Eat Low-Fat Food

Hi! I'm a mom of 2 and I love tasty (and fatty) food (Really, who doesn't?)! I own my love for the lards of life, but I budget my fats daily or else I easily overspend. By living a low-fat lifestyle, I hope to develop super powers (or something comparable would suite me just fine). At the very least, I hope my cholesterol levels will be thanking me as I gracefully progress through the ages and stages of life. Follow me on my eating journey to a healthier lifestyle through delicious low-fat food.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Super Seafood Suppers

When eating low-fat, you learn to make conscious fat choices, including choosing between good fats and bad fats. It's a no brainer that it is best to choose the good fats as found naturally in seafood, eggs, flax, olives, etc.. To tempt your taste buds into some mouthwatering seafood options, check out what my sister made last week!  She made this simple shrimp scampi over pasta. There are delicious versions of pasta that include whole wheat, whole-grain, multi grain, and even ones made with white whole grains too!

Traditional scampi is made with a lot of butter, oil and wine, all of which can be substituted with broth, either seafood or chicken would be fine. 

My sister also made some delicious lemon pepper salmon served with asparagus. Mmmmmmmm... One of my favorite veggies. Salmon is one of the best ways to get your omega fatty acids, so eat up!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Snack Attack- Toasted Kale


Need a healthy veggie snack?  Toss chopped and stemmed kale with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Broil in the oven until edges look a little toasty (or a lot toasty if you like).

P.S. Be sure to set the pan at least a foot from the heat source or you'll get charred kale.

I love the little crunchy brown edges on the salty kale. My hubby said it reminds him of nori (Japanese toasted seaweed), which is another snack I adore.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shredded Beef Soft Tacos With A Squeeze Of Lime


These soft tacos where exactly what I needed to fill my craving for going out to a Mexican restaurant. Since I made these at home I had complete control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients I used, and these tacos were full of all those Mexican flavors that I was craving!

A few weeks ago, my brother came to visit with his family and they brought with them a huge 15 pound beef roast. We cut that huge chunk of meat into smaller roast portions, seasoned them, put them in my 2 large crockpots for the whole day on low.   What we were left with was succulent shredded beef. We ate that beef for many meals, but there was still so much left over that I decided to portion the meat in approximately 1 pound portions and slide them into my freezer for use in other meals.

When it was time to make this meal of shredded beef soft tacos, all I did was remove the frozen meat from the freezer, put it in a large saucepan with beef broth halfway up the side of the meat, and simmer it on low until it resembled shredded beef again. Then I added a packet of taco seasoning, which I always have on hand, and a small can of diced green chilies, and let it simmer until it thickened up, maybe 10 minutes.
That's it. Served on corn tortillas with a little cilantro, green onion, tomato, and a squeeze of lime, these were divine. I even added some Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, but that's completely optional.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hawaiian Haystacks


When I was in elementary school, I was served a meal in the school cafeteria that was foreign to me, it was referred to as Hawaiian Haystacks.  I'm pretty sure its a Utah thing because I happen to be of Hawaiian descent, and as far as I know, there is no such meal found originating in the islands. I'm assuming because it has pineapple on it is why it is associated with Hawaii. But authentically Hawaiian or not, these haystacks are winners in the land and culture I grew up in, that is to say, the salty desert at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where the closest thing we have to tropical Hawaii is sand and these haystacks. And I'm a fan. And even better, my husband is a fan too.

Now let's get down to the nitty gritty. Hawaiian Haystacks have many variations, but the basics are as follows: a bed of rice, chicken gravy, grated cheese, pineapple tidbits, and other toppings. Speaking of those other toppings, we like to have sweet peas, diced tomatoes, green onions, chopped chicken, crispy chow mein noodles, and shredded coconut.  Sometimes we'll have shredded carrots or diced peppers or steamed veggies. You get the gist, its a haystack of whatever you have on hand.  It's a pretty easy pantry-pull-together/leftovers-use-up kind of meal.

Our heart healthier version we had last night features a cholesterol-friendly foundation of brown rice and full-flavored homemade gravy (shhh...very low fat).  It was so yummy!  My 8 year old daughter even asked if she could have a cup of gravy for soup.

To make your own lowfat full-flavored chicken gravy, use my method.  Dissolve a quarter cup or so of flour into a cup of chicken broth simmering on the stove. Use a whisk to help it along. The mixture should be thick and pasty.  If you need to, add a little more flour because this mixture should be thick.  I used home-ground oat flour, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cook on medium high heat for 30 seconds or so, then add slowly 1 cup of milk while whisking the paste into the liquid. you just made bechamel sauce without fat. Let it simmer to thicken up to a good gravy consistency. Season your gravy, with salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley, you know, just sprinkle seasonings to your heart's content. That's it. Creamy chicken gravy, perfect for healthier Hawaiian Haystacks.

" Hawaiians and haystacks were meant to be together."
  -Anonymous. Or was it Confucius? Okay, I just made that one up.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Truth About Greek Yogurt as a Mayonnaise Substitute


So the truth is... They're two different beasts, or maybe I should say too different beasts. Mayonnaise is creamy, smooth, and fatty. Yogurt, and especially Greek yogurt, is creamy,  smooth, and sour. No offense Greek yogurt, but sour is not exactly a good substitute for fatty all the time, like nutritionists and low-fat food eaters try to preach. Simply put, sometimes you want fatty and sour just doesn't satisfy.  Sour things take over other flavors or change the flavor profile completely. Sometimes that's good and welcomed. Other times you just don't feel like sour. That is the conclusion I came to tonight when I made deviled eggs using Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise.  They were, eh.

Now, in the defense of nonfat Greek yogurt, I have enjoyed it as a substitute for sour cream. It was really yummy on my black bean and cheese burrito that you may remember from one of my past posts. In small amounts, the tangy yogurt flavor does not dominate.  I've also added it into some of my baking, to replace some of the fat, and it does a decent job. I made a quick bread using yogurt in the place of oil and I liked the finish product, my hubby noticed that the bread taste differently, but he still liked it too. So, nonfat Greek yogurt, not all is lost, you have your place in the world, and I think I'll hang on to you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dessert Out


When you go out with your family for dessert, and you have to watch what you eat, there's not always a lot of options for you. This is something I have come to learn over the past little while. A lot of times I just say no and skip out on the goodies. But there are rare occasions when there is something that I can have at a restaurant.
This past weekend my family went to a frozen yogurt bar and had yummy frozen treats of their making.  I, on the other hand, couldn't have any frozen yogurt, but I could have a small portion of some of the toppings that were offered, like fruit, granola, and a touch of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Truthfully I enjoyed every bite and it was lovely to be able to enjoy something sweet along with my family.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Simple Swaps For Health


This was a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. I vamped up the health aspect by swapping out regular pasta noodles for whole grain angel hair, and said goodbye to store bought, full-fat meatballs for my own homemade, lean-ground-beef meatballs.  Served with a large side salad, this made for a well-balanced meal for the whole fam!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Broiled Veggies


I have family in town. Every time they come to town we like to grill! Tonight we grilled marinated chicken tenders. We served it with rice and broiled vegetables. Notice that I did not say boiled vegetables, they were broiled!

Broiled vegetables are d-licious! And the method of making them is quite simple. Just cut up your veggies, put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then toss to distribute seasonings on to everything. Put it under the broiler any where from 5 to 10 minutes depending on how thick your veggies are and how close they are to the heat source.

If you haven't tried your veggies broiled, give it a shot! It's my very favorite way to eat asparagus.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Old-Time Salad Bar Favorite


My lunch today was a throw back to my all-time favorite junior high lunch, the salad bar. I used to get the salad bar nearly every day in junior high school and it was the same lovely lettuce topped with the same tasty tidbits every day- cucumbers, diced ham, cottage cheese and pineapple. Every now and then I'd add peas or carrots to the mix. Cottage cheese and pineapple were the important toppings, everything else was optional. The nice thing about this delicious combo is it has no need for salad dressing, thus saving you on fat. And the even better thing about this is it tastes so good that you don't miss the fat or feel deprived in the least.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Appeasing The Kids - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup


Dinner is a family affair, so I try to make meals that my family will enjoy. Tonight my daughter requested grilled cheese and tomato soup. I LOVVVE melty cheese! But on my low fat diet I often choose other options because of the high fat content in most cheeses. However, tonight I was going to make my daughter happy and I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make a healthier version of grilled cheese, one that I could eat with pleasure and guilt-free.

Tip number 1- make it an open face cheese toast and save yourself all that butter you would normally bathe the sandwich bread in.

Tip number 2- substitute half the shredded cheddar for grated Parmesan cheese.  Lots of flavor, less fatty ;). Now you can call it "fancy two-cheese toasts" or something like that.

Tip number 3- use whole wheat bread.

That's it. Assemble cheeses on the bread and broil until the cheese melts and Parmesan is lightly browned. Try it. It's yummy!  And with tomato soup, you've got a heaven-made match.

Salted Toasted Rolled Oats


I was reading online again for more creative ways to eat oatmeal. I had seen that you can toast your oatmeal under the broiler to give it a more almost-granola like consistency. I like granola, but I gotta do without the loads of fat and sugar in traditional granola, so I took a more meager approach to flavoring the oats . And I wanted to add salty element into it, since I'm supposed to eat more salt, so I sprinkled Real Salt all over the oats before I put it under the broiler.

Here's the recipe-

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • a sprinkling of Real Salt

Combine all the ingredients and put in a pie tin. Put under a broiler for about 2 minutes. The oats should look lightly toasted.

On the internet they use the toasted mixture and just combined it with milk and microwaved it to make oatmeal. I thought that I would take a different approach and sprinkle it over low fat vanilla yogurt to make a parfait. It was yummy. The oats gave a salty nuttiness to the parfait. The parfait I made used half a cup of low-fat yogurt, a quarter cup of the toasted oats, and a quarter cup of slightly-thawed frozen blueberries.



Oh yeah! I almost forgot to tell you that I sprinkled in a good helping of ground cinnamon. Not only is that spice great for regulating your blood sugar levels, but it is also been proven to help lower your cholesterol. Sounds like a winner!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Poached Rock Fish with Red Potatoes and Sliced Carrots


One of my favorite authors is Roald Dahl.  In his autobiography, he says the best way to cook fish is to poach it.  I like fish cooked in variety of ways- grilled, broiled, steamed, fried, battered, breaded, the list goes on and on, but when I prepare fish for dinner, hardly ever do I choose to poach it. After reading Mr. Dahl's opinion on poaching however, I think I have a new respect for that method. Poaching can infuse flavor while keeping the fish soft and moist. Why not try poaching more often?

So for tonight's dinner I chose to poach the rockfish that I had sitting in my freezer. Rockfish is a very mild-flavored, yet firm-textured white fish. I infused the poaching water with sliced onions, fresh parsley, garlic powder, thyme, and plenty of salt. It turned out beautifully.

I served it with some boiled red potatoes and sliced carrots. Yum!