I don’t believe in diets, but I do believe in portion control. In other words, eating the right amount of carbs and proteins keeps me on track without cravings or starvation. I have learnt to indulge responsibly and still maintain a healthy weight.
For some of us, gaining weight is a vicious circle. We eat neglectfully, get depressed at what the scale shows, binge, gain more wait, and thus the circle goes. On the other hand, eating right is also a circle, but gratifying. We eat right, the scale tips in the right direction, we feel great, and are motivated to eat right.
But there are no hard and fast rules for eating right. We should be the judge of what goes on the plate and hence to our stomach. But with practice, trial and error, this is quite achievable. Reduce or cut back on simple carbs and sugars; take more whole grains and complex carbohydrates; add a pile of fresh vegetables and fruits to the plate. And most importantly, keep an open mind.
Being fit is not a game of numbers. Yes, LBs and BMI are guidelines, but every one of us are different. Accepting our short-comings, embracing our inner beauty and wearing a confident smile is the first step in the right direction. As long as you are healthy and energetic, don’t let ‘weight’ weigh you down.
Why this sudden ? Well, recently, I have learned to outplay the number game by developing few lunch menus that fits ‘eating right’. I would share them with you all from time to time.
Fattoush salad is a Lebanese salad made with fresh vegetables and toasted pita slices. I have replaced pita with brown lentils or masoor dal, for complex carbs. Also, it cooks faster too. I have also used two ingredients in the dressing, that are worth mentioning.
Left:Aleppo Pepper, Right: Sumac
is a Middle-Eastern spice that tastes tangy. I would say its taste comparable to , or tamarind in dried form. It tastes great in salad dressings due to its lemony tang, and can also be sprinkled on top of lentil-based soups or stews. It is one of the necessary ingredients for making .
was introduced by Laurie of . I have seen her using it in many of her recipes. When I wrote to her, she was kind enough to give me the necessary information to hunt for it. There is only one Middle-Eastern grocer in my town 30 miles away. I managed to treasure hunt in that tiny store to find them both. Aleppo pepper is mildly hot, but with a signature taste. I use this too as a sprinkle on soups and salads. Thank you, Laurie.Lentil Fattoush Salad (Serves 2)IngredientsBrown lentils or masoor dal – 2/3 cup
Bay leaf – 1
Romaine lettuce – 4 cups, chopped into bite sized pieces
Cucumber – 1, large, ¼ inch dice
Red bell pepper – 1, medium, ¼ inch dice
Onion – 1 large, sliced into half circles
Crumbly cheese such as queso blanco or feta – to garnish
Scallion – 1, sliced
Oil – 1 tspDressingMint – ¼ cup, minced
Parsley – ¼ cup, minced
Sumac – 1 tsp
Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes – 1 tsp
Juice of a lemon
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Cover the brown lentils with water and pressure cook with a bay leaf for one whistle only. Alternately, cook on stove-top for about 20 minutes, until cooked, but firm. Drain well. Heat oil in a sauté pan and cook onions for 10 minutes over low heat. The onions should be caramelized.
While the lentils and onions are cooking away, whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Toss lettuce in 2 tbsp of the dressing. Transfer to the serving platter. Likewise, toss cucumber, red pepper in the dressing and layer on top of lettuce. Toss lentils with the remaining dressing and layer on top of the vegetables.
Finally garnish with caramelized onions, scallions and cheese and serve warm.
Lisa at is calling for lentil based salads, for this month’s No Croutons Required challenge. Siri at Siri’s corner is hosting – . This bowl fits both the events. Take it away, Ladies.Other such lunch ideas are