5 recipe make-overs to help drop your weight and lower cholesterol

Simple changes to ingredients and methods will make a huge difference to your weight and health right now and well into the future.

  1. Get the flavour of sour cream with fewer kJ/cals and far less fat
    • use buttermilk in soups. Buttermilk is only 2 % fat (close to reduced fat milk), but sour cream is more than 35 % fat.
    • use plain or natural yoghurt to top vegetables, and stir into soups and sauces. Even the regular fat yoghurt prunes the saturated fat and kJ enormously when used in place of sour cream
    • use Greek style plain yoghurt instead of cream cheese or sour cream when you make dip
  2. Use trimmed ham instead of bacon
    • on pizza, in soups, frittatas, zucchini slices, and casseroles. You’ll save a massive 12 grams of fat and almost 800kJ per 100 g (2 rashers of bacon) if you switch to ham.
    • don’t buy the pre-diced ham – cut up your own from lean ham (ask the deli to slice the meat thickly) or off ham steak. The pre-diced stuff is very fatty.
  1. Make it automatic to use reduced fat milk instead of regular milk in all recipes
    • skim and high calcium milk sometimes catch in the pan when heating, so reduced fat milks are a more reliable milk to use in cooking
    • mash spuds, skin and all, with reduced fat milk. Instead of butter, try mustard, herbs or chutney or natural yoghurt to add back some flavour
  2. Pastries are packed with fat, so how do you reduce from 2600kJ and 38g fat to 800kJ and 6 gram fat with commercial products?
    • Switch to filo pastry from shortcrust and puff, but spray lightly with oil rather than brushing with butter. Avoid filo wrapped parcels from cafés because between the layers lurks excess melted fat.
    • If you want to use shortcrust or puff pastry, then go bottomless. Don’t top and bottom your pies! Only pop a top on the pie. Cut a smaller circle of pastry than the actual pie, cut slits into the pastry, and then stretch it over the pie to fit.
  3. Dilute the kJ content of your meal and create 97% fat free meals
    • Always serve vegetable or salad allowing at least 6 cups of chopped vegies for 4 people
    • Measure the total amount of meat used – at the most 600-700 g per 4 people with hearty appetites, but use much less when making stir-fries (say 400-500 g per 4 serves) or when cooking for people with a gastric band.
    • Always trim fat off meats before cooking to avoid fat seeping into the flesh during cooking. Trimming afterwards is not so smart for your heart.
    • Limit oils in cooking – at the most allow for and measure 1 metric teaspoon of oil in the recipe, per serve being made