Steamed Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce, from the new Chin Chin cookbook. Like the Salmon in Banana Leaf from my previous post, this was delicious and really easy to make. Loved them both together too. Click the pic for the recipe.
A few years ago when I was trying to lose weight (unsuccessfully) a friend plainly said to me, “If you want to lose weight, stop eating.” Fast forward to a few years later and Michael Mosley of the BBC has finally caught on to my friend’s advice. I watched his documentary recently where he concluded by recommending we fast for two non-consecutive days a week. Mosley says it works “in a similar way to the feast and famine lifestyle of cavemen, it restricts calories and gives the body a chance to repair itself”. He lost 12kg, no longer has diabetes, reduced his cholesterol and no longer snores. Sounds great doesn’t it? Based on this I bought his book which contains some menus for the fasting days and I’m assuming more detail on the health benefits.
Lucky for me, I also happen to have a couple of friends who’ve been on this diet for the last 6 months. Their results have been a little different to Mosley’s. Both of them have always been in to fitness and exercise around 4 days a week at high-intensity, including on their fasting days before their meal. More than Mosley I suspect. They say they enjoy the diet but have only lost about 1.5 – 2kg each. Not much over 6 months. The reason for this is what they eat on their non-fasting days; whatever they like without a thought of the calories. Both have realised that if they want to lose weight they should probably cut back on those days as well. Not quite the hamburger eating scenario that was promoted in the documentary.
Fortunately weight loss is not a motivator for them (both look great) and now they’re in the routine they’re happy to continue with the hope that some of the other health benefits may flow through. Not that they have any problems there either but, they’re thinking of their future.
Apparently Mosley has now relaxed his diet regime as he was losing too much weight. Perhaps he should follow the one my friends are doing.
For more information on “The Fast Diet”, click on this link. http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/michael-mosleys-five-biggest-health-myths-20130920-2u3vb.html
Along with the chicken I served Stuffed Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce and some steamed greens on the side. The eggplant is another Neil Perry recipe and absolutely stunning. I adjusted things a bit as they only had large eggplants at the supermarket and I can’t bring myself to deep-fry things while I’m trying to lose weight. I also omitted the cornflour which it didn’t really need.
I ended up roasting my larger stuffed eggplants for an hour at 180ºC under foil and then at 230ºC with no foil for 20 minutes to crisp up the meat a little. This was so delicious, much better than I ever expected. I strongly advise you to click on the pic for the recipe.
Marinated Chicken Breast with Spicy Tomato Sauce. I adapted this from a Neil Perry recipe for barbequed wings as they had none at the supermarket and rain put a stop to my BBQ plans. Instead I marinated the breasts, seared them and put them in the oven. Still pretty tasty. As usual, I left out all the oil and only used a spray in the pan first. Click the pic for Neil’s recipe.
I caught up with my friend Lwindi this morning for a spot of yoga followed by a bite to eat at the Little Bird Unbakery. It’s a new, completely raw, vegan and organic café in Ponsonby. Totally fab. My sprouted falafels were delicious as was my “Relax” tea. Can’t wait to go back and try more of their great menu.
Frank Camorra’s Roast Carrot and Quinoa Salad. This was just what I needed last night. I absolutely loved it. As usual, I cut down on the fat by not dressing the rocket and only used a spray of extra virgin olive oil to dress the quinoa and roast the carrots and onion. Click the photo if you’d like the recipe. There’s also another nice salad using freekeh on the same page though it’s probably too high in fat for the diet I’m on.
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and diced
6 spring onions, chopped
1/2 big bunch parsley, stems and leaves chopped
1 small handful mint leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon depending on your taste
spray of olive oil
Soak the bulgar in a bowl with enough water to cover for at least 1 hour. Squeeze out the excess water and add all the other ingredients, mixing well.
I served this with marinated chicken and it was really yum. A nice marinade could be a combo of chillies, thyme, garlic, crushed coriander seeds, crushed cumin seeds, crushed peppercorns, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Char-grilled lamb is also a good combo and you could marinate that for some extra flavour too.
Next time I might include a red or green chili in the tabouleh and maybe add some feta too. It’s also nice to serve with Greek yoghurt mixed with garlic, cucumber, salt, pepper, mint, parsley, dill and maybe a green chili in there too if you’re feeling up to it.
Stavroula’s Stuffed Red Capsicums from Kylie Kwong’s book “It Tastes Better”. These tasted great, the filling was super yummy and tasted fab on its own. The tops get a little charred during the roasting process but the capsicums are juicy and really sweet. I used 1/2 cup brown rice instead of what she recommended to lessen the carbs and I don’t think the dish really needed all the rice she used anyway. As usual, a spray of olive oil was all I used on the peppers and filling to hold back on the fat.
I paired the capsicums with a rocket, mint, parsley, spring onion, cucumber, cherry tomato and feta (30g) salad with a few marjoram sprigs and a grind of pepper. It went really well.