The #1 Diet-Friendly Cooking Trick

Chicken Veggie Noodle Bowl

Stephanie Karpinske, R.D. is the Lehman family’s nutrition coach for the Healthy Family Challenge.

Adding more vegetables to your diet is a great way to lose weight—but not if you sauté those veggies in butter or oil. Remember: Just one tablespoon of butter or oil has 120 calories. Sauté your veggies in water instead and you could save hundreds of calories! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons water in a skillet until they barely start to bubble.
  2. Add your vegetables and sauté as usual. If veggies start to stick, just add another tablespoon of water.

Which vegetables should you try?
This technique works best for somewhat soft vegetables that have a high water content, such as zucchini, onions, celery and mushrooms. But I’ve successfully used this method for carrots when making soup and it worked just fine. The trick with tougher vegetables is to cut them into small pieces so they cook quickly.

What about the fat?

You may have heard that you need some fat to absorb some of the nutrients in vegetables. This is true but you likely have another source of fat in the meal you’re serving with your vegetables. If not, simply drizzle your sautéed vegetables with a teaspoon (per serving) of good quality olive oil. You’ll get less fat doing this than actually cooking your vegetables in oil.

Have you ever tried this trick? Will you this week? Post a comment and let me know how it goes!

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, foodnuti.com. She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

One Response to “The #1 Diet-Friendly Cooking Trick”

  1. I tried it tonight and my veggies are awesome! Question: can this method be used to com eggs?