When faced with the decision to indulge in a rich, delicious, sinful dish by Paula Deen or just choose something healthy...I choose both!
Through experimentation and years of practice, I have been able to compile a list of the most effective tricks for cutting fat and calories when cooking; not the flavor. It makes me very happy to share with you a list of my "Top Ten Trimmings". The list briefly explains the simple switches I make regularly to these southern-inspired dishes. Try them out in recipes of your own!
TOP TEN TRIMMINGS
#1 APPLES FOR OILS- Applesauce is the perfect substitute for oil when baking. Simply replace the oil with an equal amount of applesauce.
#2 NO "YOLKS" ABOUT IT- The egg whites have the least amount of fat compared to the yolk. When a recipe calls for eggs, use only the egg whites. Egg whites are also a great substitute for butter when breading chicken.
#3 SKINNY COWS- Whole milk can easily be replaced with the "skinny" versions of the real thing. Skim and 1% milk are best for cutting fat, while maintaining flavor and consistency. Do the same for other dairy items such as sour cream and whipping cream.
#4 EVOO- If you need to have oil to make a recipe work, such as roasting veggies or pan frying, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil will do the job without loading your dish up with unhealthy fats. We need oils for maintain a healthy diet. Just stick with the healthy fats and keep them to a minimum.
#5 JUST SAY "CHEESE"!!- You don't have to swear off cheese to cut down on fat and calories, just use a low-fat or fat-free version. One suggestion, if the cheese is for melting on top, do not use fat-free. It just doesn't melt well.
#6 DRESS TO IMPRESS- In this case, I am talking about your mayonnaise. Hellman's Mayonnaise Dressing is the way to go. With just 1 gram of fat per serving, I don't know why you would use anything else. Mixed in recipes such as broccoli casserole and chicken salad, you can't even tell you are making such a cut. So when it comes to using mayo....dressing up is a must!
#7 RELEASE THE GREASE- It is officially time to stop cooking with grease, butter, lard or any other type of cooking aid. With fat-free sprays that come in varieties such as olive oil, vegetable oil and one specifically for baking, there is not need to waste the calories on it anymore. It is OK to just let go.
#8 MAKE IT WHOLE WHEAT- If you are going to get those grains, make them whole wheat. Now more than ever, it is easy to use whole wheat and whole grain versions of various breads, pastas, wraps and rolls. Give yourself wholesome sources of carbohydrates (energy). The less processed the better!
#9 NO BUTTS ABOUT IT- I am talkin' about 100% real butter. This stuff is loaded with saturated fats(the bad fats)! Yes, it adds some great flavor, but it is not needed to make great food. Almost all Paula's recipes can just omit the butter and be just fine. With others you may need to substitute EVOO or use spray. If worse comes to worse, my best butter alternative is "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" . It has 70% less saturated fat than butter and zero trans fat. No a bad option if you can't let go of that buttery taste.
#10 LEAN PROTEIN- Whether you get this nutrient from meat or others sources, protein is a very important part of your diet. Paired with an active lifestyle, it is what helps us to build muscle and maintain a lean physique. When choosing protein, think lean. Choose meats that are low in fat such as skinless chicken breasts and 93/7 ground beef.
Just a reminder, I am not a certified dietitian or nutritionist. These are only suggestions on making Paula Deen recipes in a light and nutritious way. They are not claiming to cure or prevent any physical conditions. For specific nutritional guidelines and diet prescriptions, please seek the care of your physician or other licensed professionals. Thank you!