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Cooking Light: Easy-Peasy

Cooking can be a challenge when you are worried about eating light and healthy. But cooking for yourself and your family while you are on the program can be a great way to help you stay on track by allowing you more variety and flexibility in your meal planning. If you love to cook, try implementing the techniques below, you can still enjoy your time in the kitchen without sacrificing taste or your weight loss goals.

1. Roasting/baking: Cook meats, fish or veggies on a rack coated with nonstick spray or in an uncovered shallow pan at 350 degrees or higher.

2. Broiling/grilling: Marinate meats with yogurt, broth, 100% fruit juices or Jenny’s Cuisine® salad dressing, then grill on broiler pan or grill rack coated with nonstick spray.

3. Sauteing/stir-frying: Pan cook meats, veggies or fish over medium or high heat using nonstick spray in place of oil, or cut your usual amount of oil in half.

4. Remove fats before, during and after cooking:

○ Remove skin from chicken and other poultry.

○ Trim any visible fat from beef, pork and lamb.

○ Broil or roast meats on a rack so fat drips off.

○ Drain or blot browned or stir-fried meats with a paper towel after cooking.

○ Stir ice cubes into hot soups, stews and chilis to congeal the fat -- then skim it off the top.

5. Experiment with substitutions:

○ Use two egg whites for every whole egg (saves 35 calories).

○ Use ½ cup applesauce in place of ½ cup oil when baking (saves 800 calories).

○ Use ½ cup nonfat yogurt in place of ½ cup sour cream (saves 130 calories).

6. Use fruit juices, vinegars, low-fat salad dressing, broth, low-sodium soy sauce, herbs and spices as low-calorie, high-flavor ways to dress up your favorite dishes.

As you plan your menus for the week, choose some meals to cook at home using your new light cooking techniques. Soon cooking light will be second nature -- easy peasy!