Quick, Fast and Easy South Beach Diet Recipes
I gained 65 pounds during my last pregnancy. Thank God I was a small woman to begin with, but that is an astronomical number for anyone. After the birth of my last daughter, I realized I was in real trouble concerning my weight. Add to that the fact that I had gestational diabetes that was insulin injection controlled - and my concerns only grew more. My doctor told me that if I did not lead a healthy and active lifestyle, I would more than likely have type 2 diabetes by age 40. There was no way I ever wanted to have the blood sugar issues I had while I was pregnant, so I started the South Beach Diet Online. At first glance I was a little skeptical because I thought it too closely resembled the Atkins Diet, you know - the one where all you can eat is meat and there is much controversy over the diet's impact on long term health. However, I realized the step of avoiding carbohydrates was only for a limited time, until you had the carbohydrate cravings under control and until you were at a healthy place to continue losing weight slowly. There are 3 phases to the South Beach Diet and a fellow HubPages author explains them nicely in her article South Beach Diet Information.
While I was on the South Beach Diet I used recipes from the website, I used recipes I learned from fellow South Beach Diet Online followers, and I used recipes I created on my own. You see, I hate to cook and many of the South Beach Diet recipes call for too many ingredients and too many steps. I used the South Beach Friendly Food List and made my own recipes that required minimal preparation, minimal ingredients, and minimal wait. I also like to eat when I'm ready to eat without waiting an hour for chicken to cook. The more I have to wait, the more I am tempted to stray from my diet. I am going to share some of my favorite recipes with you and I hope you will enjoy them. Some will sound pretty gross, like the black beans and cottage cheese, but I think you will be very surprised if you try them. I will add recipes to this page as I remember them because, unfortunately, I do not normally write them down. I have them all in my head and I add ingredients to taste and not by a book. Before I start with the recipes, I want to share some secrets I learned a long the way that may be helpful.
- Extra virgin olive oil causes your body to digest food slower, leaving you feeling full longer. I cook, brown, and fry all my meats with extra virgin olive oil. I even drip a tiny amount into the pan before I scramble eggs. Please note the particular word 'tiny'.
- It is a good idea to prepare small, easy snacks for the times between meals when you want something to munch on. I am a texture snacker and I like crunchy foods. I make sure I have a steady supply of sliced celery, sliced cucumbers, and nuts on hand. Other good snack ideas are fat-free yogurt, fat-free cottage cheese and reduced-fat cheese cubes. Make sure you get your daily recommended amounts of dairy, especially if you are a woman. But don't eat too much dairy or you will notice your scale climbing up on you.
- Try to eat at least every 3 or 4 hours. Do not go more than 5 hours without eating, otherwise your body will go into what I call ‘starvation mode' and you will be more likely to grab the chips or cookies that are quick and easy.
Cucumber and Cottage Cheese Paprika Slices
Ingredients: 1 cucumber, a small tub of cottage cheese, and a paprika shaker
Directions: Slice the cucumber and arrange the slices in a single row around a plate. Place a small dab of cottage cheese in the center of each slice. Sprinkle the slices with paprika.
Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, ¼ pound ground turkey or chicken, one large eggplant, 1 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup low-sugar pasta sauce
Directions: Brown your ground meat and set it aside. Cut the eggplant into ¼ inch thick slices, leaving on the skin. Brush both sides of each slice with extra virgin olive oil and bake on cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the eggplant slices from the oven and spread each slice with a small amount of pasta sauce, cover the sauce with cheese, and sprinkle with ground beef. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. (Although this recipe has more steps that I like, the work is more than worth the results. This is one of my favorite recipes ever.)
Ingredients: 4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup low-sugar pasta sauce, and 1 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions: Cover the bottom of your baking pan with a very thin layer of pasta sauce, place chicken breasts over the layer of sauce, spoon the remainder of the sauce onto each chicken breast, and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken from oven and cover chicken breasts with the fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Protein Packed Eggs
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, a small amount of ground turkey or chicken, 2 eggs or egg whites, a small amount of fat-free cheddar shredded cheese, and pepper
Directions: Put the extra virgin olive oil in the pan and brown the ground meat. Beat together the eggs, the shredded cheese, and the pepper while you are waiting for the meat to finish cooking. When the meat is done cooking, pour the egg mixture into the pan and scramble.
Black Bean Cottage Cheese
Ingredients: ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup black beans
Directions: Drain the black beans, place the measured black beans in a bowl with the cottage cheese, and stir.
No-Bread Sandwiches (aka Lunchmeat Rollups)
Ingredients: Any lunch meat that is low in fat and that is not honey roasted or maple flavored (I prefer turkey bologna, turkey breast, or ham) and any cheese that is also reduced fat (I learned that the lighter colored the cheese, the less fat it contains. I prefer mozzarella or swiss cheese)
Directions: Place a slice of lunch meat on a plate, cover it with a slice of cheese, slather the cheese with either reduced-fat mayonnaise or mustard, and roll it up.
Sweet Yogurt - (This is one I adapted slightly from the SBD website)
Ingredients: ½ cup fat-free plain yogurt, ½ teaspoon imitation vanilla (watch this one closely as some vanillas have a high sugar content), 1 teaspoon artificial sweetener, and a pinch a cinnamon
Directions: Blend together the yogurt, the vanilla, and the artificial sweetener. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
The above recipes are so simple a young child could do them. And thank goodness for that since I am not a person who spends much time in the kitchen. There are many, many more superb recipes available for the South Beach Diet. If you are interested I encourage you to purchase a cookbook for the diet plan or to join the South Beach Diet. I personally own a few different cookbooks offered for the South Beach Diet and I love the recipes. The book is well worth the expense.