At times, I feel like splurging when it comes to food. When I feel that way, I often got to Scarpetta, which, in my humble opinion, is one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC. There are days, however, when I would like to save money. Those times, I stay at home and cook my own food. At first, I was struggling to make it tasty and healthy at the same time. It is tempting to load it with salt just to have a distinct flavor. Now, I know better and I will be sharing with you some of the best ways to make your meals nutritious and delicious.
Keep It Simple
One of the secrets to cooking a nutritious meal is to make it simple. The more ingredients are used, the unhealthier it can become. Stick to the basics. Get rid of complications. If possible, use natural flavorings so that you can achieve the taste that you want without resorting to the use of artificial ingredients.
Swap your Ingredients
Learn the ingredients that you can let go and choose their healthier alternatives. For instance, in a recent brunch in NoMad, I ordered an avocado toast. It was my first time to try avocado and it was oozing with flavors. Then, I realized how avocado can make a healthier swap to butter. It also makes a good choice for a dip. Also, if you are a fan of mayo, a cottage cheese can work as a good swap. If you are making creamy sauces, on the other hand, instead of heavy creams and butter, use low-fat milk with flour.
Choose the Right Cooking Method
Sometimes, it is not all about what you cook but how you cook it. This makes it important to be mindful of the cooking method that you will choose. Some of the healthiest cooking methods include steaming, poaching, and broiling. Avoid deep frying as it uses a lot of oil, which can be unhealthy for you. Grilling is also not good since it can be carcinogenic.
Limit the Use of Sodium
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, your sodium intake should not be more than 2,300 milligrams in a day. With this, it is important that you avoid using too much salt when you are cooking. It will be best to boost the flavor without sodium, such as through using fresh herbs and spices, which you can pick from your garden.
Rinse your Canned Vegetables
Generally, you have to go for fresh ingredients and avoid those in cans. However, if the only one available is canned, it will be wise to wash them before they are cooked. This is an effective way to reduce the amount of sodium that is present since water will wash it away. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, this cuts down sodium by as much as 10%.
With the tips that have been mentioned above, it should be easy for you now to make your healthy meals at home, making them as tasty as those that you will find in your favorite restaurants.