I was at my monthly Saturday dinner this past weekend. This is a gathering of friends who all cook dishes related to the theme that the hosts think up. This past month was Favorite Dishes Your Mom Made in honor of Mother’s Day. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see my comments on the onion noodle kugel I made. This is a savory version. Most people are used to the sweet one, with sour cream, sugar and raisins or apples. My Mom made the onion one with lots of eggs, sauteed onions (a TON of them), lots of black pepper and paprika and then baked it until the outside got really crispy.
So, when I was asked to make this (we submit suggestions and are told what to make, depending on the other submissions), I used mostly egg whites and just a touch of olive oil in the pan to saute the onions. It wasn’t hard to do and everyone really liked the dish. No one even asked me if I made it healthier! I guess they kind of take that for granted at this point.
My friend, Jeff, made a meat pie that was a traditional dish from his Mom’s home country. I’m not sure if it was Poland, Yugoslavia or Croatia, but it was loaded with butter on the phylo dough and had full fat sour cream in it. It was actually really good. He then challenged me to re-engineer it. He’s supposed to email me the recipe this week.
Another friend commented that if he “un-engineers” one of my recipes, it will be even better, as it will have full fat and sugar, etc. Of course, he’ll also weigh 472 pounds if he does that.
Changing recipes to make them healthier isn’t hard at all. Basic changes can go a long way to lighten a dish, even if you’re not a pro. Instead of deep frying anything, just use a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan and on a high heat, saute it! You’ll save a ton of calories. Or, use non fat or low fat plain greek yogurt instead of full fat sour cream. You’ll save about 10-12 grams of fat and won’t notice a change in flavor. Stevia works well as a sugar substitute in cooking and baking and is all natural. If you like salt in your food, use kosher or sea salt. You’ll add less sodium and still get the full flavor. Table salt has been over-processed so you have to use more.
These are easy, no brainer changes that everyone can make to keep their calories under control without feeling deprived of anything.
Now, let’s see if I get that recipe. I’ll share the before and after versions and you can judge for yourself!
Talk to you later,