Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies

These simple Kitchen Survival Strategies, will help you cook at home, which is the easiest way to keep your calories in check, and add healthy diet habits to your life, because you are in control!

Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

1. Relearn to Cook - Many of us grew up with casseroles laden with meat, noodles, and cheese, and we boiled frozen, or canned vegetables. There is no need to eat like this. Try new cuisines that are full of veggies and spices. There are amazing great tasty recipes from other cultures, that use many different vegetables that we did not grow up eating, but that are wonderful.

Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

Vegetable Curry Recipe

2. Buy New Recipe Books, or Look On-Line - Older recipe books, contain recipes with more fat and sugar. Buy only recipe books that include nutritional statistics. End the unconscious eating once and for all! New recipe books offer more recipes from other countries that are healthier, and use spices that are delicious. Fresh herbs like basil, dill, mint, cilantro or rosemary, turn ordinary recipes into gourmet ones in these newer cookbooks. Have fun! Let’s get rid of those out dated recipe books with no statistics! - See my Top 10 Recommended Healthy Cookbooks!

Kitchen Survival Strategies by Healthy Diet Habits - buy new Recipe Books with Nutritional Statistics

3. Organize your Kitchen and Stock New Staples for Your New World Cuisine - Try new recipes monthly, and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. After a few months, you will have a new kitchen full of interesting staples, especially spices. 

4. Read Labels and Recipes, and Lighten or Dilute Them - Check out the internet for your favorite recipes, and compare them for the best statistics. You can substitute different veggies, or beans, usually without altering the recipe much. Most of the time, you can double or triple the spices, and the recipe will be tastier. You could double tuna by adding equal amounts tuna and celery or apple.

Add tons of blended veggies to spaghetti sauces, chili, or soups, even meatloaf. Kids can’t usually detect blended zucchini, squash, spinach, or whatever veggie you have on hand that you add to sauces. Adding veggies in non-traditional ways, helps to lower the calorie count, and sneak in those extra veggies. See Stealthy Healthy Cooking!

Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

5. Lower Fat when Possible - This is an easy Lifestyle Solution, and a great kitchen survival strategy, that anyone can incorporate easily. Some ideas to lower fat are:

  • You can cut the fat in half in a recipe, and substitute the half you cut out with low fat buttermilk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, you could use 1/2 cup of oil, and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. You can also cut fat, in half, and substitute applesauce too, the same way. For a cup of oil, you would use 1/2 cup of oil, and 1/2 cup of applesauce. This works really great in fruit breads.

  • Sauté your meals in a little olive oil and water, rather than frying foods. Remember that frying foods doubles, or triples the calories. That 30 calorie onion, turns into 350 calories of onion rings that is 85% fat.

  • Learn to figure out the % of fat in recipes, and don’t be fooled by awesome advertising, like 100% whole wheat crackers like Wheat Thins and Triscuits that are full of fat. If it feels greasy it is!

  • Substitute egg whites for eggs (2 whites equals 1 whole egg and saves 50 calories), or use egg beaters. (My recommendation is to use Organic Protein -meat, dairy, eggs)

  • Use low fat butter, or margarines, and save 50 calories per tablespoon.

  • Avoid most salad dressings, as they are calorie laden. If you can’t part with the ranch, or blue cheese, then buy a good one, and dilute it rather than a chemically done one that will not taste good. Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Raspberry Dressings are both good choices. Just make sure you can understand the ingredients in salad dressings, and do not buy a chemical sauce. Make your own with olive oil and lemon or flavored vinegar.

  • Use skim milk. Whole milk is 1/2 fat, and 2% is 1/4 fat.

  • Use lower fat cheeses, low-fat cottage cheese, or yogurt and try substituting plain yogurt for sour cream, or cream cheeses.

  • Buy only lean sandwich meat and tuna in water. Try to find ones that are not full of chemicals and nitrates, as they have been linked with cancer. (I recommend Organic Protein)

  • Try recipes for oven fried meats and potatoes. Cubed potatoes sprayed with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked are amazing.

6. Become a Bean and Lentil Lover - Beans are full of fiber, which keeps you full longer, and are another great kitchen survival strategy to add to your healthy recipes. There are amazing bean recipes, especially for the crock pot. You can add many different kinds of beans to stews, soups, or salads.

Remember to try to add a new type of bean to something daily, like the Mediterranean diet recommends, and be adventurous. By the end of a year, you should know the difference between the different beans, and which ones you love. Shop at cultural stores to find new ones, and try out the recipes on the backs of the packages. Garbanzo beans go great with chicken soup, lentils pair great with beef stews.

Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe

7. Try New Grains Besides Wheat - eating whole grains, can help your cholesterol go down. The trick is to eat ones that have not been highly processed. Try steel cut oats, bulgar wheat in salads, pearl barley in soups, whole wheat couscous in rice recipes, oat bran hot cereal, or quinoa for cereal or like rice.

Check out the stores that have bins of grains, for the best prices for some great new kitchen survival strategies.

Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

Lentils and Rice Recipe (Egyptian Kusherie)

8. Baking - Other great kitchen survival strategies, are to find new recipe substitutions for your baking. There are many! Try lightening your favorite recipes. Suggestions would include:

  • Replace half the fat with low fat buttermilk

  • Try decreasing sugar by 1/3, which works in most recipes, or try a sugar substitute.
  • In baking, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour instead of using white flour. This adds more fiber and makes nut fruit breads light. The whole wheat pastry flour is lighter than whole wheat flour, so you do not end up with a heavy product like when you use wheat flour. I have made amazing banana bread with this substitution. This works great in recipes that use baking powder and soda, so its great for cookies and breads.

  • Exchange eggs with egg beaters.

All of these hints will lighten baked goods.

Simple Kitchen Survival Strategies from Healthy Diet Habits

Light Strawberry Bread Recipe

Cooking at home is the easiest way to keep your calories in check, because you are in control! You know what you are adding to your recipes. If you want to add healthy diet habits to your life, it will definitely begin in your home kitchen, by incorporating some of these kitchen survival strategies!

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