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Today we‘re talking about substitutions.  The kind we want/need to make to make our meals and snacks healthier-but feel just as decadent as the original version.

Not always does this mean less calories-but it does mean you’ve replaced some of the “bad” stuff with better choices.  

Examples?  

Let’s say you’ve been told to cut back on salt. Try the old stand bys:  sprinkling with lemon juice, use some fresh and potent herbs and spices, marinate certain foods with combination citrus juices and herbs together.  Try doing some cooking with wine or even hard liquors-if you‘re brave enough to handle the flames.  

Keep a fire extinguisher close by!!!

There are pre-made salt-free substitutions out there, but it really doesn’t take much time to put your own together.

This is for the main course, whether you use beef, poultry, fish or one of the other red meats.

For salads-there are some mighty tasty fat-free/low fat dressings out there.  My family loves some of the one’s made by Ken’s.  The low-fast Asian Sesame is also great for marinating poultry in or to use as a sauce in stir-fries.

Even cole slaw is a non fat wonder of flavors if you ditch the mayo and think outside the box!  Try using your favorite non-fat dressing.  I love to use a  fat free italian dressing on the cabbage and add some olives to it.  

Or if you‘re in a sweet mode-use non-fat mayo or miracle whip and add diced apples, pears, cranberries and/or raisins.  Toss in some toasted and crushed nuts and you’ve got a great and healthy slaw!

Instead of slathering your corn on the cob with a pound of butter-use a butter or olive oil spray, sprinkle with some minced garlic and rosemary and roast it in the BBQ with whatever else you‘re making.  Remember to soak the corn (husks on and roast with them on as well)in ice water for a half hour.  The wet husks prevent burning and keep the corn moist.  About 10 minutes a side.  

Dessert?  We’ve talked about subbing 1/2 the fat with mashed bananas, applesauce or pureed prunes-but try pumpkin.
This works well when using brownies mixes.  A small can replaces the eggs and oil.  Bake a few minutes less than recommended-this prevents brownies from being to dry.  Let them completely cool and use a plastic knife for cutting.

On some of the subbing of fats-start slow.  I’ve actually had a good deal of success in brownies in particular.  But you need to see what your household prefers.

Also-try serving sorbets topped with poprocks for a great treat.  This gives the texture of nuts with a fun surprise crunch.  I learned this during my cruise on the Solstice last year-all my desserts were decadent sorbets topped with this blast from the past.

Loved it!  Now this is a subject that we could go on and on about-so share some of your favorites on how you’ve cut back on fat, salt, sugar and made sure 2010 is your year to make mealtimes a healthy and delicious treat.

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