Cooking Ideas And Tips
There are many variables in making your food healthy.
There are lots of little ways to trim cholesterol, fat, salt and calories
without trimming taste There are also ways to enhance the flavors of your
selected foods-and some special ways to handle food. The following tips
may come in handy:
- Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
- After you roast meat or poultry, chill the drippings
in the refrigerator. Once cooled, the fat will rise to the top and
harden; you can remove it easily and save the stock to use in stews,
sauces and soups.
- Buy only the leanest ground beef or turkey (no more
than 15 percent fat). After browning, put ground meat into a strainer or
colander lined with paper towels. Allow fat to drain out. Ground meat is
generally higher in fat than non ground meat. Instead of buying
prepackaged ground beef, have your butcher grind a sirloin steak for
you. Be sure to have him remove all visible fat and clean the grinder to
remove any fat from previous grindings.
- When figuring serving sizes, remember that meat loses
about 25 percent of its weight during cooking. For example, 4 ounces of
raw meat will be about 3 ounces cooked.
- To make gravy without fat, blend a tbsp of cornstarch
with a cup of room-temperature broth by shaking the two together in a
tightly lidded jar. Then heat the rest of the broth in a saucepan and
add the blended liquid. Simmer until thickened.
- Make a habit of skinning chickens before cooking and
removing all visible fat below the skin. The skin will be easier to
remove if you use paper towels or a clean cloth to take hold of it. Be
certain to scrub the cutting surface and utensils well with hot sudsy
water after preparing poultry for cooking.
- Fresh fish should be cooked for ten minutes per inch
of thickness. Add five minutes if it is wrapped in foil. Frozen fish
requires twenty minutes per inch of thickness, plus ten minutes if it is
wrapped in foil. Cooking time may vary, depending on the cooking method
used, but fish is done when the flesh is opaque and it flakes easily.
- Prepare scrambled eggs or omelet's so that only one
egg yolk per portion is used. Add a few extra egg whites to the mixing
bowl to make more generous servings.
- To remove oils or salty liquids, drain canned salmon,
tuna or sardines. Then add water to the can and drain again to rinse.
- Seal natural juice into foods by wrapping them in
foil before cooking. Or try wrapping foods in edible pouches made of
steamed lettuce or cabbage leaves.
- Cook vegetables just long enough to make them tender
crisp. Overcooked vegetables lose both flavor and important nutrients.
- Clean mushrooms as you use them by wiping them with a
damp cloth. A quick rinse in cold water is fine, but never soak them or
they will get soggy.
- Be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling hot
peppers or wash hands thoroughly after handling. Skin, especially around
the eyes, is very sensitive to the oil from peppers.
- Cut down on cholesterol by using more vegetables and
less poultry or meats in soups, stews and casseroles. Finely chopped
vegetables are great for stretching ground poultry or meat, too.
- Cut down on fat in creamy salad dressing by mixing it
with plain low fat yogurt.
- Sweeten plain low fat or nonfat yogurt with pureed
fruit or applesauce instead of buying prepared fruit yogurt.