With 2010 coming to a close in a few weeks, many of us are starting to think about ways to shed a few pounds in the new year. While the first thing that often comes to mind when considering getting healthy or losing weight is exercise or cutting back on the amount of food you eat, an easier (and maybe healthier?) thing to help you reach that goal is actually to add certain foods into your diet. Healthy eating can sometimes be as simple as substituting or adding something to a recipe which increases your nutrition and cuts back on less desirable things. Substituting healthier items for unhealthy ones can also save you time from trying to find new “healthy” recipes. It also makes things better for you without changing the taste of a dish you love. Here are some ideas that I routinely use in my cooking:
· Plain yogurt instead of sour cream (cup for cup)
· Applesauce instead of oil when baking (cup for cup)
· A handful of ground flaxseed to just about anything (smoothies, peanut butter balls, hamburgers, etc.)
· Silken tofu instead of cream (makes awesome custard and alfredo sauces) *see recipe below
· Non-fat canned milk instead of whole milk in recipes (don’t water down)
· Whole wheat pasta and breads instead of white breads
Not sure what your family will think if you switch cold turkey? Try gradually working in the healthier items into your recipes and not mentioning the change until after your family has had a few bites. Below is an easy silken tofu recipe that I developed to get you started–trust me, it’s delicious. Even my husband didn’t know it was soy, and he won’t touch anything with the word “tofu” in it!
Please share your own ideas below—I’m always interested in finding more quick and easy ways to simplify my food and bring it back to basics!
Mix the garlic/oil and everything else in a blender or food processor until smooth (hint: always put the most liquid ingredients on the bottom of the blender, working up to the firmest):
1/2 cup milk (I use evaporated)
16 oz silken tofu
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper and salt to taste
Heat to your desired temperature (be sure to stir occasionally) and it’s ready to serve! Garnish with more cheese and fresh parsley for a nice touch. I often serve it with a colorful salad, providing aesthetic pleasure as well as more nutrition and yumminess.