For the last few months I’ve been busy working on a project that will help many of you busy folks make grocery shopping, cooking, and eating healthy as easy as ever. Part of your success in using my “system” will be my unique “7 Ways” to cook (almost) anything. That’s right, very soon you will be one step closer to having delicious food in your pantry and home-cooked meals on your table! As something to look forward to, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into my “7 Ways” approach.
I know eating healthy is important to you or you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog! I also know it gets harder and harder to eat healthy with a busy schedule and little time to get creative. If you cook your own meals, congratulations, these tips will be meaningful to you. If you’re not preparing food for yourself, maybe these tips will inspire you to give it a try!
7 Ways To…Health-Up Your Everyday Dishes:
- Not a veggie fan yourself? Hiding veggies is not just for kids. Try pureeing veggies like broccoli, peppers, carrots and spinach to add to what you’re already eating — think pasta sauce, soups and stews. You can also add shredded veggies to ground meat dishes and casseroles like meatloaf. I make a “goulash” for my husband’s lunch each week — along with lean ground beef and canned tomatoes, I chop up mushrooms, onions, zucchini or peppers (I even sneak in roasted eggplant).
- Switch from a regular white potato to sweet potato “fries” — chop or slice, season with olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 for 35-40 minutes.
- Make your own chips. Using whole wheat pita, slice into triangles and coat lightly with cooking spray, then season with salt and spices. Bake at 400 for 5-6 minutes or until desired crispness.
- Sub out low fat Greek yogurt for mayo when making dip, salad dressings, and spreads. This is a simple way to save calories and fat and keep the creaminess.
- Fold baby spinach into pasta and soup/stew dishes. Add the spinach in the last few minutes of cooking or just fold it into the finished dish. The spinach will soften just from the heat of the food.
- When making an omelet, use 1 whole egg plus 3-4 whites to get a fluffy, low fat omelet with all the whole egg taste. At my house, we make big omelets to share and use 1 yolk for each person and the rest whites.
- When making pasta dishes, go Tuscan-style. Cut the pasta portion in half and sub in white beans. Cannelini beans are creamy and delicious and will add protein and fiber to any pasta meal.
These are a few of my tips and tricks….what’s your favorite way to health-up a meal?
Danielle Omar, MS, RD