Dearest Miss Rosa,
Bated breath, you say? Desperation? Sure. I got your back. I’m glad you don’t think it’s all butter, bacon fat, and liver failure around here. It often is, but sometimes I like to give our livers something they can use.
Here are ten things you might enjoy, all of which you can adjust to fit the GI diet and your fabulous new figure. Whenever we’re cutting back, I increase the amount of spice that goes into things, which makes it easier to go without the fat. While there’s popular research that suggests certain spices affect one’s metabolism favourably, I find that the biggest thing is that we eat less and also more slowly when there’s more zing to things, which means that after 20 minutes of eating we feel satisfied, not disgustingly full. (Also, don’t forget that fat is your friend sometimes too, you know?)
Avgolemono – this lemony chicken broth and rice soup is perfect when paired with a little whole grain bread and a salad (salads need not be boring … but that’s a whole other post). You can substitute vegetable stock, if you like. Also, homemade chicken stock goes a long way – start with better quality chicken (free-range/organic), and veggie scraps. I like homemade because you can control the salt and fat that goes into it. Better for dinners or weekend lunches, as it doesn’t re-heat as well as other soups.
Red bean soup – this soup contains an impressive amount of fibre, thanks to the red beans and sweet potatoes, and almost no fat. Reheats well, and if you use less liquid it’s versatile as a dip or spread.
Winter chili – similar in taste and ingredients to the red bean soup, to make this a little more GI-friendly, use low-carb beer or skip the beer all together and use stock or water.
Easy tomato curry – use low-fat coconut milk, yogurt, or buttermilk, and this will be all kinds of all right. Even better the next day, over whatever grain you like. We eat a lot of brown rice, but you could certainly serve it over barley, bulgur, or kasha.
Chana masala – another dish that’s even better the next day. Eat it as a side dish, or as a main dish with low-fat raita and brown rice.
Tomato sauce on pasta – well-tested by the Internet, this one is flavourful, and a complete cinch to make. It’s also super versatile. Best made with sub-par tomatoes, which benefit from a long cooking time. The longer you roast the tomatoes, the better. The olive oil unlocks the lycopene in the tomatoes, which makes the dish a cancer-fighting super entrée.
Lamb burgers – use fresh local lamb and whole wheat buns (make sure there’s no secret high-fructose corn syrup hidden in the ingredients list), and you will be all kinds of pleased. Alternately, if you make a few adjustments to the venison burgers (no butter, no brie, and do the duxelles with olive oil), they can be quite good for you as well.
Leftovers muffins – when you end up with leftover rice or whatever, make these muffins. Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and applesauce instead of melted butter to cut calories, and low-fat yogurt or yogurt and buttermilk instead of the yogurt-milk combo, and honey instead of sugar.
Olive oil orange cookies – again, use whole wheat instead of white flour, a whole wheat pastry flour which will produce a nicer textured cookie. There’s also whole wheat flour now that’s ground so fine it can be used in place of all-purpose with relative ease – I’ve tried it and don’t mind it one bit. And use applesauce again, but this time instead of the wine. I haven’t tried liquid sugars like honey or agave syrup with this recipe yet, but if you do, let me know how it works out.
Carrot cake with blood orange – cut down the sugar by substituting honey, about 1/2-cup, and go with the whole wheat flour, which you won’t even notice here. You can make this into muffins if you want it to be more portable.
Of course, there are a million things you can do and a ton of resources online as well (I’d be happy to point you to some, or some others, if you’re interested, but I’ve already taken up a lot of space with no pictures). Stay tuned for a few wholesome, healthy recipes this week as well, as we’re tightening our belts a bit – nothing sexy about back fat in a bikini, as you may know. Tomorrow I’m making something like chana dal, and I’m pretty certain it will be a spicy little vegan number you will be able to carry to work with you. The day after will not be particularly healthy (probably), but I’ll keep you in mind so you don’t get too bored and fall off the wagon.
PS – because there weren’t any pictures here and this doesn’t count as a recipe post, here’s a picture of my cat. For visual interest. And because I don’t care who thinks I’m weird.