With Spring just around the corner, do you feel like dusting off the cobwebs of Winter and giving your diet a shake up? I am certainly in a mood for a wellness boost so I am glad to team up with Bacofoil® for its latest healthy eating campaign. A couple of weeks ago I received samples of Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil and Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper Bags. The timing could not have been more perfect.
I am ready to see the back of this long and cold Winter. Flu-like bug and gruelling back pain have made the past few months quite gloomy for me but things are looking up. The warming temperatures and longer brighter days are putting the spring back in my step.
Now, I have been around the detox block a few times already and have concluded that it is simply not for me. I get bored too easily. If I start a detox routine of salad and juice, I am sure to fall off the wagon within a few days. I much prefer bumping up my exercise levels and fresh food intake, while reducing alcohol and some of the food I eat, such as cakes and bread.
Luckily giving your diet a healthy kick does not have to boring. Yes, you can cook with less fat, cheese and dairy while still enjoying flavoursome dishes. Two of my favourite cooking techniques to prepare tasty wholesome food are cooking in foil and marinating.
Cooking in Foil
Cooking in foil (also known as “papillote”) is an effective way to reduce the amount of oil in your cooking. It could not be easier, so even beginner cooks can master the fancy French sounding technique.
Quite simply, you wrap ingredients in foil and bake them in the oven. This cooking method is very versatile, so you can prepare fish, meat, fruits and vegetables that way. Ingredients are layered on an oiled sheet of foil which is then wrapped tightly and placed in the oven. To enhance flavours you can marinate the ingredients first or add fresh herbs, condiments and spices to the parcel. Wrapping the papillote tightly ensures that the moisture inside does not evaporate, so the food is gently steamed preserving nutrients and taste. Cooking in foil works best if you make individual portions and cut the ingredients into smaller slices or chunks.
As I found, Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil is great for preparing food in papillote as food does not stick to it and unlike normal foil, there is no need for oil or butter. All you have to remember is to place the food on the non-shiny side. You can serve the papillotes straight onto individual plates, opening them at the last minute to release the wonderful healthy flavours.
Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil is also perfect to bake or grill food in a more conventional way without adding fat. Finding bits of foil stuck to your food can be annoying, so using this non-stick foil is best to avoid the inconvenience. Also Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil will save time on washing up as you can simply dispose of dirty foil instead of having to slave over dirty oven trays and dishes. What’s more it is 100% recyclable.
The other technique I use to prepare tasty healthy food is marinating: leaving ingredients to soak for a while before cooking them, impregnating the food with wonderful flavours. Marinating is highly versatile and you can use it for fish, meat, vegetables, tofu. This cooking technique is common all around the globe, so you will find many different world cuisine recipes for it. This really opens up a lot of possibilities, from Asian to Indian, French, South American, Caribbean cuisines etc. There are many combinations to try.
Once you have combined the marinade ingredients (usually a mixture of oil, sugar, spices, herbs, vinegar) you only have to coat the rest of the food with it and leave it to marinate for a while. You will get best results by keeping the food in the fridge in airtight conditions, giving everything a shake from time to time.
Marinating adds a lot of flavours to food, which you can not only cook in foil but also grill, bake, sauté or barbecue.
If you have tried marinating before, then you know that the best thing to use as a container is a plastic bag. Plates and dishes work too but the food will not be as well coated. Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper Bags work a treat here. They are tough and tear proof, so there is no danger of the bag piercing when you flip the ingredients around. Also the secure zip closure gives extra peace of mind and keeps the food really fresh.
Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper Bags have a handy stand-alone base for easy storage. That is a bonus if, like me, you have a packed fridge where space is limited. The bags are also completely reusable so you can wash and reuse them.
If you are into meal prep and batch cooking, Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper Bags also come in handy to freeze meal portions, leftovers or even overnight porridge. To speed things up in the morning, I like to prepare my own fruit and vegetable combos and keep a few bags in the freezer to use in smoothies.
Since becoming flexitarians, we have been eating a lot more tofu. This is not a food either of us was used to and learning how to cook it properly has been a learning curve. In my opinion, marinating tofu before cooking is essential to get the best results as it absorbs flavours very well. Tofu is a very healthy food as it is not only low in fat but also a good source of protein, iron and calcium, as well as other essential nutrients.
As part of Bacofoil ® healthy campaign challenge, I have created a recipe for Crispy Sesame Tofu. I have used Bacofoil® All Purpose Zipper Bags to marinate the tofu first in a ginger and lemon sesame sauce. The tofu is then coated with sesame seeds and baked in the oven without the need for extra oil thanks to Bacofoil ® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil. The additional beauty of this foil is that the food doesn’t stick to it!
You can serve this Crispy Sesame Tofu with a simple vegetable stir fry adding noodles or rice if you wish. Click on the picture below to find details of the recipe.
This post and recipe are sponsored by Bacofoil®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.