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upupdowndown
01-22-2010, 05:00 PM
So right now the husband and I are following through on our vow to drop weight and get back into shape, and this has led to us being on a diet. I thought it'd be nice if we could talk about what we all do in efforts to eat healthy while still eating well.

A couple of points from my own experience:

- personally, I can really only eat right if I'm enjoying what I'm eating. So dieting for me is all about making sure I have time to spend in the kitchen and that I really think about new and exciting things to cook.

- learn to make friends with vegetables. There are so many good ways to cook 'em that you probably didn't have growing up, you guys! I've mentioned before my love affair with roasting veggies, and it's for a reason: it's a simple, low-fat way to make tasty veggies that often have a great sweet touch to them.

- a few luxury items, sparingly used, can really help make your meals taste great without adding a lot of calories or fat. Fancy, intensely flavored cheeses like imported Parmesan or gorgonzola are great at this - you can use just a little and get a lot of rich flavor without adding a lot of fat or calories.

- I have a total sweet tooth (and I know how to bake), so that's a challenge. One workaround I've found is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea. It's a black tea with three types of cinnamon, orange peel, and sweet cloves. It's spicy-sweet and awesome, and I've taken to brewing it at work instead of having pop.

what do you guys do when you're trying to eat healthy?

Ample Vigour
01-22-2010, 05:05 PM
I keep a food diary, which lets me keep track of how many calories I have left in the day. Junk food calling to me? If I can fit it in, I can have it.

Or you can bite the bullet and go full paleo. I hear it does wonders, but you had better like meat. I mean REALLY like meat.

Marfy
01-23-2010, 10:50 AM
I have a massive sweet tooth. Apples and yogurt are my favorite way to feet it, and organic/sugar free/HEALTHY/whatever juice if I must. And if I have a candy bar every now and then, I don't sweat it.

Red Hedgehog
01-24-2010, 05:13 PM
I think I posted this before, but there are so many spices and flavorings that essentially have no calories and can make anything taste better. So there's really no excuse for saying something is "flavorless".

upupdowndown
01-24-2010, 05:36 PM
I think I posted this before, but there are so many spices and flavorings that essentially have no calories and can make anything taste better. So there's really no excuse for saying something is "flavorless".

Bingo. I grill up a truly terrifying amount of chicken breast on the weekend so that we can have protein to pack for lunch during the week, and I always use at least two or three different spice blends. This week, some of the chicken breasts are sweet barbecue, some are done with a smoky steakhouse blend, and some are done with a "Greektown blend". We order from The Spice House in Chicago which has really great stuff for reasonable prices and a wicked selection of custom spice blends named after Chicago neighborhoods. (My current fav is the Hyde Park Seasoning, named after Obama's neighborhood, which includes Hawaiian sea salt, shallots, and African grains of paradise.)

Another trick: plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt is so your friend. You can make tasty dips with it in a snap with the right seasonings, you can stir it into sauces to make them taste richer and have a thicker texture, you can use it as a sour cream substitute, and you can blend your own yogurt to take to lunch - I'm a current fan of mixing mine with some whey powder for protein and orange extract, cinnamon, and a little Splenda or stevia. Oh, and you can use it to make really good biscuits!

Sven
01-27-2010, 07:28 PM
Non-fat cottage cheese is even better than Yogurt, FWIW. I buy it, then take my stick blender to it to smooth it out. Toss that in with some egg white scrambled eggs and you've got an awesomely healthy breakfast.

Also - microwave popcorn is your friend. As are almonds, which have an insane amount of health benefits with not much caloric content if you don't go overboard.

Dizzy
01-27-2010, 07:29 PM
Microwave popcorn is healthy?

Sven
01-27-2010, 07:38 PM
Microwave popcorn is healthy?

No, but it's virtually zero calories and eating a couple handfuls between meals helps reduce cravings and you'll eat less when you do sit down. Obviously it's better to get air-popped stuff, but I haven't had access to a popcorn maker since 1986 or so.

You can use veggie sticks or whatever, but I tend to be out on the road or at least away from the office enough that they won't keep cool. Plus, I hate raw vegetables, which is astounding given how much I'll eat when they're cooked.

Tomm Guycot
01-27-2010, 09:35 PM
Bdazzld is going to destroy this thread with her tales of tastiness.

Ample Vigour
01-27-2010, 10:52 PM
Non-fat cottage cheese is even better than Yogurt

You are a danger to yourself and to the Republic.

Silent Noise
01-27-2010, 11:17 PM
Need a snack that will slim you down and be insanely portable at the same time? Look no further the wonderful dried fruit! Avalible in apple, pineapple, peach, cranberry, grape, plum, fig and many many more. Avalible in your local grocery store.

Red Hedgehog
01-27-2010, 11:20 PM
Need a snack that will slim you down and be insanely portable at the same time? Look no further the wonderful dried fruit! Avalible in apple, pineapple, peach, cranberry, grape, plum, fig and many many more. Avalible in your local grocery store.

Watch it! Due to the necessary lack of water in dried fruits, they won't fill you up so you may end up eating a lot of them. Which is bad for bad calorie reasons and digestive ones!

Ample Vigour
01-27-2010, 11:23 PM
Watch it! Due to the necessary lack of water in dried fruits, they won't fill you up so you may end up eating a lot of them. Which is bad for bad calorie reasons and digestive ones!

Eat two bags of dried apricots and ten hours later you will stagger from the bathroom a changed man.

That is to say a man who has left the tattered remnants of his manflower on the tile floor.

Silent Noise
01-27-2010, 11:26 PM
Watch it! Due to the necessary lack of water in dried fruits, they won't fill you up so you may end up eating a lot of them. Which is bad for bad calorie reasons and digestive ones!

Yes, but as a snack it's fine, for meals no.

upupdowndown
01-28-2010, 03:54 AM
Bdazzld is going to destroy this thread with her tales of tastiness.

God I hope so. I read one of her posts a few days ago and thought, "She totally needs to post in the eating right thread."

So for those carnivores reading this thread, what meats do you stick to when you're trying to eat healthy? For us it tends to be chicken breast, pork tenderloin, and turkey. Lean beef every once in a while. (On the veggie side, we'll also do eggs, seitan, and tofu.)

Tomm Guycot
01-28-2010, 12:04 PM
As Bdazzld is losing weight, our options for eating are a little bit limited--especially with my male desire to prepare hamburgers for my lady.

It's instinctual.

Last night I made really good Turkey Burgers that avoid tasting like "Turkey Burgers" in the negative sense. So here's what I did (sorry I speak in Weight Watchers points... it's how I've had to adapt to ascertaining a food's healthiness. Just assume low points = good. A Red Robin Natural Burger (the lowest point good burger you can buy) is 12 points).

Ground turkey purchased in a patty (Jenny O?) - 4 pts
pour wourcester (sp?) sauce on the patty - 1 pt (rounded up)
sprinkle Lawry's Seasoning Salt on patty - 0 pts
flip and repeat

Prepare on George Foreman grill ~ 5 mins

serve on

White Bread Orowheat Sandwich Thin, toasted - 1 pt

with (optional)

Kraft thin swiss cheese slice - 2 pts
lettuce - 0 pt
tomato - 0 pt
mustard - 0 pt
ketchup - 0 pt

That was Bdazzld's. I had mine on toasted sourdough with cheese and a tomato.

Not only were they delicious, but also very very filling (which is rare from a low-point dinner). We would have taken pictures but from the first bite we kind of forgot about the world until the burgers were gone moments later. Maybe next time.

bdazzld
01-28-2010, 01:10 PM
I think I posted this before, but there are so many spices and flavorings that essentially have no calories and can make anything taste better. So there's really no excuse for saying something is "flavorless".

Truth.

bdazzld
01-28-2010, 01:17 PM
My apologies ahead of time, Weight Watchers has my mind trained to points. So most things I post will be in relation to that. Points are calculated from calories, fat grams, fiber.

tortilla (plus brand, extra fiber low fat) 2 pts
1 cup fatfree refried beans 1 pt
1/3 cup lowfat 4 cheese mexican mix by WW 2pts
1 Tablespoon pace nonfat red sauce 0 pts
1 morningstar farms frozen black bean patty 2pts

micro the patty per instructions on the box, break into pieces

place the tortilla on cookie sheet, spread refried beans on the tortilla, add pace red sauce, sprinkle 1/2 the cheese, add broken up patty, sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Bake at 450 for 10-15 mins.

The original is 13 pts, this version is 7pts. Add an additional 3 if you top it off with another tortilla, and you can cut the cheese in half if you just put it on top. :)

For anyone who isn't WW wise, just know it's low calorie, low fat, and delicious.

bdazzld
01-28-2010, 04:01 PM
But WW members have sworn by it, I'm just a bit intimidated by quinoa atm :(

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Recipe

I used a red quinoa here, but you can use whatever kind you like, white/buff colored seems to be the most common. Also, a few notes and tips from the book: low-fat soy milk may replace the low fat milk, blueberries may replace the blackberries, dark honey may replace the agave nectar, and walnuts may replace the pecans.

1 cup organic 1% low fat milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (hs note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar, such as Madhava brand

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

Marfy
01-28-2010, 04:06 PM
Wow. That sounds really excellent. I've always wanted to try quinoa, but it's pricey and I don't know what to do with. Thanks!

Edit - do the cooks of talking time think that the agave nectar/dark honey could be replaced by maple syrup? It's used as a sweetener all the time in my vegan baking recipes, so I have some on hand. Maybe use slightly less than 4 teaspoons?

upupdowndown
01-28-2010, 04:16 PM
Wow. That sounds really excellent. I've always wanted to try quinoa, but it's pricey and I don't know what to do with. Thanks!

Edit - do the cooks of talking time think that the agave nectar/dark honey could be replaced by maple syrup? It's used as a sweetener all the time in my vegan baking recipes, so I have some on hand. Maybe use slightly less than 4 teaspoons?

If'n it's real maple syrup and not too light, yes. Go light at first and adjust to taste.

Marfy
01-28-2010, 04:27 PM
If'n it's real maple syrup and not too light, yes. Go light at first and adjust to taste.

Yeah, it is. It's not top shelf stuff, but it's several shelves above Aunt Jemima. Maybe the bottle said grade b? I dunno. I had three choices and this was the second most expensive.

upupdowndown
01-28-2010, 05:24 PM
Yeah, it is. It's not top shelf stuff, but it's several shelves above Aunt Jemima. Maybe the bottle said grade b? I dunno. I had three choices and this was the second most expensive.

try it and report back!

Marfy
01-29-2010, 11:33 AM
This recipie is De-fucking-lish. The maple syrup worked pretty well, but I have quite a sweet tooth. I just drizzled it on, maybe a little more than a whole teaspoon? I also put in some extra cinnamon, and it ended up being a little too much. I think I'll try a whole teaspoon next time. Didn't really measure it.

Marfy
01-29-2010, 04:11 PM
I am spamming this forum like nobody's business. I apologize. But the folk that read this thread might be interested in a post I made in the brag about what you cooked today thread. http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=667696&postcount=357

It might be a little high in sugar because of the dried fruit, maple syrup and likely the granola, but I'm sure it can be easily modified into whatever. Museli would also work well in this, though it would be less crunchy.

bdazzld
01-31-2010, 12:58 AM
This recipie is De-fucking-lish. The maple syrup worked pretty well, but I have quite a sweet tooth. I just drizzled it on, maybe a little more than a whole teaspoon? I also put in some extra cinnamon, and it ended up being a little too much. I think I'll try a whole teaspoon next time. Didn't really measure it.

How hard was it to cook the quinoa? Looks delish, any pictures taken to commemorate the edible delights?

Marfy
02-01-2010, 07:15 AM
How hard was it to cook the quinoa? Looks delish, any pictures taken to commemorate the edible delights?

No pictures, sadly. It was gone too quick for that. Quinoa is VERY easy to cook. Boil water, add quinoa, cook for however many minutes the package says or until water is absorbed. Done.

I have about a cup of quinoa left over, and I don't know quite what to do with it. I might just steam some vegetables, but I'd like to add some flavor to the quinoa other than salt. Which, to be honest, is my favorite flavor.

I was gone for the weekend so I stuck the left over warm cinnamon quinoa in the freezer, figuring it would spoil in the fridge anyway. I'm curious to see if it's still any good. The recipe made way too much for me to eat at once (yay roommates) and I don't really know how to adjust portions.

Today I made a...thing with some left over whole wheat couscous, cucumbers, lettuce, almonds, broccoli, bean sprouts and quinoa added at the last second for some crunch. I also added in some olive oil and soy sauce, because this shit was getting pretty bland. Whole wheat couscous kind of has the consistency of gruel, and the fact that I used some frozen veggies and water to help un-solidify the couscous did not help. The almond flavor was really nice, so almond milk probably would have been a better choice for a liquid. Anyway, I wouldn't call this tasty, but it used up a bunch of stuff I had lying around that was about to go bad!

bdazzld
02-01-2010, 10:15 AM
Nice! Any guess on if quinoa could be cooked in a rice cooker?

Marfy
02-01-2010, 10:55 AM
Probably? Quinoa cooks very very quickly though, at least in my experience. I don't really know how rice cookers work, but as long as you can set it on a pretty short timer, I don't see why not.

Violentvixen
02-01-2010, 12:27 PM
No pictures, sadly. It was gone too quick for that. Quinoa is VERY easy to cook. Boil water, add quinoa, cook for however many minutes the package says or until water is absorbed. Done.

Our basic prep is this:

x cups quinoa (1.5 cups seems to be a meal for one person)
boil 2x cups chicken broth
Once boiling, add the quinoa
Boil for 15 minutes, stir occasionally
Turn off the heat and cover pot with lid
Let sit 5 minutes

Serve! The only way too mess up the quinoa is to not boil it long enough. Make sure you do the full 15 minutes.

I was gone for the weekend so I stuck the left over warm cinnamon quinoa in the freezer, figuring it would spoil in the fridge anyway. I'm curious to see if it's still any good. The recipe made way too much for me to eat at once (yay roommates) and I don't really know how to adjust portions.

We've also reheated week-old quinoa, as has the coworker of mine. Nothing wrong with it at all.

Nice! Any guess on if quinoa could be cooked in a rice cooker?

The bag of quinoa we had said to just use the "white rice" instructions.

Ethan
02-06-2010, 04:35 PM
I'm very hungry but still have an hour or two before my Fun Club meal is done, so I've made myself an Alton Brown diet sandwich. He apparently lost a shitload of weight by replacing some of his meals with sardine and avocado sandwiches. They are extremely filling and they taste quite good, but they are fairly low in calories, and all the fat content is "good fat".

Marfy
03-28-2010, 02:57 PM
So what's the consensus on stove-popped popcorn, cooked with just a tad of vegetable oil? New Roommate makes it at least once a day and makes the kitchen smell delicious for hours on end, so I broke down and bought some. She usually seasons hers with...I don't even know what, tons of stuff, but I usually stick to salt, paprika and occasionally some garlic powder. There can't be a lot of calories in this, but nor can there be a lot of nutrients, right?

Mr. J
04-01-2010, 07:18 PM
Tofu, I've tried to cook this stuff several times now and I have failed completely each time. I always have trouble getting the tofu "crispy" and letting all of the flavors absorb into it. I've seen recipes that say to marinate it, but I've also seen recipes that say any moisture in it is bad. People here seem to be good at working with it. Anyone have any advice. Oh, this is pertaining to stir fry.

Luana
04-01-2010, 09:48 PM
sardine and avocado sandwiches

Oh, god, that sounds delicious and I think I'm going to go buy some avocados right now.

So what's the consensus on stove-popped popcorn, cooked with just a tad of vegetable oil?

Well, the vegetable oil's going to add fat, no matter what. I prefer air-popped corn, but if you're trying to be health-conscious, you could always try olive oil (maybe a light one vs. extra-virgin). If you're not into olive oil, then peanut oil would probably be a good choice because of its super-high smoke point.

Marfy
04-02-2010, 01:19 AM
I've been told that olive oil makes popcorn taste like shit. Has anyone here ever tried it? I put olive oil on damn near everything I eat, though, so maybe.

Kirin
04-02-2010, 06:43 AM
Tofu, I've tried to cook this stuff several times now and I have failed completely each time. I always have trouble getting the tofu "crispy" and letting all of the flavors absorb into it. I've seen recipes that say to marinate it, but I've also seen recipes that say any moisture in it is bad. People here seem to be good at working with it. Anyone have any advice. Oh, this is pertaining to stir fry.

If you want it to come out anything close to "crispy" you should indeed try to squeeze all the moisture out (put the block between two plates with a heavy can on top for a while, or something, before you cut it up), and then dip it in something or put a sauce on it *after* you fry it up.

On the other hand, marinating is perfectly acceptable if you want it to come out flavorful but moist. We did an awesome thing once where we marinated maybe 1/3" think slabs of tofu in balsamic vinegar, oil, and fresh garlic for a while, then just threw it on a grill while other people were cooking steaks. It was great.

bdazzld
04-26-2010, 12:31 PM
Supposedly you can also micro it in a rolled up brown paper bag. I'd do that, toss in the corn, the flavorings and just let it go. Give it a good shake and omnomnom.

Rather than marinating the tofu, could try pressing it, letting it drain a bit, then apply a dry rub on it before pan-frying?

Kylie
04-26-2010, 01:07 PM
I use the brown bag method, stapled closed, one staple at each end, with a little canola oil in the bag, with salt and paprika or curry powder or cinnamon, depending on mood. I don't like the aftertaste that olive oil lends to the stuff.

W/r/t tofu, if you're going to marinate it you have to press it first, I find. I usually press again after marinating -- some flavor is lost, but not all, and that's marinade that didn't get cross-contaminated by animal protein, so you can reuse or sauce it. As per Mr. Brown, super-soggy tofu doesn't crisp as well, but even if there's a reasonable amount of moisture, high heat will give you a tuna-tataki sort of texture experience with it.