Healthy Food for Hungry People
Keeping healthy can be very rewarding but also rather boring. Healthy meal after healthy meal has to be put on the table, so keeping interested in cooking is important. As I have said many times before, it is a lifestyle change not just a matter of lowering the cholesterol or losing the weight before returning to old habits.
New ideas in the kitchen are such an important part of keeping on track. I love paging through magazines and cookbooks to get my enthusiasm up for the seemingly endless number of meals. As the New Year rolls around so does a new collection of healthy cookbooks. One of these new books made its way to my door thanks to blogger friend, Dannii Martin, who tells the story of how she lost a lot of weight and has continued to maintain her healthy eating habits.
Called Hungry, Healthy, Happy, this cookbook (as well as Danii’s blog, www.hungryhealthyhappy.com) is packed with recipes that will pep up the weekly cooking. What I like most about this book is that the recipes are perfect for everyday cooking. Most of the time I have to put a meal on the table for the family dinner while also trying to eat healthily myself. I have to balance my needs with those of growing teenagers which is not always easy. Sometimes I eat too much fat or they eat too much lean.
Cooking one’s favourite dishes in a lower fat manner is the way to go when trying to maintain healthy eating habits. We all hark after the meals we love and it is too much of a deprivation to give them up forever. A tweak here and there can make all the difference. So I was pleased to find a recipe for a club sandwich (made with fat free yoghurt rather than mayonnaise), chicken tikka masala (fat free yoghurt again replacing the cream) and even mac and cheese which adds cauliflower and yoghurt rather than the full quotient of pasta and cheese.
Each recipe is labelled as vegetarian, gluten or dairy free, where appropriate. This is a useful time saver when paging through the book looking for a suitable dish. Each recipe sets out the nutritional value of the recipe which is such important information for those watching their salt, sugar, fat and calorie intake.
Whenever I look at a healthy eating cookbook I take particular note of the dessert section. This book has far more on offer than fruit platters. I was pleased to find a recipe for banana ice cream which I have previously tried, unsuccessfully. What I really appreciated was that this version of the recipe anticipates the problem the cook will encounter – the banana crumbles – and tells you exactly what to do to remedy this situation and to successfully end up with a smooth and creamy ice cream. When I served my adaptation (I added raspberries) to my family they could not actually believe that it was pure fruit with nothing added. ‘No cream?’ asked my younger son. ‘Not even sugar?’ asked the older one. They were mightily impressed and banana ice cream will now be part of my repertoire. It is a lovely example of a dish that suits the whole family – cholesterol lowering adults and growing teenagers. Wait until I try the chocolate avocado mousse – I will not be telling them the ingredients until after I have seen their faces – looks of pleasure I hope.