I hate diets. What’s the point of fitting into a smaller pair of jeans if I have to eat plain broiled chicken every day of my life? But here are some simple changes we can make that will let us cook our favorite dishes in a healthier way. (If anything, it will make us feel a little better about dessert.)
1. Use olive oil and canola oil for cooking and baking. Olive oil adds flavor, but won’t work well in high heat. If you need to fry something, use canola. It has a high smoke point.
2. Pan-fry or oven-fry. When a recipe calls for a deep fryer, try this technique instead. Instead, lightly roll the food surface in canola oil, then cook it in a nonstick frying pan or brown in the oven (set at 400 degrees).
3. Baking? Substitute whole-wheat flour for half the white flour listed in the recipe. It’s healthier, but since the mixture tends to be dryer, add a few tablespoons of low-fat milk or fruit juice (depending on the recipe). Whole-wheat flour’s rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. (You can also substitute whole wheat pasta for any pasta dish.)
4. Substitute Splenda for half of the sugar in bakery recipes. Imagine, just half a cup of sugar saves 387 calories.
5. Use half-and-half instead of whipping cream. Great for soups, gravies, casseroles and some baking recipes. It’s fat-free!