Food TV: Inspiring Healthy Cooking
Cooking demonstrations help cooks feel more comfortable in the kitchen.
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD / LD
Weight Loss Clinic WebMD – Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Stroll through any bookstore or browse the Internet, and you can choose from thousands of healthy recipes. But for some cooks, the words and images on a page or screen are not enough to inspire them to take the leap and try something new.
Enter food television, where reluctant chefs can be motivated by watching how professionals share their cooking tips and ease with cooking.
"Cooking is very sensual, and the beauty of a cooking program allows viewers to see and almost feel the texture, shape and quantity of the ingredients and the finished product," says Ellie Krieger, Food Network host. Healthy appetite.
Says liz weiss, MRS, RD, who was co-host of a pilot program called Rescue recipe: "Watching a food demonstration is a very powerful motivator because it reduces the anxiety of not being able to do it."
Cooking on television is not a new idea, Julia Child was doing it decades ago. But Food Network and its star chefs have made it more popular than ever. And some cooking shows, like Krieger's, are specifically aimed at showing the public how easy and tasty healthy cooking can be.
"There is a misconception that eating healthy and delicious foods is mutually exclusive, but they are not," says Krieger. She says she tries to show viewers that they can still enjoy their favorite foods as long as they prepare them in a healthy way and observe the size of the portions.
Krieger also tries to dispel the idea that healthy cooking is complicated.
"I'm a busy mother like everyone else, so I concentrate on recipes that are easy, and I've discovered some very simple tips, tricks and options to encourage viewers to venture beyond their comfort zones and see how easy is to create "Delicious and healthy dishes," she says.
Rescue recipe, a pilot at a PBS subsidiary, actually put a family to work in the kitchen with dietitians Liz Weiss and Janice Bissell, co-authors of The guide of the moms to the changes of food. The goal: to make the family's favorite recipes healthier.
"Our family realized that their favorite foods were loaded with fat, calories and sodium," says Weiss, "and with a few simple steps, and without using convenience foods, we made their dishes much healthier."
Tricks of the trade
So, what are some of those tricks that can make the dishes healthier and tastier?
"All it takes is a basic understanding of how to highlight the natural flavors of food," says Connie Gutterson, RD, PhD, author of The sonoma diet and a veteran TV food demo.
One of their favorite techniques for developing flavor is to toast grains and nuts before adding them to recipes.
She is also a great fan of experimenting with different types of whole grains, and roasting and caramelizing vegetables to give her more flavor.
"There are so many things you can do in the kitchen that do not come out of a bottle," says Gutterson, also a chef and dietitian at the Culinary Institute of America.
As you become more comfortable with cooking techniques, you can use key ingredients to completely change a basic recipe. A pantry stocked with a variety of spices, herbs, vinegars, oils, mustards, whole grains, beans, nuts and vegetables can turn a single recipe into multiple variations.
"Using a different grain or rub can completely change a recipe," says Gutterson.
Exit a routine
Do you repeat the same meals week after week at home? If so, you are not alone. One thing that home cooks can learn from cooking shows is how to add variety to the menu, which is essential to keep foods interesting, healthy and enjoyable.
"Most cooks stick to tried-and-true family favorites who can cook without a recipe and rarely venture out of that comfort zone, except holidays and special occasions," says Holly Clegg, author of cookbooks and frequent guest on television.
Clegg recommends breaking the mold by starting with a familiar dish, like lasagna, and then adjusting it. Try adding sauce to your chicken on the grill. Or maybe you use different vegetables, dressings or dressings for your standard salad.
"Start with recipes that you know will give you the confidence to be creative, and experiment with techniques to reduce fat, calories and sugarAnd sodium, "recommends Clegg.
Many people simply use one or two recipes from each of their cookbooks. But Clegg tells his audience not to make the same recipe twice.
"The quickest way to avoid culinary boredom and ordering take-out is by preparing and eating the same food all the time," says Krieger.
To get inspired, enjoy an evening of food television or surf the Internet to watch cooking demonstrations online.
Recipes for an inspiring healthy kitchen
Here are some recipes ready for the camera of the chefs that spoke with WebMD:
Basil Quinoa with Red Pepper
WebMD Weightloss Members of the clinic: Daily one that serves as 1/2 cup of foods rich in fat-free starch.
With quinoa playing the leading role, the nutrients abound in this full flavor accompaniment dish. A great addition to any dinner, this dish goes especially well with a crispy salad. To make an advance, prepare as directed, except do not sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Cover and chill for up to 6 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds before serving.
1 cup lightly packaged fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped (2 teaspoons chopped)
2 cups cooked quinoa *
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onion
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sunflower seeds without shell
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of boiling water. In a small bowl, combine cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. Add the basil to the boiling water; Stir once and drain immediately. Place the basil in the ice bath so it cools quickly. Gently squeeze any excess water. Place the basil in a food processor. Add the Parmesan cheese, the lemon juice, the olive oil and the garlic. Cover and process until it is almost smooth. In a medium bowl, mix cooked quinoa, pepper and green onions. Add the basil mixture; Stir to cover. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
*Note: Look for quinoa at a health food store or in the grain section of a large supermarket. To make 2 cups of cooked quinoa, in a fine sieve, rinse .2 / 3 cup of quinoa with cold running water; drain. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cups of water, quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Drain the remaining liquid.
Yield: 8 servings.
Per serving: 123 cal., 7 g of total fat, (1 g of saturated fat), 1 mg of cholesterol, 115 mg of sodium, 13 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber, 4 g of protein. Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.
From the next Sonoma diet cookbook (Meredith Books). Published again with the permission of the editor.
Members of the Weight Loss Clinic: Journal that serves as 1/4 cup of foods with high starch content or legumes without fat + 1 serving of lean meat without fat.
The chipotle sauce gives this excellent and easy chili a smoky flavor that is hard to beat.
2 pounds of ground sirloin
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16 ounce) jar of chipotle sauce or sauce of your choice
1 packet of (16 ounces) frozen whole corn
2 cans (14 1/2-oz) of beef broth seasoned with onion
1 can (15 ounces) of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, optional
In a large pot, brown the meat and garlic until ready. Drain any excess liquid. Add the chili powder, the cumin, the sauce, the corn, the beef broth and the beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Per serving: 212 calories, 26 g of protein, 14 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of fat, 2 g of sat. fat, 2 g of fiber, 60 mg of cholesterol, 794 g of sodium. % of calories from fat: 24%. Exchanges: 3 lean meats, 1 starch.
Since The new cookbook by Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific (Running Press, April 2006). Published again with the permission of the editor.
Au Poivre Pig
Members of WebMD Weight Loss Clinic: Daily one that serves as 4 oz. Lean and moderate meat with 1 teaspoon of sauce.
1 1/4 lb pork loin
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground or crushed
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup of dry red wine
Salt to taste
Cut the fillet lengthwise, being careful not to cut it to the other side. Divide the meat into a large, flat piece. Spread the mustard on both sides of the meat and rub with pepper, pressing gently so that it adheres well. Cut the meat into 4 uniform slices. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Put the sirloin in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees, turning once. Transfer the meat to a plate and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Add chicken broth and wine to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, scraping pieces that have been stuck to the pan. Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces to approximately 1/2 cup. Pour the sauce over the meat, season with salt and serve.
Performance: Four 4 ounces. rations
Per serving: 235 calories; 10 grams of fat; 3 grams of saturated fat; 30 grams of protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates.
Recipe published again with permission from Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Healthy Food Network appetite.
Published on November 3, 2006.
SOURCES: Connie Gutterson, RD, PhD, author, The sonoma diet; Nutrition Instructor, Culinary Institute of America. Liz Weiss, MS, RD, co-author, The guide of the moms to the changes of food. Holly Clegg, author, The new Holly Clegg cookbook and an excellent cookbook. Ellie Krieger, hostess, Healthy appetite Television program; Author, Small changes, great results.
© 2006 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
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