Today’s fare (case study) comes to you all the way from my country, Malaysia. It is a really fragrant dish because the rice is cooked in coconut milk served with a spicy anchovies sambal, a chili based condiment.
A quick language course here. Nasi means rice and lemak means fat. So if it was a direct translation it would be Fatty Rice. Now most of you would think; No good can come out of this and you would be right. Nasi Lemak or Fatty Rice gets a really bad rap. The heart disease rate is on the rise in Malaysia and most of the time it’s attributed to this dish right here.
So why am I, The Iron Cheftress who prides herself in cooking and eating healthy, featuring a dish like that? Because this recipe is perfect for me to test out my ability to put a healthy spin on it.
I do not expect most of my readers to actually want to cook this dish because it does ask for a lot of ethnic ingredients but I am trying to show how you can take one of your favourite unhealthy dish and make it healthier. This way you would not be forbidding yourself from your favourite food and feel like you’re “missing out” in life
Here are 5 ways to make any recipe healthier:
1) Substitute and reduce
For this dish I used Low Fat Coconut Milk and halved the measurement. I brought it down from 15g fat to 4g (99calories). Pictured to the right
2) Use cooking spray instead of oil
Cuts more fat & calories
3) Cut out the salt and sugar
A lot of recipes that calls for “salt & pepper to taste” or “sugar” is like an insurance policy for the recipe writer. I usually don’t use neither because I believe your taste buds will get used to it and will not miss it.
4) Portion control
The age old rule never fails. If you eat in moderation, it really isn’t that bad for you.
5) Make your meals well rounded
Make sure you are getting all your fibre, protein and healthy fats from your meals. For eg Nasi Lemak is usually low in fibre and protein so I added a chicken curry and some green beans.
I will leave you with one of my most clicked on post for healthy baking/cooking substitutions and let me hear from you on how you make your favourite unhealthy dish healthier.
Happy healthy substituting!