Fast Weight Loss Recipes
Learn how to prepare meals that help you lose weight. There isn’t a meal that can’t be made skinnier with the help of a wire rack, a hand blender and non-stick cookware. We reveal cooking secrets on how to cut calories from your meals.
Calorie busting tips every cook should know
1. Roast veggies
Roasting vegetables bring out their natural sweetness as the carbohydrates in them caramelize. Roasted vegetables can be served on their own, tossed with pasta or used as a base for soups and sauces.
How to do it: Peel and cut your favourite veggies into 5-cm pieces and roast them in a deep pan at 177 degree Celsius for 45 minutes or until tender. You don’t really have to use oil, just coat the bottom of the pan with cooking spray so things don’t stick.
2. Boost flavour
Using herbs and spices in the cooking process turns up the taste without adding calories.
How to do it: There are a variety of ways to embolden your cooking.
– Toast spices such as curry powder or cumin seeds to intensify their flavour before adding to a dish. Place them in a heavy, dry skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently until fragrant.
– Add aromatic herbs and seasonings to cooking liquid when you prepare lentils, beans, cous cous or rice. Try fresh thyme for a Provence accent or lemongrass for an Asian flavour.
– Splash herb-infused vinegars on roasted veggies, grilled fish, grains and salads. Simply steep fresh herbs in your favourite vinegar in a glass jar for 2-3 days.
3. Puree away
Pureeing vegetables is a great way to make a rich-tasting, ultra low-fat gravy or create a creamy soup sans fat.
How to do it: Roast root vegetables such as carrots, celery, root, fennel and leeks with garlic, put them in a pot with some canned low-sodium broth and puree it all into a delicious gravy for meats and poultry. Trick your palate into believing there’s cream in your tomato and carrot soup by pureeing them with a little cooked rice or potato.
4. Bust butter
Cutting butter or oil from cake, muffin or quick bread recipes saves you loads of calories and saturated fat. But fat also makes things moist. The trick to retaining moist reduced-fat baked goods is to replace the fat with something healthier. You can use apple sauce in white cakes and pureed prunes in chocolate cakes.
How to do it: Each recipe is different and you may have to experiment. A rule of thumb: Cut the butter by half, reduce the sugar by a fourth and add ¼ cup of fruit puree.
5. Get fruity
Cooking with fruit adds a sophisticated complexity to dishes so they need less fat. Replace refined white sugar with a fruit juice reduction to eliminate some of the fat in your baking. You can also liven up savoury dishes with fruit flavours. Don’t limit yourself to fresh produce, reconstitute dried fruits with juice to make a sweet, savoury sauce which goes well with fish or chicken dishes.
How to do it: Bring 4 cups of apple or pear juice to a rapid boil in a saucepan over high heat and continue boiling uncovered until it cooks down to just 1 cup. The result will be thick, syrupy and intensely flavourful.
6. Rack it up
A wire rack elevates meat or poultry to keep it out of its juices (and grease), and allows air circulation for even cooking and browning. Placing some liquid such as water or chicken broth, in the pan below the rack, adds humidity to your oven so meats come out tender and moist.
How to do it: Centre meat, such as whole chicken, or a rack that you’ve placed inside a roasting pan. Add 1-2 cups of broth to the roasting pan and cook according to the recipe.
7. Fry fearless
Balancing the amount of fat used in frying is good for your thighs and your kitchen – using less butter or oil saves you calories and splatter.
How to do it: Have a heavy, well-made non-stick frying pan on hand and always stock cooking spray in your pantry. Or create your own cooking spray by using aromatic oils such as peanut, sesame and extra-virgin olive oil in a pressurized mister can. It’s also possible to sauté without even a mist of oil. You can use broth, juice, or any other liquid that will help spread the heat around the pan.