Foodgasms for Dieters, and People Who Want the Salt, Fat and Sugar Out of Their Food
How DO You Enjoy Food Without Fat and Sugar?
If you have chosen to go on a diet, either for weight loss or to improve your health, chances are that you need to limit some of your favorite ingredients. So how do you create foods that give you the same emotional satisfaction?
What combination of flavors would you be least likely to try?
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Find a New Way to Love Your Food
For many of us, the day will come when we are told that we are suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, food allergies or other food related illnesses. If you have used food for comfort or socialization, or even if you just love to eat, the need to give up our favorite foods feels the same as the death of a lifelong friend. There is a genuine grieving process involved: anger because this happened to you, despair at you deprivation, denial that dieting is actually necessary, bargaining that you will accept the consequences tomorrow for a little bite today, and finally acceptance when you realize that nothing else is going to work to achieve your wellness goals.
But dieting does not have to be a death sentence. It is possible to make beautiful and tasteful foods in a healthful way. By following these suggestions, you can learn to make friends with your new food choices.
Educate Your Tastebuds. Take the time to savor the foods that you are using so that you can become acquainted with their flavor. Many people eat with a lot of gusto, and that often means a lot of speed. How can you know what flavors you will actually like if you haven’t taken the time to truly taste them?
Your tongue has the capability to distinguish between five different tastes, sweet, sour, savory, salty and bitter. The best recipes will either achieve a balance between tastes or favor one of them. You need to learn what combination of sensations will give you the satisfaction that you seek. Make it a point to set aside time to try some new spices. Experiment with some vegetables that you may not have tasted before. Try new ways to cook your food. Above all, take your time when you are eating.
Work With the Positive. Don’t dwell on what you can’t have. Rather, experiment with what you can. Find reasonable substitutes for your favorite flavors. For example, if you are a sweet eater, try making your favorite recipe with the sweetness of fruit or honey instead of sugar. Have the occasional fried food, but make it with healthy oils. And never be afraid to try something new.
Go for the Bold. Spices are one of the few food additives that are acceptable on almost any diet. Use them with abandon. Find herb based condiments and rubs for your meat or veggies. Eat peppers. Try a little horseradish in your bean based dip. You will be amazed at how wonderful a little heat can be in a formerly boring dish.
Try a Recipe Remake. Take your favorite taboo recipe and brainstorm ways to make a similar dish with acceptable ingredients. For example, make your favorite custard with egg whites instead of yolks, use evaporated skimmed milk or fat free buttermilk, and sweeten it with stevia. Then go all out with the vanilla and some orange zest. Go through the ingredients one at a time and see if you can think of a reasonable substitute for whatever you can’t have, and then give the recipe a try. Just keep at it until you find your new love.
Share the Process. If you are a social eater, then become a social dieter. Have tasting parties and share the discovery process with those you love. Get feedback from your family and friends.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to find the joy of cooking again.
I had a friend many years ago that was a chef in a chinese restaurant, and he told me that the secret to the most flavorful dishes is often the sauce. You can use the same meats, the same vegetables, and the same cooking method and still come out with dishes that are both unique and flavorful based on the sauce that is used. Here are some of the most flavorful low-calorie sauce combinations that I have come up with so far:
A Hot Asian Sauce. This one is simple. Just get your favorite cayenne pepper sauce and your favorite low sodium soy sauce and mix them together in equal portions. This is rich and spicy, and has virtually no calories.
Sweet Mustard Sauce. Take your favorite dijon mustard and mix it with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and the equivalent of two tablespoons brown sugar splenda or brown sugar flavored sweet n low. Blend it well and then adjust the sweetness level to your taste by adding the different ingredients until you are satisfied. This tastes like a honey mustard sauce, but it does not have the calories that honey or regular brown sugar provides. The amount of calories that it does have depends on the type of sweetner you use.
Sugar Free Spicy Barbeque Sauce. To make this sauce, you must add two small cans of tomato paste and three tablespoons of water to a small saucepan and stir until the paste loosens up. Then add sugar substitute equivalent to two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon chili powder, four cloves of minced garlic, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two whole cinnamon sticks and stir. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add one teaspoon liquid smoke (optional). Boil for only one minute, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Allow to steep for about ten minutes. The flavor of this can be quite strong, so be sure to taste and make any flavor adjustments that you require before using it in a dish. I actually love this sauce the way it is, but many people don't care for a taste that strong, so feel free to make it your own.
That's all I have for today. I am experimenting with some other flavors, so check back with me once in a while.
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Hey! It's turkey day!
Here in the US it is Thanksgiving, and there could not be a better time to begin you foodgasm journey.
Thanksgiving is traditionally a day when food is a plenty, and it is a great time to experiment with new flavors and new ways to prepare foods. But even if you choose to eat your usual dishes in your usual fashion, the day after Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to experiment with diet.
After all, the favorite thanksgiving food for most people is turkey. Because it is one of the lower fat protiens, it is a favorite food of dieters as well. So why not experiment with some flavorful yet lowfat uses for your leftovers?
Here are a few suggestions:
Turkey salads: Turkey is good in almost any salad. You can cut up a few ounces of turkey breast and toss it on top of your salad mix. It is especially good with some added apple, citrus and/or some nuts.
Turkey chili: With the cold weather coming to most of the country, there is no better time to cube some leftover turkey and add it to a pot of beans and tomatoes with some chilis and onions stirred in. Add your chili seasoning and viola!
Turkey wraps: Get some whole grain tortillas and fill them with veggies and turkey pieces. Use no fat mayo, or substitute mustard or horseradish or your favorite fat free dressing. With a little experimentation you can create your own flavor sauce.
Turkey stir fry: Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and toss in your favorite fresh veggies, Add your turkey and your favorite cooking sauce and quickly stir. Let fry for two or three minutes and you are ready to go.
Turkey skewers: Just because your turkey is already cooked doesn't mean it can't be skewered and grilled. Add your favorite grilling veggies to the stick with your turkey. Consider adding some hearty fruits as well (pineapple is wonderful grilled.)
These are but a few of the things you can do to add flavor to your food while you cut the calories from your diet. So, happy turkey day and enjoy!
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One Healthy, Tasty Snack
Popcorn is a snack that is good on almost any diet, especially now that 100 calorie microwave popcorn packs are readily available. But unbuttered, unsalted popcorn can be very bland.
To jazz up your popcorn without adding fat or salt, use this trick: While still hot, shake a serving of butter flavoring and some spices onto your popcorn. Garlic powder is good. Taco or chili seasoning mix is great if you like the heat. Also, try the various flavors of Mrs. Dash. Whatever your favorite flavor is, it can be used to make this healthy snack.
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