When I started cooking my food for the hCG diet, one of the first things I had to do was change my thinking about how to cook my hCG diet recipes. Nearly all of my stovetop recipes start with “add oil to pan.” I was so accustomed to cooking in oil, even if it was just a teaspoon, to get things started. I thought, “How am I going to saute my onions and garlic or brown my meat if I don’t use any oil?” I started using Pam cooking spray to keep the food from sticking. After a while I decided to try cooking without adding oil or cooking spray. Here’s what I discovered.
When you’re cooking meat, whether you’re using a non-stick pan or a stainless steel pan, it won’t stick if you get the pan hot enough before you add it. This is partially because even lean protein has a tiny amount of fat it in. But it doesn’t end there. The heat must be at medium high, and you should not touch the the meat before it has had a chance to brown. In other words, if you try to stir or turn it too soon, it will stick. Be patient. Wait until it cooks enough to be able to move it around or turn it easily. If a recipe asks you to brown vegetables like onions peppers or garlic at the beginning, simply wait until the meat has browned and add those items then–the difference in the taste of the recipe will be imperceptible.
At this point, if the food starts to look dry or stick, you can add a tablespoon or so of plain water. In “cheffy” terms this is called “deglazing” the pan. It’s meant to get the flavors from the stuck-on bits of food in the pan and it is commonly done with wine or chicken broth. For us hCGer’s plain water will do fine.
Try this the next time you’re making an hCG diet recipe. It’s a great tip to reduce the fat in all of your recipes, even after hCG!