Cook Your Way to Your New Year’s Health Goals December 25, 2018 – Posted in: Cookware, Holidays, Lifestyle
The New Year is approaching, which means you’re re-thinking how you want to eat this year (definitely not like you’ve been eating during the holidays). Maybe you want to eat more salads or veggies, or you’re following the high protein and fat trend. Perhaps you actually want less fat or simply want to eat a little bit less in general. There are all sorts of ways to go about cooking your way to your New Year’s health goals. Check out these tips and ideas:
More Salad & Vegetables
If you want to make leafy greens the star of your plate this year, a great salad is a good opportunity to get them in. Try something other than iceberg lettuce or romaine: arugula, spinach, frisee, radicchio, or shredded cabbage. Add veggies and toppings other than your combo of pale tomatoes and cucumbers: julienned apples or pears, toasted nuts, thinly shaved fennel and beets, or crumbled goat cheese. Just make sure you’ve got a sharp knife to make prepping all the easier.
Most importantly, proper salad execution requires one particular addition: homemade vinaigrette. Whisk away your favorite oil and vinegar and toss in a big mixing bowl with your new combination of greens and toppings. You can also pour homemade vinaigrette over roasted vegetables—another easy and scrumptious way to eat more veggies. Need a different idea for eating roasted veggies? Try an herb sauce or pesto to make sure you’re packing greens into every bite.
Soup is one of the easiest ways to eat your vegetables. Blend up big winter squash for butternut squash soup or add handfuls of your favorite veggies to a soup you already enjoy. If you don’t like a specific veggie texture, consider blending it, or let them simmer in your soup until they’re soft and tender in your stock pot or dutch oven.
More Protein and Fat
If you’re looking to cut carbs this year and instead fill up on healthy fats and proteins, you may be dreaming of all the buttery steaks you’ll sear in your cast iron skillet, the ground beef you’ll brown for Asian lettuce wraps, or the beef tenderloin you’ll cook in a stainless steel pan. These pans need a little extra oil to keep them working right, and luckily that’s exactly what you’re looking for. A skin-on salmon filet crisps up perfectly with a touch of oil and a stainless steel satueé pan, along with a few seared chicken thighs.
Braised meats are another fantastic way to fill your belly with fats and protein. Pull out the dutch oven or braiser and spend the day letting savory beef or pork aromas fill the kitchen. You could even roast a whole chicken and have leftovers through the week.
If reducing [kinds of] fats is the name of the game for you this year, steaming could be your new best friend. Use steamer baskets and a stock pot to blanche veggies, steam potatoes, and cook pasta all at the same time. A good nonstick pan for cooking skinless proteins like fish and chicken will keep you from needing to use much oil–if any at all
Maybe you’re not into making major changes to your diet. You’re looking for balance—a little starch, a little fat, a little protein, and some veggies. A set of quality cookware can handle just about any style of cooking. If you’re looking for inspiration to start, a plate of Crispy Potato Zucchini Cakes with the Simplest Tomato Sauce will keep you full, healthy, and balanced into the New Year.