How To Turn Your Favorite Recipe Into A Lighter Dish

Nov 11, 2011
Veronica Brandy

Healthy Recipe Makeover - Easy Low Fat Cooking - Low fat Calories Recipes

Here are some tips to turn your favorite dishes into lightweight recipes! Do you like good food and think there is no way for you to follow a binding diet? However, you would not be against some relief in your eating habits… So don’t worry!

Here are some tips to turn your favorite recipes into light dishes, better for the diet and for your health. I hope if it works for me, it should be the same for you!

Before continuing, I’d like to bring your attention to the fact that various books offer classic recipe makeovers, providing healthy options in many of our favorite – but not so healthy – recipes like

Hungry Girl Chew the Right Thing: Supreme Makeovers for 50 Foods You Crave by Lisa Lillien, or The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers: Improving the Way Your Family Eats, One Meal at a Time! by Janice Newel Bissex.

Watch your cooking method!

The cooking method is important in preventing “unwanted” calories, and if we pay attention, we can already quickly eliminate misidentified fat for cooking. Instead, the “natural” cooked food will have more flavor and may even amaze our taste-buds!

For example, for preparation in the oven, I prefer cooking in foils because it does not require more fat and keeps well the flavor of foods and spices. If the recipe requires cooking in the stove, it is time to equip yourself (if unfortunately it was not the case already) a non-stick stove – like a wok for example– which will prevent the addition of fat and thus retain the natural taste of food.

Also, consider the microwave oven as it can be an ally of choice, if you know how to use it! Today, many recipes can be adapted to this method from innovative dishes or traditional menus, especially fast!

To convince yourself, try rabbit legs or salmon in foil, snails and shiitake mushrooms in the wok, or soy chicken curry in the microwave oven. That said, do not completely deprive yourselves from animal or vegetable fat. It’s their accumulation at all stages of food preparation that can be bad. Butter is a source of vitamins A, D and E and oil (olive, walnut, rapeseed) has many virtues… It’s all about moderation!

A few tips

Above all, try to choose lower fat options for basic products. For example, use skim-milk in meal preparation, instead of whole or semi-skimmed milk. It is lighter while retaining calcium, vitamins and proteins.

As for salad dressings, try to replace half the yogurt fat with a lighter cream. You will see that the preparation will be smoother and yet less fat! When making vinaigrettes, use less oil that you will emulsify with water before adding vinegar or lemon juice and your seasoning: this base will keep its volume without being too fatty.

Try a cottage cream cheese base for your warm sauces, or vegetable sauce to accompany your meat and fish. They will prove consistency in your dish and lightness for the diet!

Whole bread provides less calories compared to the traditional baguette. When reasonably consumed, it is a source of long-term energy and prevents snacking.

It is therefore an important product of food, especially in the morning.

Dishes can be adapted

The dishes can be adapted. In the stuffed tomatoes for example, just replace the sausage meat (as in any stuffing) with ground veal, which contains much less fat.

As for the pies with a short crust pastry you’ll save a few grams when compared to a puff pastry! Even the heaviest dishes can, with some imagination be alleviated: salsify gratin is better than potatoes.

In these preparations, which sometimes require a lot of eggs, use only 2 whole eggs and complete with only the whites.

All these tips, if put into practice, are a first step towards a less fatty diet.

Snacks and appetizers

Want some munchies? Ok, but before you jump on the candy closet, think. Nature is well done, you have to enjoy it! There’s nothing like vitamins, fiber and minerals found naturally in fruits (fresh or dried). They will give you the pizzazz you need without weighing down your digestion.

And for the cocktail hour, if you replace the traditional crisps (580 calories per 100g!) , crackers and other salty-fatty stuff by homemade appetizers that will have the double advantage to impress your guests while providing lower calories!

Delight them with some gardener’s appetizers like cucumber, cherry tomatoes with rose liquor, or stuffed mini-vegetables with cottage cheese.

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