I have read my share of weight loss books- flat abs diet, why French women don’t get fat, and so on. However, I love food…and I am greedy about it. This is why the French women’s tricks did not work for me during my experiment in the past two weeks. I tried portion control, that didn’t work. I also tried not feeling guilty about what i ate. Honestly, I don’t even want to talk about how that backfired. The fact is, when someone serves me a humongous portion of Pollo Saltado, I end up over eating even though I am aware of the fact that my tummy is full. Then what is the solution for us, the common people, who discovered there iron will is in fact ironically vulnerable? Fortunately, I think I might have an answer to that question.
When I think back on my weight loss journey, I realize that my love for cooking was indeed a blessing. My mantra was Garbage in, Garbage out. Burn what you eat. If you cant burn it off with exercise then control the calorie intake. As we earlier established, portion control doesnt really work for me. Then the only other way out was for me to learn how to cook all my favorite dishes at home, and then use my judgement to create healthier versions. I frequently substituted unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones, for example, cream with skim milk heated on slow flame and coaxed into a creamy texture. I could then eat regular portions and have nothing to feel guilty about. There is nothing more satisfying that enjoying your favorite food and know that its good for you. I have experimented a lot in my kitchen, and have come up with some rather simple tricks to cook good food without oil or with very little of it. I loved eating out, until I realized how adventurous eating at home can be. It brings your family and friends a lot closer…there is nothing like a homemade meal shared with friends. Before I share these recipes with you, I would like to mention, I have no professional training as a chef or nutritionist. These are the recipes that I came up with in my kitchen in an attempt to breakout of the web of bland diet food.
I would like to start from my roots. The first two recipes I am sharing are Indian Recipes, I hope you enjoy these…
Tikkas (Vegetable or Meat)
I love this particular recipe. It is very easy to cook, looks fancy, and is pure protien…no Fat. The recipe I am writing is for chicken, but you can substitute this for any other meat, vegetables, or Paneer (indian cheese)
2 Tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon Dhania Powder
2 Tablespoons Tandoori Masala
1 Tablespoon Cumin Powder
2 Cups Strained Yogurt
800 Grams Chicken
Add all the spices to the yogurt. It is very important that the yogurt should be thick and creamy, ensure that all the water is strained out. It is also important that the chicken that you plan to marinate is properly dried before marination. It is important not to have any water in this marinade, to ensure that we get a nice creamy texture for the Tikkas/ Kebabs. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour, but 4 hours if possible. For vegetables, longer marination isn’t required. The longer you marinate, the softer these kebabs will turn out. After marination, add the chicken to the skewers and broil for 10 mins or until done. I like to add cherry tomatoes and colored peppers to the skewers before serving to add ‘Pizzaz’ to the looks. Chicken Tikkas are extremely healthy and filling. Eat with Mint or Coriander Chutney.
Butter Chicken Curry
You can just add the chicken from the recipe above into this curry and serve it as a sinful entree. Sinful in taste, not in calories.
Tricks used in this recipe-
Trick #1- Fool your taste buds by substituting fats with flavors, herbs or spices.
Trick #2- Substitute Cream with 2% or Skimmed Milk
What you will need-
2 Medium Onions (Finely chopped) (red if possible)
1 Tsp Oil
1 Stick of Cinnamon
2 Bay Leaves
2 Large Tomatoes (Pureed)
2 Garlic Cloves
3 Green Chillies or Jalapenos (you can skip this if you don’t prefer hot food)
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste (if possible use fresh ginger)
2 Cups Skimmed or 2% Milk
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
or you can just use the Butter Chicken Spice, which is readily available from Indian Stores
Step 1. In a pan, heat the 1 tsp oil. Add Cinnamon, Bay Leaves, and garlic to the heated oil. When garlic starts browning slightly, add Ginger Paste, Onions, and Green Chillies.
Step 2. Saute till onions are cooked throughly and have turned brown. Add Tomatoes and the spices to the pan, and constantly stir. Heat until the water from the tomatoes has almost evaporated. The texture of the ingredients in the pan should be like a paste.
Step 3. Now add the two percent milk to the paste and heat on a slow flame. Let the curry become thicker.
Step 4. Add the chicken to the curry, and decorate it by sprinkling some coriander leaves on the curry. Serve Hot!