Not Just Tofu

Healthy Steps for the Family Cook

In Cooking Tips on May 24, 2010 at 10:53 pm

For most of my life, the vegetarian lifestyle has been familiar.  It was not until I met my husband, that vegetarian cooking became a focus in my life.  With the health risk haunting every generation, being a vegetarian has now become the last attempt to save our lives.  With hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes afflicting the young and the old, the cooks of the house are forced to re-examine their choices of ingredients. 

Unfortunately the economy does not allow us to purchase the high grade organic produce and cage free poultry that are recommended by the nutritional experts and physicians. In frustration, the cooks give up in their effort to provide healthy dishes and rely on the old reliable, unhealthy and convenient fare that isn’t helping.  So where can we go and what can we do?  We can just exchange a few ingredients in our classics that will allow the family to enjoy and the cook to successfully accomplish.

For example, macaroni n’ cheese does not need to be made with whole milk and full fat cheeses.  I know some of us are guilty of using Velveeta to create the creamy consistency in our baked macaroni and cheese.  It is so easy to make your own cheese sauce.  Don’t be intimidated by the words Béchamel Sauce, it simply means a white sauce which turns into cheese sauce with a cup or two of whatever cheese you love.  Try to buy block cheese instead of shredded and grate them on a fine plate which will reduce the amount needed by half.  Instead of basic white flour pasta, use whole grain pasta like Smart Taste by Ronzoni which is full of vitamins and protein.  These few steps can help you create a healthier macaroni and cheese and create a meat free entrée that you, your Dr. and your family will love.

Remember vegetarian does not mean tofu, it means trying to eliminate the dependency on meat as the center of your meal.  If meat is only supposed to be the size of a deck of cards, you are leaning toward a meat free diet anyway.  Cooks of today, let us focus on eating healthier without giving it a label.  Let’s find a way to cook healthy, delicious and simple dishes that help us fight the disease that make this generation the first generation to live a shorter life than the ones of their parents.

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