We ate out tonight so I didn’t cook anything to blog about. However, I do have some helpful tips that can be useful whether you are buying food products or cooking. I hope you find these helpful and please ask me any questions that you have regarding low fat cooking.
Helpful Notes on Low Fat Cooking:
- Non-stick Pans: “Non-stick” pans are a great way to reduce the possibility of the food sticking. However, it has been my observation that non-stick pans do not conduct heat as well so you may have to adjust the temperature of your stovetop to compensate.
- Reading labels: The FDA is always finding ways to make it easier to see nutritional values on foods but it can still be difficult to figure out how many fat grams are in something. To help, here is how you calculate fat grams from the percentage of fat in a product: Take the calorie amount and multiply by the percentage of fat, that is how many fat calories are in something. Then, take that fat calorie number and divide by 9 (there are 9 calories per gram of fat); this gives you the number of fat grams per the calorie listed. Example: 200 calories with 35% fat. 200 X .35 = 70 (# of fat calories) divided by 9 = 7.78 fat grams.
- Fat free products: Not all product are advertised the same. Some products say non-fat and some say fat free, both products are the same.
- Cooking with alcohol: Cooking with wine and liquor is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without adding fat. However, if you are uncomfortable with this, you can substitute chicken broth for savory dishes or sugar free syrups that mimic the alcohol flavor for sweet dishes.
- Sautéing vegetables or fruits: Because many low fat recipe directions call for cooking spray instead of using oil or butter, it is helpful to have a little water or chicken broth handy (depending on if you’re cooking sweet of savory) to prevent the food from sticking to the pan.
We really are not that busy of a family but this weekend was a blowout. Friday night we went to a benefit for Sylvia’s Children. The organization funds and runs a school for orphaned children in Uganda. Usually I tend to be a little skeptical about these things but I know Sylvia, the originator and head of the organization and know that 100% of the funds go to the school. The event was excellent; there were pictures of the children at school, displays of musical instruments from Uganda and had beautiful art, jewelry and crafts on display and for sale as well.
Afterwards we just went to TGIF for a bite to eat and went home. I ordered Key West Shrimp because I remember that it’s lower in fat and calories (225 calories & 7 grams of fat) and shared the fried string beans appetizer and the brownie sundae for dessert. I often order a light dinner so I can splurge a little on appetizer and dessert (since they are my favorite courses anyway). Sharing really helps all of us not eat too much as well.
Saturday night, we left Nick at home, and headed to Brooklyn, NY. I have never been there but a friend of mine knows it well. We ate at the “Bread and Butter” restaurant. It was fantastic. For the appetizer, I tried the goat cheese wrapped in phyllo with caramelized onions and beets. The sweet combination of the onions and beets with the saltiness of the cheese was a great compliment of flavors. For the entrée, I had seared scallops which were seared perfectly. The scallops were accompanied by a seafood medley and creamed corn. I then finished my meal with a slice of buttermilk pie. I have baked this before but never tasted it by someone else; it was delicious. I have to go back to my recipe now to see if mine is similar. I can’t say my dining experience was a “light” one last night but every once in a while, on a special occasion (we were celebrating my friend’s announcement on an expected baby), you have to just enjoy, relax and have fun.
So I do not have any recipes yet today. However, I think you might see buttermilk pie this week… that is if I can make it “delicious and light”.
So long for now…
It was my father’s birthday tonight so we went out to celebrate and am sorry to say that I do not have a recipe to share from tonight. However, if you are looking to eat light when you go to a restaurant, here are some tips that might help:
1. Share the appetizer or salad: I ordered a first course salad that was large enough to share with my husband and son. Also, I purposely choose the “plain” house salad that only included vegetables without any cheese or meat, this helps cut down on the calories and fat.
2. I always look for a red sauce. Tonight I had sauted tilapia in a shrimp, mussles & clams in a red sauce. I was going to order the lobster in a wine sauce at first; but when I read the bottom that listed the ingredients & preperation I saw that the sauce included butter. Any butter sauce will add a lot of calories and fat.
3. If the dish comes with fries, ask for a substitute. Although my dinner did not include fries tonight, this happens very often. I find that if I ask for no fries, the kitchen is happy to serve me an alternative instead (i.e. baked potato, extra vegetable, etc…)
So the next time you are eating out, try some of these tips and see if they help you keep your dishes “Delicious & Light”.