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Butter, or oil substitutions?
Posted: 17 September 2013 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi Chef Susan, I want to become a gormet chef, without becoming the pillsbury doughboy. My wife and I are doing weight watchers online, so I am monitering my intake with their point system. Is there anything that is lower calories that can be substituted for butter or oil in cooking?
Can plain yogurt be used for sauces as a substitute for butter?
thanks.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Cooking from scratch and using real, whole foods for your meals is a great way to keep on track for a good diet!  As far as replacing butter and oils, butter definitely adds quite a bit of calories to a dish.  However, it also adds flavor.  Don’t be afraid to use a touch of butter to enrich a sauce or other dish, just use it sparingly.  I use olive oil or canola oil for almost all of my cooking, which are both considered ‘good’ fats.  Using a non-stick pan will help minimize the amount of oil that is required, reducing the need to look for a lower calorie alternative.

However, another option is to consider using the poaching method for cooking chicken and fish.  This is a completely non-fat method and results in juicy, tender meat.  Try the Poached Salmon with Tarragon Cream Sauce and eliminate the cream in the sauce. I’ll also post a recipe for Poached Chicken; try this with a yogurt sauce, such as the one suggested with the recipe, “Salmon with Mediterranean Spices”.

And speaking of yogurt sauce, this is a great addition to many meals and is definitely a good healthy sauce option.  In addition to the yogurt sauce mentioned above, you can just add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime and some salt and pepper to plain Greek yogurt.  I love this with poached or roast chicken, grilled salmon, and pork chops.  Butter sauces are still best with beef or more delicate fish dishes, but a yogurt sauce can be successfully used with many other dishes.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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Posted: 18 September 2013 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the reply Chef Susan. I will try what you suggested and let you know.
I am planning on getting some plain yogurt today and playing with it as a base for white wine sauces. I will let you know how they turn out.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I found a light butter by Land of Olay. It is a combination of butter and canola oil. In terms of weight watchers, it is one point per tbls as opposed to three points for regular butter, and it taste good.
Sauce:
1/3 cup chardonnay wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
one shallot
2 cloves garlic pressed.
4 tbls light butter
4 tbls plain lowfat yogurt
2 tbls heavy whipping cream
2 shakes dried basil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

combine wine and vinegar in sauce pan, along with shalots and fresh garlic pressed with garlic press. Reduce the liquid by 1/3; set aside.
Melt butter in sauce pan overmedium heat incorporate yogurt and use a wisk to liquidate. Add reduced wine/vinegar. shalots and garlic to cream. Incorporate heavy whipping cream. Heat on low to medium flame to reduce liquid to thicken as desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I use this sauce on top of a bonless, skinless chicken breast resting on a bed of pasta. It is also excellent on baked whitefish.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The recipe sounds good, but be sure to check the ingredient list on the ‘light butter’; there are likely many non-food ingredients included. Butter is an all natural food and, while high in calories, is still often a better option than a processed substitute.  Just use less!  A smaller portion of whole wheat pasta will also help cut calories and add nutrients in the overall dish without sacrificing flavor.

Thanks for sharing your cooking adventures!

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