Healthful Meals

Much has been learned about how to prepare healthful foods that are enjoyable, convenient to make, and economical. Many of the leading chefs of Europe and the United States have abandoned cooking styles that once depended on fats and oils and are now using healthier cooking methods. This "new" cuisine uses the cook's culinary skill to create delicious meals that bring fruits, vegetables, and grains to center stage.

Simple yet innovative techniques can be used to modify favorite recipes to maximize the nutritious value of the meal without jeopardizing its taste. When you modify an existing recipe, it is generally best to start slowly, making one change at a time. Persistence, willingness to experiment, and a few tried-and-true hints can help you prepare healthful and flavorful meals.

Change Is Good

Recently, fat, sugar, and salt have been vilified for they play in increasing the risk of certain diseases such as obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure. However, they are only "bad" when eaten in excess. The key is not to banish them from the kitchen but to use them in moderation.

Fat provides flavor, substance, and a mouth-pleasing creamy texture. Sugar adds sweetness, crispness, tenderness, and color. Salt heightens the flavor of foods and is necessary in baked goods made with yeast.

the roles the roles

The art of cooking is to put the proper amounts of these ingredients in each food. Recipe modification is one of the more useful cooking skills. In some instances, modification of the fat, sugar, or salt content actually can make the food tastier, moister, and more satisfying than it was originally.

When Should a Recipe Be Modified?

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether a recipe can be adjusted without sacrificing taste, texture, and appeal. Try modifying a recipe if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

Keep in mind that not every recipe needs to be modified. If, for example, a certain high-fat dessert is a family favorite and it is prepared infrequently, there is no need to change it. As long as it is treated as an item from the top of the Food Guide Pyramid (see Chapter 1, page 11)—the occasional food—enjoy it in its familiar form.

Experiment

Because every recipe is different, experimentation is necessary. There are numerous ways to make a recipe healthier. Of course, not every experiment works. It may take several attempts to achieve the desired taste and consistency. Once the modified recipe meets your expectations, file it for future use.

As a start, try these five methods:

• Delete a high-fat ingredient or seasoning.

• Substitute a healthier ingredient.

• Change the method used to prepare the recipe.

• Reduce the amount of meat in the recipe.

Can the Amount of an Ingredient Be Reduced?

Start by reducing the amount one ingredient at a time. In most baked goods, sugar generally can be reduced by one-third to one-half without substantially changing consistency or taste. Because sugar increases moisture, as a rule retain one-fourth cup of sugar, honey, or molasses for every cup of flour in baked goods. To maximize the sweetness of foods, when appropriate, serve the dish warm or at room temperature rather than cold. In addition, there are spices that can enhance sweetness. Some possibilities include cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla and almond extract or flavoring. Eliminating a cup of sugar in a recipe saves about 800 calories.

Fat also can be reduced by one-third to one-half in baked goods. Use pureed fruit or applesauce to replace the fat in a 1:1 ratio. For example, use one-half cup of oil plus one-half cup of unsweetened applesauce (instead of 1 cup of oil). Eliminating 1 cup of oil or fat saves about 2,000 calories and 225 grams of fat. Another way to decrease fat and cholesterol is to substitute egg whites or egg substitute for a whole egg. For every egg, use 2 egg whites or a quarter cup of egg substitute. With this replacement, approximately 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 200 milligrams of cholesterol, and 60 calories are saved.

Reduce but do not totally remove salt because a small amount of salt frequently is required to facilitate the chemical reactions that occur during cooking. Salt is always required with yeast-leavened items. The cooler the food, the saltier it will taste. Try under-salting hot foods that will be chilled before serving. Using a half teaspoon of salt instead of 1 teaspoon in a recipe saves about 1,200 milligrams of sodium. (See sidebar: Tips for Using Spices and Herbs, this page.)

Can an Ingredient Be Omitted?

Determine whether any ingredients can be omitted. Sugar, fat, and salt are likely candidates because in many instances they are used mainly for appearance or by habit. To reduce sugar, omit candy coatings, sugary frostings, and syrups. Nuts, although nutritious, are high in fat and contribute significant calories. Additional condiments that add unwanted fat and calories include coconut, whipped cream, mayonnaise, butter, margarine, and sour cream. Pickles, catsup, olives, and mustard are low in calories. However, because these condiments are high in salt, persons who have high blood pressure or heart disease generally should limit their use.

Can a Substitution Be Made?

Substituting ingredients that are lower in fat, sugar, and salt can make a significant difference in a recipe. For example, use skim milk rather than whole or 2 percent milk. Products made from pureed prunes and apples or mashed bananas often can be used as a replacement for butter, margarine, or oil. These products also can be used in homemade baked goods or box mixes. (See sidebar: Choose These Alternatives to Reduce Fat, Sugar, and Salt, page 127.)

Be cautious when using fat-free spreads (such as fat-free margarine or cream cheese), "artificial" sweeteners, or salt substitutes in cooked foods. Most fat-free spreads contain a significant amount of water. This can change the outcome of the recipe by affecting its leavening or by leaving the food runny. Some sweeteners (such as aspartame) lose their sweetness when exposed to heat. Heat can make some salt substitutes (such as those containing potassium chloride) strong or bitter tasting. For these reasons, these products generally should be restricted to recipes that do not require cooking or are used as condiments when foods are

Tips for Using Spices and Herbs

• Conversion: 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dry = 1/4 teaspoon powdered

• Use sparingly: 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat or pint of sauce. You can always add more.

• When doubling a recipe, add only 50 percent more seasoning.

• Crush or rub dry herbs between your fingers to enhance flavor before adding them to a recipe.

• In long-cooking entrées such as stews, add herbs toward the end of the cooking time.

• In chilled foods such as dips, salads, and dressings, add herbs several hours before serving.

• For maximal freshness, purchase herbs in small quantities and store in airtight containers away from light and heat.

served at the table. In most instances, success depends on patience and a bit of creativity. If one substitution does not yield the desired result, try again. Another substitute or a different amount of the same substitute may work better.

Would Another Cooking Method Be Healthier?

The choice of cooking technique is important. If the usual method of cooking uses fat, try grilling, broiling, braising, or roasting the food instead. Instead of deep-fat frying, try oven baking. French "fries" seasoned with chili powder or oregano are both tasty and low in fat when baked. Although stir "frying" can be a healthful cooking technique, use of generous amounts of oil negates some of the possible benefit. Always measure the oil to be used or, better yet, replace it with wine or a broth that adds flavor but little fat and only a few calories. Cooking food for the proper time (avoiding overcooking) not only makes it taste better but also preserves nutrients.

Choose These Alternatives to Reduce Fat, Sugar, and Salt

Try these ideas for decreasing fat, sugar, and salt when preparing or eating foods.

For fatty foods

Choose:

Instead of:

Two percent, 1 percent, or skim milk; low-fat or fat-free yogurt;

Full-fat milk, yogurt, sour cream, or cheese

low-fat or fat-free sour cream or cheese

Lean, trimmed cuts of the loin and round; remove the skin from

Fatty and highly marbled meat

poultry before eating

Applesauce or fruit purée in place of half the oil or shortening

Shortening, butter, margarine, or oil in baked

that is normally used; use the rest of the fat as instructed

goods

Puréed vegetables (carrots or potatoes), mashed potato flakes,

Creamed soups and gravy-based stews

or puréed tofu as a thickening agent

Wine, fruit juice, broth, or balsamic vinegar

Oil-based marinades

Vegetable spray

Butter, oil, or margarine to prevent sticking

Two egg whites or egg substitute

A whole egg in a recipe

Roasted garlic; jam, jelly, or honey (although high in sugar,

Butter or margarine on bread or crackers

they have half the calories of butter or margarine and no fat)

Salsa, low-fat sour cream with chives, low-fat cottage cheese,

Butter or sour cream

yogurt, herbs, or spices on baked potatoes

Fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing, mustard, cranberry

Mayonnaise or butter on a sandwich

sauce, chutney

For foods with a high sugar content

Choose:

Instead of:

Fruit purée, chopped fresh fruit, or applesauce

Sugar, syrup, or honey

Fruit canned in its own juice, fresh fruit

Sweetened fruit

For foods with a high salt content

Choose:

Instead of:

Lower-sodium versions

Soups, sauces (barbecue, soy, tartar, cocktail),

canned meat or fish, and crackers

Herbs, spices, or marinades

Salt

Many cooking techniques make it possible to prepare more colorful, flavorful, and healthier dishes. These include the following:

Braising—Food is browned, then cooked in a tightly covered pan in a small amount of liquid at low heat over a long period.

Broiling—Food is placed beneath the heat source; basting may be needed.

Grilling—Food is positioned above the heat source; basting may be needed.

Microwaving—This is a quick way to cook food with little added liquid or fat.

Poaching—Food is cooked in a liquid at the simmering point.

oven roasting—Food is cooked in an uncovered pan by the free circulation of dry air, until the exterior is well browned.

Steaming—Food is placed on a rack in a basket above boiling liquid. Food should not touch the liquid.

Stir frying—Small pieces of food are cooked over high heat and constantly stirred. Use wine, broth, or fruit juice as the liquid instead of the traditional oil.

Marinating food adds flavor and does not have to add fat. Some tips for successful marinating include piercing large cuts of meat, poultry, or fish with a fork to help the marinade permeate the food. Always marinate food in a glass or ceramic dish in the refrigerator. Never place the food in a metal container. Most marinades feature an acid base that may react with metal and change the flavor. Finally, a food safety tip: reserve some of the marinade before you put meat in it. Marinade that has been in contact with raw meat should not be used to baste meat, poultry, or fish during the last 15 minutes of cooking. If you plan to use leftover marinade as a table sauce, it must be boiled for 5 minutes to eliminate bacteria.

There is more that can be done once the food is out of the oven or off the stove. Skim the fat off pan juices, stews, and soups. Instead of topping vegetables with butter or margarine, sprinkle them with lemon juice or herbs. Remove any visible fat (and any skin from poultry) before serving.

No special, expensive equipment is needed to cook healthful foods. A good set of non-stick pans, a skillet, a roasting pan, a baking sheet, measuring cups and spoons, and sharp knives are enough to get you started. Quality, durability, ease of use, and cost should be the primary considerations when outfitting a kitchen.

Can the Amount of Fruits, Grains, and Vegetables in the Recipe Be Increased?

Increasing the amount of vegetables, grains, and fruits in a recipe can both improve taste and increase the nutritional quality of the food. For example, when cooking a soup or stew, use three times as many vegetables (by measure) as meat. Add generous portions of mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, and green pepper to pizza. Make pizza even lower in fat and calories by omitting or decreasing the cheese. Alternatively, choose a lower-fat cheese, such as mozzarella (made from skim milk), and use less of it. If possible, eliminate the meat or add only a small amount of lean meat. If you are making your own crust, make it thin and use whole-grain flour. Pizza, if served with a salad and eaten in moderation, can be an enjoyable and nutritious meal.

To get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, add them to foods that do not typically include these ingredients. For example, add chopped pieces of fruit or vegetables to rice, add fruit toppings to toast or pancakes, or top meats with chopped vegetables. For each serving of meat (a serving is 2 to 3 ounces of meat), try to eat at least 1 serving each of fruit, vegetables, and grains. When possible, start your meal with a healthful salad. This often helps you decrease the amount of high-calorie food that you eat later in the meal. The more servings of grains, vegetables, or fruit, the better, because these are both filling and high in nutrients (see sidebar: Nutrition Boosters, page 129).

Creating Healthful Menus_

Plan menus so that each meal complements what you plan to eat later in the day or what you have eaten earlier in the day. Include plant-based entrées as often as possible. Examples that can result in satisfying meatless meals include pasta with marinara sauce and lots of vegetables, stir-fried vegetables with tofu over rice, or lentil soup with a side dish containing grains, beans, or vegetables. Plant-based entrées can be tasty, filling, and nutritious.

When you choose to eat meat, fish, or poultry, remember that your goal is to eat 6 ounces or less per day. If you ate meat for lunch, appropriately decrease your dinner portion. Avoid red meats that contain a large amount of fat. Instead, emphasize poultry or fish. When you eat red meat, choose a "choice" grade and a cut from the loin or round, because these generally are the leanest types of meat. The skin on poultry holds in moisture and flavor during cooking.

However, the skin is high in fat and calories. Contrary to popular belief, the skin does not need to be removed before cooking. There is minimal fat absorption if the skin is left on. Just make sure to remove the skin before the poultry is eaten.

Many fish are low in fat. Those that are not low in fat generally contain omega-3 fatty acids that may help prevent heart disease. However, remember, all fats are high in calories, so the less fat added during cooking, the better.

Condiments and sauces can add nutrition and enhance flavor. Keep in mind, however, that some are high in fat, sodium, and calories (see Chapter 4, "On the Side," page 86). An example of a high-fat sauce is gravy over mashed potatoes. Instead, try sprinkling mashed potatoes with garlic or other herbs.

When choosing a topping, look for a lower-fat alternative. If none are available, then use less of the original topping. Sliced, chopped, or pureed vegetables can make a nourishing low-fat condiment. Fruits are a delicious complement to almost any meal. They can top meats, enrich salads, or be served for dessert.

A dessert can be a pleasant end to a healthful meal. However, a dessert should not be an "extra." Be sure it is included in your overall meal plan. Make the dessert a bonus by emphasizing fruit, whole grains, and lower-fat items. If you do not have a recipe that emphasizes fruits and whole grains, look for one that can be readily modified. Sorbets and low-fat frozen yogurts or ice creams are good choices. Even cookies, pies, cakes, and chocolates have their place. However, remember, because these desserts generally are high in fat and sugar, they are at the pinnacle of the Food Guide Pyramid. Therefore, they should be the exception rather than the rule. If you plan to eat a dessert, take a small portion. If you are preparing a dessert for a special occasion, make just enough to serve you and your guests. Leftover dessert is a powerful temptation.

With a little thought and planning, you know what foods to emphasize and what foods to limit. You are ready to make a commitment to improve the way you and your family eat. Now it is time to put your plan into action. To help you get started, examples of "makeovers" for breakfast and noon and evening meals are shown on the following pages.

Nutrition Boosters

There are many ways to help you get more fruits, vegetables, and grains in the foods you eat. Try these ideas.

Instead of:

Substitute:

Syrup

Sliced fruit or a purée of a favorite

on pancakes

fruit such as apples, berries,

pineapple, or peaches

Sugar on

Fresh fruit or low-fat yogurt

breakfast cereal

With or in:

Use:

Chicken breast

Kabobs with fruit and vegetables

Traditional or

Whole-grain breads, cooked

cornbread stuffing

apples, raisins or other dried fruit

Rice

Diced vegetables, dried fruit, or

other grains or legumes

Casseroles

Decrease meat and add more

vegetables, grains, bran, legumes,

or dried fruit

Meat-based stews

Decrease meat, and add more

and soups

vegetables, legumes, or grains

Pasta

In place of meat sauce, use a meat-

less tomato sauce and add

steamed vegetables

Pizza with less meat and cheese and more vegetable or fruit toppings is enjoyable and nutritious.

BREAKFAST—

MAKEOVER 1

original Meal

Modified Meal

6 ounces apple juice

1 nectarine and 1/2 cup raspberries

1 spiced muffin

1 spiced muffin

2 tsp butter

2 tsp marmalade

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup fat-free yogurt

Coffee

Herbal tea

2 tsp cream

1 tsp sugar

Meal analysis: 565 calories, 29 g fat, 12 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 420 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat,

77 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 395 mg sodium

4 mg cholesterol, 7g fiber, 320 mg sodium

Spiced Muffins

Original Recipe

2 cups wheat flour 1 1/4 cups sugar 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable shortening, melted

1/2 cup coconut 1 tsp vanilla

2 cups peeled and chopped apples

1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup grated carrots 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Modified Recipe

1 3/4 cups wheat flour 3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt cholesterol-free egg substitute

(equivalent to 4 eggs) 1/2 cup canola oil 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (Omit coconut) 2 tsp vanilla

2 cups chopped apples (unpeeled) 1/2 cup raisins 3/4 cup grated carrots 2 Tblsp chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray or use paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. In another bowl, combine the egg substitute, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in the apples, raisins, and carrots. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake for 35 minutes or until springy to the touch. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Note: These freeze well and may be rewarmed before serving. Yield: 18 small muffins

Recipe Analysis (per muffin)

Original

Modified

Calories

270

175

Fat (g)

15

7

Saturated fat (g)

4

1

Cholesterol (mg)

35

Trace

Fiber (g)

1

2

Sodium (mg)

185

165

BREAKFAST—MAKEOVER 2

Original Meal Modified Meal

6 ounces pineapple juice

1/2 cup fresh pineapple

1/2 cup granola with 1 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup reduced-fat granola with 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt

2 slices white toast

2 slices whole-wheat toast

2 tsp butter

2 tsp jelly

Coffee

Hazelnut-flavored coffee

2 tsp cream

Meal analysis: 731 calories, 27 g fat, 12 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 560 calories, 7g fat, 1 g saturated fat,

42 mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 500 mg sodium

4 mg cholesterol, 14 g fiber, 500 mg sodium

Granóla With Raisins, Apples, and Cinnamon

Original Recipe Modified Recipe

4 cups old-fashioned oat cereal 1 cup bran cereal 1 cup slivered almonds 1 cup coconut 1 cup raisins 1/3 cup honey 1/4 cup oil 1 Tblsp vanilla

3 cups old-fashioned oat cereal

3/4 cup bran cereal

1/4 cup slivered almonds (toasted)

3/4 cup dried apple pieces

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 Tblsp vanilla extract 1 Tblsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place oat and bran cereals into a large bowl. Toss well. In a small bowl combine the honey, applesauce, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over the oat mixture and toss. Don't break clumps apart. Pour onto nonstick baking sheet, spread evenly, and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove when golden brown. Combine almonds, apple pieces, and raisins and stir into hot oat mixture. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 11 half-cup servings

Recipe Analysis (per half cup)

Original

Modified

Calories

300

23S

Fat (g)

11

4

Saturated fat (g)

3

l

Cholesterol (mg)

0

0

Fiber (g)

S

8

Sodium (mg)

40

38

BREAKFAST—MAKEOVER 3

Original Meal

Modified Meal

6 ounces orange juice

6 ounces orange juice

Southwestern scramble

Southwestern scramble

2 slices white toast

1 piece cornbread

2 tsp butter

1 Tblsp honey

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup skim milk

Coffee

Chicory-flavored coffee

2 tsp cream

1 tsp sugar

Meal analysis: 845 calories, 47g fat, 25 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 460 calories, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat,

540 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 1,400 mg sodium

120 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 600 mg sodium

Southwestern Scramble

Original Recipe

1/2 cup diced lean ham

4 whole eggs 2/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Modified Recipe

1/2 cup green and red bell pepper, diced 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites

2 Tblsp cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup salsa

Spray a heavy skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium heat and cook vegetables until tender; remove vegetables and keep warm. Combine whole egg and egg whites. Pour into skillet and scramble over medium heat until set. Spoon onto plates. Top with cooked vegetables and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with salsa. Yield: 2 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

410

120

Fat (g)

31

6

Saturated fat (g)

16

2

Cholesterol (mg)

500

114

Fiber (g)

trace

1

Sodium (mg)

940

380

NOON MEAL—MAKEOVER 1

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Tuna salad sandwich

Curried tuna salad with pita triangles

1 ounce (individual bag) potato chips

1/2 cup grapes

12 ounces cola

1 cup skim milk

Meal analysis: 925 calories, 59 g fat, 12 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 300 calories, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat,

40 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 970 mg sodium

34 mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 415 mg sodium

Tuna Salad Sandwich vs Curried Tuna Salad With Pita Triangles

Original Recipe (sandwich)

1 can (6 ounces) oil-packed tuna 1/2 cup diced celery

1 tsp lemon juice 1 cup mayonnaise

4 lettuce leaves 8 slices bread

Modified Recipe (salad)

1 can (6 ounces) water-packed tuna, drained 1/2 cup diced celery

3/4 cup chopped apple 1/4 cup raisins

2 Tblsp thinly sliced green onion

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder dash of cayenne (red) pepper, if desired

4 lettuce leaves

2 whole-wheat pita bread rounds (about 6-inch diameter)

In a small bowl, flake the tuna. Add the celery, apple, raisins, and green onion. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, and spices. Add the tuna mixture and combine. Serve on lettuce leaves along with pita bread that has been cut into triangles. Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

S25

165

Fat (g)

50

1

Saturated fat (g)

10

trace

Cholesterol (mg)

40

30

Fiber (g)

2

5

Sodium (mg)

800

288

Noon MeaL—Makeover 2

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Spinach salad with bacon and mushrooms

Citrus spinach salad with honey yogurt dressing

2 bread sticks

1 slice sourdough bread

1 cup 2% milk

1 Tblsp honey

1 cup skim milk

Meal analysis: 640 calories, 29 g fat, 6g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 425 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat,

25 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 1,460 mg sodium

5 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 610 mg sodium

Spinach Salad With Bacon and Mushrooms vs

Citrus Spinach Salad With Honey Yogurt Dressing

Original Recipe

6 cups spinach leaves 6 strips bacon 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms 3 thin slices sourdough (croutons) 2 Tblsp sugar 2 Tblsp cider vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 2 ounces brandy

Modified Recipe

6 cups spinach leaves 1 cup fresh orange segments 1 tart apple, thinly sliced 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

2 Tblsp honey

Wash and dry spinach, remove stems. Arrange spinach, orange segments, apple, and onion slices onto plates. In a small bowl, combine the nonfat yogurt and honey. Whisk until smooth. Spoon over salads. Yield: 6 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

306

110

Fat (g)

22

trace

Saturated fat (g)

3

trace

Cholesterol (mg)

5

trace

Fiber (g)

2

4

Sodium (mg)

243

134

Noon MEAL—MAkEoVER 3

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Original Meal

Modified Meal

1 cup minestrone soup

1 cup minestrone soup

4 soda crackers

6 multigrain crackers

2 cups tossed salad

1 cup fresh fruit mixed with mint

2 Tblsp Italian dressing

1 cup skim milk

2 chocolate chip cookies

1 cup 2% milk

Meal analysis: 815 calories, 47g fat, 15 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 400 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat,

65 mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 2,095 mg sodium

9 mg cholesterol, 11 g fiber, 534 mg sodium

Minestrone Soup

Original Recipe

Modified Recipe

3 Tblsp olive oil

1 Tblsp olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup ham, diced

1/3 cup celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 quart chicken broth

1 quart defatted, reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14 ounces) tomatoes, chopped

2 large fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup spinach, chopped

1/2 cup spinach, chopped

1/2 cup canned kidney beans

1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas or red

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 small zucchini, diced

1/2 cup dry small-shell pasta

2 Tblsp fresh basil, chopped

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 small zucchini, diced

1/2 cup dry small-shell pasta

2 Tblsp fresh basil, chopped

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add broth, tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas or kidney beans, and pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in basil and serve. Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

38Ö

19Ö

Fat (g)

22

4

Saturated fat (g)

8

trace

Cholesterol (mg)

33

Fiber (g)

3

8

Sodium (mg)

2,SÖÖ

4ÖÖ

EveNiNg MeM—MAkeover 1

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Spaghetti with meatballs

Pasta with marinara sauce and grilled vegetables

2 cups romaine lettuce

2 cups romaine lettuce

2 Tblsp Italian dressing

2 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing

1 hard roll

1 whole-grain roll (to soak up sauce)

1 tsp butter

Frozen grapes with toasted pecans

1 cup ice cream

4 ounces red wine

Herbal tea

Meal analysis: 1,246 calories, 68 g fat, 28 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 355 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat,

165 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 1,580 mg sodium

5 mg cholesterol, 10 g fiber, 830 mg sodium

Spaghetti With Meatballs vs

Pasta With Marinara Sauce and Grilled Vegetables

Original Recipe

1 quart ready-made spaghetti sauce 1 pound hamburger 1/2 tsp garlic salt 1/2 cup onion 8-ounce package of spaghetti

Modified Recipe

2 Tblsp olive oil

10 large, peeled, diced, fresh tomatoes

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tblsp onion, chopped

1 Tblsp fresh basil, chopped (1 tsp dried)

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp oregano black pepper, to taste

2 red peppers, sliced into chunks

1 yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 sweet onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-wide rounds

2 bundles fresh garlic, halved

8-ounce package of whole-wheat spaghetti

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add tomatoes, salt, minced garlic, onion, basil, sugar, oregano, and black pepper. Cook slowly, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened. In the meantime, brush peppers, squashes, onion, and fresh garlic with oil. Place under broiler and cook, turning frequently until browned and tender. Remove to a covered bowl. Keep warm. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well and portion onto plates. Cover with equal amounts of sauce. Top with equal amounts of vegetables. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

535

270

Fat (g)

24

6

Saturated fat (g)

9

1

Cholesterol (mg)

66

0

Fiber (g)

1

4

Sodium (mg)

1,045

380

Evening MeaL—Makeover 2

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Fried chicken

Balsamic roasted chicken

1 cup white rice

1 cup roasted vegetables and fruit (new potatoes, onions, pears)

1 cup green beans

2 cups tossed greens

1 dinner roll

2 Tblsp low-fat red wine vinaigrette

1 tsp butter

1 slice crusty Italian or French bread

1 piece apple pie

1 sliced fresh peach sprinkled with nutmeg

1 cup 2% milk

1 cup skim milk

Meal analysis: 1,455 calories, 55 g fat, 17g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 810 calories, 27 g fat, 4 g saturated fat,

220 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 1,548 mg sodium

195 mg cholesterol, 9 g fiber, 410 mg sodium

Fried vs Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Original Recipe

Modified Recipe

1 4-pound whole chicken,

1 4-pound whole chicken

cut into pieces

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

1 Tblsp fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried)

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 Tblsp olive oil

black pepper

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Rinse chicken inside and out with cold running water. Dry it with paper towels. Mince together the rosemary leaves and garlic. Loosen the skin from the flesh, then rub the flesh with the oil and then the herb mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper. Put two fresh rosemary sprigs into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken. Place it in a roasting pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes per pound (about 1 hour and 20 minutes). Baste frequently with pan juices. When browned and juices run clear, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and the brown sugar. Heat until warm—do not boil. Carve the chicken (remove skin). Top it with the vinegar mixture. Garnish with remaining rosemary. Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

603

432

Fat (g)

31

16

Saturated fat (g)

7

3

Cholesterol (mg)

192

192

Fiber (g)

0

0

Sodium (mg)

693

163

Chapter 5: Preparing Healthful Meals 145

Chapter 5: Preparing Healthful Meals 145

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evenrng meal—makeover 3

Original Meal

Modified Meal

Original Meal

Modified Meal

8-ounce grilled steak

Steak with steamed vegetables

1 medium baked potato

and soba noodles

2 Tblsp sour cream

1 seven-grain roll

1 cup green peas and onions

1 Tblsp honey

1 dinner roll

1 star fruit, sliced over 1/2 cup sherbet

1 tsp butter

2 fortune cookies

1 piece frosted devils' food cake

Green tea

Coffee—regular or decaffeinated

Meal analysis: 1,480 calories, 64 g fat, 32 g saturated fat,

Meal analysis: 900 calories, 24 g fat, 9 g saturated fat,

230 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 1,203 mg sodium

70 mg cholesterol, 14 g fiber, 1,040 mg sodium

Grilled Steak

Steak With Steamed Vegetables, Soba Noodles, and Ginger Sauce

Original Recipe

4 8-ounce steaks 8 Tblsp steak sauce

Modified Recipe

1 12-ounce loin steak 1/2 pound soba noodles

2 cups fresh asparagus cut into 1-inch segments 2 cups broccoli florets

Sauce

1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 1 Tblsp sesame oil

1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated 1 tsp sugar cracked black pepper, to taste

Cook steak —grill, broil, or fry in a non-stick pan until medium rare. Set aside on covered platter to keep warm. Cook soba noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, steam the vegetables until tender crisp. Combine sauce ingredients, heat through. Drain soba noodles, rinse, and redrain. Toss vegetables with the noodles. Place onto plates. Slice steak across grain into thin strips. Arrange on top of vegetables and noodles. Top with sauce. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Original

Modified

Calories

790

495

Fat (g)

44

19

Saturated fat (g)

22

8

Cholesterol (mg)

175

58

Fiber (g)

0

58

Sodium (mg)

900

You have learned how to select healthful foods, to modify recipes appropriately, and to make attractive and good-tasting meals. The final step is to ensure that the food you serve is safe to eat.

Bacteria in the Kitchen

Approximately 7 million cases of food poisoning are reported every year in the United States. Many other cases are mistaken for stomach flu or some other infection and therefore are never reported. Food poisoning can be a serious and potentially fatal illness. Fortunately, such severe cases are rare. Bacterial contamination of food can occur if food is handled improperly. Thus, food safety is of paramount importance.

Kitchens are replete with chances for passing along the bacteria (germs) that cause food poisoning. It is the responsibility of the person preparing the meal to make certain that foods and utensils are washed properly. Unclean kitchen utensils can promote food poisoning by growing unwelcome bacteria (see sidebar: Sources of Bacteria, below).

Hand Washing

Sometimes in the rush to prepare meals, it is easy to overlook one of the simplest and most important rules in food preparation: wash your hands before handling any food. Bacteria tend to accumulate on your hands, especially around the cuticles and under the fingernails. To actually kill the bacteria, it would take water so hot that it would harm your skin. At least 10 seconds of vigorous rubbing with soap or detergent and warm water is required to rid your hands of germs. You also should wash your hands during meal preparation if they become contaminated by the food you are handling.

Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination can lead to food poisoning. If uncooked food has been on a plate or cutting board, that plate or cutting board could transfer a potentially infectious agent to any other food that comes in contact with it. Therefore, always use separate utensils, plates, and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.

Ensuring Food Safety

Food safety begins as soon as you purchase the food. Ideally, perishable foods should be promptly taken home and immediately refrigerated or frozen. However, if you need to make a stop before reaching home, plan to store meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products in a cooler on ice. Always observe the refrigeration recommendations on packaged foods. To decrease the total amount of bacteria found on raw chicken and other poultry, thoroughly rinse, inside and out, under cold water. After a complete rinse, use hot water and soap to wash out the sink. Before freezing meat, poultry, or fish, divide it into the portion size that you will need to prepare one meal. When you need to cool a food that you have cooked, quickly transfer it to a shallow container. Cover it and refrigerate it immediately. Bacteria thrive at temperatures between 40° and 140° Fahrenheit, potentially doubling in number every 20 to 30 minutes. Therefore, the most important food safety rule in the kitchen is: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Defrosting Food

Thaw poultry, fish, and meat in the refrigerator. Defrosting at room temperature promotes thawing on the outside while the core remains frozen. The soft outer portion provides a fertile site for bacterial growth. Instead, put frozen food in the refrigerator (which is cool but above freezing)

Sources of Bacteria

Bacteria source Cutting boards

Sponges, dish cloths, and towels

Knives and utensils

Countertops

Solution Keep two on hand—one for meat and the other for produce or breads*

Change and wash frequently

Use separate knives and utensils for raw and cooked foods. Wash all utensils with hot water and soap

Wash frequently with soap and hot water, particularly after working with meat, poultry, and fish

*A simple cleaning solution that helps to keep bacteria in check is to mix 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Generously spray the surface and let it stand for several minutes. Rinse and dry with a clean towel.

1 or 2 days before it is to be used. For faster thawing, run cold water over the item or use a microwave for quick defrosting.

Marinade Savvy

Marinate poultry, seafood, and meat in the refrigerator. To play it safe, set some of the marinade aside (to use for basting or as a sauce at the table) before adding it to the raw meat. Avoid using the liquid that the raw meat has been marinating in for basting. If you do, discontinue basting at least 15 minutes before the meat is done so that the marinade can be heated to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria that may be present. Do not use the leftover marinade as a sauce unless it has not come in contact with the raw meat or you have boiled it for at least 5 minutes.

Cooking Food

Always be sure to cook recipes at the appropriate temperature. Cooking foods to an internal temperature of at least 160° Fahrenheit kills most dangerous bacteria. Uncooked or undercooked meat can harbor pathogens such as the notorious E. coli bacteria (see sidebar: Cooking It Safe, this page).

Using Slow Cookers

Using a slow cooker is a popular way of preparing soups, stews, roasts, and other hearty dishes. Because this device cooks at relatively low temperatures—compared with the oven or stovetop—it is vital to exercise safe cooking habits. For example, thaw meat thoroughly and cut it into small pieces. Use recipes that call for plenty of liquid. Bring to a boil quickly and then reduce heat to simmer. Do not overfill the cooker. Be sure to use a thermometer to make certain the temperature stays at 160° Fahrenheit or higher.

Serving Safely_

After taking care to prepare and cook food as safely as possible, don't contaminate it while it is being served. Here are a few tips. Avoid letting cooked foods cool on the table. Do not allow foods that contain perishable ingredients (such as raw eggs, homemade sauces, eggnog, or homemade Caesar dressing) to remain at room temperature for longer than a few minutes. Once finished serving, always promptly place cooked or perishable foods in the refrigerator or freezer. At a picnic or party, keep cold foods on ice and hot foods properly heated.

Cooking It Safe

Temperature

Type of Food

(degrees Fahrenheit)

Fish and seafood

145

Red meat or pork

(including ground)

160

Ground chicken or turkey

165

Poultry—breast

170

Whole poultry and thighs

180

Eggs

Cook until egg white and yolk are firm, not runny

Dishes, serving bowls, or other items made of glazed lead-containing pottery can cause poisoning, particularly in young children. Make sure that the container that is used for cooking and serving is properly glazed (manufacture by a domestic pottery dealer should ensure this). If in doubt, use the pottery for decoration rather than for cooking or serving food.

Refrigerating or Freezing Food

If warm or hot food is headed for storage in the refrigerator or freezer, do not allow it to cool on the countertop. Place warm or hot food into a shallow pan to facilitate cooling and then put it directly into the refrigerator or freezer. If the quantity of food is large, distribute it in two or more containers to enable quicker cooling.

Clean It_

When you have finished eating, thoroughly wash pots and pans, utensils, and all kitchen surfaces (counter, stove tops, and sink) with soap and hot water. Let cutting boards and utensils air dry. Wash or replace sponges and dish towels frequently. If you have an automatic dishwasher, it may be helpful to have two sponges so you can wash one with each load of dishes.

The Bottom Line on Food Safety

With a little care, you can minimize the risk that you or others will develop a food-borne illness.

encyclopedia

Fat Burning Foods

Fat Burning Foods

If you’re overweight, you are not a bad person. You’re simply overweight. But it’s important to lose the extra pounds so you’ll look good, feel healthier and develop a sense of pride and self-esteem. Once you’ve lost the fat, you’ll need to maintain your weight.

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