How to Make Healthy Recipes Taste Indulgent: Don’t Lose Flavor While You Lose Calories!

Tips and tricks to make your healthy meals taste amazing:

Use low-calorie pasta. The average pasta is 200-210 calories for a 2oz (dry) serving. Ronzoni Healthy Harvest and Smart Taste are both many calories lower. This allows you to either increase the portion size slightly or have more calories to spare.

Substitutions for heavy cream:

Fat-free half and a half and 2% condensed milk are both excellent substitutes for heavy cream to make a creamy dish that will not kill you on calories. For example, Penne Alla Vodka with 2% condensed milk tastes incredibly close to the full-fat version but is completely guilt-free!

Knowing if you can handle spicy food:

as a food intolerance test is important, since this way you get to know about your eating habits and what type of food suits your body the most. This will help you in choosing the right spices and mixes for your food as well. 

Cheeses:

Cheeses that are harder tend to be much lower in fat. Think about it this way, fat is oily, less oily cheese, therefore, have a lower fat content and therefore lower calories. Great cheeses with low-fat content: Feta Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Cream cheese, Cottage Cheese. (Example: to make fettucini alfredo try using low-calorie pasta, 2% condensed milk, reduced-fat cream cheese, and some parmesan cheese. I promise you will barely be able to tell the difference!)

Yogurt:

Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream. I also recommend using Friendship Light sour cream. It tastes the closest to regular sour cream with just a portion of the calories.

Dressings:

Trust me, fat-free salad dressing will NEVER taste like its full-fat cousin. Try using reduced fat instead, and if two tablespoons don’t do it for you, add a bit of vinegar to the dressing to help it cover the whole salad. Works every time.

Mayonnaise:

This is a tricky one because mayonnaise should always be made with whole eggs and really low-calorie mayonnaise can be likened to eating paste in the first grade. There is usually a full fat, reduced fat, and low-fat option. Always choose the reduced-fat over the low fat. Also, I find mixing a small amount of the full fat in with lower fat mayonnaise gives you all the taste with so many less of the calories.

Breadcrumbs:

Panko breadcrumbs are excellent as they are lower-calorie and they get just as crispy in the oven as regular breadcrumbs would in a pan. Spray them with some olive oil spray to get them to really turn golden brown.

Ground beef vs Ground turkey:

let’s be honest. No one has ever preferred a turkey burger to the real thing, but the secret no one tells you is that if you buy 93/7 ground beef (meaning it is 93% fat-free) this can often be lower in calories than the turkey, and will taste a whole lot better too.

Butter:

OK butter is one of the most deliciously calorific foods out there but you need not despair. In many recipes, a spread like smart balance is virtually undetectable vs butter, but if you really need that butter flavor a 50/50 butter blend is the way to go. These are blends that are 50% butter, 50% smart balance or other spread. They give you the buttery flavor with many fewer calories and are much more guilt-free.

Mix it with water:

Say you are making fajitas and they call for a tablespoon or two of oil to sautee the beef and vegetables and then some fajita seasoning. Why waste the calories on the oil for sauteeing? Start to brown the meat and then when you add the vegetables add a half cup of water mix with the seasoning. By the time the water burns off, the vegetables are infused with the flavors of the spices so much more so than if you had used oil and the meal is so much healthier because of it.

These are just a few of the tips to make healthy foods taste as flavorful as the ones that cause the bulge. If you have any questions about other substitutions you can make, comment and I will write a part two answering all of your questions.