Sautéing is one of the basic cooking techniques used often in commercial and home kitchens. If done correctly, the end result will be a partially caramelized piece of protein or other food packed with flavor. If done incorrectly, the food will taste bland, and the appearance will be less than desirable.
Ideas for cheap healthy meals
Now you may have become discouraged by what many define as diet food. Bland or with an aftertaste and just plain non-appetizing to the palette, or if you do run across some foods that are good to eat on a daily basis, they can get costly. No worries! Having cheap healthy meals that you and your family can enjoy does not require any special training or fancy foods from a special store.
If you think that Spanish food is fattening, the truth is that it can be but there are changes that anyone can make so that it will be nutritious as well as filling. Take tacos, for example. You may have seen tortillas deep fried so that they will form that nice shape to hold all the fillings. After you have organized all of your fillings, just take regular tortillas to a hot pan that has been slightly oiled and let it brown for a couple of minutes on each side. Drain excess oil on a paper towel and add fillings.
Speaking of fillings, there are some corners you can cut so that they are not as fattening. Let’s start from the bottom. Ground turkey or chicken can be used instead of beef or you can try a leaner grade like 85/15 or 93/7. The bottom number represents the percentage of fat used in the ground but understand that the lower the bottom number, the higher the price.
By using refried beans in your tacos, you are getting fiber as well as sustenance. In other words, this will fill you up faster. Instead of going with sour cream and/or guacamole, try salsa and plain nonfat yogurt along with shredded lettuce. You’ll still have that same creamy texture but without the calories. These tips may be used for burritos, tostadas, quesadillas and nachos. If you must use cheese, try a reduced-fat cheddar or mix in Monterey jack with cheddar. Pepper jack cheese is a spicy option that has enough flavors so that you won’t need as much.
If you like chicken fingers or strips, there are ways to prepare this without deep frying. Let’s start with the coating. Many like to use a batter made of whole eggs and white flour. You can change things up by using slightly beaten egg whites and crushed corn flakes to dip raw chicken slices which should be cut fairly thin. In a shallow medium pan, use enough canola or vegetable oil to cover about a half inch in depth. Once oil is warm under medium heat, add covered chicken carefully. Cook on each side for about 7 minutes and let drain on towel while cooling. If you need additional cooking time, place in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Finally, instead of having regular potato skins or chili cheese fries, cook a raw potato or two in your microwave or regular oven the same way you would bake it as a side dish. After it has cooked, slice in half lengthwise and let cool. Turn on the oven at 350 degrees. Scoop out the potato and fill with turkey or meatless canned chili. Top with shredded, reduced-fat cheese and bake in oven for 5-10 minutes.
These are just a few ideas to help keep some of those comfort foods in your daily routine without ruining your diet or your health or your wallet!