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Skinnying Up Those Favorite Family Recipes

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Diet Article: We'll show you how to slash calories and dietary fat in home recipes.

A diet doesn't mean that you have to ditch all those favorite family recipes.

True - many diet wise products mutilate those once-favorite family recipes, but on the other hand, there are a lot of diet wise products that can enhance that family favorite.

We have listed a few of our favorite diet-friendly products below that we often use when preparing our meals. Some I tend to like more than my husband Tom, and some he tends to favor more than myself. It's all about personalizing those 'personal diet tastes'.

While Joan may enjoy the zero calorie refrigerated butter spray for her baked potato and steamed vegetables, Fred has to have his regular fix of butter. Their teenage daughter prefers using reduced fat margarine spread for about half the calories of Fred's butter fix.

All are fats and each have their strong and their negative points. Some cause clogging of the arteries while others might tear up the digestive system. Butter can contribute to weight gain and the collection of fat in the upper abdominal area while zero calorie butter spray is only zero calories when x-amount of sprays are used.

Making Meals That Can Be Personalized

When possible make your meals so that the family can personalize them at the table. For example, let's look at our taco suggestion.

We will need the following recipe ingredients to prepare our basic taco recipe:

- 1 pound of extra lean ground beef
- 1 large bowl of shredded lettuce
- cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or chopped tomatoes
- chopped onions, chopped cilantro
- ground chili powder
- 1 dozen prepared corn tortilla shells
- your favorite salsa, picante sauce
- sliced jalapeno, shredded cheese, chopped or sliced avocado, light sour cream, sliced black olives and these are all optional ingredients.

Brown the ground beef until the juices run clear. You can cook the ground beef with a bit of chopped onion for additional flavor. Once the beef is thoroughly done, add chili powder; the amount used will depend upon your personal taste - as well as the people who will be enjoying the tacos with you.

Heat the shells either in the microwave or oven.

Now here comes the fun part. If you have a turn-table or a Lazy Susan get it out and fill each of the trays with the different ingredients. You can also place the ingredients in separate pretty bowls if you don't have a Lazy Susan. Be careful about placing foods that are too hot in glass containers; make certain they are heat proof.

Once the foods arranged on the table, everyone can pick and choose their favorites to create personal tacos.

Cooking Tips & Ingredients to Reduce Calories While Dieting

Sugar substitutes to replace sugar calories - or try to reduced the amount of sugar you use. If you enjoy your coffee with sugar and you use one Tablespoon per cup, try to reduce that to 1/3 the amount, then eventually to 1/2 the amount. If you use both sugar and creamer, using the sugary creamers might assist in adding less to no additional sugar to your cup, thus cutting calories.

Half Splenda and Half Sugar to replace sugar may also be of benefit and will slash calories without sugar substitute overload.

Reduced fat milk to replace whole milk can assist in cutting caloric and dietary fat grams in half.

Using dried fruits as well as fresh fruits that are pureed to replace oil in baked goods can save fat and calories.

Enjoy fresh fruits for snack time and dessert time and see that extra weight fall off more quickly.

The zero calorie butter and margarine replacements can assist in saving calories and fat grams - but as referenced above, spays must be limited to recommended serving as determined on the nutrition label.

Opt for reduced fat sour cream to replace regular sour cream in recipes, as well as reduced fat cream cheese. The reduced fat varieties don't stand well on their own but work quite nicely in recipes.

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