How to Create a Healthy Soul Food Plate?
A healthy plate of soul food balances meat, veggies, and starch. In the past, your great-grandmother served up fried chicken with gravy and macaroni & cheese or just a bowl of rice with some meat.
These were usually eaten simultaneously because the flavors complemented each other. The dish above shows a healthier take on a traditional Soul Food Plate by substituting brown rice for white, adding in more vegetables, and swapping out the butter in the cornbread recipe for applesauce to make it moist & sweet without all of the saturated fat from oil or butter.
The proportions shown are what I recommend to get started but tweak them as you see fit. For example, if you want to add even more vegetables, that’s your choice. Please avoid adding mayo or sour cream to anything you eat because they are high in saturated fat and calories.
New Soul Food Snacks:
Deep-fried ‘chicken’ wings (unbreaded) with a side of coleslaw is another one of those great tasting dishes that can be turned into a healthier snack by baking the wings instead of frying them & cutting back on the salt. Baking not only helps to reduce fat and calories but also preserves the flavor.
If you’re looking for a tasty snack, try baking up some cheese & banana peppers and put them in a sandwich baggie to take with you. Let me know if it gets you through half your day at work! I’ve been known to carry one of those around and munch on them until hunger strikes.
How to make soul food healthy:
1. While frying food, use less oil and steam or boil the vegetables instead of frying. You can also use a non-stick pan to fry the vegetables and cut out some oil. You are marinating your fish and meat in lime juice and yogurt before cooking will remove excess fat from them. Also, try baking, broiling, or grilling foods rather than deep-frying, as this will help make your meal healthier for you and taste great!
2. Bake or grill meat on a rack, which allows the hot air to circulate it to cook more quickly and is moister when cooked through. This reduces its fat content too! If you want to roast a large joint of meat, place it on a rack in a roasting pan, season it and cover it with foil to keep the heart moist. Then cut off your desired portions when cooked through to serve straight away or allow them to cool quickly before placing them in the fridge to be used later.
3. Drain off any excess oil after frying fish, then marinate it in the lime juice (this also helps retain its delicate texture) – this breaks down the enzymes which make fish go ‘off’ faster than other meats or vegetables. You can also substitute ale or stout for part of the milk when you make chowders and white sauces as they contain natural enzymes which tenderize fish while cooking. Also, remember that if you are white fish such as cod, coley, or haddock, you can reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.
4. Make sure you steam vegetables rather than boiling them since this retains their flavor and goodness – it also keeps them bright in color! For example, much of the nutrients are lost through the water when you cook peas, so steaming is always better. You can use a little vegetable or chicken stock instead of salt when boiling your vegetables to enhance their flavor naturally while reducing their fat content at the same time. If you buy canned foods such as beans, rinse them thoroughly before using them to eliminate any added salt and sugar that they are often packed in!
5. Use non-fat yogurt in salads instead of mayonnaise, high in fat and salt, or use soured milk (plain yogurt without any additives) instead of cream. You could also try using cottage cheese or low-fat cream cheese as an alternative to mayonnaise.
6. Delicious skinless chicken fillets are readily available now, so why not try replacing your usual beef steak with them? They are much lower in fat than other meats too! If you do buy a minced turkey, for example, always go for the leanest type you can find. You can also replace some of your meat joints with fish – red snapper, sole, and monkfish are all very slim types of fish that can be cooked just like a joint of meat!
7. Try to eat more fruit – it is a delicious and natural way to satisfy your sweet tooth, especially if you add some yogurt or ice cream. You can make fruit salads with lots of different types of fruit while it is in season, which will taste great and be low fat too!
8. Almost all vegetables contain nutrients that are good for the heart, so don’t be afraid to eat plenty of them, but try to do so without smothering them in butter or cheese sauce! You could also use a little vegetable stock instead of milk when making purées, soups, etc. Also, try using fresh herbs instead of salt – a squeeze of lemon juice over your food will enhance its flavor naturally while adding virtually no calories at all! Remember that these tips will not only help you to reduce your fat intake, but you will also find that most of the foods we recommend taste great, and there is no need for any unique recipes – just simple, easy ways to help you eat a healthier diet!
9. It’s essential not only to reduce the amount of fat in your diet but also watch out for high salt levels too since this can raise your blood pressure and cause water retention; both of these things increase the risk of heart disease and strokes, so try to cut down on salty snacks such as crisps and bacon, ham or salami. If you buy smoked meats such as bacon or ham, always look for lower salt content. Remember that by opting for leaner types of means, they tend to be higher in salt, so check the labels carefully.
10. If you are watching your weight, one of the best things to do is swap white for wholemeal bread since this will help fill you up without adding too many extra calories! You could also try using one slice of wholemeal toast instead of two pieces of white because it has more fiber and adds to your feeling of fullness without adding many calories. Why not try having a baked potato with your meals or snack on unsalted rice cakes instead? The good thing about rice cakes is that they have no fat whatsoever, so they are great for keeping hunger pangs at bay between meals.
Why is soul food important:
Soul food is a term used to describe traditional Southern cuisine, with its deep-rooted history in the slave trade. It’s now been popularized as comfort food, meaning it evokes strong memories of home and family loved ones. Soul food has been passed down for generations among African American families, making it extremely special.
The flavorful dishes are substantial and stick to your ribs; they serve as hearty meals during trying times, whether that means racially driven segregation or the Great Depression.
Soul food may be high in fat and cholesterol, but this is due to cooking methods rather than ingredients themselves; thus, every element contributes something essential to the dish creating flavor profiles unique to each kitchen-made creation!