HeartSmart Recipes


Nutrition Basics:... by Amy

Trim Fat Not Flavor
Love to improve your waistline, cholesterol or blood pressure? What's in your kitchen cabinet can be more important than what's in your medicine cabinet. Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a good start, but exercising some low-fat cooking skills can also make a big difference. Try these easy tips to trim some fat without sacrificing flavor.

Add flavor to cooking liquids
Prepare rice, couscous, potatoes and other vegetables with fat free chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. You won't need butter or margarine for flavor.

Blend in beans
Puree a can of kidney beans or pinto beans in a food processor and add to ground beef for meatloaf, meatballs or tacos. Bean puree is also a great thickener for soups and stews. It's a delicious way to add a hefty dose of fiber.

Choose skinny sauces
Barbecue sauce, chili sauce, chutney, Dijon mustard, salsa, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce all add flavor without fat.

Cook with foil
Wrap skinless poultry or seafood, sliced vegetables and fresh or dried herbs in heavy-duty aluminum foil packets and bake in the oven. Foods come out moist and flavorful with virtually no fat or clean up!

Give ground beef a bath
Rinse cooked ground beef with hot water before adding to recipes. You'll get rid of an extra 2-5 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving.

Get more greens
Low in calories and loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, greens add color and flavor to a variety of dishes. Add spinach to salads and kale, collards or chard to pasta, rice and stir-fry dishes.

Grate on flavor
Add big flavor with small amounts of rich ingredients. Use a grater to top vegetables and pasta with a thin layer of extra-sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese instead of butter or margarine. A sprinkling of grated chocolate adds a deluxe touch to skinny desserts.

Pick the right pork
When a recipe calls for bacon, substitute lean ham or Canadian bacon. It will give you the smoky flavor you want, minus the fat.

Pucker up
Use citrus juices to marinate meat, poultry and seafood. Add fresh herbs and just a drizzle of oil to orange, lemon or lime juice for zesty low-fat flavor.

Sauté without fat
Instead of cooking vegetables in oil or butter, use a little liquid - defatted broth, fruit juice or wine. You'll save 120 calories and 13 grams of fat for each tablespoon of fat you skip.


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