Learning to cut fat in your food preparation is just a matter of a little education. You may have learned to cook using fats, grease, butter; frying, marinating with oils etc. Cutting out the fat in your cooking is just rethinking something you learned in your past. First, toss out lard, shortening, grease, margarine, butter, hydrogenated oils and any oil except for extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. These last two are monounsaturated and actually good for you. If you do not have the bad stuff in the house, you will not be tempted to use it.
Next, take a look at the foods you buy. Stay away from processed foods including meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, bologna etc. Processed baked goods such as cookies, crackers, and chips should also be avoided. Okay so what is left you ask? Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish. Become a label reader. Be able to identify what is in a product by just looking at it. When you see a hot dog, can you identify all the ingredients in it? You may not want to! But when you see a fresh chicken breast, you know what you are getting.
Leaner cuts of beef and include the tenderloin, sirloin, strip steak; for pork the tenderloin is considered the leanest. “Lean” meats are defined as those with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol. White poultry has less fat content than the darker version – 0.9 grams saturated fat and 3 grams total fat vs. 2.6 grams saturated fat and 9.2 grams total fat.
Now that you have selected lean cuts of meat, make sure you remove any visible fat on it and the skin from the poultry. Consider the method of cooking will you need to add something to keep it lubricated? If you put a piece of meat in a skillet, it may stick and you use to want to add oil or butter. Instead add broth or a dry white wine. Keep the heat low so as to not burn the meat. This will not only keep the meet from sticking and burning but will add flavor. Speaking of flavor, your pantry should be stocked with a wealth of spices oregano, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, pepper, paprika, ginger, tarragonyou get the idea. Low fat does not mean low flavor!
Your BBQ grill is a wonderful place to minimize the fat needed to cook your meats. Rub a little rosemary, garlic powder, black pepper and a dash of sea salt on your strip steak and cook it on the grill. The flavor remains on the meat while the fat drips away into the fire. You will have a succulent piece of meat that smells wonderful (the rosemary and beef cooking together) and is full of flavor.
Okay so you are not too fond of beef and you think your chicken will dry out on the grill without the skin. Here is a wonderful solution: Make a pouch out of heavy aluminum foil. Place your skinned, de-fatted and de-boned chicken breast inside. (The bones may pierce the aluminum). To the pouch add garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and a half cup of broth or white wine. Seal up the pouch and place it on the grill. Turn the pouch after 12 minutes and allow it to cook on the other side for the same amount of time. When you open the pouch, you will find a tender, cooked, moist and tasty chicken breast inside. Strain what little fat has accumulated in the juice and cook your brown rice in the new chicken broth.
But you say you don’t like vegetables without butter or cheese. I again have a solution for you! You can stir fry your vegetables in a little -1 teaspoon- of olive oil along with the seasoning of your choice. Try this recipe:
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 cup of red onion finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
Saute these in a skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When they have turned opaque, place in a bowl and set aside.
Next, to the hot skillet add:
1 zucchini, sliced
1 crookneck squash, sliced
cup red bell pepper, sliced
cup orange bell pepper, sliced
cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
If you have not used the broth from the chicken on your rice, pour it into the skillet with the mushrooms. Mushrooms tend to make their own liquid so you will want to cook them down before you put the other vegetables in. Once the mushrooms start to dry, add the remaining uncooked vegetables and the ones set aside in the bowl and saute. Cover for about 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Your vegetables will have a wonderful mixture of flavors and I guarantee you will not miss your butter!
Being creative with spices, juices, wine, broth and even fruit will take the fat off your plate and off your body.