You want to maintain or lose weight and you know that healthy eating is a big part of that. You search the internet and magazines looking for simple, but tasty recipes that will leave your tummy satisfied.
But, most of the meals you discover maybe complicated, time consuming or worse yet; filled with fat. How can you spice up your meals without breaking your new healthy eating diet?
The answer is simple. There are some low-calorie ingredients that will spice up your meals. Most of these are everyday ingredients you can find them at your local grocery store. Weight loss is not all about what you cook; but it is how you cook it.
Garlic is a common kitchen ingredient that adds amazing flavor to a wide variety of foods. It is known to be extremely versatile, as its flavor can change depending on how you sliceor cook it.
Whole garlic gives food a more subtle flavor, minced or chopped garlic adds spicier and more pungent aromas. Caramelizing garlic over low heat will give your meals a mild, sweet flavor, while sautéed garlic creates a sharp-tasting and fresh tasting meal.
You can use as much garlic as you want, as per Livestrong, 1 teaspoon of chopped raw garlic only has 4 calories. Also, garlic is so low in fat that 1 cup contains less than 1 gram.
2. Herbs and Spices
A great way to add flavours to your meals is by combining herbs and spices. You can make your own spice blends by combining some of your favorite spices in a zip-top bag.
If you are planning to make a spice blend that has a specific flavor, there are plenty of recipes that will help guide you. You can also buy salt-free spice blends at grocery stores, many of which contain less than 1 calorie per serving.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice adds invigorating and zesty flavors to almost any dishes, including side dishes, entrees, salads and even desserts. Fresh lemon juice, contains 3 calories per tablespoon, and is a great alternative to sauces and condiments that are filled with fat, sugar and calories.
Lemon juice gives food a clean, fresh taste, wihch can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Also, it is suggested that adding lemon juice to a a dish that tastes flat, will bring flavour to a bland-tasting meal.
You can squeeze lemon juice in salads or soups, pasta, vegetables, or rub it on chicken, pork, and fish. If you are going to use lemon to marinate your vegetables and meats, try adding a touch of lemon juice just before your food is cooked. Adding it too soon, will make your dish taste bitter, as the cooking process will concentrate the flavor.
4. Natural Stock
Stock cubes for poultry, fish, meat or even vegetarian dishes are usually high on calories due to preservatives. You can check out some stock recipes and make your own instead.
All you need is some boiling water and flavoring agents such as tomatoes, celery, ginger, garlic, bones, cinnamon, shells, etc and your low calorie stock is ready.
The reason pepper is frequently used in recipes, is because it can transform bland dishes into well-seasoned, savory meal. According to What’s Cooking America, there are many different types of pepper, which includes black, white, green, pink and red, which bring their own unique flavors to the dishes.
According to What’s Cooking America, black pepper is the strongest and most pungent. While green pepper, is typically quite tart. When seasoning food with pepper, put it just before your dish is done cooking.
If pepper is cooked for too long, it loses its aromatic and fragrant. According to Healthy Enough whenever possible, use freshly ground peppercorn, as this will turn any plain dish into one filled with complex and rich flavors.
6. Wonton Wrappers
Wonton wrappers are stored in the fridge section of any supermarket and it serves as the perfect medium to hold all kinds of different foods. Each wrapper only has around 15-20 calories each, which makes it perfect for different kinds of meals.
If you want to make lightened-up strawberry shortcake, you can use wanton wrappers with your own strawberry mixture and bake in a muffin pan. For salads and soups, you can swap tortilla strips and greasy croutons for these as well.