Easy Home Cooking - 10
Secrets For Cooking Up Better Weight Loss Results From
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
For a great meal that won't cause the
numbers on your scale to skyrocket through the roof, there's no place like
Unfortunately, not everyone buys into that sound philosophy.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the average person consumes a
little more than four meals per week prepared away from home. That's 218 meals
You don't need to be a mathematician to calculate how quickly
the dollars and the pounds add up.
One study discovered the average
person spends about $900 a year dining out. If fast food joints are your
favorite dining room away from home, you're probably on the fast track to extra
fat. After all, a Big Mac and a large side of fries add up to 1,130 calories
and 60 grams of fat.
The nutritional dangers of dining out still aren't
a deterrent for men and women who detest cooking. Were talking about those who
can rationalize their outside-the-home eating habits with excuses like, "I'm
tired!" "I don't feel like cooking tonight!" or "Its already too late to start
Some folks have buried their head even deeper in the sand.
They've convinced themselves that restaurant cuisine helps lighten their
Not so, says celebrity Chef Kathleen Daelemans, author of
Cooking Light With Chef Kathleen (Houghton Mifflin). Daelemans, who also serves
as host of the Food Networks Cooking Thin show, wants you to stop spending
dollars and start making sense!
She says the first step to proper
eating is eliminating costly restaurant meals. By making the most out of the
food resources in your refrigerator and pantry, you're already minimizing the
effect on both your wallet and scale.
"There's just no way that you
would ever use high-calorie ingredients in the quantities that restaurants do,"
Chef Kathleen tells eDiets. "We'd all go broke!
"Besides, it's just a
habit you need to embrace. The only way to control what goes into your body --
and your overall health (as much as we can) -- is to eat most meals at home."
Daelemans is living proof her kitchen tips work. She dropped 80 pounds
practicing what she preaches.
Chef Kathleen says once you've made your
kitchen user friendly (i.e. you've stocked it with the right tools and
ingredients) you've already won half the culinary battle.
time-crunched society, most people are quick to argue they just don't have the
time to cook up a meal from scratch. But Chef Kathleen is just as quick to
point the proven ways to get around time constraints.
master a few basics!" she insists. "Once you get the hang of things, it's just
practice, determination and common sense. Cook recipes with ingredients you
like. Read the recipes through start to finish, visualize yourself going
through the motions, make ingredient checklists, get out your tools the night
before, and challenge yourself to get ahead on some of the prep.
"Sometimes I start the next night's meal as soon as I get the supper
dishes washed and put away or right after breakfast."
We believe that
no matter how kitchen-challenged you are, you'll want to kiss the cook once you
get a taste of Chef Kathleen's 10 secrets for cooking light and easy.
1. Lose the complicated entrée mindset!
simple, especially if you're starved for time. Oven-broiled fish with a side of
microwaved veggies make for a fantastic dinner.
2. Whos on the
sauté station tonight? Build your culinary team!
divide up the chores, make lists, delegate tasks and follow through. Every
able-bodied family member should participate in some aspect of the meal whether
it's planning, shopping, cooking or cleanup.
3. Build menus around
naturally healthful ingredients!
Three ounces of steak can be consumed
in a few bites and a few minutes. A heaping bowl of Sesame Ginger Shrimp and
Spicy Black Bean Salad will keep your mouth moving a lot longer. Never
underestimate the psychological and emotional reasons we eat -- they're just as
important as our nutritional needs, Chef Kathleen says.
4. Cheat any
way you can, but dont compromise your waistline!
Any shortcut you
can pull off is worth it. If something from a can, bag or box will mean the
difference between your eating in or ordering out, by all means go for it. Read
product labels carefully though and make the healthiest choices you can.
5. Fill up on the good stuff!
Increase good calories
wherever you can. Can you get an extra serving of veggies by tossing a handful
of corn into your salad? How about peas and mushrooms in the mac 'n' cheese?
Roast asparagus in the same pan as the potatoes and you've got two veggie sides
in the same amount of time.
6. Utilize high-impact flavor
Resuscitate, invigorate and acidulate your diet with sea
salt, kosher salt, ginger, citrus, vinegar, garlic, anchovies, olives, fresh
spices (no, they don't have the shelf life of books) and freshly cut herbs.
Grow your own. They're pretty and cheery. If the plants die, just plant new
ones. Seeds are cheap and dirt is free.
7. Pare down prep time!
Ten minutes in the kitchen after dinner tonight is easier to pull off
than 10 minutes before dinner tomorrow when you're tired and starving. Peel the
potatoes tonight. Cook the noodles. Whip up the dressing. Wash the veggies.
Marinate the chicken. Were not talking about making the entire meal ahead of
time. A task or two done in advance makes for a more appetizing meal
8. Morph your meals!
Plan tomorrows supper
today by making a double batch. A salad can become an entrée if you add
a piece of chicken or fish. Grill extra veggies tonight and top your pizza with
them tomorrow. When you're cooking black beans from scratch, they can morph
from soup to chili and from salad to salsa. Challenge yourself. See how many
meals you can make from a single recipe.
9. Make your own TV
Attack an overscheduled week head-on. On the nights you're not
so rushed, make a double batch of something you know freezes well. Store the
leftovers in microwave-proof containers, clearly marked with the full title of
the dish and the date. A sumptuous title will inspire you to actually take the
frozen dinner out of the freezer and eat it on one of those nights you're
tempted to pick up the phone and call for delivery.
10. Work with
the right tools!
Use the right tool for the task and you'll slash
culinary frustration. Dull knives, the wrong spoon, a melted spatula, a fork
with a broken handle, or a pot that's too small creates kitchen stress. Who
needs it? Keep your tools handy and in good working condition