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Cooking light: 6 easy, low-sugar weight loss recipes

May 15, 2014 13:52 IST

Cooking light: 6 easy, low-sugar weight loss recipes

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Want to get fit? Try these simple recipes using fresh, natural ingredients.

1. Pesto and cheese sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2tbsp basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup sprouts
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup spring mix greens
  • 2 slices bread

Method

  • Spread ricotta cheese over bread or tortilla.
  • Spread basil pesto over that.
  • Top with sprouts, sunflower seeds, carrots, tomatoes and the spring mix greens.
  • Makes one sandwich.

*** 

2. Basil pesto

Serves 4 to 6

Serving size: ½ cup

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (optional)

Method

  • Combine the basil, garlic, and nuts, if using, in a blender, or food processor if you have one, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Add 1/3 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you are using the pesto immediately, add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil and pulse until smooth.
  • Transfer the pesto to a bowl and mix in the cheese, if using.
  • If you are freezing, transfer it to an airtight container, drizzle the remaining 1/3 cup of oil over the top, and freeze it for up to three months.
  • Thaw the pesto in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Stir in the cheese, if using, before serving.

Also read: 'We need to get back to eating like our ancestors ate'

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Extracted with the author’s permission from The Fat Chance Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight by Robert H Lustig published by Hudson Street Press 

Dr Robert Lustig’s books can be purchased here:


Image: Basil pesto
Photographs: Flusel/ Creative Commons
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3. Brown rice with lime and cilantro

Serves 4

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, or more if desired

Method

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add the rice and the juice from half the lime.

Stir briskly until the juice has evaporated and the rice begins to smell a little nutty, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cook, covered until air tunnels form in the rice and the liquid is completely absorbed, about an hour.

Add juice from the other half of the lime and more water if needed.

Stir and fluff the rice. Add cilantro as desired and serve.

***

4. Seared and Roasted Leg of Lamb

Serves 8

Serving size: 4 ounces

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped, or 1 and 1/3 tbsp dried mint
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 and 1/3 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbsp peeled and minced garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 butterflied leg of lamb, about 5 lb
  • Non aerosol cooking spray

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor and blend them until they make a paste.

Scrape the herb paste into a bowl.

Stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.

Set aside 2 tbsp of the marinade to serve with the lamb.

Place the lamb in a large plastic bag with the marinade and shake to coat.

Let the lamb marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight.

Remove the lamb from the bag.

Discard the bag and marinade.

Spray a large skillet with non-aerosol cooking spray.

Heat the pan to medium-high.

Sear the lamb on all sides until brown, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Line a roasting pan with parchment paper or foil; this eases clean-up.

Place the lamb on a roasting rack in the pan.

Roast the lamb in a pre-heated oven until the internal heat registers 140 degrees F on an instant-read meat thermometer, 25 to 35 minutes.

Take the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Top with any accumulated juices.

Serve with reserved marinade.

*Butterflying is 'a cutting technique used by butchers to transform a thick, compact piece of meat into a thinner, larger one' according to Wikipedia.com.

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Extracted with the author’s permission from The Fat Chance Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight by Robert H Lustig published by Hudson Street Press 

Dr Robert Lustig’s books can be purchased here:


Photographs: Creative Commons
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5. Pork Loin with Apples and Onions

Serves: 6

Serving size: 4 ounces

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless pork loin, 1 and 1/2 lb
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 lb yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lb Granny Smith apples or other tart apples, cored and sliced

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Toss the pork loin with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Mix the sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish, then roll the pork in the herb mix. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the pork loin to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the saute pan.
  • Add the onions and apples and cook until lightly browned, 5 minutes.
  • Line a large rectangular roasting pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the sauteed onions and apples over the bottom of the pan.
  • Top with the pork and put the pan in the oven.
  • Roast the pork until the internal temperature measured on an instant-read meat thermometer is 165 degrees F, about 40 minutes.
  • When the onions and apples begin to caramelise and everything’s all brown and toasty, remove the pan from the oven.
  • Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover it with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
  • This allows the temperature and the juices to equalise throughout the roast, so that it's juicer, easier to slice, and easier to chew.
  • Slice the pork into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
  • When you're ready to serve, spread the caramelised onions and apples over the bottom of a platter.
  • Take sliced pork pieces and fan them out on top.
  • Pour any accumulated juices from the pan over everything.

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Extracted with the author’s permission from The Fat Chance Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight by Robert H Lustig published by Hudson Street Press 

Dr Robert Lustig’s books can be purchased here:


Image: Pork Loin
Photographs: Sara Goldsmith/ Creative Commons
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6. Chocolate chip banana bread

Makes: 3 loaves

Serving size: 4 ounce piece

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chip (optional)
  • 4 bananas, mashed (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, canola, safflower, or coconut
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup honey or unsweetened applesauce

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk together whole-what flour, oats, unbleached all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and 1 cup chocolate chips, if using, in a large bowl.
  • Reserve 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Whisk together the bananas, oil, eggs, vanilla, and honey (or applesauce) in a medium bowl.
  • Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture.
  • Do not overmix; it will make the loaf tough.
  • Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, or three loaf pans, and pour in the batter.
  • Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips on top, if using.
  • Bake sheet pan for 1 hour; if making loaves, for 40 minutes.
  • The bread is done when it's firm or when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool and slice.

Extracted with the author’s permission from The Fat Chance Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight by Robert H Lustig published by Hudson Street Press 

Dr Robert Lustig’s books can be purchased here:


Image: Chocolate chip banana bread
Photographs: Ali/ Creative Commons
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