The reality is that most Americans are doing everything on the run. We multi-task, we wing it when it comes to meals, and we eat out a lot. When we do try to prepare foods at home, we are often microwaving or re-heating frozen or takeout dinners and foods. Those meals typically have huge doses of fat, salt, sugar - ingredients that can pack on the pounds. So if you could "doctor up" those meals somewhat to dilute the unhealthy ingredients, you would make a huge dent on the nutritional breakdown. Here are some tips to help you make the best of an on-the-run approach to cooking at home:
Make a commitment to having a large salad bowl on the table and make sure there are a minimum of 6 vegetables (or vegetables and fruit in the salad). Dressing should be olive oil plus flavored vinegar. Fruits to add in include mandarin oranges, grapes, cranberries, grilled pineapple, slivers of apples.
Re-heating take out Chinese food? Add a pound of steamed vegetables to any chicken stir-fry, that way you add low calorie ingredients and dilute the total calories, fat and sodium.
Making a box of flavored rice? You can safely halve the oil the recipe demands and then add in steamed vegetables after the rice has cooked
Having a frozen pasta dish? Add in fresh cut up tomatoes and sautéed onions, mushrooms and asparagus
Re-heating a take out Indian dish? Add in rinsed garbanzo beans and cooked lentils
Using a prepared meat sauce? Add in chopped cooked vegetables and spoon as a topping over grilled Portabello mushrooms. Add a small side of whole grain pasta
Is it mac and cheese night? Add in chopped grilled vegetables and whole grain macaroni. Dilute the regular cheese in the recipe with a part skim based cheese.
Little changes in recipes have big dietary and health payoffs.
Published On: August 27, 2010