How to make unhealthy meals into healthier options without losing the flavour
We all enjoy a bit of indulgence here and there, but if you're trying to lose weight, eating the same meal as the rest of the family can prove something of a nightmare. However, with a few clever tricks, you can easily reduce the calorie and fat count of most every family meal, so that you don't find yourself miserably nibbling on cottage cheese and carrots whilst everyone else is happily tucking in.
Turkey Moussaka
For example, take this recipe for Turkey Moussaka. When it is cooked with meat as well as aubergine, moussaka is a traditional Greek recipe. This three layer dish usually consists of a layer of aubergine, then one of lamb mince sautéed with onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes and spices and then a final layer of bechamel (white) sauce. It is delicious but hardly a slimmer's delight.
Swapping out ingredients
The most obvious augmentation to the traditional Greek recipe is the swapping of lamb mince for turkey mince. The implementation of turkey gives the dish a more subtle, refined flavour and as it is much lower in saturated fat than lamb, you eliminate much of the grease and unhealthiness of the dish in one fell swoop. In addition, you can swop out Greek yoghurt for its low fat cousin or even include instead its lighter cousin, crème fraiche. There are also many options regarding low fat cheese, but better still would be to buy a stronger than normal cheddar and just lose a little less in the recipe. If you crave the gloopiness of an abundance of melted cheese then why not put in a tailored mix of strong cheddar and mozarella so that you still get the yielding strings of dairy without nearly so much fat.
Spray your way to weight loss
There are a number of cooking products on the market that help you eliminate excess calories and fat whilst cooking. Chief among them is a good cooking spray. Instead of adding glugs of cooking oil to the pan to cook up the onions and turkey, utilise instead a good quality cooking spray that will coat the pan with oil and is usually only around 5kcal a spray. When you consider that a tablespoon of olive oil is around 100kcal, it makes a lot of sense to start spraying up a storm. You can even make your own cooking spray by purchasing a plant mister, washing it out thoroughly and then adding 200ml water for every 2 tablespoon of the oil of your choice – sunflower or olive oils usually do the trick here. All you have to do is shake the bottle vigorously before each use and you've got yourself a cheap, easy way to cut hundreds of calories!
Making side dishes work for you
This recipe suggests that the Moussaka is served with garlic bread, salad and chips. Of course, this is not ideal if you are trying to count your kcals. However, there are ways of indulging without destroying all your good work. With its heavy white carb and butter content garlic bread is a fairly problematic food from a slimming perspective so why not try roasting some garlic cloves in their skin alongside the moussaka and then squeezing the rich, garlic-y paste onto a slice of thick wholegrain toast? That way you get the sweet hit of garlic and the crunch of bread without ingesting a lot of empty calories. Similarly, fried chips can't really be justified from a nutritional perspective if you're counting calories but if you use your trusty oil spray to coat some sweet potatoes slices and pop them in the oven with the garlic and the Moussaka dish, you'll soon have some delectable home-made chips that are bursting with vitamins and slow-release energy. How's that for a family feast?
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How to make unhealthy meals into healthier options without losing the flavour