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Trimming Fat from your Diet

Fat Trimming Kitchen Helpers
Any way you slice it, it's easy to trim fat when you're preparing your favorite foods.  Try these delicious tips the next time it's your turn to be the family cook.

Meat, Poultry and Fish
Opt for the "select" grade of beef and choose cuts with the words "loin" or "round" in the name.  Look for "loin" or "leg" cuts of pork and lamb, choose skinless, white meat poultry and lean varieties of fish.

To reduce fat in ground meat crumbles, brown in skillet and spoon on to a plate lined with white, non-recycled paper towels.  Transfer crumbles to a colander and rinse with four cups of hot (but not boiling) water and drain.  Add dry seasoning as desired.  Use in tacos, spaghetti sauce and casseroles.

Marinate with flavor.  Experiment with low-fat or fat-free ingredients such as citrus juice, flavored vinegars or other acidic liquids.

Use low-fat cooking methods, such as grilling, steaming, poaching, baking, broiling, braising, roasting, microwaving, simmering or stir-frying to prepare lean meats, chicken and fish. Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking and remove skin from poultry before eating.

Vegetable and Side Dishes
Roast vegetables to add flavor with less fat.  Spray baking sheet lightly with vegetable cooking spray.  Toss cut vegetables with one tablespoon olive oil and herbs and roast at 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Cook rice or other grains in a 50/50 mixture of fruit juice or vegetable broth to add flavor.  Toss the rice with vegetables to make a colorful pilaf side dish.

Be creative!  Top a baked potato with salsa, meatless chili, mixed vegetables or a tablespoon of low-fat cottage or cheddar cheese.

Simmer vegetables in vegetable juice or broth for added flavor, or steam veggies and top with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon.

Sauces and Condiments
Add lower-fat toppings such as pickle relish, chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, horseradish, barbecue sauce, salsa or Dijon or honey mustard to perk up favorite dishes.

Update your gravy recipe.  Using a dry skillet and medium heat, stir in flour until browned. Whisk in low-fat chicken, beef or vegetable broth until smooth.  Heat over low flame, stirring constantly until desired thickness.

Think variety when creating sandwiches.  Experiment with spreads such as mustard, fruit or vegetable chutneys and salsa.

Use pureed non-fat cottage cheese, non-fat dry milk, non-fat cream cheese, evaporated skim milk or farmer cheese in place of higher-fat counterparts in sauces.

Pot Luck
Make a little oil go further.  When sauteing, help cut the amount of fat used by heating the skillet first and then adding a small amount of oil, or use a vegetable oil spray.

Trim the fat, not the flavor, in baked goods.  In cakes and soft drop cookies, use no more than two tablespoons of fat per cup of flour.  In muffins, quick breads and biscuits, use no more than one or two tablespoons of fat per cup of flour.  In pie crusts, use 1/4 cup of margarine per cup of flour.

De-fat soups and stews by chilling in the refrigerator and skimming off the fat that rises to the top.

Use bread crumbs or crushed cereal flakes to top casseroles and baked dishes.