Kitchen Concoctions: Healthy Cooking For The New Year

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Healthy Cooking For The New Year

One thing that I would like to change regarding formatting and what not for the blog this year is how I present the freelance articles I write. Typically for the articles I write for meal planning/recipe site Food on the Table, I include a recipe related to the article. However some of these articles can be rather long and detailed and I would rather the recipe and the useful information not get lost or all jumbled together.

So if you noticed the last couple of articles I shared, and any new ones in the future, I will share the article and then have links to 5-8 related recipes at the bottom of the article (so you put your new information/tips to use). Some of these recipe links will be to recipes here on Kitchen Concoctions, but I am also going to include recipes from other blogs that have great reviews or ones I have tried and just not blogged about!

So today's article is all about eating/cooking healthy for the new year! Something I desperately need right now!

If your New Year brings with it goals of diet and exercise, you are not alone; losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution. However, without proper planning and the right tools, it is easy to get of track and lose focus. To help get your 2012 off to a healthy and successful start, consider the following:

• Make a plan. Taking a few minutes to prepare a weekly meal plan is crucial to dieting and healthy eating success. A weekly meal plan will help keep you organized and on tract. Knowing what you are cooking for dinner ahead of time prevents hasty stops for take-out at the end of a busy day or dependence on sodium laden convenience foods. You'll also find meal planning makes grocery shopping less painful; making it easier to pass up unhealthy temptations at the store and ensure that you have everything you need when you're ready to cook.

• Use your time wisely. When preparing your weekly meal plan, choose meals that can be doubled. Cook a few days a week, when your schedule allows, and freeze the extras. Having a freezer full of ready-made healthy meals will save you, and your diet, the next time you are simply too tired to cook or forget to meal plan. Some healthy foods that freeze well are turkey burger patties, soup, chili, and lean meats frozen in a marinade.

• Make dinner enjoyable. You are more likely to enjoy a meal if it is visually appealing. Spend a little time on the presentation and set the table. Eat with your family and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your dinner without distractions. You are less likely to overeat if you eat slowly and enjoy every bite.

• Gather your tools. Use non-stick pans for cooking to eliminate the need for cooking oils; if oil is needed, use cooking sprays. For even healthier cooking options, steam, bake, boil, microwave, or grill your foods. For easier grilling during the winter months, invest in an indoor grill pan.

Remember, healthy foods don’t have to compromise flavor. Below are five healthy and tasty recipes:

Southwestern Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps (Kitchen Concoctions)
Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (Skinny Taste)
Chili Lime Tilapia with Roasted Corn (Kitchen Concoctions)
Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers (Our Best Bites)
Turkey Guacamole Burgers (Kitchen Concoctions)

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