27 Ways to Cut Calories While Preparing Food
- Trim all fat from meat before cooking.
- For pan-frying, use a pan with a non-stick finish to eliminate or use very little fat.
- If frying in a regular pan, sprinkle the bottom with salt, or use very little fat.
- To render more fat than by frying, broil meat that you would
normally pan-fry, even as a first step to stews. If meat is browned in
a pan, drain all fat before adding other ingredients.
- When preparing soups, stews, or meat in sauces, allow time
to refrigerate the mixture until the fat congeals and can be entirely
removed and discarded.
- Rather than saute vegetables in butter or oil, cook them in a small amount of water with herbs or bouillon.
- For meat glazes and other uses, choose juice-packed canned
fruits instead of those packed in syrup. Also, use unsweetened juices
- Use tuna fish that has been packed in water rather than oil.
- For salads and marinating or basting meats or poultry, use a
bottled low-calorie dressing. Marinating before cooking also eliminates
the need for using fat.
- When broiling or baking fish, use wine, bouillon or lemon juice instead of butter. Extra dry Vermouth is especially nice.
- Use low-calorie mayonnaise rather than regular kind.
- When stuffing poultry, fish or other meats, use a vegetable
stuffing rather than bread, or a mixture of both using less bread than
- In gelatin desserts, use the unflavored kind.
- To save 25 calories per tablespoon, use butter or margarine rather than cooking oil.
- If you use flour as a thickening agent, use less and settle
for thinner sauce or substitute cornstarch for flour. The same amount
of cornstarch has twice the thickening power, and it is about equal in
calories. If recipe calls for 2T flour, you need only one tablespoon of
- To flavor low-fat sauces, experiment with adding some of the
following: the cooking liquid from vegetables, lemon juice, herbs and
spices, bouillon cubes, onions, celery, watercress and mushrooms.
- In general, use liquid skim milk and dry skim milk instead
of milk and cream. Use skim milk for custards. Add extra flavoring.
- When a recipe specifies sour cream, substitute low-calorie
sour cream or sour half-and-half, or part sour cream and part yogurt,
or plain yogurt.
- If a recipe calls for coating meat with flour before browning, brown it without flour.
- When meat is cooked in liquid with aromatic vegetables
(carrots, onions, turnips, rutabagas, etc.) as in pot roast, thicken
and enrich the sauce with the pureed vegetables. To puree, press
through sieve, food mill or blend in food blender with some of the
liquid, then add sauce.
- Use lean meat in all recipes. When you buy ground beef,
specify lean round. (These cuts are usually just as economical because
they have no excess fat).
- Before cooking chicken, remove the skin and any loose fat.
- If meat, poultry or fish is served with a sauce to spoon over
rice or noodles, serve the sauce either unthickened or on the thin
- Rather than fry chicken in butter, margarine or oil (which
can take as much as 1/3 cup), brush with one tablespoon of fat and
roast in the oven.
- Use whipped butter or margarine for spreads. The air or
water they contain reduces the fat content and cuts their calories
- Choose canned or frozen vegetables that are plain instead of combinations containing rich sauces.
- Learn which are the low or no-calorie foods and serve them
often in meals and for snacks. Some are: green beans, green peppers,
leeks, celery, cauliflower, carrots, watercress, zucchini, lettuce, and
cucumbers. There are more that you can find on any calorie chart.