Top 10 Healthy Comfort Food Tips
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=J_Schweppe]J Schweppe
Having a bad day? Would you love to curl up on the couch with a big plate of lasagna? Your head says yes, your arteries say no. Among the things that make comfort foods comfort foods are fat and calories, but you can still enjoy the classics without blowing your diet. The idea is to focus on flavor instead of fat and there are lots of ways to add flavor while reducing fat. Here are 10 tips for cutting the fat and amping up the flavor without sacrificing comfort.
1. Change Your Mindset from Fat to Flavor
Chances are the comfort foods you love the most are dishes that were prepared for you as a child. If that's the case, those dishes are probably loaded with fat. Until 20 years ago, it was a given that if you wanted a satisfying meal, it would have to include lots of fat. Essentially fat is just an easy way to add flavor and it's the flavor that's so satisfying.
2. Revisit Childhood Favorites
Make a list of the 10 foods you loved the most as a child. If you don't already have the recipes, ask around to see who does.
3. Examine the Recipes
It's pretty easy to spot the high calorie, high fat culprits; butter, margarine, shortening, vegetable oil, etc. Chances are these recipes are loaded with fat and short on other seasonings.
4. Find Similar Recipes
Go online to rel=nofollow http://allrecipes.com/ or a similar site to find a newer version of the same dish.
For example, if one of your recipes is beef stroganoff, compare the ingredients of your recipe with the ingredients of the new version. Your version will probably require mass quantities of butter and sour cream; while the newer version will call for a tablespoon or so of butter and reduced fat sour cream. Your version will call for powdered spices (or maybe even a spice mix), and canned mushrooms; while the newer version will call for red wine, fresh spices, and fresh mushrooms.
6. Decide What You Can Live Without
If you eliminate all of the fat, it will probably cease to be comfort food for you. A good goal is to eliminate half the fat, try it, and if it's not satisfying, add some fat back in.
7. Reduce the Amount, Not the Fat Content
You'll find that, taste-wise, you're better off reducing the amount of fat-containing products rather than going with reduced fat products and using the original amount.
8. Use the Same Spices as the Newer Version
If the list of herbs and spices in the newer version seems reasonable to you, duplicate those amounts. Some recipes are a spin on traditional classics that would take the comfort right out of your comfort food. For example; chili powder in stroganoff is interesting, but probably not what your Aunt Rose's recipe calls for.
9. Make a Small Test Batch
If this is your comfort food, make just enough for yourself the first time. If you like it, then make it for your family the next time.
10. Ignore the Previous 9 Tips
If the reworked recipe isn't working for you, it's time to throw caution to the wind, put on your jammies, and curl up with a big plate of your Aunt Rose's best beef stroganoff. After all, life is short and you don't do this every day...do you?
Jeff Schweppe is president of Schweppe, Inc. a walk-in, online, and phone order foodservice and restaurant supply business, with the best selection of professional-grade kitchen supplies and commercial equipment in the Chicago area. Schweppe's store, located at 376 W. North Ave. 1/2 mile east of I-355, in Lombard, Illinois, is always open to the public. Website: [http://www.SchweppeInc.com]http://www.SchweppeInc.com.
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