Double Agents: 6 Healthy Cooking Tools
Good-for-You GadgetsWaffle Iron
No one-trick pony, this gadget isn't just for brunch calorie bombs.
Slim down hash browns. Submerge grated russet potatoes in ice water. Squeeze out excess moisture, form a patty, and place it on a waffle iron sprayed with olive oil. Cook 10 minutes on high. Voila -- crispy-on-the-outside potatoes with almost no fat and less than half the calories of those found in the supermarket freezer.
Cook a goof-proof omelet. Haven't mastered the flip? Simply heat the iron to high, pour in an egg mixture to fill the tray, lower the lid and watch it puff up in four to six minutes. "Omelets pack protein for staying power for hours," says chef Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutritionist for NBC's The Biggest Loser.
Fake a falafel. Forget deep-fried chickpeas. Pulse chickpeas, garlic, an egg white, parsley and seasonings in a food processor until smooth, form into patties, and cook on the iron's hottest setting for eight minutes. Top with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and tzatziki.Parchment Paper
This multitasker does a heck of a lot more than keep cookies from sticking.
Cook perfect fish. Parchment paper makes practically foolproof moist, flavorful fish, Forberg says. Place a fillet in the middle of a large sheet and top with lemon slices, fresh herbs, and a splash of white wine; form a packet, and seal it as airtight as possible; then bake eight to 20 minutes at 400°. "Cooking time depends on the type of fish and the size, but a four-ounce piece of salmon would need about eight to 10 minutes," says celebrity chef Devin Alexander, the author of The Biggest Loser Cookbook series. No dishes!
Crisp up crusts. Who says next-day pizza doesn't taste as good? Prevent the crust from getting soggy by microwaving last night's pie on a piece of parchment paper.
Keep 'em separated. A serving of chicken is three ounces (the size of a deck of cards), a far cry from the pieces of plumped-up poultry we buy in the supermarket. The solution: For quick and easy portions, cut chicken to size, layer with parchment paper, and seal in a ziplock bag before freezing.
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