cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla or almond extract to help dial up the flavor.
6. Believe in brown.
Swapping out “white” foods — white flour, white rice, regular pasta — for whole-grain alternatives like whole-wheat flour, brown rice and whole-grain pasta won’t help you cut calories. But the fiber in them fills you up faster and sustains you longer, making you less likely to go back for seconds or to be hungry an hour later.
7. Pump up the veggies!
You can easily reach the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies when you’re cooking at home. Veggies can complement any dish on your menu, adding nutrient-packed bulk to the meal for few calories. Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to your next omelet, red peppers (or a frozen stir fry mix) to baked casseroles, or any kind of beans to a pasta salad. Include fresh or frozen spinach in pasta sauces and soups, and broccoli in your casseroles. The opportunities for adding veggies are endless for almost any dish!
8. Cut the cream.
When using cream, sub fat-free half-and-half for any heavy cream. The switch gives the soups a creamy taste and velvety texture without all the saturated fat of heavy cream. This works great in pasta sauces as well.
9. Make your own marinade.
Marinate lean meats in vinegar and citrus combos (with a bit of oil added) rather than a pre-made oil-based dressing. You can also try a fruit juice or wine. These agents will still tenderize and flavor the meat, and a mix of herbs and spices will bring out the flavor! (You’ll also save sodium by not using the store-bought varieties!) Try cutting the meat in strips before dousing it to really let the marinade take effect.
As you can see, there are endless ways you can boost the nutrition and reduce the calories of almost any recipe. Get creative and experiment in the kitchen. You may just find that you like these new ways of cooking just as much—or even better!