"A healthy outside starts from a healthy inside", said Robert Urich.
A common opinion for many is that, foods that are healthy and fewer in calories are not as tasty when compared with those, which have high caloric content. However, there are ways to make low calorie foods
interesting, delicious and also very festive.
Food plays a major role when it comes to celebration and fun. It is tough to make food choices especially when a variety of favourites are placed on the table.
Rather than waging a war between mind and appetite, it is wise to start at the very beginning, while cooking. It is better to prepare a low calorie delightful dish or a healthy meal than controlling your food intake after preparing a delicious calorie rich and meal. The urge to eat when served is obviously irresistible and not the right strategy when you have calories to lose at the back of your mind.
Choosing calorie dense foods
, cutting down on the fat as much as possible during the preparation of the meal, using pre-preparation methods like marination, soaking to retain as much nutrients as possible are few methods by which we can make our low calorie foods and preparation tastier.
A menu containing few recipes of salads, starters, main course and a dessert would help you bring in the New Year the healthier way by consuming less calories. You might be surprised that they are healthy as well as tasty and may also be better than your favourite high calorie foods.
1. Tangy Protein Salad
Legumes, capsicum, tomatoes and seasoning are the major items that go into this dish. Legumes are low in glycemic index
and high in protein and fibre, which means that they contain fewer simple carbohydrates, and takes longer for blood glucose levels to rise. Sprouts contain high amounts of Vitamin C, low in fat, and contain micronutrients like folate, iron, potassium and magnesium.
Chickpeas - ½ cup, soaked overnight
Kidney beans ½ cup
Green gram sprouted - ½ cup
Cucumber ½Salad Dressing
Salt 1 tsp
Black pepper 1 tsp
Ajwain (carom) 1 tsp
Dry mango powder 1tsp
Basil leaves few
Vinegar/lemon juice 4tsp
Vegetable oil 2tsp Preparation method:
- Soak chickpeas and kidney beans overnight and pressure cook with 1tsp salt and 2 cups of water for ten minutes.
- Steam the sprouts for 3 minutes.
- Prepare the salad dressing by mixing all the ingredients together.
- Cool the pressure-cooked legumes and slice or dice the vegetables as desired; add them in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over and toss well. Serve.
2. Low Calorie Creamy SaladSalads are mostly served cold with
small pieces of raw or cooked food mixed with a sauce. Salads
are prepared with a wide variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, including cooked meat, eggs, and grains. The salad dressing used to a flavour a salad is commonly prepared with fruit juices or vegetable/olive oil. Salad is one of the healthiest way to incorporate nutrients into the diet as they require no or very little cooking. Salads make us feel full and thus reduce the overall intake of any meal.
Toned milk 2 1/2 cups
Curd ½ cup
Thick curd (yogurt) 1 cup, hung for ½ hour
Carrot ½ - finely cubed and boiled
Capsicum- ½, cut into thin strips
Grapes ½ cup, cut into halves
Apple 1, chopped
Cucumber 1/2cup, choppedPreparation method:
- Boil milk. Reduce flame and add curd or lemon juice to curdle the milk. Strain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth. Leave it in the cloth till the whey water is drained.
- Blend the cottage cheese obtained from the curdled milk with curd, sugar and essence.
- In a bowl, add the contents with salt, pepper.
- Keep some fruits and vegetables for garnishing and add the rest of it in the curd and spice mixture.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve chill.
3. Vegetable Gold CoinsVegetables
are a rich source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, dietary fibre and phytochemicals. They are fewer in calories compared to any other food and are healthier too. Cooking vegetables for a minimum amount of time retains their nutritional value. Below is an easy - to - prepare starter or finger food, which is fewer in calories, yet tasty.
Bread slices 6
Potato 1, boiled and grated
Onion 1, finely chopped
Carrot 1, grated
Capsicum 1, diced, finely
Soya sauce 2tsp
Tomato sauce 2tsp
Pepper ½ tsp
Chilli powder ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Sesame seeds 2 tspPreparation method
- Cook onions in a pan with ¼ cup water
- Add vegetables and cook for 2 minutes
- Add potatoes, Soya sauce, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and chilli powder. Cook for few minutes
- Cut the bread into small rounds about ½ inch diameter
- Spread the potato mixture on the round piece of bread
- Grill at 180 degree Celsius till bread turns crisp on the underside
- Serve hot with chilli tomato sauce
4. Grilled Chicken with Orange Juice
Grilled foods have low calories compared to fried foods
and have a reduced fat content as the fat drips off as the food is being cooked and grilled. It results in healthier meals and makes it easier to manage a low fat diet. Also, the shorter cooking time results in minimal loss of moisture and vitamins and adds more value to the food.
Compared to other red meat, poultry is less in fat. 100gms of chicken gives 143 kcal out of which only 73kcal is from fat whereas 100gms of beef contains 332kcal and 271kcal comes from fat.
Chicken breast 300gms
Lemon juice 3tbsp
Fresh orange juice ½ cup
Garlic 4 to 6 cloves
Tabasco or chilli garlic sauce 1 tsp
Chopped fresh coriander 1 tbsp
Ground Peppercorns 3/4th
Corn flour 1tspPreparation method
- Wash and dry the chicken pieces on a towel. Make 2 incisions on each piece.
- Mix all the ingredients except corn flour. Marinate the chicken for 6-8 hours.
- Heat grill. Sprinkle pepper on the chicken and grill till the chicken is cooked.
- Mix corn flour to the remaining marinade and cook it for few minutes. Pour it over the prepared chicken and serve hot along with some steamed vegetables.
5. Yoghurt Chocolate Soufflé
Cakes, chocolate, candies, cookies, custards, puddings, doughnuts, pastries cover a vast variety of desserts. Desserts
are a sweet course and it usually means high content of sugar, fats and calories. Desserts are very popular and most people over-indulge in them. The trick is to make desserts like yogurt chocolate soufflé and reduce the calories to make them healthier and very palatable.
Originally, soufflé is prepared with egg but we have replaced it with yoghurt in the recipe given to make it healthier. Yogurt contains bacteria, which is friendly to intestines and keeps the colon healthy. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of yogurt will approximately provide 450mg of calcium. The calcium in yogurt binds bile acids with unhealthy cells so that irritation on the colon wall is decreased.
Toned milk 2 cups
Corn flour 2tbsp
Curd ¾ cup, hung for ½ hour
Vanilla essence 1 ½ tsp
Fresh fruits and mint to garnishPreparation method
- Dissolve corn flour and cocoa in ½ cup warm milk.
- Boil milk, add the dissolved corn flour and cocoa. Add sugar.
- Cook the milk by stirring till it becomes thick.
- Remove from heat and add butter.
- In a small pan, sprinkle gelatine on ¼ cup water. Dissolve the gelatine on low flame.
- Remove from heat and add to the chocolate custard.
- Whip the hung curd and add enough milk to make upto 3/4th measure in a cup. Add essence.
- Add the curd mix to the cooled chocolate custard and mix well.
- Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate it till it sets. Garnish with fresh fruits and mint.
Eat smart for a better and healthier you.