Eat This, Not That

Everyone has that favorite food that is delicious beyond compare but simply terrible for your health. For me, it is sweet noodle kugel, the creamier and more sugary cousin to mac-and-cheese. I joke that it’s healthy because of its moderately-high calcium content, but lets be honest here… a plateful of kugel is like a giant slice of cheesecake (but, in all likelihood, with more carbs and fat). Still, knowing full well how bad it is, I simply cannot see the day when I will be able to say “no” to a good-ol’ slice of that gooey, cheesy, noodle-y dish. Think I’m doomed? Ha, think again!

Enter substitution list, my go-to guide for giving a healthy twist to those treats that are simply too good to give up. Addicted to sauces and sweets made with heavy whipping cream? Think about using evaporated skim milk as a fat-free and low-calorie replacement. Love treats with lots of butter? Try using baby prunes instead to seriously up the health-factor (and to give your desserts an added fiber-boost). My personal favorite? I’ve learned that using fat-free ricotta in my kugel gives it the same sweetness and soft texture as the recipe-called-for cream cheese does, minus all the unnecessary fat and calories. Whatever your bad-food love may be, get ready to give it a healthful makeover with the easy and healthy recipe substitution list as your guide. Eating is something to be shared and enjoyed, so substitute away that guilt and grab a whisk… let’s get cooking!

Image from [Better Homes and Gardens]

Herbs 101

Up until about a year ago, the same thing happened every time (and I mean every single time) I found myself cooking something that called for some type of fresh herb: I would read the recipe for the dish twice, circle the herb which I needed to go purchase, realize I had no idea how to really recognize the herb, google the herb, go to the store and (somehow) manage to locate and buy the herb, and then get back to my kitchen to gingerly try my hand chopping or slicing the herb. It was, i admit, a truly embarrassing sight. I mentioned this was a year ago though… so what happened between then and now? Ah-haa, let me tell you! Thanks to a bit of research and this awesomely illustrated ‘basics of herbs’ cheat-sheet, I learned all about how to prepare, identify, utilize, and even chiffonade herbs like a pro! So don’t be shy and take a look… you, too, can be the herb-aficionado of your kitchen!