Secrets of Success

Cooking Secrets

Do you have a kitchen or cooking secret that saves time, calories or clean up?

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check out the deli

As many who know me know I HATE to cook so eating healthy espically as a single is a chore. I have discovered the deli section of my gorcery has cooked chicken, skinless whole cooked chickens.. So I buy one, grap a couple of sweet potatoes and a bag of frozen veggie and I have dinner for couple days

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Once a week cooking...

I try to cook once a week - normally Saturdays - for the week. It is just my daughter and I and so what I do is I will make several meals at once. Then portion them into those seal and save bags. Stick them in the freezer and pull them out for lunch or dinner during the week.

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sub applesauce or a banana for oil in baking

When you're baking muffins or quick bread or making waffles or pancakes, you can substitute applesauce (or pear sauce) or mashed ripe banana for a portion of oil. I generally sub 1/2 to 3/4 of the volume for muffins or quick bread, and about half for waffles or pancakes.

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Baking - Substitute Apple Sauce For Oil

Instead of oil, substitute an equal amount of no added sugar (with out artificial sweeteners) apple sauce for oil. This works great in cakes, etc.

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Silicone Muffin Pans

Silicone muffin pans -- regular, mini, or individual -- are GREAT for freezing servings of gravy, rice, beans, BBQ, or anything else. Unlike regular plastic ice cube trays, nothing sticks! Once you've frozen whatever you're freezing, pop them into a labeled (and dated!) plastic freezer baggie.

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Measure EVERYTHING!

Make sure everything you eat is measured or weighed...especially if you are new at cooking healthy portions. What we think looks like one cup or 4 oz might be surprising! Measuring everything keeps you on track with nutrition and portions!

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daily vegetables

serve 3 vegetable per meal, except 1 for breakfast. 1 raw per meal

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Salads for lunch save money and calories

I usually take a big mixed salad to work for my lunch break; iceberg and other lettuces are cheap and low in calories. To spice it all up I add sesame or sunflower seeds, some veggies or fruit like pineapple, cantaloupe. For a dressing I go with oil & vinegar, walnut-, sesame-, or pumpkinseedoil.

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Plan Ahead

Every Sunday night I like to make a list of all the stuff I will eat for the next 7 days by browsing spark receipes and staying within budget I go to the store with an exact list of everything I need, I dont stray from the list which helps me avoid buying unhealthy fooda that I dont need.

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Buy It From the butcher!

I've discovered that because I live single that buying one item of meat from my butcher saves me from over spending/waste/ and overeating. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to by one servering if ur single living over a whole pack you may throw out!

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.