Posted on | June 30, 2010 | 2 Comments
The way in which we cook, prepare and season our food is an important factor to consider when managing your weight and trying to stay healthy. Obviously anything that is deep fried, stir fried, shallow fried, wrapped in pastry, smothered in sauces and gravies is going to be much higher in calories, fat and sugar than something that is steamed, boiled, oven baked and fresh.
I was recently asked how healthy home roasted whole chickens are that don’t have any oil added during the cooking process. And my Health Guru recommendation is: GREAT! Infact, I prefer to cook all chicken I eat in the oven (I find that tenderloins that are smaller cook in less than 10 minutes so it’s quick as well)
So when cooking chicken at home – here are some of my personal recommendations for how to make it even healthier and things to consider:
- Any home prepared cooking is going to more often than not be much healthier than a restaurant / cafe prepared meal. Why? Because you can control the amounts of all of those unhealthy things that would normally go in like oil, butter, margarine, cream, mayonnaise, sugar and salt.
- A great tip I learnt is to place the chicken (or any cut of meat that you are roasting) up on a rack – therefore any excess oil can drip into the tray below and not soak through the meat.
- When eating – remove the skin of the chicken (or cut visible fat from the meat)
- A great idea is to use fresh & tasty ingredients to stuff inside the whole chicken to beautifully flavour the meat in a very low calorie way. Try taking 3 -4 lemons, cut them in half and place inside the chicken during the roasting process. You could also try any fresh herbs and spices, lime, chilli, garlic or ginger as other options.
- It’s all about portion size! Don’t over eat! The correct portion of chicken (or any protein / meat) is the size of the palm of your hand and thickness of your hand. This is approximately 100g for females and 120g for men.
- Don’t ruin a healthy prepared meal by smothering with gravy and sauce. If you can’t do without – put the sauce on the side and use sparingly or try a low calorie option like mustard / honey mustard.
- Try to have the meal with low calorie / green leafy vegetables (broccoli, beans, spinach, squash, mushrooms, tomato) instead of carbohydrate dominant vegetables (potato, pumpkin, peas, carrot, corn – yes… peas, carrot and corn have a high carbohydrate content)
And of course – remember – to always eat slowly, stop eating when you feel 80% full and don’t feel like you have to finish everything on your plate because it’s better to waste it than to ‘waist’ it. Enjoy!
Do let me know if you have any secrets / hints / tips that you use at home to create a healthy oven baked meal.