Best diet recipes
- Lisa Lisa Mar 19, 2005 04:49 PM
I'm in search of your favorite diet recipes in ANY category. I've gotta lose some weight and still want to eat well, as well as eat delicious food.
Please help me lose 10 lbs that I have mysteriously gained over the holidays and can't seem to shake.
Any other diet dressings or products (and or recipes) to share?
You have introduced a potentialy inflamatory subject. Lots of opinions and theories. My DH and I faithfully followed a low fat regime for a number of years and gained weight with each year. We switched MD's and our new MD suggested cutting out all sugar and flour, yes, low carb, no simple carbohydrates. He is an officer in the college of bariatrics and his suggestions have worked for us.
Prior to this I would have told you that I am not a dessert eater and that sugar did not play a major role in my diet. After getting into this I have found much hidden sugar in my diet and am eliminating it. We do eat whole grains, I buy a potato maybe once a month that we split, whether it is hash browns that I am making tonight or mashed or what ever.We split the potato. Lots of leafy greens and other low sugar veg, always looking for fiber content. It has worked for us. Whether it will for you is another thing. We don't drink fruit juices but do have some fruits whole, again, more fiber than in the juiced version. Find what works for you and stick with it and pay no attention to the people who tell you that what ever is working for you is a fad etc.
I agree - go with what works for you.
I try to eat healthily, but I do not follow a diet plan or cut certain foods out of my diet. My one question to anyone who does follow a restrictive (i.e. cutting out certain foods, etc.) diet would be, are you happy? Are you happier eating half a potato a month and being thinner and healthier, or were you happier being a bit overweight, but eating as many potatoes as you liked? For myself, I have consciously chosen to go with the potatoes, but I'm assuming that for Candy (I assume you're not eating much of that!) she is happier being healthier. I've had to accept that this doesn't work for me. It's a personal choice.
So before you go on any diet, be it long term or short, you need to ask yourself that; what will make you happiest?
I'm doing Weight Watchers, which is basically calorie control but usually ends up being low-fat too. (Fat runs up your points count very fast.) I've gone down 20 lbs. and into the recommended range for my size, so I'm pretty happy.
One of my big challenges has been preparing fish in lower-fat ways. Sashimi is my favorite, so that's fine, but most of the other preparations I like tend to cancel out the diet-friendly quality of seafood.
Lately, I've been experimenting with skate wings. Although they are very lowfat, the usual preparations involve a lot of butter. Here's an all-purpose recipe I've settled on, and I'm fairly happy with it. This will work with any thin white filet of fish.
Basic recipe: Take a cleaned skate wing, minus cartilage. You may dredge it lightly in flour, but I don't for this preparation. I use a spice rub or else nothing, to get a little bit of a sear on the outside. Heat a nonstick skillet large enough to accomodate the fish easily. Spray with olive oil or canola oil; get it very hot; throw the fish on. Add a token amount of butter or olive oil, just enough to keep it from sticking when you flip it over. Season the fish as you like after flipping it.
I made this yesterday with zero butter added, just the cooking spray. The fish was almost cooked when I flipped it, so I turned the heat off. I sprinkled the fish with cracked pepper and one of my herb mixes (a salad mix from the Spice House) and then squeezed some lemon over it. I used quite a bit of lemon, which sort of deglazed the pan.
The last time I made this recipe, I did the same thing but minus the herb mix, and I threw some capers and olives into the pan before serving. I think I also put a few tablespoons of white wine in at the end along with the lemon.
Basically, you're just sauteeing white, delicate fish with as little fat as you can get away with, with the help of a little bit of liquid. I find skate especially good for this because it's very easy to cook without overcooking and it never seems to get dried out.
Cooking Light magazine is a very good source, and some of the other food-related community sites have permanent threads devoted to WW, Atkins etc., where people with an actual interest in food share cooking tips and recipes. If you don't know where to find those, feel free to drop me a line.
re: bibi rose
Thank you all for sharing these great suggestions and recipes. This is sure to help a lot! :)
I have already noticed small things like measuring a TBSP of oil in a dressing or in the pan is helpful, too, as I used to just gauge it visually (and consequently used more than necessary).
Congrats go to those who have lost weight using the tips you have shared! Thank you for the inspiration. :)
Another wonderful diet food is roasted cauliflower. Lots of vegetables are good roasted, but cauliflower is fantastic. Very addictive. There's a lot of recipes around so I won't type the directions out, but I strongly recommend the method where you slice it rather than using florets. And try it without spice mixes, just salt and pepper, at first.
If you have no problems eating salt, I suggest you get some Maldon sea salt to finish recipes like that. It is not expensive for sea salt, and its unique texture makes vegetables more interesting.
(kate, I have to say I am a lot happier being back down in my recommended range. I don't think it's really a permanent tradeoff between eating as I like and being overweight, though. I can maintain a decent weight by keeping active, but if I get over a certain weight there's a vicious cycle where it's harder to be active, and at that point I have to diet. But if "slightly overweight" is not too overweight to play tennis for a couple of hours, I agree with you.)
I've also had luck following the low carb way of eating, also on a doctor's advice. Even if you aren't interested in low carb, per se, try the following the substitutes for starches, and amp up your veggie consumption and decrease your calorie intake at the same time--
shredded savoy cabbage, stif fried, instead of rice noodles,
julienned zucchini instead of spaghetti
shredded sauteed cauliflower instead of rice
julienned or grated celery root sauteed in 1/2 butter 1/2 oil instead of noodles.
Yes, a very controversial subject...everyone is different...eat less and move around more is the best general way to lose the weight you want to lose. I personally follow a low-fat/high-fiber diet because my father died of colon cancer and cancer is rampant on his side of the family; and my doctor has advised me to do this. But, I love to cook! Therein lies the problem. But, you CAN find good recipes that taste good and are healthy...you just need to look for them.
And when I do add that heavy cream, butter or sat fat to a recipe, I just eat less of it...I eat my dinner on a sandwich plate vs. a dinner plate so that my portions are smaller at that time of day (evening). This works for me, along with walking fast every day.
But, like I said, everyone is different. I don't have a sugar problem but so many Americans do, thus the rise in diabetes at earlier ages. Our portion sizes are just out of sight also!!! Our beloved Julia Child believed in small portions of fatty foods; she espoused moderation...we need to restrain ourselves and not give in to the corporate-America "super-size" philosophy.
The single best diet recipe -- and the one that works best on a permanent basis -- is simply to eat less of your favorite foods and increase your physical activity. No magic; everything else is a gimmick (and some of those gimmicks can do some damage to your organs if you don't heed the caveats scrupulously).
Know what you eat, get a scale and measure your portions scrupulously, write them down so you don't kid yourself. It works. And you can eat virtually anything; just not as much as you might have gotten used to.
PS: If you are living in a colder climate, it is natural for some people's metabolism to slow down (in some cases, dramatically) for the coldest weeks of the year, and even tons of exercise will not necessarily prevent it.
My Favorite Green Beans
Spray non-stick pan with Pam. Add chopped sweet onions and cook on low heat until opaque, adding a little water if they start sticking to the pan. Add in chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper, and let simmer together. Add pre-cooked green beans. Mix in soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice, each to taste and reseason with salt and pepper. Let it all simmer together on low heat to allow the flavors to meld. This is my basic recipe, and I add herbs depending what's on hand... often a sprinkle of parsley or tarragon or chives. My SO raved tonight that he had never had beans prepared this way, and that they were so yummy... at least to us :)
I served it with garlic salmon for him, blackened sole for me, and mashed butternut squash mixed with cinnamon and a little splenda.
I love salads and soup. Just last night I made this Cauliflower Walnut cream, I would imagine you can substitute any vegetable or leave out the nuts. Its 166 calories a serving and really very good, add your favorite spice as its a little bland, I used coriander last night: cut up 1 med. cauliflower and 1 med. coarsley chopped onion bring to boil with 1 can Chicken or veg. broth, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until soft. Add 1 7/8 cup skim milk, 3 tbsp walnut pieces and salt and pepper. Pureee in blender, return to heat up and supposed to garnish with chopped walnuts and paprika. I also love Thai-style Corn soup. Oh gosh I love this Ultimate Healthy Eating cookbook my friend gave me, tons of recipes and all I tried is good. Good luck
I make huge batches of vegetable soup. When I come home late and I'm really, really hungry, a cup of the soup keeps me from eating junk until I can decide if I want anything else for dinner. Carrot, onion, garlic, fat-free chicken broth, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, green beans, chopped cabbage, zucchini, basil, oregano, salt, and sometimes cannelini beans. Proportions hardly matter. I also toss in some hot sauce to spice it up.
Boneless chicken breasts spread with 1/2 dijon mustard, 1/2 plain yogurt, dipped in seasoned bread crumbs, sprayed with a bit of EVOO or Pam to crisp them up, and baked for about 40 minutes. Good hot or cold or cut up in salads.
Marcella Hazan's grilled swordfish steaks, Salmoriglio style. Basically, broiled swordfish with a sauce of lemon juice, chopped oregano, EVOO, and black pepper. Her trick, prick the fish with a fork after it's cooked before drizzling on the sauce to allow the sauce to penetrate.
These three recipes, plus lots of broiled fish, turkey breast, fruit, and leafy green veggies have helped me take off 9 pounds in the past 5-1/2 weeks.
Any one whose done Weight Watchers will probably recognize this soup. For the WW'er, its 0 points. For the non-WW'er its a good meal replacement with little calories. I've use fresh and frozen veggies with no change in results. I put Sriracha in mine to give it some kick.
0 Points Weight Watchers soup
Serves 12, svg size= ~1 cup
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), diced
2 medium carrot(s), diced
1 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced
1 medium stalk celery, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
2 cup green cabbage, shredded
2 cup Swiss chard, chopped
2 cup cauliflower, small florets
2 cup broccoli, small florets
2 tsp thyme, fresh, chopped
6 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp parsley, or chives, fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, optional
1. Put garlic, vegetables, thyme and broth into a large soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Stir in parsley or chives; season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
There is an issue of FIRST magazine (March 21, 2005 - green cover) that you might find helpful in that regard.
And, you can shrink your stomach by doing a juice fast for one day. Then eat less, exercise more.
I truly doubt those extra pounds came about "mysteriously."
Protein stays in your stomach to help you feel full. Make a salad of roasted green beans (haricot verts)and chicken breast. Use the juice from the roasted chicken as the dressing. Add a little garlic and Italian herbs.
Eat protein at every meal. One serving is only 3 oz, though, so don't go nuts with the amounts.
Make your recipes into soups. Like, instead of butternut squash with butter and brown sugar, roast the squash, puree it, add chicken broth, add spices to make a soup. The flavor's there, but not the bulk and calories. You'd be surprised how many dishes you eat can be made as a soup instead.
Eating soup at night is very soothing when your stomach might be growling.
Use fat free half and half (found at Traer Joe's or by Land-o-Lakes) of you get a craving for a creamy soup.
And, don't cut out all fat. It's good for you. 30 grams a day is normal, but know your good sources of fat, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, avocado, and more.
I did Weight Watchers years ago, and I'm a convert. I just did it online for a few months, but it's a great way to "reset" your habits. Encourages the right behavior...decrease your portion sizes, move your booty, increase the whole grains and reduce the starch and dairy. Ever since then, I know what I'm supposed to eat (whether I do or not is really a different story!)
As for recipes, I'm a fan of turkey chili - you can get a lot of protein and taste without much in the way of added fat. And one batch can last a good long while (and freezes well.) Still have to watch the portion size, though, and skip the tortilla chips and grated cheese on top.
Cholula and Tabasco are a dieters best friends!