Supermarket Survival Guide
- Frozen vegetables and beans without added sauces. On weekends I like to use fresh vegetables, but for weeknight cooking I depend on frozen varieties.
- Frozen unsweetened fruits.
- Frozen dinners with less than 10 grams fat. Round out the meal with vegetable juice or salad. Fat-free chicken tenders and fish fillets are good to keep on hand in case of emergency.
- Vegetable burgers are quick to prepare and taste great.
- Breakfast items like low-fat waffles and pancakes are always a hit at my house. I serve them with a drizzle of syrup and fruit.
- Dessert items like low-fat frozen yogurt, ice milk, sorbet, and popsicles are good to keep in the freezer.
- Vegetables in cream or cheese sauces.
- Many frozen processed foods are high in fat. Read labels before purchasing.
- Skim or 1% milk, buttermilk, and yogurt. I use buttermilk in cooking and baking.
- Nonfat cottage and ricotta cheese.
- Low-fat cheese with 5 grams or less fat per serving. I like Sargento Light reduced-fat shredded cheeses. I keep them in the freezer.
- Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
- Reduced-fat sour cream and cream cheese.
- Egg whites and egg substitutes. The yolks contain all the fat.
- Light tub margarines have the least amount of artery-clogging saturated fat. My favorite margarine is I Can't Believe It's Not Butter fat-free spray margarine. The fat and calorie content is zero and it tastes good.
- Beware of dairy products that aren't skim or low fat. The type of fat in dairy products is the saturated type that can raise cholesterol levels.
Supermarkets are voluntarily providing nutrition information for meats.
- White meat poultry, skin removed before eating. Ground turkey or chicken breast.
- All fish. Fish is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have a protective benefit for the heart. One to two fish meals per week can help prevent heart disease.
- Extra lean pork, such as tenderloin.
- Leanest cuts of red meat, such as top round, eye of round, and round tip, 95 percent lean ground beef. USDA grade select.
- Thin & Trim brand lunch meats.
- Meats can contribute a large amount of fat to the diet. Select meats carefully for the leanest cuts. Keep portions of meat to about 3 ounces per person.
Who wants to eat bland food? Seasonings add flavor without adding fat and calories.
- Vinegars such as balsamic, red wine, rice wine, cider, and fruit-flavored.
- Soy sauce, stir-fry sauce, and oyster sauce.
- Dijon or grainy-type mustards. Yellow mustard for the kids.
- Ketchup, cocktail sauce, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce.
- Lime juice and lemon juice.
- Spices. My favorite ones are black pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil, dill, paprika, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
From The Weeknight Survival Cookbook: How to Make Healthy Meals in 10 Minutes by Dena Irwin, R.D. Copyright © 1998 by Dena Irwin. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
To order this book visit www.wiley.com.