In my last post I told you that my sister (The Chubby Artist's Chubby Sister) would be sharing her tips on cooking low-fat fabulous food. During my recent visit to Atlanta I grazed (or inhaled if you prefer) super yummy food every day and still came home skinnier. I have asked her to post about some of the fabulous food she made. But first some good news: the shrinkage continues! I have lost an additional 5 pounds! For several months the weight seemed to be dribbling off. Progress seemed slow even though I thought I was doing everything right. At the rate I was going, I might have reached goal by my retirement party (and I'm in my 30's). I know that slow weight loss is easier to maintain but really.... what good is skinny jeans gonna do me if they don't fit me until I am 90? Yep, faster, more consistent weight loss beats "drip drip" weight loss any day. Enjoy my sister's post below (my comments will be in orange). Next time I plan to post in more detail what I have done to increase my weight loss (Hint: I have actually felt hunger for the first time in years, and it was neither cute, fuzzy or orange!)
Congratulations to you on the BIG 25! (Thanks, its 35 now!) I am slowly trying to catch up with you sister. So now that I have my treadmill (see previous post) and I ordered a Schwinn recumbent exercise bike that finally got delivered (one more weight loss tool to add to the pile)…I hoped to get busy with my exercise and give you some competition. Now, I am not working out two times a day and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro just for kicks and giggles, like my sister (your such a drama queen :), but I was aiming to work out for an hour an day, alternating between the Schwinn and the treadmill each day, 7 days a week. However, as usual, I only manage to actually workout 3 days and last week not a single day.
So I have decided to try to be more honest with myself and evaluate both my exercising and my eating habits. I cannot lie… I have a keen palate that demands fabulous gourmet foods… which are usually found at fancy and highfalutin restaurants around Atlanta (yes I am a member of Zagat… I am fat remember ..... You must be crappin in high cotton cause I don't even know what Zagat is..). Some of my favorites are Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion (http://www.roysrestaurant.com/) … where I completely loose myself in their decadent chocolate soufflé or Canoe (http://www.canoe-atl.com/), where I could eat troughs of their Cimino Farms African Squash Soup…. I am drooling... So the food is hedonistically delicious, immensely fattening (see previous post of my sister’s infamous visit) and will squeeze the hell out of your wallet…….
(Picture is of the Roasted Romanos & Tomatoes with Tapenade). So even though I absolutely and completely hate to cook (standing on your feet in front of a hot steamy stove. The essence of burning meat in your nose. The whir of the incompetent stove vent whining in your ear. The periodic chirping of the smoke detector warning you that you suck in the kitchen and you should stop whatever it is that you are doing. Chop, dice, stir, mince, reduce, whisk, preheat, discard, spread, garnish and dash….and where the hell is the garlic salt….who moved the @#$% garlic salt?!), my love of good food has caused my bank account to shrink and my waistband to expand…. so I decided to cook. I have tried just about every lowfat recipe in the world and let me tell you there is nothing quite like eating a meal that tastes like cardboard with a dirty sock sprinkled on top. Though I try to tell my mouth to just swallow, “it’s good for me…it’s what my body needs”, my mouth rebels shouting “so is a teeth cleaning, and a mammogram, and a colon check, but you don’t see me sprinting out the door for one of those either”. Then it hit me, what if I could cook the delicious foods I like so much at my fancy restaurants, right in my own home…. I could control the fat content, the freshness of the food and the cleanliness of the food (I always wonder how many of those people in the restaurant kitchen also read the little sign posted in the restroom by the mirror and ACTUALLY washed their hands before returning to work ick... and let me reiterate....ick).
This presented a couple of problems since my kitchen reflects my ineptitude at cooking. I had ketchup, mustard and some reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese, a half of a leftover pizza, one pickle, three packs of “hot” sauce from Taco bell in my fridge (I beat you, I have 8 packets of fire sauce), 8 cans of Pam spray (wow, how did I manage that), pepper, salt, and a bottle of Rum in the pantry. I owned no mixing bowls, no electric mixer, one really good Henckles knife and a plastic chopping board I got at the Dollar Tree…..pathetic. So as is my neurotic (spendaholic?) pattern, I went shopping at Sur La Table and began my journey as a Gourmet Chef! Thank God my husband not only likes to cook, but is a REALLY good cook and we made this transformation a team effort. I have discovered that good cooking tools make all the difference in the world! (Picture of Balsamic-Marinated Pork Chops & Grilled Peaches).
We bought a zester, a Henckles paring knife, a bamboo chopping board and a glass chopping board (for raw fish), a handheld electric mixer, an electric ice cream maker, a new hard-anodized sauteé pan, a new hard-anodized griddle pan (which by the way, cannot go in the dish washer), a seasoned cast-iron grilling pan, several gourmet cookbooks and several gourmet cookbook magazines (yeah, when we do it, we do it right! It was money I would have spent eating out anyway) and then we began…. OMG... just read the t-shirt.....
I have had the most fun ever! My husband took on the roll of the sous chef, chopping all the necessary ingredients and following the directions that I called out (yep, that made me the head chef J ). We put all the chopped ingredients in little glass ramekins (dang fancy pants... what the hell is a ramekin?), poured a glass of wine and the cooking began! So, my husband and I have now made our cooking routine our time for talking about our day and spending some quality time together and it really is fun and the food tastes better than what I was ordering at the restaurant (Sister, I think you could even get your husband to chop up stuff dream on...)! And as a bonus buy….this week even though I didn’t exercise, eating our own gourmet foods…. I lost 1.4 lbs!
So I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes that I found in my gourmet cookbook magazines recipes will be in the sidebar on the right (you will be shocked how many lowfat or no fat recipes you will find in these magazines…don’t let the fact that they say “gourmet” in the title fool you…they are chocked full of great healthy ideas…one caveat caveat? seriously?….buy the necessary tools, they will make a world of difference). I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did! The meal consist of Balsamic-Marinated Pork Chops & Grilled Peaches (although every recipe I tried was amazing, this is definitely my very favorite yes, it was heavenly) and Roasted Romanos & Tomatoes with Tapenade (Although I was a little skittish over the anchovy in this recipe, I included it and the tapenade was amazing... hands down the best tapenade I have ever eaten!). You can make this while the pork chops are marinating. A Romano bean is an Italian string bean and you can substitute any kind of green beans for the Romano beans in your recipe, we substituted regular green beans. For dessert (oh yes, there must be dessert!) we pulled out the new ice cream maker and using this recipe that a dear friend of mine shared we made the most ridiculously yummy (and yes lowfat) sherbet ever! Just let it mix in the ice cream mixer while you eat your delicious pork chops and roasted green beans and it will be ready by dessert time!
My husband and I are going to try to alter Roy’s chocolate soufflé recipe they sent us in the mail (I guess they were missing us) and see if it will work with reduced fat ingredients and we are going to begin making our own sushi…I will keep you up to date. Until next time, keep thinking skinny thoughts. (picture is of homemade Cantaloupe Sherbet).
Balsamic-Marinated Pork Chops & Grilled Peaches Recipe and Picture was obtained from “Clean Eating” Magazine July/August 2009 p. 38 www.cleaneatingmag.com
Roasted Romanos & Tomatoes with Tapende Recipe and Picture was obtained from “Fine Cooking” Magazine June/July 2009 p. 40 www.finecooking.com
Weight Watcher's Hungry Monster Picture was obtained here