Your goal is to lower the number of fat grams in your recipes. Here are a few tips to help you. Steam vegetables whenever possible and remove skin from chicken before cooking it. Avoid heavy gravies or cream soups, using broths, tomato sauces, or lemon juices whenever possible. Boil pork or beef the night before you intend to cook it, placing it in the refrigerator overnight. The grease will rise to the top and you can remove it before using the meat in your recipe the next day.
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The first strategy is to read through the recipe and find areas of improvement. Find the saturated fat sources, such as butter, cream cheese, large amounts of meat, cream, whole milk for example and then replace an ingredient one at a time until the end result is somewhat the same as the original, but still has great taste. Taste is #1, so if the fat sources are the only areas for flavor, add different nonfat flavors:
1. For savory dishes, increase the aromatics: garlic, sweet onion, celery, carrots as well as the herbs and spices. Remember to use only fresh spices and dried herbs that have a ton of flavor. If they taste flat, so will the end product! Use fresh citrus zest, hot spices if you like it (cayenne, red peppers) and fresh herbs at the end of cooking for maximum flavor. Roasting garlic and other vegetables is also a great way to bring out the flavor of an otherwise mediocre-tasting dish.
2. For sweet dishes, such as cakes, brownies, cookies and more, I find that increasing the extracts (vanilla, almond, banana, etc) and using fresh spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) really improves the flavor of nonfat baked goods. Using coffee instead of water in cocoa-based recipes is another great way to intensify the cocoa taste without adding fat.
3. For on top of the stove sauteeing, try using wine, mild-flavored juice, such as apple or white grape and low-sodium broths or stocks to saute instead of oil or butter. This method guarantees great flavor without added fat.
4. Lastly, poaching in a combination of water, wine, herbs and spices is a fantastic and flavorful method of cooking fish, chicken breast and very lean meats. Low-fat and non-fat recipes do not equal a no-flavor dish. Keep experimenting in the kitchen until the dish is mastered!