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Any idea's to make low fat exciting and delicous?

My sister just had her gall blader removed a few weeks ago and has to be on strict low fat diet for a while. She also says that salad runs right through her (is that because of the dressing? I'm not sure.)
At the same time I would like to enlighten her and her husband to a healthier diet, (ever since the move from London to Atlanta it's been downhill).
I have some of my own ideas... like buttermilk panna cotta and low fat muffins and I have to look into some whole grain recipes, but I need some good brainstorming before I cook for her this weekend.

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  1. Different and interesting seasonings - maybe buy her a gift box from Penzey's with interesting seasoning mixes?

    http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

    1. Have you ever tried Middle Eastern foods? They're extremely low in fat and generally healthy. Two books to get you started are Claudia Roden's "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food" and Paula Wolfert's "Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean". Ana Sortun's "Spice" has creative recipes based on Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cooking.

      I really enjoy this kind of food, it has lots of flavor thanks to the spices. You don't feel deprived which is important if you're making a change in your eating habits.

      Indian cooking is also low fat, high in grains and fiber and delicious because of the wonderfully fragrant spices. A good book to look at is Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking".

      If you do a google search, you should find a lot of recipes for these cuisines online so you can experiment to see if either interests you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheryl_h

        I recently bought Ana Sortun's "Spice" and I love it, but I havn't had much opportunity to make anything from it yet. I wish I had it with me at the moment. Any recipes from it you would point out yet?

        1. re: Ida Red

          I've eaten at Oleana, her restaurant so that's why I recommend the book. The food is straightforward, delicious without being too fussy. I recall the carrot puree which changed my attitude towards carrots completely. And there's a recipe for chicken with lemon and za'atar which is also served at her restaurant - simple and delicious. There's a recipe for beef with tamarind (I think, I could be mixing this up with a similar dish on the restaurant menu) which sounds like great cold weather food. And someone else posted something about the lamb kibbeh which sounded good.

          I've also been thinking of making her almond ice cream, but I don't think that's low fat.

      2. It is the fiber in the salad and it is a problem that may never go away. I had my gall bladder removed ages ago and still suffer as a friend of mine does too. I am very cautious about a lot of veggies with good reason and rely on good old V8 a lot to get some vegetables in safely and not having to spend most of my day close to the facilities. Watch it on raw fruit and some cooked ones like blueberries.

        Look in your library to see if they have any of the cookbooks from Eating Well magazine and check into the magazine as well. When we used to do low fat I relied on Eating Well for good well flavored low fat dishes. Cooking Light also has some good stuff too but I found that they are really into desserts. I think they both may have web sites and of course at Epicurious you can specify low fat in the advanced search.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Eating Well's website is excellent, in my opinion: http://eatingwell.com/

          1. re: Candy

            Candy, so does "caution with vegies" mean that whole grains are a problem for her as well? Or are vegi fibers unique only with that problem?
            It sounds like juicing is a good way to get the vitamins in without the fiber there... but I'm wondering if whole grain breads or muffins will be a problem with her, and lentils and beans as well...
            I seem to remember there's two classes of fibers: dietary and _____?

            1. re: Ida Red

              beans don't bother me and one of my favorite comfort foods is the classic French salad of green lentils with leeks carrots bacon lardons a light vinaigrette and topped with a poached egg.

              I frequently enrich my yogurt with ground flax seed which is very heart healthy and does not bother me. When I do eat bread which is not much not often I use a reduced carb bread enriched with vegetable fiber.

              Some of this is just so individual, more trial and error to find out what will work for her and what her system will tolerate. Raw peppers are an issue for me roasted and peeled are okay etc. It will be several weeks before she is over the effects of the gall bladder disease so take it easy on introducing a lot of fiberous things.

          2. I think cheryl's on the right track...lentils and beans are great for low-fat sources of protein. I made a Dal recipe (that I think someone posted on this board) last weekend that was so tasty because of the spices ...chickpeas are awesome too. I'm really getting into tofu now also but that might be way out there for them. Will they eat fish? Please e-mail me if you think they can use any of these recipes, valnaples@aol.com.

            1. Pasta,Pasta,Pasta! Grill the vegetables and the meats, toss with garlic, herbs and olive oil. The combinations are endless, the flavors exciting, the cost low, and very fast to make.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mattrapp

                Yes...and they make really tasty whole grain pasta's now..some with flax in them.