I love to watch TV chefs. But as they show off recipes for deep-fried braciole, crab meat topped with béarnaise and towering shortcake crowned with dollops of whipped heavy cream, I stifle a sigh. Oh, these foods are tempting, but delectable dishes don’t have to carry such a hefty fat and cholesterol price tag.
I didn’t always think that way. But after my husband and father both survived heart attacks in the last several years, it forever changed the way I view food. Although we were never fast-food junkies, we could no longer ignore the volume of fat in everyday foods.
In the beginning, I took an extreme approach, stripping meals and snacks of every trace of obvious fat. Pork chops? Gone. Meatloaf? Vanished. Rather, our meals consisted of chicken, chicken and more chicken. Delicious food suddenly seemed far beyond our reach.
Luckily, we found a new balance, discovering that such an austere diet only pushed us off the wagon more often. And in that process, we rediscovered the joy of food and a new appreciation for it as a part of our life (la dolce vita!). By poring over cookbooks, magazines and web sites, I’ve learned to prepare lighter meals that my family really wants to eat. (No small feat when you have kids who like to push peas under their napkins!) I’ve even found tricks to help me to coax richer flavors from food while reducing the fat and adapt recipes for old favorites.
In this blog, I’d like to share some of the tricks that I’ve learned and link to some of our favorite recipes.