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Tasty Recipes for Weight Loss

I am going to be cooking for some family members that are extremely overweight and I need to know some recipes that will help them lose weight without actually telling them it is "diet" food. Some of the weight loss books recipes are so tasteless looking. Help!!

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  1. I often cook for family members who are obese and are not formally on a diet and would be rather hurt if they thought I was deliberately trying to monitor their caloric intake. How I empathize!

    One aproach that seems to work is to substitute lower fat, more healthy ingredients in dishes that everyone enjoys whether slim. chunky, obese or in denial. No recipes but happy to share some of the ideas and methods others have shared with me:

    Grill versus fry (obvious, I know)
    Braise fish and seafood using seasoned stock. Serve in big shallow bowls over steamed vegetables, like snap peas, sweet potatoes diced), curls of greeen onions, maybe a touch of wine. Looks amazing and very sopisticated.
    Use stock instead of cream to make sauces, if a creamy consistency is needed, lets say for a crab and corn chowder, substitute non fat evaporated milk. I do this all the time and it works like a charm.
    Add lots of vegetables to a rich dish to add fibre which will help the body excrete more fat than it retains. I am sure someone can explain the science behind this or correct me. It's all about ratios. A small example of what I mean. For lasagna, layer grilled eggplant for every other layer of pasta (whole wheat), substitue small curd cottage cheese blended until smooth for the ricotta cheese (I add spinach, grated parmesan and nutmeg to it). Top with fresh mozzarella.
    Same approach when serving meat, keep the portion of protein no bigger than the palm of your hand and serve with lots of veggies. I do a thai curry with shrimp and add tons of fresh veggies and use low fat coconut milk mixed with stock to create the sauce, along with fish sauce, garlic, finely chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime at the end.

    Speaking of thai-if you can find mung bean noodles (not rice noodles) you can make silver noodle yum which is a noodle salad with shrimp, ground pork, cucumbers, sliced red onions, coriander leaves, whatever else you want to add, topped with a little ground peanuts and dressed with fish sauce, lime juice, chile concoction. Mung beans are less caloric than rice noodles. It is delicious especially in the summer.

    Here is one recipe for dessert, although you can serve amazing things with little or no fat, watch portion size to control calories. I love dessert and eat it almost very day. I do watermelon, strawberries with greek yogurt and a little brown sugar over the top. cheeries are in season and NOTHING is better IMO than fresh cheeries served in a glass bowl full of ice water. Strawberry shortcake using angel food cake and sweetened nonfat greek yogurt garnished with mint. Marinate the strawberries in some balsamic vinegar.

    This recipe is for chocolate cake. It cooks up like a sponge with a gooey fudgy sauce underneath. Fantastic and something like 90 calories a serving. Hello!


    3 Replies
    1. re: Densible

      Great ideas. Interesting soups are also a big help. The problem with overeaters is the stuff that sneaks in after the meals or between the meals. Safisfying meals as suggested above, plus keeping them engaged without food is key. I find an evening ritual is also helpful. A great lo-cal drink and some of that low fat kettle corn for example. Then the kitchen is closed.

      1. re: torty

        absolutely agree. I am an overeater and when I feel out of control (anxious), I brush my teeth. Shuts down the connection between my mouth and my "psychic wound."

      2. re: Densible

        Just wanted to report that I plugged the ingredients from the cake into the WW recipe calculator and came up with 5 points (low-fat milk) or 4 points (skim milk) per serving (assuming 9 servings as written). Which probably means it's a bit higher than 88 calories and 3.6 grams of fat as the recipe says (that'd be 2 points). Was still incredibly delicious and relatively low point/low fat anyway!

      3. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407060

        This is the link to the ranch dressing that is low fat/calories that I use most of the time. I had made some about 2 days ago, and it is at its best flavor right now. My son, a toothpick and his girlfriend a toothpick, know that it is a diet dressing made with non fat everything. I put out a huge bowl of cucumbers, celery, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, jicama and thin sliced bell pepper. They can't get enough, they gobble it. If you thin it out with a little more buttermilk it makes a very good faux ranch dressing.
        That and pickled veggies, you can eat as much as you like, and if you flavor them right, they are so satisfying.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          cc: how do you make your pickled veggies? if you buy them, which kind please?

          1. re: morebubbles

            mb! Sorry just saw your post!

            Which recipe? I have a few, hehe!
            The pickled ones I bought at the little Mexican deli market were very hot. I have a recipe for Mexican pickled veggies I just need to find it.
            But this one is for what was called "PanAsian" I made them with the Pork satay, and then made these again and this time with more veggies
            I used red bell pepper, carrot, onion, cucumber, jicama serrano chilies, radish and I thing that was it. But you can use whatever you like. It has mint which gaves it a nice flavor. You might want to double the recipe, it went so well with pork.

            1 red bell pepper cut into strips
            2 carrots cut thin on a long diagonal slice
            1 cup cauliflower floretes
            1/2 cup whole small radishes - daikon is better!
            1 cup of peeled cut into strips jicama
            2 serrano chilies - cut into strips- I put seeds into it too
            1 Cup rice vinegar
            1 Cup lightly packed mint
            1/3 Cup sugar - rice vinegar is sweet on its own so use to your tastes
            1/2 tsp salt -kosher
            Place the veggies in a large bowl Bring vinegar, mint sugar and salt to a med boil stirring until you dissove the sugar.
            let it cool completely
            Strain the syrup over the veggies, placed in the fridge for 2 hours in a Qt sized glass jar. But you will need a half gallon size for double. These were so good!

        2. Make gazpacho by putting a couple of tomatoes, a green pepper, a cucumber, and half an onion through the Cuisinart until coarsely chopped (peel tomatoes and cucumber first). Then mix with a big can of tomato juice and season with a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil and vinegar, salt, garlic powder, cumin or chili powder, and a little hot red pepper. Chill at least 24 hours and serve ice-cold. Just about the only calories are in the olive oil but that tiny amount in about half a gallon of gazpacho doesn't add up to many calories per portion so this is almost a "free food".

          2 Replies
          1. re: Querencia

            Densible, do you know the name of the chocolate cake?
            The link takes you to the website, but not the recipe.
            There are quite a few chocolate cakes there.



            1. re: Isabella

              Oh I am sorry-I think it is under Chocolate, then go to Chocolate Fudge (Ithink) You will know it is right one inj the desription it says its 88 calories per serving. It is so so good.

          2. I'm all about dessert... I take pumpkin filling from the can, add in fat free cool whip, tons of cinammon and spices, along with Slenda and whip up nice and fluffy (all to tast). Fill a pie tin lined with low-fat graham crackers you've packed in and voila - a total pass for pumpkin pie! You can even do individual ramikans to make it more special!

            1. One easy trick is to remove salt from cooking, it might be bland but once you get used to less salt in your food you stop putting it on everything.

              1. Thanks so much for all of you and your input! Please keep em coming! I am cooking for obese and those in denial. I myself need to lose some extra tonnage but this next week is going to be a grind. I love the idea of keeping veggies out on the counter with some low fat ranch. Gives everyone something other than the fridge to gravitate towards!

                2 Replies
                1. re: ktcolt

                  Lots of great ideas thus far...

                  Fish based dishes are great... i.e. Seared tuna w/ a citrus reduction that doesn't need butter or heavy oils, alongside some roasted or grilled asparagus.

                  You might also make bouillabase or cioppino, and cut down on the butter or oil in the recipes. Serve w/ a whole grain bread product if necessary.

                  For appetizers, try steamed or grilled artichokes passed with a low-fat aioli from low or non fat mayo or sour cream, for an elegant yet low cal dessert.

                  Use more exotic ingredients for salads like artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, grilled eggplant, grilled mushrooms and onions with some fresh poached chicken.

                  I make quesadillas using the La Tortilla factory whole wheat tortillas, the soy cheddar mozzarella cheese blend from TJ's and serve w/ salsa and fat free sour cream.

                  I coat veggies (eggplant, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatos, onions, zucchini, etc.) with garlic salt, then grill through. I cut them up into bite size pieces, then toss in a pan with some drained and rinsed shirataki noodles, adding balsamic vinegar, Bragg's amino acids, a little more garlic salt, lemon juice and mustard. Then add in some pre-cooked chicken pieces or strips. Stir-fry together, and no one will miss the pasta calories if you use the shiratakis and surround them with flavorful veggies.

                  Rice/Barley Pudding.... Fat free cottage cheese, a little brown rice or barley already cooked, splenda, cinnamon, vanilla... nuke til gooey.

                  I make * faux blintzes* out of egg whites... Just beat up egg whites and drizzle in a pam sprayed pan and spread to coat the pan, and remove from pan once cooked. I make a filling out of FF cottage cheese and splenda. Fill egg white *crepes* with filling, secure with a toothpick, and return to pan to brown. Then serve w/ sugar free blackberry or blueberry preserves from TJ's.

                  Oatmeal pancakes from instant oats and egg whites, splenda, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix and cook; serve with reduced cal syrup.

                  Chicken Divan can be made from reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup and low fat or fat free mayo... Layer broccoli then chicken breasts in a casserole dish, and cover with the creamy topping mix, then sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs. Bake til cooked through.

                  Turkey meatloaf made with Lipton's onion soup mix, chopped onion, and ketchup.

                  Cabbage and Meatballs can be made using ground turkey (lean), cabbage, sauerkraut, onion, splenda/equal, and ketchup. I have a good recipe somewhere if you're interested.

                  For dessert, try grilled fruit or baked apples with some non-fat fro yo. Or, take whole wheat tortillas, sprinkle with water, sprinkle with cinnamon mixed with splenda. Bake til crisp... Bunuelos!

                  Key Lime mini pies... Take All-Bran extra fiber and grind in a coffee grinder or blender until powder. Mix with water and Butter Buds. Press into mini pie tins. Bake, then cool. Mix non-fat sugar-free vanilla pudding mix with a little less non-fat milk directed on package, and add key lime juice. Fill mini tarts and chill in fridge. Beat egg whites til stiff peaks form then mix in a little splenda. Top the pies, then broil til golden brown.

                  1. re: ktcolt

                    I've recently embarked on Weight Watchers to lose some of my own tonnage, and I've found it to be very easy to stick with. No foods are denied, it's all about portion control. Of course, if they are in denial then you're facing an uphill battle.

                    Weight Watchers publishes a cookbook that is pretty good. It has lots of variety, covers many types of dishes, and so far I've found the recipes to be tasty and well thought-out. It is not built around any specialized ingredients, just normal stuff you can find at any grocery store.


                    I love Indian food, but it's very high in fat when served in restaurants. This is a GREAT Indian cookbook, with super low-calorie recipes that still taste amazing. They even show you how to make your own low-fat paneer. The key is to find an Indian spice vendor so you can get the necessary flavorings. It also has a lot of variety, including poultry, lamb, beef, and desserts.


                  2. I saw this in the London Times yesterday. I usually don't read these types of diet things, but some of the food choices looked pretty good. The links you want are about halfway down on the left: the five day plan and the one month plan. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life...

                    1. You might want to browse the recipes on cookinglight.com - there are many that are very reasonable calorie- and fat-wise. You can also tailor the menu to the tastes of your guests - there are a wide variety of things to choose from there!

                      1. This may be controversial... but if they are pear shaped people (with bigger hips, thighs and tush) then low fat may be the best bet.

                        But if they're apple shaped people, with big bellies... then you'll want to limit carbs. Sugar, flour, rice, pasta...

                        However for both types, getting out and walking would be even better.

                        1. Thanx for this post! I am now in a mode to make changes in my appearance. Been taking medication for hypogycemia/pre-diabetes. Scared the bageebees out of me. All this will really help me loose the 25 pounds that I need to loose. :)