Vegetable Rules

Perhaps you've noticed in my first two articles that I mention healthy eating. Please don't take me completely for a health nut! I'm not entirely, though "a nut" is a whole other debate! I love to eat and have had to watch my diet and waistline since ...(honestly I can't remember when) but let's just say, a really long time., like decades.

Been fat, not really. Of course I am not talking about the Freshman 20+ I put on in college. (I know it's supposed to be the Freshman 15 but there were too many great pizzas to be devoured and Taco Hell runs on the way home from the bars between midnight and 3 am!).

So to off-set depriving diet tactics (just drink 150 oz. Of diet Coke today and nothing else), I have learned that vegetables rule. All diets, even the strictest of them, let you eat filling quantities of vegetables (no I'm not talking about potatoes here). The higher the water content, the more "admissible" the veggie.

Take the lettuce leaf, that is one item that never has to be counted or weighed in diets. Does anyone even know the caloric value in a leaf of lettuce? (2 calories? 5?). Certainly fewer than the double chocolate latté from the coffee shop or an oreo cookie.

Raw celery sticks is another. Why I've heard many times that it takes more calories to chew, digest and eliminate the celery stick than its caloric value.

If that is so, why can't we dine on celery alone? Because we'd die of boredom! Skinny, but bored to tears.

I don't know about you, but I need variety. I need to feel like each meal should feel guilty even if it's "healthy". So I pack the most raw, high water-content vegetables into my day. These veggies fill you up without filling you out!

Now, please don't stop reading here and think, "forget this health nut!". Because I'm not. I love chocolate, especially large dark chunks while watching the evening movie on TV (great dieting tactic). I'm enjoying the Lindt "Douceur Cannelle" "cinnamon treat" in a milk chocolate version, a gift from my friend Alison this past weekend (as if the Easter Bunny would be on strike at our house with children ages 9 and 6!).

If I really listened to my cravings and body, I'd be stuffing nacho chips SMOTHERED in hot cheese down my throat several times a day; indulging in huge portions of fettuccini Alfredo (with lots of freshly grated Parmesan please!); and I think I could honestly scarf down two ENTIRE Big-Macs (hey, do I get $3.00 for mentioning Big Mac in my blog?!) , toss back a biggie Coke and fries before tucking into the caramel sundae with nuts. I should mention that pizza would be a daily staple in my diet (especially the deep dish million cheeses one from Pizza Hut). But if I did, I might be a bit... Well... heavy in the hips. So I turn to vegetables.

I love working with vegetables because they are so versatile. They can take on any flavor you want them to have. The can be camouflaged, hidden and secretly added, unbeknownst to even the biggest die-hard vegetable hater (children included). Eating more veggies means satiating that big appetite that many of us exercise.

So my mission in the kitchen it get the highest flavor and "guilty" feeling from a dish that I prepare without blowing the caloric intake in any given 24-hour period. (now I devote my time to other fun foods like dips and snacks, meats, fish, seafood, fruits and of course savory pies and tarts-- and desserts!)

To entice you with a recipe (the first on her blog!!) is a quickie creamy Cole slaw that takes little time to whip up. The mild curry gives it a slightly sweet twist.

I don't skimp on the mayo here because, hey, like I said, I not really a health nut!

Creamy Curried cole slaw

1/2 head of white cabbage ( I can't buy bags of shredded cabbage where I live)
1/2 cup boiling water
2/3 cup mayonnaise, any type
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon safflower or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Finely chop or thinly slice cabbage; place in medium work bowl; bring water to boil and pour over shredded cabbage; toss with spoon til water is warm and finish breaking down cabbage by "kneading" it with hands for several minutes or until desired crunchiness. Drain off excess water. Stir in grated carrot, if using.

In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, oil, curry powder, salt and pepper; whisk until creamy. Pour over cabbage/carrot mix. Toss well, coating as evenly as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve, letting flavors blend for a minimum of 15 minutes.


Blogger Alison said...

I love curry.

I'm going to try this one. In fact, I'm going to run out before the store closes and get some cabbage. (It's Sunday, ya know!)

11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

Sounds good! I need vegetables dishes right now.

3:05:00 AM  

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