I have sort of hidden from this blog, for the past few weeks. You see, I started a four letter word on New Year’s Day… D.I.E.T. For one accustomed to adding those lovely pats of butter to sautes, and covering things with scrumptious gooey cheese and washing it down with a nice glass of Zinfandel, it has been hard. Thus, I have cowardly hidden from the food community, for several weeks.
It is time for me to put on my big girl pants (Yes, I see the additional humor in that statement) and face the challenges of creating palatable cuisine, without the crutch of copious amounts of cholesterol laden high fat dairy products and other delicious death traps. Anyone can make things taste good bathed in pork or butter fat. If you can make a delectable dish, which is actually good for you as well, then you have some real talent.
So far I have had mixed results in my endeavor to reduce the calories in my cooking, and make it more healthy. I have certainly had a few failures, but some dishes either had no noticeable taste difference after being reworked, or actually had better flavor or texture in the healthy version. I also studied the packaging of some of the light frozen meals I’ve gotten, to try and figure out what tricks they use to keep calorie counts down. This has helped me come up with a couple new techniques, that have improved the overall quality of some of the dishes I make in my home kitchen.
Even with all the fancy tweaks I have come up with, to cook healthier low calorie meals at home, the biggest success I have had in reducing calorie intake has been through careful measurement. As Americans, we have come to associate the over-sized meals served by restaurants, with what appropriate portion sizes are, but that is very far from the truth. Most restaurant meals are roughly double portions, many times even more. I wasn’t too surprised by true portion sizes of meats, but once I started measuring out starch portions, I was in for a bit of a shock. The quantity of pasta and rice I had been eating was double or even triple what a real portion should be.
Through carefully accounting for all the calories I consume in a day, and filling out meals with lots of fresh vegetables, I have managed to stay on track so far. I am already becoming more accustomed to realistic portions, and have come up with a few new dishes that I really enjoy. I will begin sharing some of them here over the coming weeks. It may not be easy for a chubby foodie like myself, to make these changes, but I am glad I am making them. I have even enjoyed the challenge of cooking in a more healthy way.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece.