Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Baths, Rubs, and More
No, we’re not talking about spa treatments!
But the following methods will create flavors just as decadent, before you even fire up a burner or preheat the oven.
Marinade (or wet rub)
Soaking meat, fish, or vegetables in an aromatic liquid before cooking is one way to add flavor.
Typically consisting of an acidic substance like lemon juice or red wine, plus oil and other herbs, a marinade softens the texture of some ingredients and infuses them with flavor.
The more surface area is exposed, the greater the tenderizing effect of the marinade, making it ideal for spicing up kebabs for the grill.
The soaking time depends on the size and amount of ingredients to marinate as well as what goes into the liquid itself – generally, the more acidic the marinade, the less soaking time is needed.
Too much time in an acidic marinade will break down the protein of meats and change the texture, so it’s important to strike the right balance.
If you plan to serve the marinade as a dipping sauce or dressing, throw away any portions used for bathing raw fish or meat, and always refrigerate foods as they marinate to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Just as marinades rely on acid to create the right texture and flavor, brines rely on salt.
Completely submerging and soaking meats in an extremely salty solution for an extended period of time – roughly 1 hour per pound – gives them a tender, juicy texture and a salty flavor that goes well with smoking or grilling.
The obvious downside of brining is it imparts a lot of salt to your food.
You can reduce the sodium content of brined foods by rinsing them just after brining and before cooking.
In contrast with a marinade, a dry rub contains no liquid.
Instead, herbs and spices are mixed together, sometimes with a mashed garlic or onion paste, and then spread (or rubbed) by hand onto meat, poultry, or fish to form a flavorful crust.
Fat-free and intensely flavorful, this method is great for foods you plan to put on the grill or rotisserie.
While soaking meat in an acidic marinade is one way to make it less chewy, you can achieve the same effect through somewhat rougher means.
Think of tenderizing as tough love for tough cuts of meat: Using a wooden or metal mallet, you literally pound meat to break down its fibers.
You can also slice or grind meat to achieve the desired texture.
You may find this unnecessary if you buy your meats already sliced or ground – but if you want to get in a good upper-body workout while cooking, tenderizing is the method for you!
Recipe of the Day: Southwestern Mustard Rub
Makes 1-1/4 cups, enough for 4 rubs
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled dried lime zest (see note)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.
Place the mustard, cilantro, lime zest, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, pepper, and oregano in a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: Dried orange, lemon, or lime zest can be made simply at home.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest only (the colored outer layer) and not the white pith underneath.
Spread on a plate to dry for several days until brittle.
Store in an airtight container.
Per rub (5 tablespoons): 80 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 1,760 mg sodium, 15 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars), 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.
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from Flavor First by Cheryl Forberg, RD