(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Indulging in favorite foods often may mean replacing favorite clothes that have grown too small. If you crave pizza and milkshakes more than you do carrots and celery, you may notice the difference not only on your dinner plate, but on your scale. During the holiday season, when there are so many other chances to indulge, it can be even more of a daily challenge if your everyday favorites are also heavy, comfort foods.
Flavor infusions are a wise way to up your odds of staying slimmer. I came up with this concept when daydreaming of my lifelong favorite dish of veal parmesan. The breaded fried cutlets smothered in marinara sauce, served with melting mozzarella cheese on top is a treat that's hard to resist.
However, as nutritionists often note, sometimes you just need a bite of a favorite food or a combination of some of the same ingredients in order to be satisfied and cut the craving. I instead made ground veal meatballs (immediately a good alternative since they can be baked rather than fried) combined with some bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and light mozzarella (a great choice for those trying to cut back since mozzarella is already one of the lower fat cheeses). I served the meatballs swimming in my favorite store-bought marinara sauce and I almost thought I was eating veal parmesan.
Following are a few other flavor infusions I've since created. All ingredients are to taste.
Fun fare like this proves that food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive and fast. The dishes are delicious evidence that everyone --- including you and your kidlets --- has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family time in the kitchen that goes along with it!
Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook since there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw "wows" at the table.
QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: Milan Ross
- BANANA SPLIT SMOOTHIE
In a blender container that is strong enough to crush ice, add soymilk, coconut milk or almond milk, chunks of banana, sugar-free chocolate syrup, chopped peanuts and strawberry or raspberry fruit spread (these are refined-sugar-free products found in the jam aisle of most supermarkets). Blend until smooth and then carefully add ice cubes one at a time through hole at top of blender container lid until it reaches the desired consistency.
- MACARONI 'N' CHEESE-INSPIRED OMELETS
From a mix or from scratch, prepare the same sauce you would for macaroni and cheese. Meanwhile, make omelets filled with fresh, cut, fully steamed vegetables. Spoon a small amount of the hot sauce over each folded finished omelet just before serving.
- CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP
To store-bought or homemade chicken broth, add shredded cooked chicken breast, cooked carrots and peas and heat thoroughly. Just before serving, top each portion with half a biscuit that has been cut into bite-sized pieces. INSIDE-OUT APPLE PIECore an apple, put it on a plate, fill the space with shortbread cookie crumbs, drizzle with pure maple syrup and a very small dollop of whipped cream.
and Scott Stoll, M.D.
are a two-for-one deal in your quest for weight loss. Both the successful reducer (Ross) and a respected physician (Stoll) are part of the package when reading "The Change: Transforming Yourself and Your Body into the Person You Want to Be
". Past Olympian Stoll created an immersion program embodied in week-long intensive health retreats. In alternating chapters by the authors, the program is revealed as well as Ross' experience going through it. Ross, who, as an employee in need, attended the program as a benefit of working at Whole Foods Markets, eventually lost 225 pounds, and describes finding joy in his life again. "The Change Cookbook
", which includes more than 150 plant-based recipes, is due to be published in January.Lisa Messinger
at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes
(Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet
(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.