Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheating Eating; 6 Ways to Cheating Your Tongue Into Delicious, Lean Food

Can’t stop eating and always craving for something yummy? Then you and me are just the same. I came up with ‘Trick’ Eating, so I can have something yummy without having to land a double chin soon. Ad commercials, newspapers and food posters on my way to work, make me really hungry. Loud growling stomach, embarrassing me in front of other shoppers at the supermarket! ‘Look at your own chubby face, Lady!’ Isn’t it always the story, hungry at the supermarket, when work gets boring or on Sunday seated in front of the television? I realised that it is the great flavours that I crave. I came up with a few tricks of my own to conquer my craving.

  1. Soup Dinner. Liquid food, can be full of flavour and without having to compromise on meal portions or starving yourself, you can have some great meals, with minimum carbohydrates in the evening. (We all know that evening carbs are not good for us!) You can try out my Tom Yam Kai recipe. It is the flavour or ginger, lemongrass, chilli in a flavourful stock with mushrooms and chicken or tofu if you are vegetarian. It is just like drinking water, yet so flavourful, lean with pieces of chicken and veggies for the nutrition bit. You can also have dal or vegetable curry as soup without the rice or roti in the evening.
  2. Cheat Creamy Textures. You and I are both big fans of mayonnaise and sour cream. Dips or sandwich spread or for a salad dressing, you can’t do without that creaminess. Whip up some fresh hung curd, but drink the whey don’t throw it away! Use this thick, creamy yogurt by flavouring it with herbs and spices. It can be used as spreads, dips and salad dressing.
  3. Curry Wise. Indian food uses a whole lot of fried onion and cashew paste and other rich ingredients for curries. Use minimum oil and cook the meats or vegetables on low heat so that they cook in their own juices. High heat dries the meats or vegetables to which you end up adding more oil. Go for thin flavoured curries, with spices without using fried onion or cashew to thicken. You can try out my Gawti Chicken recipe, which is a flavourful curry without fried onion or cashew paste.
  4. Red Instead of White. When eating pasta or other European dishes, go for the options with tomato sauce over white sauce. Tomato sauce flavoured with fresh basil, is a winner. Most lean sauces are beautifully flavoured with herbs and leave out the excess cream and flour involved in making white sauce based pastas. Spaghetti in tomato sauce is my favourite. Here is the recipe, try it out!
  5. Grill, Bake and Roast. Don’t Fry. Vegetables or meat, while cooking, use the least oily option. Chicken skin can be made crispy in its own skin if you pop it in the oven instead of frying. Marinated pieces of chicken can be roasted or grilled instead of frying before you add it into the curry. In Ayurvedic cooking I learnt, oil enhances the flavour of the spices but heat is the medium in which actually cooks it. Did you know, you could add in rai and curry patta to sambhar without adding oil too? A teaspoon of oil is enough for flavour, on low heat the veggies won’t burn or you can steam veggies before adding the tadka, so they are already cooked without the oil.
  6. Choose your bread wisely. Opt for Phulkas and chapattis over parathas and puris. I am a big fan of tandoori rotis and kulchas too, they are delicious with minimum oil or butter! Also, go for gobi, palak stuffing in breads over potato and paneer.

Selective eating, doesn’t sound so hard, does it? I’ve always been told that early, low carb dinners are good. I am working on it. As long as the food fills me up, I good with a beautifully flavoured grilled chicken with a side of vegetables with a just a spoonful of great sauce!

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