August 9, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Guest Stories
Scott Uehlein, Corporate Chef for Canyon Ranch, oversees the food and beverage programs for Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona; Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachuesetts; Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach and all Canyon Ranch SpaClub facilities, including Queen Mary 2. A visionary in his field, he is consistently recognised for his creativity and expertise in the development and preparation of healthy cuisine.
Award-winning Canyon Ranch cuisine raises the culinary bar with gourmet dining that’s incredibly good for you. Chef Scott works with Cunard’s Chef Patron Jean-Marie Zimmermann and culinary staff aboard Queen Mary 2 to design nutritious spa menu selections, offering guests the same world-famous healthy cuisine that Canyon Ranch is known for.
We asked Chef Scott to provide some of his favourite healthy tips that you can follow at home:
I love food, and I love preparing healthy gourmet food at home to share with my family and friends. I get a lot of questions on how to create a healthy meal when you are short on time. Here are a few of my favourite tips and shortcuts that I use in my kitchen at home to create tasty and healthful meals that everyone will love.
Food preparation tips to trim unnecessary fat and calories:
• When sautéing foods, spray oil instead of pouring. One tablespoon of oil in a pan adds 90 calories and 15 grams of fat to a dish. And beware; you pour oil out of a bottle with a standard plastic top at a rate of one tablespoon per second. When TV chefs instruct you to “add a little oil” to a pan, and pour five seconds worth of oil, they are adding 450 calories and 75 grams of fat! Spraying adds about 1/3 of a teaspoon per pump and only about one gram of fat.
• Instead of adding a lot of cream or butter to a dish, try balancing flavours of a dish by incorporating the taste elements of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Sweet may be a touch of sweetener or fruit, sour may be a squeeze of citrus juice, bitter may be a bit of chopped olive and salty means properly seasoned with sea salt, not excessively salty. You may find you are using less fat if you look at flavors.
Good fundamentals to stock in the freezer along with easy ways to use them:
• Home-made chicken stock: I simmer chicken bones after we roast a chicken for dinner, cool the stock and freeze it in containers or bags. This helps me avoid purchasing stock. I also use it for a quick meal – just add chicken meat, carrots, celery and onions and simmer. You can serve this as a soup or thicken slightly with cornstarch and serve over noodles.
• Brown rice: I cook extra brown rice when I make it for dinner and freeze it. Having it cooked and frozen is a quick starch with a healthy stir fry.
• Vegetables for stir fry: I prefer fresh vegetables, but I do have frozen for the nights we need something really fast.
• Edamame: Both in the shell (great as an appetizer) as well as out of the shell (great to roast as a snack, or mash as a starch).
• A variety of nuts and seeds: Keeping them in the freezer maximises their freshness.
Healthy and easy side dishes that are sure to be crowd pleasers:
• In addition to the ones above, for quick sides we prepare spinach with garlic and olive oil (done in a couple of minutes), sliced tomatoes (when in season with a little salt), sliced cucumbers with onion, vinegar and a pinch of salt, stir fried veggies (whatever is in season) with garlic ginger and a touch of soy sauce.
Interesting condiments to quickly spice up a dish:
• Sweet chili sauce: I use it on fish, chicken or stir fry or as an ingredient in a dish that may need a hint of sweet & spicy.
• Sambal sauce: This is a spicy chili paste that I use in cucumber salsa, Thai noodles, etc. But be sure to look for one without sulfites.
• Hot sauce: Because I truly dislike the flavor of preservatives, I make my own with peppers, vinegar, garlic, onions and spices. But there are brands out there without preservatives that taste great, too. I use hot sauce on eggs, chicken, fish, in stir fry dishes, on sandwiches, etc.
• “Maple spread” – This is a maple sugar / maple syrup mixture that I use on toast or even in place of sugar in certain preparations – the flavour is awesome and all natural.
Those are just a few tips to help make cooking at home quick, easy and healthy. If you are looking to take the delicious healthy food served at Canyon Ranch home with you, I encourage you to browse our library of Canyon Ranch recipes – making healthy eating easy and irresistible: http://www.canyonranch.com/community_connection/recipes/