Top Secrets of Success for Cooking | SparkPeople
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Top Secrets of Success for
Cooking

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Cooking + Exercise

I use cooking time to sneak in a bit of exercise. If I'm standing by the stove, I do some squats. Pushups on the edge of the counter by the sink. March in place waiting for water to boil. You get the picture! emoticon

- Submitted by EMME-RUNNER 11/17/2013 in Exercise | 0 Comments
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Rice cookers

I cook most of my meals in an electric rice cooker, which has a steaming tray. Better carbs, no extra fat, and no picking at it while you eat. If you're shopping, try to find a rice cooker with a steaming tray. If you can't find one, there are still lots of recipes you can make, and a lot of them don't even include rice. emoticon

- Submitted by SALAMBANDER2 9/6/2013 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Water Down Salad Dressings

When there isn't a low calorie option available for salad dressings just add some water to the dressing. It coats the leaves nicely for less calories!

- Submitted by 59801K 3/8/2013 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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Kitchen-sink Veggie Stew

To get in lots of good veggies every day, make a soup or stew on the weekend to eat at lunch or dinnertime during the week. Be sure to throw in a green (spinach?) a can of beans for (fiber and protein) onions and possibly garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of colorful veggies. Use different spices to change up the taste.

- Submitted by BUDDHA33 1/27/2013 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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You are not the garbage disposal

You know what I mean...you are putting things away after a meal and there's a handful of olives, or a few slices of tomato, one little bit of leftover peas, maybe one solitary slice of pie or one dollop of whipped cream left over. You do not have to "clean up" the serving dishes to avoid putting away a single serving. I have to remind myself at every meal that every bite "extra" I take still counts on my daily calorie goals.

- Submitted by WHICHHATTODAY 12/17/2012 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Cookies: You don't have to make the whole batch!

If you are craving cookies but don't want to eat the whole batch, this secret is for you! Next time you make a batch of cookies, bake only 1 or 2 for each person in your household. Use a melon baller to scoop the rest of the dough onto a cookie sheet and then freeze it on the sheet. When frozen, store in a freezer bag (separate w/ wax paper) & write the time to bake and oven temp on the front. You can bake 1 or 2 at a time by adding 2 minutes to the total baking time!

- Submitted by PIXIESPARKLES 12/2/2012 in Cooking | 5 Comments
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Freeze Herbs and Other Fresh Seasonings

Do you like using fresh herbs in your cooking, but never use a whole pack? Waste money on those jars of ready chopped seasoning?

Save money and time by:

1) Preparing
Fresh Herbs - Finely chop
Fresh Garlic - Finely chop/press/grate/shred
Fresh Ginger - Finely chop/grate/shred
Citrus Rind - Finely chop/grate/shred
Stock & Sauces - Remove any surface flotsam/fat

2) Press/pour into an ice cube tray and freeze

3) Transfer to baggies and label before storing in the freezer

- Submitted by INSANEVANE 5/29/2012 in Cooking | 3 Comments
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Using the core of the pineapple

When we buy a whole pineapple and peel/core it to serve, we save the core and put it INSIDE a chicken or turkey while it's being roasted. GREAT flavor, keeps the bird moist and tender, and uses up what otherwise would have been thrown away.

- Submitted by LARSIL 2/20/2012 in Cooking | 8 Comments
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Recipe Program on Computer

I spent the money for a recipe program for my computer and save recipes I find in magazines, books, online, etc.. We can only recall and save so many recipes from the many places we see them. This way, recipes I find which are healthy and look good are at my fingertips. This program actually allows me to copy a recipe and "captures" it to avoid a lengthy process of transcribing it over.

- Submitted by MOIRADOON 1/4/2012 in Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
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Cream cheese

Try using fat free cream cheese (available at Walmart) instead of butter and cream. One serving is 30 calories and of course no fat. It's really good on a baked potato instead of butter, and I have also used it to make Alfredo sauce and to make the creaminess for chowder soups.

- Submitted by RLT5089 12/31/2011 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Get Boiling Faster

Need to bring water to a boil before adding an ingredient? You probably know that covering your pot with a lid causes water to boil faster. I go one step further: My tea kettle is fully enclosed. I add the water to the tea kettle and put it on the stove.

- Submitted by CYCLEZEN 12/26/2011 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Banana, Mango and Pineapple Power Smoothie!

For 2 servings, you'll need : Flesh of mango, chopped. 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped. 1 small banana or half a large banana, chopped. 8 ice cubes. Half freshly squeezed lime juice (optional, depending on taste) and 150ml skimmed milk. Simply cruch the ice in a blender and then add the rest of the ingredients then blend until smooth. 1 serving is approximately 177 Calories.

- Submitted by JEN_404 11/23/2011 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Weighing corn on the cob

Instead of cutting the corn off the cob, weigh your corn on the cob, eat the corn, weigh the leftover cob, subtract. Then you'll know exactly how much you've eaten. (I weigh in grams for accuracy.)

- Submitted by STORMY724 9/4/2011 in Cooking | 1 Comment
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Planning is Everything

I plan out what I am going to eat the next day before I go to bed. This helps me stay on track. Searching for something to eat when you are hungery leads to bad decisions.

- Submitted by SHELT28 7/27/2011 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Make water more interesting!

I drink tons of water every day and flavor it with TRUE LEMON (or TRUE LIME or TRUE GRAPEFRUIT). There are no calories, no preservatives and no artificial ingredients. It's nothing but pure, crystallized fruit flavor.

- Submitted by COUTURELADY 7/5/2011 in Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
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Apple Slicing

If you're "vertically challenged" like me, you know how difficult it is to get high enough to push down on your apple slicer to cut through and more often then not it ROLLS to one side! I've found that if I put the apple top side down that it stabilizes the apple making for an easier cut!

- Submitted by SINGLEMOM34 6/29/2011 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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Using up your leftovers!

The perfect way to make sure leftovers get eaten -- schedule them in on the food planner when you add the original meal. It's easy! You can copy the food group directly over and, for me at least, I'm making my lazy work for me. I'd almost rather just eat the leftovers that I planned than remove all those foods and add in what I really ate. Double win: leftovers get eaten AND tracked!

- Submitted by AMANDA_AGAIN 6/26/2011 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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Camp fire cooking

Going camping and cooking over a fire. Make clean-up easier by coating dutch ovens, skillets, etc with a film of dish soap on the outside before hand. Makes clean-up easy and no brunt on stuff from fire.

- Submitted by KBUCKMASH 6/26/2011 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Shredded Chicken At The Ready

Always have healthy shredded chicken ready for use in quick main dishes and salads! Purchase chicken in bulk, cook it in a slow cooker until it is soft, and then shred it. Store it in the freezer in 4 oz servings and take it out as needed. It defrosts very rapidly that way!

- Submitted by CINNAMONJOY 6/25/2011 in Cooking | 2 Comments
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LEARN TO CAN AND PRESERVE

Learning to can and preserve your own food does more than save you money. Many of the products on the market like canned tomatoes, beans, and fruits are canned in cans that have a lining that may be harmful to your health and can cause cancer. By canning your own food you save money and your health. Need help getting started? Go online, the library, or even your local cooperative extension has advice. You don't have to start out with pressure canning. (continued in more information)

- Submitted by TREVUG 6/25/2011 in Saving Money | 3 Comments
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Yummy Seasoned Boiled Potatoes

After boiling potatoes, sprinkle some Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning, as well as black pepper, on the potato. It just doesn't look good but tastes good too. Yum! Try it and see how it goes!
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- Submitted by HOPE541 6/21/2011 in Cooking | 0 Comments
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Be Prepared!!!!

I every week, I prepare a bag of lentils. I store them in a tupperware container in the refrigerator... that way I can scoop out a portion whenever I want :)

- Submitted by RENEEOFARRELL 6/10/2011 in Healthy Eating | 1 Comment
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The Trick to Cleaning Non-stick

When you switch to a lower calorie lifestyle, invariably you end up cooking differently. No doubt non-stick skillets and grill pans figure prominently as well as enamel coated cookware like Le Creuset). Cleaning these pans can be very difficult as things tend to stick the less fat you use in cooking.

To make clean up easy, use your old nail brushes; baby nail brushes work best. The bristles are soft enough that you will not damage your pans but strong enough to clean any debris.

- Submitted by RENEEOFARRELL 6/10/2011 in Cooking | 3 Comments
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Picking a Pasta Packet!

They're convenient, cheap, fast and easy to make... We've all grabbed them off the shelf and served them up for dinner!

This takes 5 extra seconds but can save you SO many calories... When picking a packet, simply look at the "needed ingredients".. Most will say that you will need to add "water, milk or butter"... Try and buy the ones that only need water and butter! Milk contains WAY more calories than you realize and there are plenty of other ways to get your calcium!
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- Submitted by SINGLEMOM34 6/10/2011 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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The Other White Flour

I really do not like processed breads and the wheat breads you get at the bakery are always lacking in flavor, texture, etc. So, I started making my own baked goods using white wheat flour.

It costs the same as regular flour but has less calories and 4 grams of fiber per serving. Plus, you cannot tell you used "the other white flour"....

In fact, when I ran out and had to use pastry flour in a batch of scones, my husband asked what I changed in the recipe, hinting it was a bad idea!

Try it!

- Submitted by RENEEOFARRELL 6/6/2011 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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