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Why Cooking Your Own Healthy Chinese Food at Home Makes Chinese Weight Loss the Right Choice

Does Chinese weight loss or any kind of weight loss program related to following a Chinese diet work at all? Magazines and books around the world are filled with articles and stories about using Chinese tea, herbs and even traditional Chinese medicine to help you lose weight. However, like most weight loss programs out there, there are a few things that you do need to keep in mind. Chinese weight loss is possible by following a traditional Chinese diet, no I am not talking about Chinese buffet food, and this really is the key to how most Chinese people manage to maintain a healthy weight regardless of their age. Eating right is the key to an effective Chinese diet program and you can make your own Chinese diet food easily once you know the basic principles to follow and the kind of food you should be cooking.

Balance is vital. Chinese meals follow this basic principal because it not only works but also makes perfect sense. If you visit any fast food restaurant, what will you see? Most of the time, you’ll see people eating meals that are completely out of balance. They have very few vegetables, if any at all, and usually a lot of meat. It makes sense that if you want to lose weight you need to be eating food that is not only healthy but also in the correct proportions. Too many people have grown up eating meals that consist of large chunks of meat and very little of anything else. It is no wonder that many find themselves overweight later on in life. Healthy, traditional Chinese meals have the correct portions of meat, vegetables and everything else that goes into making a proper weight loss diet plan.

Another point worth mentioning about the average Chinese person’s diet is that the bulk of the food they eat is not processed or prepared in advance. Everything they cook and eat is as natural as possible. Obviously this doesn’t mean they don’t splash out on things which aren’t exactly great for your body, MSG for example, but on the whole traditional Chinese food is as natural as it can be. It might not sound like much but if you are stuffing processed and prepared food into your body day in and day out, then trying to lose weight will be difficult at best. You are what you eat and the first step to losing weight is making sure you are eating right. Chinese people manage to stay so thin because their meals, on the whole, are as natural as possible.

The good news is that you don’t have to be Chinese to enjoy the benefits of Chinese weight loss or diets. You can easily cook healthy and great tasting Chinese food at home that will help you to plan your own diet and meal schedule. Healthy weight loss Chinese diet food doesn’t have to cost the Earth once you know how to cook it from your very own kitchen.

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Chile Powder Makes Many Texas Foods Classic

Traditional Texas cooking requires a broad range of seasonings, sauces, and spices. Many of these flavoring agents have drifted away from their early roots and have begun to spice liven up other cooking styles. You will find a large variation in blends of seasonings within Texas food today. This is producing dishes with bold, assertive flavors that are finding their way into other parts of the country.

Chile, with an “e”, is meant here when talking about peppers and pepper spices, not as the famous Texas bowl of red called chili (with an “i”). Chili cooking and recipes will be well-represented throughout the Food In Texas website, but here we will be talking about spices and seasonings.

The chile pepper was introduced to Texans by Spanish and Mexican settlers over 150 years ago. This sometimes hot, sometimes not fruit finds its way into almost every Texas recipe there is. Today, there is about 120 varieties of chiles grown in the state. They can be found fresh, pickled, smoked, frozen, dried, and canned.

Most of the dried chiles used in are found in the form of chile powder. This is a mixture of one or more kinds of dried chiles, combined with cumin and other dried spices. When using the store-bought powder at home, find brands that contain less or no salt, as well as a sweet taste. A quality chile powder should be warm to the taste but not burn your mouth. Chile powder should not be confused with chili mixes, which contain onions, garlic, thickeners,and other ingredients.

Many Texas recipes call for a ground dried red chile. This chile powder comes mostly from two chile peppers, the New Mexico chile, and the Ancho pepper, which has a chocolate, sweet taste. The New Mexico chile, called the “long red” by some, is hotter and a deeper red color than you will find in most packaged chile powders. This deep red color produces a chile powder that is the purest there is.

When at all possible, grind your own chile powder. It has deeper, more intense flavors than you will find in any packaged chile powder. To grind your own chile powder takes hardly any effort or time, but it is well-worth it. Remove all stems and seeds from the peppers, toast in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until slightly crisp, break into pieces, then grind in a blender or spice grinder.

A couple of other chiles include passillas and mulatos, which are similar in heat, but with slightly different flavors. These can be grinded and blended to make your own special chile powder mixes, if you choose.

There are also quite a few other hotter chiles that can be used to make great chile powders in the same dried red form. These include the the tiny chiltepins or chile pequins, which grow wild in the southern part of Texas. Chile de arbol and cayenne, two other red chile cousins, also provide an intense heat. Chile de arbol ads more of a Mexican flavor, and the cayenne is normally associated with cajun food.

A milder variety of red chile available to make chile powder is the paprika. It usually comes already powdered, and provides a sweeter, less intense flavor. Some varieties of ground paprika provide almost no heat, and these should be avoided if wanting to add significant flavor to your dishes.

If purchasing packaged chile powders, only buy what you think you will use in the near future. The flavors of these powders lose their intensity in a very short time, so be prepared to change out your chile powder when it gets old.

Billy Bristol is the writer and editor for Food in Texas, a website devoted to the celebration of tradition homemade Texas Food. With simple recipes and cooking ideas that bring out the best in classic Texas cuisine, Food in Texas is creating its own culinary legacy.