A Few Tips on Learning How to Cook the Healthy Way
Did you grow up eating deep fried everything? Were vegetables at your house cooked until they were limp and gray, and drowned in butter and salt? Do you think you hate vegetables? If so, you need to learn a whole new way of cooking. Here are some thoughts, gathered over the years, from my own experience.
Equipment Essentials Suggestions
You need a kitchen scale! I mean you really need it! You also need more than one measuring cup (I have a whole collection) and more than one set of measuring spoons.
Another essential is a good, non-stick saute pan. Along with this pan, you will want some silicone spatulas and wooden utensils so the surface of the pan won't be scratched.
A means of steaming is easy to put together. My favorite pot is a 3 quart, heavy duty, stainless steel double boiler with a steamer insert. It's versitile. In my small kitchen, everything has to do double duty. If you don't want to invest in a fancy pot, you could use an ordinary saucepan with a strainer or colander set inside, and a lid on top. You need a means to have boiling water under (not touching) the food.
There's a lot of nice equipment out there if you have the space. A hand held blender, and a crockpot are my choices of convenient extras. With all the table top grills, sandwich presses, and gadgets out there, it's easy to get carried away!
That non-stick pan can be used for so many things, but you have to know how to use it. First of all, don't heat it empty. Put a little water or a very small amount of oil in the pan before putting it on the heat. To brown meats or tofu, you'll need that pan to get quite hot. Keep in mind that teflon can be damaged by high heat, so be careful. You'll find that all those things you used to fry in a pan can be cooked with little or no fat!
Your steamer will cook your vegetables to crisp/tender perfection, sealing in the color and nutrients. Cold steamed vegetables are wonderful in a salad.
Try broiling! I do a lot of broiling in my toaster oven. You can make things tasty under the broiler without added fat!
Another neat thing to try is cooking foil packets. It's foolproof! Just wrap your lean meat or fish, along with your favorite seasonings, in foil and bake it for about 20 minutes at 350 f. That boneless, skinless chicken breast that used to get so dry when you baked it, will be moist and juicy! I love doing salmon this way, with a little lime juice and cilantro.
Have you ever roasted your vegetables? Cut up your favorite vegetables and toss them with just one tablespoon of olive oil. If you do this in a large bowl, you'll be able to get the oil distributed on all the surfaces. It doesn't take much. Then season them with salt and pepper and spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 350 f, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown a bit, and they are cooked to the desired doneness.
I hope this will give you ideas!