Some ideas for healthier meals

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Some ideas for healthier meals

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:02 pm

Assalmu Alaikum all, flower
I like to read up on healthier alternatives for everything.(wanted to be a doctor a long time ago-but that didn't work out :-( Neutral ). It seems that lots of the illnesses we experience are due to poor nutrition, which is due to junk food and also the way we cook our food.
Anyways,I have come to the conclusion that one should lessen the amount of salt, sugar,oil (especially frying) and refined foods like white flour, white sugar and so on (because they are stripped of their natural goodness, vitamins and minerals).
However, my dh (does that stand for 'dear husband'? I'm still new to the site) likes to eat the kinds of foods that he grew up with, like curries, fries,stews and rich desserts and our traditional manner of preparing them asks for lots of oil/butter, salt and sugar.
So I've come up with a way to add a little over-all healthiness to my cooking methods.Here are a few tips that I hope can be of some benefit, Insha-Allaah.

Please have patience with me, I didn't intend this to be such a long post but it happened anyway Embarassed

1) We like potato chips (french fries) and fried sausages, but instead of deep frying these I cut my potatoes into chips and microwave them until they are nearly done.I drain them and leave them to dry a little. Then I grease an oven dish lightly and pack the chips in a single layer on the dish. I cut up my sausages and also place them in the same dish and bake them for 20-30 min on 180 degrees Celsius till done. If I want it to be golden brown in colour I just switch on the grill for about 10 min till crispy.In this way I save time and energy. I like to serve this up with vegetables or salad.(Sometimes when I feel too tired or lazy I buy the pre-packed frozen oven bake chips.They work just as well,using no oil)

2) I don't braise my onions in oil anymore when making curries and stews, instead I put the onions at the bottom of the pot. Then I place my meat/chicken, which I have trimmed of all the fat I can see,on top of the onions and sprinkle some ground cinnimon and ground cardomom over it. Then I turn the stove on high and when it starts sizzling I turn the stove lower and leave it to brown and cook. Occasionally I add water so that it doesn't burn.This gives the same result as braising.( I think the fats in the meat that I can't see to remove, helps the process of browning and flavouring). Then after the meat and onions are well cooked I go on with the rest of the ingredients.

3) I use more garlic, herbs, lemon juice, or flavourful vegetables so that I can reduce the salt without decreasing the flavour of the meal.

4) I often decrease the amount of sugar any dessert calls for without any problem to the end result. ( I use about 1 quarter or 1 half less than the original amount)

5) I use unsalted butter instead of margerine, because even though the butter has more saturated fats, (the ones that clogs your arteries and has no health benefits for your body) I believe that it is the better alternative to margerine that being manufactured in factories have more additives. On the other hand butter is a natural product and I believe that Allah has made our bodies better equipped to digest that which is more natural than that which man comes up with which is often still in the stages of trial and error.(This is my own unproven opinion and as such, I could be wrong, so please do your own research as I have done, and then decide.)
Anyways to lessen the amount of saturated fats when I make sandwiches I came across a clever idea: I blend 1 and a half cup of canola* oil with 500g butter. This works out cheaper as it increases the volume of the spread and also you can keep it in the fridge and it won't get too hard to spread. You can safely use it in all cooking and baking without making flops.
*I use canola because it is a bit cheaper but olive oil is best if you can afford it.

6) I switched to using olive oil and canola oil in my cooking as these 2 have the least amount of saturated fats and more of the good necessary oils that our bodies need.

7) I cut all skins and fat off the meat/chicken.

8) I try my best not to deep fry anything. Either I do without or I grill things like samoosas. It takes a bit longer and you need to figure out the best heat settings on your grill so that you don't burn the outsides while the insides are still undone, but it is worth it.

9) I increase the amount of fruit and vegetables I use in the kitchen.Sometimes the kids are fussy about veggies but I trick them by grating and liquidising the vegetables and adding it to my sauces, meatballs, sweet and savoury muffins and even chocolate cake tastes better with a cup of mashed pumpkin, butternut or sweet potato added to the batter!

10) Instead of getting too used to boxed cereals, I take out some days in my month to prepare healthy breakfasts of oats or maize-meal porridges.Unfortunately, I cannot completely cut out commercial cereals as my kids love them alot (ok, ok I too have my favourites :-) Smile ).But I try to make the porridges fun by adding apples and bananas and sesame/poppy seeds and nuts and cinnimon or whatever I have in the cubboard.
Also I don't want my family to be too dependent on sugar, so I decrease it gradually(so that they don't really notice and so that the taste-buds can adjust) when I make them their tea or porridge. So far I've been able to decrease it from 1 teaspoon in their cereal to a half teaspoon and from 3 teaspoons in tea/coffee to 1 and a half teaspoons. I think every little bit less make a difference.

11) We don't eat out much (about once every 2 months), instead I make my own pizzas and pastas and so on.This way I know whats going in and I use healthier ingredients.

Alhamdulillah, I believe that already there is a healthier difference in my family though we will always have to better ourselves in our eating habits as well as in all aspects of our lives.
Insha-Allah I will post more ideas if I have any and again I hope that someone can benefit from my tips.(If they have the patience to read this long post! LOL! Wink )
Fee Amaanillah,
Umme Ayyoob. yellow-bouquet


Last edited by fayyth on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Some ideas for healthier meals

Post by Zaza on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

Masha Allah lovely tips, I will need to come back to read it again.

study

Jazaki Allahu Khairan for sharing yellow-bouquet
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Re: Some ideas for healthier meals

Post by Aisha on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:02 am

salaam

You sound just like me dear sister fayth - we have a lot of ideas in common it seems. I hardly ever make chips or deep-fried foods - even in Ramadhan when everyone seems to be frying samosas. Your post was very interesting barakAllahufeeki and I look forward to reading more from you inshaAllah Smile yellowfleurs

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Re: Some ideas for healthier meals ..

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:11 am


dear sister fayth alhamdulilah, masha allah on these healthier ideas of serving up a beneficial dish.... im so glad to have read your post ( would never have thought yes! to cooking onions on the juice of the meats as my husband was brought up till now a young age, cooked foods saturated in oils and loots of salt Surprised ) im always same when it comes to cooking i try to use instead of other oils olive oil or the canola oil when prices change. inshallah i 'll try to continually it all healthy and sometimes i like to alternate different ways of cooking so as to regulate the speed of metabolism.

flowersmiley jazakhaalkheir for sharing flowersmiley

Kim

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Re: Some ideas for healthier meals

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:53 pm

Wa Alaikummus Salaam

Jazaakillah for the replies, I am glad it could be of some benefit.
You have mentioned something interesting, Sister Kim. Could you please explain a bit more your comment:
" I like to alternate different ways of cooking so as to regulate the speed of metabolism."
I am always looking for good tips to increase my understanding of how my body works.
Shukran, & May Almighty Allah keep us all in good health- aameen. yellow-bouquet
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Re: Some ideas for healthier meals

Post by Munaqaba08 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:35 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

Jazakillahu Khayr for sharing all of these wholesome tips. I must admit though Embarassed this one:

4) I often decrease the amount of sugar any dessert calls for without any problem to the end result. ( I use about 1 quarter or 1 half less than the original amount)

I don't promise I can/will ever do...lol...but I can try insha'Allaah thumbs up maybe after these insha'Allaah...lol

ice2cream tea-n-cookies spongecake banana-split basket-o-goodies2 chocodonut coffee-n-treat
Hope to see more posts from you insha'Allaah

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