the phyllo in the tins and spray lightly with oil between layers. Press carefully so that the dough fits snugly in the cups. Mist lightly with oil and bake at 400 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes or until light golden color for baked shells. Fill as desired.

Week of October 3, 2004

Steaming Vegetables
You don't have to use just plain water to steam vegetables. You may add some lemon juice, wine, soy sauce, or other liquids to the water to add flavor to the vegetables or add a fresh sprig of thyme, rosemary, or other herb to the liquid. A slice of onion or garlic also adds a soft aroma and flavor to the dish.

You may use an electric steamer, a metal steamer pot, bamboo steamers or a metal steamer insert. Make sure to use one with a handle that can be attached at the top of the colander for easy removal. Remember that the water should almost reaches the very bottom of the colander but does not actually touch the vegetables. It should be close enough for the steam to cook the vegetables. Food is at least one inch above the water at a rolling boil. The liquid never should boil dry and the steam must be able to circulate freely. It is useful to have a kettle of boiling water handy when steam something for a long period, to replenish the water as needed.

Almost any vegetable or vegetable mixture can be steamed. Steaming times will depend on the type of vegetable and the size of the vegetable. When you are steaming mixtures of vegetables, make sure to cut the vegetables into smaller pieces if it requires longer cooking times you may place vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and other firm vegetables to the mixture first so they can cook a little before adding tender vegetables like green beans that take less time. Add greens like spinach last as they take just a short time to cook.

There are several easy ways to tell when a vegetable is cooked. If it is a green vegetable, look for a vibrant color change. When the color intensifies the vegetable is done. It should still be quite crispy, but is tender. This should take at the most about three minutes. In the case of leafy greens like spinach it can take only a minute. For non leafy green vegetables like broccoli and green beans, it can take as long as 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables and how tender you like the vegetables. Obviously the way that you prepare and cut the vegetables greatly effects their cooking times. A whole carrot may take over 30 minutes to steam, while thinly sliced carrots can take only a few minutes.

DANGER: Steam can cause severe burns. Be careful to always open a steaming pan away from you to let the steam escape away from you.

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