Wise Words and Orange Chicken

juliachildquoteTruer words were never spoken! I started teaching myself to cook about a month ago — the same time that I got really serious about monitoring my diet and getting healthier — and I am astonished by how much more I enjoy eating what I’ve created on my own (with the help of recipes, of course). Granted, I loved eating quite a bit before, but now there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes even before the first bite. 

On that note, I have a wonderful, wonderful recipe to share with you. I tried out this Spicy Orange Chicken recipe from Epicurious for dinner tonight — and practically died of happiness. Sweet and savory and just the right amount of gooey for under 200 calories a serving? Yes, please! I did make a couple of alterations (in case you want another option):

1. I nixed the grated orange peel, in part because I don’t have oranges at home right now, but also because I’m lazy.

2. Instead of putting the snap peas (which I’m not too fond of) in the stir fry, I boiled regular green beans and seasoned with salt and pepper.

3. I chose to have a larger portion of chicken (because it was just so delicious!) instead of rice, but in the future I’ll probably swap the jasmine rice for brown rice or rice noodles. 

I definitely recommend this recipe — I give it 5 delicious stars!

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June 27, 2009 at 12:31 am Leave a comment

Wa-Wa-Watermelon

watermelon(Image credit: Laura Burlton)

I’ve been reading so much about the benefits of strawberries recently — and clearly, they’re a healthy and completely delicious fruit (not to mention my favorite ice cream topping). But in my mind, watermelon is the ultimate summer fruit. Honestly, nothing can compare. It’s sweet, it’s juicy, it’s filling, it’s colorful… and it’s good for you! What more could you ask for?

Well, even if you aren’t asking for it, watermelon’s going to give you generous amounts of Vitamins C, A, B6 and more — all for under 50 calories per cup. Amazing.

So how should you eat watermelon? Well, for me, there’s no better way than to slice, chill, and enjoy fresh. But I suppose, for variety’s sake, you could rustle up a lovely fruit salad with oranges or other melons (and a little mint if that’s your thing). This Moroccan Orange Melon Summer Salad sounds particularly good, although I can’t say I’ve tried it out yet — I’m still stuck on the eating plain watermelon thing — but it’s definitely in my recipe book.

And now, after all this talk of watermelon, I think I’m off to grab myself a snack…

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June 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm 2 comments

For Starters…

In a perfect world, I’d have strawberry ice cream for breakfast everyday. Sadly, I’d probably become spherical and die at thirty if I actually tried that out, and I’d most likely tire of it within a few months… or maybe years (I really, really love strawberry ice cream. Almost as much as I love brownies and potato chips). In any case, I thought I’d go into a little more detail of what my daily food routine is — if only to map it out for myself.

I limit my calorie intake to 1200 calories per day (the lowest amount that’s still healthy), because I need about 1700 to maintain my weight. Thus, -500 calories per day x 7 days per week = -3500 calories per week = 1 pound. Of course, this gets altered with exercise, but since I never (and I mean never — I should really work on that) exercise beyond taking leisurely walks, I don’t factor that in.

Because 1200 calories can be limiting, I always look for filling low-calorie recipes with excellent nutritional value. Also, rather than having 3 larger meals a day, I tend to eat 300-350 calorie meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while reserving the rest for healthy in-between-meal snacks. It may not sounds like a lot, but if you choose the right foods, it’s actually not bad at all. (That being said, I do not recommend jumping down directly from a normal 2000 calorie diet to 1200 calories per day. Dwindle down so you aren’t left feeling hunger pains!)

And I don’t always (read: hardly ever) turn down my cravings. This is the key to a successful and healthy diet plan, I think. Rather than deny myself the pleasure of enjoying ice cream, brownies, or chips (my three biggest weaknesses!), I let myself have them in moderation. Oftentimes, I also choose healthier — but still delicious — options, such as frozen yogurt (I love Yogurtland) or tortilla chips, or homemade low-calorie versions of my preferred sweets.

So there you have it: my routine. It may be a little extreme, and it’s certainly not foolproof, but it works for me.

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June 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm 2 comments

What’s a Fat Free Foodie?

I’ve gone through my ups and downs. There was a time (oh, the good ol’ days) when I didn’t give a second thought to  the nutritional value of what I ate. When I started college, I went in the exact opposite direction and started caring a little too much. Then, I spent half a year living in Italy, and any thoughts of balance went to hell as I gorged myself on plate after plate of divinely delicious pasta. But one thing has always remained a constant — I have always, and always will, love food. 

So now, I’m on a mission to find that perfect balance between delicious and nutritional. I know it’s out there, and I know I can make it work for me. I am trying to lose a little weight, so this is a diet blog in some senses, but it will always be, first and foremost, about the food. I’ll share a little of my experiences, my newfound obsession with cooking magazines, my favorite (and hopefully successful) recipes, and just some thoughts along the way.

On a side note, the name may be a little misleading, since I actually aim to find low-calorie recipes rather than low-fat ones. But to each his own, and healthier is healthier in the long run. Plus, I like the alliteration. Another disclaimer: clearly, I’m not an expert. Everything I say is based off of things I’ve read in books, magazines, and online — I try to be as informed as I can, but if you’re thinking of adopting a new diet, I’d suggest doing your own research first!

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June 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm 2 comments


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