12/14/2010 5:13:08 PM
I sometimes use no-fat, no-sodium broth to saute veggies and/or meats; sometimes I spray the pan with non-stick spray to saute the veggies and/or meat and sometimes I use only a Tablespoon of EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.) It just depends on how I plan to use the sauteed food.
Pureed veggies or fruits and non-fat half & half are great ways to lighten up creamy soups and sauces. Pureed beans, etc. are a great way to thicken soups and sauces. I love using citrus fruits in cooking, both the juice and the zest and sometimes the pulp. Adds such depth to the taste of things.
I add lots of veggies to sauces. I also add veggies to pasta, rice, quinoa, etc. which I cook in non-fat, no-sodium broths. The broth and veggies, not only add nutrients, but give these rather bland dishes a slight flavor, but no so much as will overwhelm any sauce. I also add any unabsorbed broth to the sauce.
I love to bake, so my favorite "lighten up" ways are using unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin in place of most, if not all, of the fats (butter, oil, shortening, etc.) and unsweetened applesauce in place of part, if not all of the sugar. Some recipes do need a bit of fats and/or sugar, but I will still cut the amounts down by 1/3 to 1/2 even then and use the substitutes for the difference. (I.e., I use same amount of the substitute or a combination as the fats and/or sugar I am replacing.)
I watch the sodium in our food, so I cut the amount of salt in recipes by at least 1/2 if not eliminated completely. Sometimes you do need to add a bit more spices, herbs, etc. to cover the absence of salt. I don't use them often, but If I use canned veggies, etc., whenever possible I rinse well before using--most canned foods are high in sodium. I also watch carefully which frozen foods I buy--so many are high in sodium and/or fat content--READ LABELS.