Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tips and tricks I gathered from 4 days of sweat and sautés.

By Frances A. Largeman-Roth, RD, Food and Nutrition Editor

Always on the lookout for better ways to do things, I showed up recently at a healthy-cooking boot camp at the renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. And after a whirlwind 4 days in hot kitchens, I came away with some strategies that I can use at home--and so can you.

• Pound pieces of meat (such as pork loin and chicken breast) flat before cooking them. It makes smaller, healthier servings look bigger and helps tenderize the meat and allow for even cooking. (Check out our recipe on page 156 for an example.)

• Instead of a wok, use a sauté pan for stir-fries. Professional stove-top burners are big enough to heat a wok completely, but the smaller home burners don't work as well.

• Make pesto with walnuts instead of pine nuts to boost your omega-3 fatty acids. Add walnuts to salads, too.

• Sneak in healthy fat and fiber by adding ground flaxseed to waffles, meatballs, and smoothies. You'll find flaxseeds in the baking or bulk section of most grocery stores; just store them in your fridge. It's easy to grind them in a coffee grinder.

• Replace ¼ cup of all-purpose flour in quick bread and muffin recipes with the same amount of nut or seed flour, such as almond or hazelnut. It gives a subtle nutty flavor and boosts the good fat and fiber.

• Use roasted garlic cloves to replace some of the oil in aioli and creamy dips. Instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, use 3 smashed cloves.

trading: CIA chef Mark Ainsworth shares healthy cooking tricks, like the six quick-and-easy ones above (Photo)

If you've ever fantasized about going to culinary school, you can check out the boot camp experience at www.ciachef.edu/enthusiasts/programs/bootcamps.asp


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