Monday, 30 April 2012

the non-fat foodie

I love Jamie Oliver both for his rustic and easy recipes and his efforts to get proper food into schools.  Unfortunately the poor guy came under fire recently for his weight, responding to an Australian journalists question on his weight withI do my best. Working in the food business is quite hard when someone is constantly asking you to try things.”

The fact is that whilst Jamie produces some pretty wonderful healthy recipes he also has some real heart attack recipes out there such as his delicious refrigerator cake:

The problem is that if you enjoy cooking it’s easy to over-indulge, tasting recipes as you go, eating the first cookie of the batch to check it came out ok, trying out new recipes.  However food and cooking is such a pleasure in life, so it’s such a shame to have to give up your love of cooking and delicious recipes in order to keep your figure.

So how can you be a slim foodie?

- One of the great things about being into cooking is cooking enjoyable food that you want to savour … food far removed from tasteless diet food.  This is something you should take advantage of … great tasting fresh food is more satisfying than processed bland food.

- look to cook with and eat the freshest ingredients, and always think of how you can up the flavour of your food … add fresh berries and chopped hazlenuts to your breakfast cereal or a spoonful of greek yoghurt to your muesli for a luxurious taste

- savour your delicious food … people tend to eat the least tasty food much quicker than the really tasty stuff … taste is only perceived in your mouth, so if it tastes good you’re going to chew it and savour the flavour

- your high foodie standards are a good thing … look for the freshest highest quality ingredients and buy organic where possible. Your kitchen creations will taste better as a result, and if something you cooked up doesn’t taste good discard it.

- when trying out recipes have people on hand to eat your output, partners and kids are good and forgiving food tasters. If no one is available to try out your food be ready to store it … you can freeze most cooked meals and a lot of desserts. If you make a full size cake you can freeze it in slices.  For other goodies like cakes and biscuits, if you can’t store them share them with your friends, colleagues or neighbours … you’ll make yourself popular with them and they won’t be around to tempt you to eat them.

- experiment with healthy taste enhancers .. I love Ndali vanilla essence to make lower-fat recipes taste creamy and cinnamon and ginger enhance sweetness and add depth to the taste of baked goods. Using molasses sugar, rather than refined sugar, adds a lovely treacally taste.

- get into garnishes, top your food with fresh herbs, they look good, add flavour and taste

- remember not to eat when you’re not hungry, either cook up for a meal time or save it for later

- when cooking you do sometimes have to taste foods as you go, but limit yourself to a teaspoon taste at each stage in the process and put the used bowls and spoons straight in the sink with some washing up liquid, to avoid the temptation to lick the spoon or bowl clean!

-   make sure all your cooking is based on healthy ingredients … always look for recipes that incorporate fruits or vegetables or wholegrains. If the recipe doesn’t call for veggies then make them up as a side dish and serve your main dish over them as a stack.

-   Use your cooking curiosity to find and develop the best healthy recipes you can, a lot of savoury meals can be cooked with less fat, most cakes can be made with wholegrain flour and most desserts taste better with some fresh fruit added.

- when you are cooking super rich indulgent food remember it’s much more calorie dense, so you shouldn’t eat a huge portion … serve yourself a starter size portion for your main and only cook one indulgent course, so if you have a steak and ale pie planned then go for a salad starter and light fruit dessert, or if you’re planning a triple chocolate pudding extravaganza then have a nice fish main.

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