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south beach diet phase 1

What is South beach diet? Answers with bok choy shrimp recipe

Staring at the television in my living room, I was jotting down the things to pack and my mind was paralleling thinking about the tasks to complete before I step out for the long weekend. In the mean while I was hungry for lunch. It was twelve past ten and yes, an early lunch. Not wanting to disturb my son who was sleeping in the crib, I walked on the edge of my toes to kitchen to fix some food that has low glycemic index . Yes, I am on South beach diet for the last 2 weeks and hence I have not been regular to my space as I was reading a lot about this diet and initially I was skeptical whether I would be able to stick through the process. Yay! I finished a successful phase 1 but I am going to stick with the same phase for little longer. Now I am  excited to share my experiences with you all and especially to those who are struggling with weight loss. I will also post the recipes I created following the book.

 

I have been on diet since high school. It wouldn’t be possible to stick to those diets for long as the food wouldn’t be tasty and the same type of food will get monotonous for me. I have never wanted a size zero or dreamed about having skinny body like ramp models, all I wanted was to have a figure which would make me look fresh, healthy and importantly I wanted to look great in Indian outfits. Like every to-be-bride, I have slogged in the gym to burn the fat around my entire body. I did succeed then and managed to pull of the wedding attires well 🙂 

Later post wedding, I have tried SOUTH BEACH diet in late 2009 but didn’t follow the rules correctly. Since I was newly married then and my husband dearie was so eager to show me around US, I used every possible biz trip of his to tag behind and visited new cities. I ate, ate and ate – That’s what I did the entire first year of marriage.Then I got pregnant with my son in early 2010 and now after my baby is 6 months old, I am back to South beach diet and this time, I have decided to stay committed and follow the rules as I have lots of flesh to shed. 🙂

 
One thing which I learned over the years is never ever listen to mom/grandmothers/aunts/sister  (only with regards to dieting guys!! Please don’t read in-between the lines :-)) unless they are professional qualified to guide with food choices. Till date, my mother doesn’t approve of South beach diet. She says eating rice is very important and only then you will have the stamina to do daily chores. She believes that Indian food is nutritionally well balanced than any other cuisines. Yes, I side her but there are choices to be made within the Indian foods and there is no doubt that our menu is so well balanced. I am not here to promote one cuisine and degrade others. But one thing is for sure, I can never agree on eating pongal for breakfast  these days- It has just carb, carb and carb in it. Another famous Indian breakfast is puri with potato curry – This is much worse than pongal. I used to love all these starchy dishes and have eaten then while I grew up but now with a target to reach, I am no way going to them. This is where I talk about making choices. Whole grain idlies or buckwheat upma or whole wheat dosa are few dishes that could be incorporated while you are on a diet.

 

 
One incident which I remember till date is. When my mom came here towards the end of my pregnancy, I was following a diet plan as I had gestational diabetes. The very next day after her arrival, she suggested to try idlies and I was skeptical as my dietitian and doctor have scared me enough on what will happen if your sugar level shoots up with bad carbohydrates. I gave it a thought and also the South Indian blood in me was craving for a breakfast cooked by mom. I ate just 2 idlies. I took my blood test after 1hour and it went to 172mg/dl. I panicked and so was my mom. She then announced, just stick with the diet your doctor had suggested and lets not play with my food as there is a baby involved. Then slowly during her stay for the last 6 months, she slowly understood the difference between good and bad carbohydrates and how to play around when you plan to shed some weight. Her verdict when she left was “Umm even your choice of food are tasty to the tongue and light to the stomach”.

 
Few of my readers and friends have been mailing me asking the details of this diet. Click to know more. Wikipedia defines South Beach Diet as : “The South Beach Diet is a diet plan designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon as an alternative to low-fat approaches such as the Ornish Diet and the Pritikin Diet. The diet advocated by the American Heart Association in the 1980s.Although the original purpose of the diet was to prevent heart disease in Dr. Agatston’s own patients, in the early 2000s, word of the diet spread and quickly gained popularity as a means to lose weight.” 

 

When hungry, I get terrible headaches, become moody and cann’t think straight. I am sure that’s the case with most of us. For people like me, this diet would be super exciting as we get to eat 5 times a times, 3 meals and 2 snacks. There are 3 phases in this diet and they have given the lists of food to enjoy and the list of food to avoid in each phase. They say that first 2 weeks are the toughest as we need to avoice rice, pasta, bread, corns, carrots, beets, peas and potatoes. As I said in the beginning of my post, I failed when I started this diet in 2009 but over the months, I read a lot on what to eat, how to make delicious meal, tweak  other cuisines in a way that suits our Indian palate without breaking the rules of the diet and how to incorporate Indian dishes to it. So this time, there is no looking back and I am loving the food and my husband has now joined hands with me after seeing the weight I lost in just 2 weeks. 

Apart from this diet, I also do cardio circuit with few DVDs I bought and once a while, I do swimming too. But the workout parts has been quite sporadic as it revolves around my son’s sleeping schedules and my cooking schedules. One thing I learnt to be successful in this diet is to plan and cook ahead. We could freeze few foods too and also I forgot to tell you, there is also dessert in this diet. I have just tried making their granula and its yum-o-good.

The post for today is Bok-choy shrimp (Phase 1 dish). I have never cooked with bok-choy , so I asked a fellow Asian shopper on how to cut them.She suggested just clean ans use the entire plant (both bulb and leaves). When I found this recipe, I was curious to try my hands on it and I cooked it right away. Such a simple dish, very tasty and quite filling too. You could add little more water and serve it a heart-filling soup as well. I ate bok-choy shrimp with raddichio-endive salad and later for dessert had 1 tablespoon of South beach diet granula with 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt.

Serves 2
Ingredients 
1 tablespoon or less extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon chili flakes
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
20 shrimp –  I used frozen ones from Costco
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
3 bok-choy – chopped
Salt to tasteMethod 
Thaw the frozen shrimp in hot water or refrigerator overnight or if using the fresh ones, clean and de-vein. Set them aside. Heat oil in large wok and add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Throw in the chilli flakes and onions, cook for another 2-3minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.To the same wok,add the chopped bok-choy and soy sauce and cook till tender for 5 minutes. Mix in the shrimp mixture and salt to taste. Stir and serve with any salad of your choice.

 

 

South beach diet phase 1 dessert : Nutty chocolate granola ( gluten free)

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!  
~
Author Unknown
Deflated…
Angry…
Frustrated….
There is one answer and that one is dessert.
I love desserts. Who doesn’t ? And when that’s made with chocolate. Life is much better, right!
I eat granola made with oats for breakfast every now and then. I love it with fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market. The store bought ones are extremely sugar for my liking. Hence I started to create my own version at home with whatever ingredients I find on my walk from pantry to stove top. Since there are no grains allowed on phase 1 of South beach diet, I eat couple of tablespoon of grain-free granola with milk or yogurt as a dessert before I retire to bed. On a hot summer day, (it was 101F couple of days back), it is so comforting to sit with a bowl of ice cold milk, drizzled with speckles of chocolatey granola and read a book or watch a movie. As the icy cold milk washes down my throat, the crunchy walnuts and almonds coated with cocoa and cinnamon leaves a happy note at the end of my tongue. It’s delicious. It’s addictive. It’s SBD friendly too!
Good thing about South beach diet book is that it carries close to ten recipes for dessert alone. I tweak a bit here and there and come up with my changes and likings. For instance, the original recipe for nutty granola from the book doesn’t include cocoa powder in the list. I used them because I love its taste and flavor it adds to my granola. Then, I changed the baking temperature as over the months, sometimes 30 minutes at 325F doesn’t really work for me. I have seen a similar recipe at Sylvie’s blog and you can follow her recipe too. Its made with chia seeds and no cinnamon. I made it in a large batch and stored in an airtight container to retain the freshness. They freeze pretty well too. You can freeze them for 2-3 months, you don’t have to thaw them, just throw the ice-cold nutty chunks over your yogurt or milk and eat right away!
Wine is bottled poetry

Robert Louis Stevenson

 My husband loves to eat these granola chunks as a snack and on some nights, I relish it with a glass of dessert wine. Coming to wine, I have written a detailed post about wine and south beach diet here. Drinking a glass of wine with cheese is our Friday night ritual. I started to drink red wine because my friends told me that its good for the skin. I can hear you laugh.Trust me, wine is good for you in a way.  If you explore on how it is made?  It is nothing but fermented grape juice and if you ask me, tasting it on a party or over a meal once a while is totally acceptable.

In the South beach diet cookbook, it says that “This tasty topping is meant to be enjoyed in tablespoon size servings on top of non-fat or low fat yogurt or fat free cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta”. So be a good girl/boy and don’t end up finishing the entire bottle. I know, they are really addictive and no one can stop with just 1 or 2 tablespoon.

RECIPE
NUTTY GRANOLA FROM THE SOUTH BEACH DIET COOKBOOK
Makes upto – 2 (8oz jar) 
Source: South beach diet book
Ingredient

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut ( you can find them as dessicated coconut in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup stevia (if following South beach diet phase 1) or use agave nectar/ coconut palm sugar or raw honey
  • 2 tablespoon I cannot believe its butter (if following South beach diet) or unsalted regular butter or trans-free margarine
  • 1/4 cup or more Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of  salt
Directions
  1. Soak walnuts, almonds and pecans in water for 4-6 hours
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Drain and rinse the nuts and pat dry them using a kitchen towel.
  3. Pulse the nuts to a coarse form in food processor.
  4. In the meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla essence and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour this chocolate mixture over the pulsed nuts and add sunflower seeds and salt. Stir well to combine and let the cocoa powder mix coat the nuts well.
  6. Cover the baking tray with parchment paper or foil. Spread chocolate nut mixture evenly over it.
  7. Bake at 200 degrees for about 4 hours straight. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  8. I served mine with cold milk.

Cluster beans stir fry / Kothavarangai poriyal – South beach diet phase 1 side

In most vegetarian South Indian homes, lunch is eaten with rice, sambhar (lentil stew with vegetable), rasam (peppery soup made with tomatoes) and one or two vegetable based dishes called poriyals (stir fry) or varuval. Poriyals as it called in my mother tongue is nothing but a dish cooked with basic South Indian spices, onions and little shredded coconuts. For some poriyals, chopped vegetables are steam cooked and a tempering with mustard seeds, white bengal gram, curry leaves, dry red chillies and onions are added and simmered for couple of minutes.  It is one of the easiest dish to whip up and is packed with nutrition as they are cooked al-dente. My son loves different types of poriyals as they are bite-sized and he enjoys eating it as they are soft, mildly spiced and colorful. If you plan to introduce Indian dishes to your kids, poriyals / stir fries will be good starting point. They will love the flavors in it. Certain ingredients like mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds and asafoetida have medical insignificance too. What you feed becomes their medicine too.


Many of you know about my journey with South beach diet. South Indian stir fries are the most eligible dish to make it to the top list of South beach friendly meals.I make a whole large batch of these stir fries and eat them with rasam during phase 1. Even a lentil based dish called paruppu usili can be made with finely chopped asparagus,beans or cluster beans and that’s another variation to usual poriyals/stir fries. 
Yesterday I started a casual conversation in Facebook asking for my reader’s input. Look below for what I asked for.

Hello all,

I am curious to know about the kind of recipes you would like to see in Spices and Aroma, my blog. I have got emails requesting for few recipes. I am going to plan and post accordingly. Please share what you want to see. Any specific biryani recipe, healthy foods, kid friendly recipes, lunch box ideas or anything else. Pour in your thoughts.Thank you!

Vijitha”

One of my good old friend my school, VA had the below reply. We have known each other for from Grade 3 and she is such a great friend. “Healthy veggie rolls, vadais ( baked ones are better), curry or poriyal with different type of vegetables, dhal, pulses and rice varieties.”

Please feel free to give your thoughts in the comment section. I would be really happy to hear about what my readers want to see here.

I planned to write a post for South beach diet phase 1 today and it happened to be a poriyal / stir fry recipe. I am so glad that I could cater to her request right away. I am not too sure whether she could call cluster beans a different type of vegetable as some home cooks known to me cook with it often while many don’t. So let this post be a curtain riser for those of  you who have not explored your cooking repertoire with this beautiful South Asian vegetable.

What are cluster beans?

In India, cluster beans are one of most commonly used vegetable in curries and dhaals. They are green in color and has a narrow, long body with tiny pods inside it. It belongs to the family of beans and has a very similar look except that its outer skin is rough and rigid.  You can find them in Indian grocery store both in fresh and frozen section. You chop off little portion of the head and tail of the vegetable and finely chop them in your desired size. When you find fresh ones, pick the ones that are young and tender. Week old beans will be fibrous and woody which are inedible. So try to bring home fresh looking cluster beans only. I wrap them inside a plastic bag and store it in fridge for upto a week. Even brown sandwich bags will be perfect. Sometimes I cook it right away while some days it will be after 4-5 days after purchase. So storing it well is key to avoid spoilage.Today’s post is a simple South Indian side dish made with a vegetable called cluster beans, also know as kothavarangai in Tamil. I finely chopped the beans and pressure cooked it for 3 whistles. You can cook them in boiling water just like the way you cook pasta / noodles but it will take longer to cook the lentil. The vegetable must be cooked completely and should hold their shape. I am sure you don’t want anything turning mushy while you serve. So cook accordingly. 

I made a simple tempering with mustard seeds, dry red chillies, bengal gram (channa dhaal) and curry leaves. Onions are cooked until crisp and tossed in the beans. Served hot with rice, sambhar or rasam.

 KOTHAVARANGAI PORIYAL / CLUSTER BEANS STIR FRY

Source: My mom
Serves : 2-4

 Ingredients

  • 1 pound cluster beans or kothavarangai ( can be found in Indian grocery store near you) 
  • 1/4 cup bengal gram or channa dhal
  • 4 cups water to cook it

 Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilly whole (optional to tear and cook) 
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon fresh or dessicated coconut (unsweetened ones)
  • Salt to taste

Equipment

Pressure cooker (optional)

I have a non-pressure cooker method as well (Scroll down further)

Directions

 Pressure Cooker Method

  1.  Fill the base of the pressure cooker with 2 cups water. Place the chopped vegetable and channa dhal in a stainless steel container and place that container inside the pressure cooker base.
  2. Check whether the gasket is sealed well inside the lid of the pressure cooker. Cover the base and insert the whistle and let it cook for 3-4 whistles. Switch off the flame and let the pressure comedown. Remove the whistle. Drain the excess water through a colander and set aside.
  3. Heat oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Throw in the dry red chillies, curry leaves and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder and cook for further 2-3 minutes. Mix in the cooked cluster beans and add salt to taste. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  4. If using fresh coconuts, sprinkle towards the end of cooking. Mix and serve hot. (Add the dry ones along with onions and saute until they absorb little moisture)

 Without a Pressure Cooker Method

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or in a pot.  Throw in the chopped cluster beans and cook 3/4th covered for 20 minutes. It is not advisable to cover the lid completely as the water might boil and roll over the vessel and stove.
  2. Heat oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Throw in the dry red chillies, bengal gram (channa dhaal), curry leaves and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder and cook for further 2-3 minutes. Mix in the cluster beans, dry dessicated coconut and add salt to taste. Simmer for another 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Remove and serve

 Additional notes

  1. Cluster beans stir fry is an ideal main dish for South beach phase 1 (Indian Vegetarian meals ideas). They have good amount of proteins and fibre and fills so up so fast.
  2. Can be eaten in phase 2 and 3 of South beach diet too.
  3. Since cluster beans have low glycemic index, they are an ideal side dish for women with gestational diabetes or those who are diabetic and pre-diabetic
  4. I eat a bowl of this with rasam poured over it after a work out. It’s low calorie and uses very less oil. A perfect food for those who are on a weight loss regime.

South beach diet Phase 1 Indian Recipes

My friends and family had reached out to me to create a menu plan that is simple to understand and easy to fix. Since I come from Southern part of India, I created this menu with the dishes I grew up eating. I made little changes to the original recipe to make it South beach diet phase 1 friendly. I have written a detailed post about South beach diet here. Please take a look and do come back.

Good luck with phase 1!
Just remember – No pasta, rice, potatoes, carrots, beets, peas, corn, fruits, sugar,alcohol and totally NO CARBS for just 2 weeks. Even if you don’t see a drastic change in the weighing scale, you will definitely see a change in inches. You will lose few inches around your waistline. Remember: Supplements are important and drink lots of water.

Since our South Indian dishes are made with rice, lentil and beans, coming up with a phase 1 meal plan was simple. I just omitted the dishes made with rice and included our good old poriyals,sambhar, rasam, karis, kootu, sundals, thayir pachadis and thogayals in the menu. Voila! The menu this way is amazingly perfect and fits the rules of Phase 1. You get to eat lots of vegetables which will be rich in nutrients, low in sugars and high in fibers. Isn’t that great? Yes, you can eat your eggs, fish and lean meat too. It is easy to follow but you need to plan, shop and cook ahead to stick to the plan for 14 days.

South beach diet is not any diet program, it is a lifestyle change. Please keep that in mind. You have to get back carbohydrates after 2 weeks. But remember to include complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, finger millet, buck wheat, barley when you start phase 2 and phase 3. You can eat rice for sure but just juggle between these whole grains and rice on a weekly basis. Your body needs vitamin B and iron for balanced functioning and that comes from rice but a diet based on white rice (polished) is not good either. This is because white rice is deprived of Vitamin B1 and that deficiency can cause neurological disease called beriberi (caused by thiamine, Vitamin B1 deficiency) – remember hearing this in your grade 8 biology class?. Hence we should include brown rice and other complex carbs in our diet. Read about the importance of brown rice in my post here and also check out recipes of Indian dishes made with brown rice here.They are tasty and nobody can find the presence of brown rice in it.

Given below is the list of dish you can cook at ease for your family. Serve them with rice or chapati and you can eat just the poriyals(stir fries), kootus, rasam, karis and avoid the carbohydrates and sugar. Actually from my experience, eating a



My 14 days plan ideas

I recommend having multivitamins and Vitamin D supplements everyday. Consult with your family doctor about which brand to buy.
Shopping list for phase 1 (14 days)
1. Beans
2. Bittergourd
3. Vazhaipoo/ vazhai thandu
4. Kovakai
5. Capsicum
6. Vendakai – Lady’s finger
7. Tomatoes
8. Onions
9. Ginger
10. Garlic
11. Spinach, meethi, siru keerai
12. Cauliflower
13. Cabbage
14. Cucumbers
15. Coriander leaves
16. Mint leaves
17. Brinjals/ eggplants
18. Chow-chow
19. Pumpkin
20.Eggs (28 numbers) – 2 each day
21. 1 large packet of almonds (roasted or raw)
22. 1 large packet soy nuts or uppu kadalai.
23. Chicken
24. Fish
25. Shrimp
26. Crab
27. Lamb
28. Fat free milk
29. Fat free yogurt
30. Tea bags of your choice
31. Green grams
32. Black eyed peas / Karamani
33. Lentils – Toor dhal, red lentils
34. Pachai patani
35. Channa dhal

Day 1:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: 2 eggs with onions, green chilles, curry leaves, salt, pepper and turmeric
Morning snacks: 2 small cucumbers with 2 tablespoon hummus
Lunch: Beans poriyal, 1cup dhaal, cabbage masala, seared fish with chilli powder(use less oil, 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil) and 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt. Eat vegetables as much as you want, till full.
Afternoon snack: 10-15 roasted almonds, stop with that. If still hungry, you can eat sundal that’ s planned for the dinner.
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green tea.
Dinner: Pacha payaru sundal tempered with ginger, green chillies, (coriander seeds, red chilly) – roasted and ground. Do like usual tempering for sundals. 1 cup of that with our usual chicken masala (cook with lean chicken meat without fat), left over poriyal or masala from lunch. Finish with 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 2:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Warm cauliflower soup with Indian spices and topped with sauteed mushroom (make it the previous day and store)
Morning snacks: 1/4 cup roasted soy nuts or 1/2 cup dhaal from previous day.
Lunch: Kovakai masala, chicken curry with spinach or mint/cilanto, podalanga kootu and 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt. Eat vegetables as much as you want, till full.
Afternoon snack : Oven roasted zucchini chips,bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until crispy. If still hungry, you can eat sundal that’ s planned for the dinner.
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ red clover tea.
Dinner: Karamani sundal tempered with ginger, green chillies, (coriander seeds, red chilly) – roasted and ground. Do like usual tempering for sundals. 1 cup of that with our usual fish curry( make a curry with onions, ginger garlic, tomatoes and spice powders), left over kootu or masala from lunch. Finish with 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 3:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled 2 eggs with onions, green chiles, curry leaves, salt, pepper and turmeric. If you can find smoked salmon or mushroom, add those chunks to the eggs
Morning snacks: 1/4 cup roasted soy nuts or uppu kadalai.
Lunch: Lean cut of lamb if available, pressure cook into a curry with eggplants, serve with cabbage poriyal and yogurt.
Afternoon snack: Munch on 15 almonds only. Please restrict to that
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Channa/pinto beans masala with chopped onions and cucumbers, left over cabbage poriyal,1 tablespoon mint thogayal to go with 1/4 cup yogurt.
and yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 4:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: 2 eggs with onions, green chilles, curry leaves, salt, pepper and turmeric.
Morning snacks: 8oz fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper and munch little 1 tablespoon roasted soy nuts or uppu kadalai for a change in taste.
Lunch: Eeral varuval (Shrimp masala) with less oil (about 1 tablespoon only), sorakai kootu (bottlegourd kootu) (1/4-1/2 cup), capsicum/bell peppers curry and 1/4 cup yogurt.
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with my spicy hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Chicken curry with methi leaves or any greens, left over capsicum curry, kootu and yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 5:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2)
Morning snacks: 8oz fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper and munch little 1 tablespoon roasted soy nuts or uppu kadalai for a change in taste.
Lunch: Beans usilli. You can make it with asparagus too. You get your lentils and veggies together, 2 fish seared/baked with lemon, turmeric, chilli powder and salt, onion or chicken rasam and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Then chicken rasam and white pumpkin/chow-chow kootu, make any thogayal with the chow-chow skin with less coconut to go as a side for 1/4 cup yogurt

Late night snack:8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)Day 6:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2) or omelet
Morning snacks: 15 almonds.
Lunch: Vazhaipoo (banana blossom) poriyal or vazhai thandu (banana shoot) pooriyal or palapinji poriyal (baby jackfruit) with only 1 tablespoon coconut, pachai pattani sundal, left over chicken rasam from yesterday and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Then chicken rasam and white pumpkin/chow-chow kootu and 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack:8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)
Day 7:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2) or omelet
Morning snacks: 1/4 cup channa with onions, cucumber, cilantro and spices – Channa chaat
Lunch: Bittergourd curry without any sugar or jaggery, mochai kottai kozhambhu, keerai kootu and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavored tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Left over mochai kottai kozhambhu, keerai kootu, chicken pepper fry and 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 8:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Tofu scramble (poriyal) with onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds, urad dhal, spices or have egg scrambles
Morning snacks: Channa chaat
Lunch: Lady’s finger curry, kothavanranga poriyal, rasam, dhaal with capsicum and 1/4 cup yogurt.
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Chicken breast cooked with onions, garlic, soy sauce and bell peppers (chinese style), wrap the meal with a glass of buttermilk made from 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 9:
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Urundai kozhambhu with lentil balls. In a bowl serve yoruself with 3-4 medium sized urundai and ladle out the sauce and eat it as a soup. Add dollops more yogurt if needed.
Morning snacks: 15 almonds.
Lunch: Chicken pepper fry, kovakai curry and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavored tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Meen kozhambhu (just eat the fish), thakalli (tomato) pachadi with 1/4 cup yogurt
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 10
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2) or omelet
Morning snacks: 15 almonds.
Lunch: Crab masala , make an aromatic tomato-onion sauce with 1/3 cup thick coconut milk and cook the crabs, seared fish like salmon with tomato chutney and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Make some fresh dhaal and serve with sliced avocados or cucumbers and serve okra masala by your side and glass of buttermilk
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 11
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2) or omelet
Morning snacks: 15 almonds.
Lunch: Mushroom masala, baked fish like salmon with tomato chutney and 1/4 cup yogurt
Afternoon snack: Cucumbers with hummus
Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Red lentils soup served with sliced avocados or cucumbers, baked bitter gourd chips and serve okra masala by your side and glass of buttermilk
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)

Day 12
8oz warm milk when you wake up. No sugar
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2) or omelet
Morning snacks: 15 almonds.
Lunch: Shrimp curry, white pumpkin moor kozhambhu, chow chow curry and a glass of rasam

Late evening snack: Tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute. I take green/ any flavoured tea made with just water and no sugar.
Dinner: Lamb chinthamani (Spicy lamb masala), buttermilk and left over kootu
Late night snack: 8oz warm milk ( optional to drink with turmeric and black pepper corns)
PS: I have suggested food for 12 days only but there will be left overs and repeats, so let’s drag the same menu for 14 days.

 

Marina Beach Thengai Mangai sundal

 

Choosing a healthy breakfast by itself is definitely not a simple task and choosing a vegetarian breakfast for Phase 1 of South beach diet is even more a tougher task. I can hear people saying “Eat cereals!”. Well, there is no carbs in the phase 1 of SBD. So cereals are ruled out. Even choosing a healthy cereal with whole grain, fiber and zero sugar is equally tough.
Breakfast to me should have good amount of protein, fiber and good carbs. That should be something that will give me the energy to work effectively during the morning and importantly something that will keep me full and happy. The typical Indian menu like pongal (rice-lentil risotto), dosa (savory rice pancakes/crepes) or idly (steamed cakes) or upma (Top chef master’s winning dish) is packed with bad carbohydrates. Infact if we make the same dishes with brown rice or quinoa, they become the ideal dish for the phase 2 and 3 dieters of South Beach diet.
Any dish with eggs are perfect for breakfast during phase 1. Offlate my mom follows SBD once a while, so I had to come up with  vegetarian options. We have been making patties with lentils or steamed lentil balls or boiled legumes tempered with South Indian spices for her. One protein rich dish that fits the requirement of South beach diet (phase 1) is our good old sundals. The most famous dish from the world famous Marina beach is mangai thengai sundal (legumes cooked with mangoes and coconut). For a true blue Chennaite like me, the thoughts about Marina and the food scene revolving around it would bring back wonderful childhood memories. You can read more about my love for Marina here. 



There was a debate in the SBD forum on whether raw mango be considered in phase 1 of South beach diet. To me, raw mango is a vegetable and I felt that I could eat it in phase 1. I have eaten our marina sundal during phase 1 and there was a good amount of weight lost during this phase. But experts from SBD said that the green raw mango is a fruit and shouldn’t be included in phase 1. So its upto you to make the decision. For phase 1 dieters, avoid carrots and mangoes and proceed with the same recipe.

Since it had been a busy week for me, let me run to the post right away. For this sundal, the green peas (dried version) are cooked to perfection and exotic South Indian spices are tempered in oil and mixed to form a uniform coating. Finally generous amount of tangy green mangoes and creamy coconut are added to make it taste out of the world. They have close to zero fat per serving. You can cucumbers, carrots to make it even more fibrous. Our simple snack with legumes like dried uncooked green peas is protein packed and has good carbs so the sugars will break down slowly in to the blood stream and this will keep you full for longer. I make them over the weekend and stays good for two days. If you plan to use it for than 2 days or want to freeze them, then its a good idea to add coconut fresh when serving. Coconut is highly perishable and it will spoil the dish very quickly if not stored carefully.

 

MANGAI THENGAI BEACH SUNDAL
Serves 4
Source: My mother

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry Green Peas (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/2 tablespoon or less olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard  seeds
  • 1 table spoon black gram dal
  • 4 whole dry red chillies
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 cup fresh or dried grated coconut
  • 1 medium sized raw mango – grated1 medium sized carrot – grated (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Soak dry green peas in water for 8 hours. Later, cook them in pressure cooker adding 2 cups of water and little salt. Cook for 1 whistle.
  2. If cooking in a pan, cook them covered with 3 cups water for 30-45 minutes. Don’t overcook it. It should stay whole and less mushy.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil ripples add mustard seeds, asafoetida, black gram dal, red chillies, curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes. Then add coconut and finally cooked green peas and little salt. Toss to combine.
  4. Switch off the flame and mix in the mangoes and carrots. Serve hot with masala chai.
Additional notes:
  1. Soak green peas for minimum 6 to 8 hours and add only required water while boiling and keep in pressure cooker only for 1 whistle minutes, not more than that because peas will get over cooked and become mushy.
  2. An ideal snack or breakfast dish for phase 2 and 3 of South beach diet.
  3. Also perfect for those who are looking for healthy eating options.
  4. This dish can be eaten by pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
 

South Beach Diet Phase 1 – Menu ideas from SBD cookbook

I have been asked by a lot of my readers about the menu plan I am following for phase 1 of South beach diet. Few of my cousins have also reached out to me asking what to eat and cook to lose weight. Just to make my work easier, I am writing a common post where everyone interested in SBD can read and follow it. I got the eating plan from the sample menu given in the South beach diet book and I made changes accordingly to my taste, availability of ingredients and my ethnic foods.
Quick reminder: 
1. No sugar
2. No rice, pasta, oats, quinoa
3. No desserts like ice cream, chocolate
4. No hotdogs
5. No carrots, peas, beets and corns
6. No alcohol
7. No 2% or whole milk
8. No sweetened cereals
9. No legs and wings meat
10. No fruits
11. No dates and raisins
Day 1:
Breakfast : 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Celery and cucumber with plain hummus or spicy hummus
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast with Indian spices – 2 numbers, 1 cup of fat free yogurt and beans stir fry (poriyal)
After noon snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Evening snack (if hungry) : 1 stick part-skim mozarella
Dinner: Homestyle dhal – 1cup or more (you can drink them as soup – till full) and leftover beans stir fry.
Day 2:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Turkey roll ups – 2 numbers
After noon snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Evening snack (if hungry) : 1 stick part-skim mozarella
Dinner: Pecan crusted cod – 2 fillets with spinach channa curry
Day 3:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Celery, bell peppers and cucumber with avocado guacamole
Lunch: Chock full of veggie chili and pesto chicken breast – 1 piece (recipe coming soon)
After noon snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Evening snack: Finish off the left over avocado guacamole with vegetables
Dinner: Bok choy shrimp with stir fried yellow squash
Day 4:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Evening snack : 1 cup tomato-olive-cheese salad
 
Day 5:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Lunch: Chicken pepper fry (chicken milagu varuval) and channa salad or any sundal of your choice.
After noon snack: 1 stick part-skim mozarella and 8oz fat free milk
Dinner: Spinach soup and cabbage stir fry with Indian spices – 1cup
Day 6:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Lunch: Spinach chicken and lettuce salad or any sundal of your choice.
After noon snack: 1 stick part-skim mozarella and 8oz fat free milk
Dinner: Spinach soup and cabbage stir fry with Indian spices – 1cup and 1/2 cup fat free yogurt
Day 7:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Cucumber with Indian spices
Lunch: Green gram dhal (omit the cream) and okra stir fry (recipe coming soon)
After noon snack: 1 stick part-skim mozarella and 8oz fat free milk
Dinner: Green chicken cooked with chicken breast and cabbage/beans/bittergourd stir fry with Indian spices – 1cup and 1/2 cup fat free yogurt
Day 8:
Breakfast: 8oz Fat free milk, quiche – 1 slice, fresh tomato juice with salt and pepper.
Mid-morning snack: Shrimp cocktail
After noon snack: Roasted nuts (15 almonds or 30 pistachios or 1/4cup soy nuts)
Dinner: Lamb chinthamani cooked with lean meat and 1/2 cup fat free yogurt
This was my basic meal plan I followed for more than 14 days. Some days there would be leftovers and you can have the same set of dishes for couple of days. Also some dishes like dhaal, stir fry and meat dishes can be cooked for the whole family and for non-dieters (like my husband), I serve rice or chapatti with them. That way, we are not stuck with cooking something totally different for us and for other members of the family. This saves a lot of time and gas and also we will stick through the diet.

Points to remember:

  • The first few days of diet is tough because you body is getting used to new set of foods. It is important to plan,cook and freeze over the weekend and start your diet from Monday.
  • Whenever hungry, I would munch on cucumbers or soy nuts or mozzarella sticks.
  • Do some workout – walking, running, swimming, yoga or yoga. Something to keep you active. I do swimming and Power 90 Tony Horton workout for 6 days a week.
  • Remember to take a multivitamin and Vitamin D and calcium supplements everyday. This will help in better recovery.
MY SHOPPING LIST FOR PHASE 1
1. Chicken breasts ((I buy them from Costco – frozen)
2. Extra lean turkey or chicken boneless (kheema) – (I buy them from Costco – frozen)
3. Lean cut lamb (center cut, loin and chop) – fresh and remove visible fat
4. Tilapia, cod , mahi-mahi, salmon and halibut fillets (I buy them from Costco – frozen)
5. Shrimp (I buy them from Costco – frozen)
6. Nuts
7. Mozarella cheese sticks
8. Vegetables like bell peppers, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms,cabbage, beans, brocolli, cauliflower, eggplant, greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, bok choy
9. Fat free milk and yogurt
10. Turkey slices
11. Soy sauce
12. Fat free sour cream
13. Fat free cottage cheese and fat free feta cheese
14. Eggs
15. Weight watchers mixed cheese bag
16. Cilantro, Mint leaves and Basil for pesto, salad dressing and garnish
17. Extra firm tofu
18. Garbanzo,pinto, kidney and any beans can of your choice (I buy them from Costco)
19. Fresh legumes and lentils
20. Pickled olives (I buy them from Costco)
21. Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for cooking
22. Low fat or non-fat mayonnaise
Will all these ingredients you can play around in Phase 1 and can extend it for couple of more weeks like me. One thing in my mind was to use all the ingredients before they perish. Hence I keep changing the menu chart accordingly to that but will stick to the rules of phase 1.
Good luck with your weight loss journey! Pop me an email with any queries. I will be more than happy to share my knowledge.

Wine and champagne and South beach diet

For those who are following South beach diet, it is important to know what goes inside your mouth, whether its a glass of cocktail or a plate of fries. And when on a healthy eating plan certain drinks can be diet busters and can act in reverse – weight gain. The lost weight can come back because of your sugary sodas, fruit juices, beer, vodka or whiskey or wine. No alcoholic drinks are allowed in phase 1. But once you have moved to phase 2, you can enjoy alcohol in moderation, about 1 drink a day. Excessive consumption can add empty calories and also lower your determination to get through your weight-loss regime successfully.
Display of our current wine collection
There are two such drinks that are OK in phase 2. On a personal front, I have developed a liking for red wine only over the few months. When I got married and moved to US as a new bride, I was little intimidated to see wine collection at home so leave alone trying it. Sitting with a glass of wine sounded taboo to me then. But my husband loves his wines and he spends quality time reading and knowing about the grape varieties and how they have been fermented and he collects wine from different parts of the world and safely stores them at home. Wine to him is like precious gold to an Indian mother. On every Friday night he would sit with a glass of red wine and some cheese and I would watch as if he has done some crime. I would take a sip from his glass and rush to the washroom to rinse my mouth. He would announce with a frustration in his voice “Start with a dessert wine or champagne. You will be fine”. Then came a celebration for a promotion at his work. He got home a bottle of champagne to toast the success. For those of you who wants a definition for Champagne, here you go. It’s a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. You can read more here. I liked champagne, then the following week we had some dessert wine and I liked that even better. He then suggested to start using wine in cooking. Like an obedient student who listens to his teacher, I made mussels, clams with white wine and spaghetti with red wine. Over the months, I started to enjoy a glass of wine with my food and now I have developed a liking for its taste and smell. Enjoying a glass of wine is a acquired taste – Agreed for sure and it took a little longer for someone like me. Now I know the different types of wine, the grapes used in it and temperature at which they are fermented and pricing for a bottle too 🙂
And when started with South beach diet, I keep jumping between phase 1 and phase 2 often. When in phase-2  I would enjoy a glass of wine or champagne some day.
This is the key rule I keep in mind while in phase 2 of South beach diet:
1. Opt for red over white wine. Red wine is a better choice because the skin of the red grapes has higher powerful antioxidant resveratrol and they are good for you. Just restrict yourself to a glass, about 4oz.
2. Opt for extra-brut champagne as they have no or very little residual sugar. Brut and extra-dry varieties of champagne can be your second choice as they have only slightly more residual sugar than extra-brut.
We all know how good is red wine for your heart, ofcourse only if you restrict to a glass one day. Recent research found in British Journal of Nutrition concluded that even a regular moderate consumption of champagne may improve blood flow and vascular performance. But further research and testing are needed to confirm the facts. I came across this informative picture on champagne which I think will be useful for alcohol novice like me.
wine.com infographic
Brought To By Wine.com, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne



Click to read more and also you can buy and order Wine and Champagne here
http://www.wine.com/

Rasam (Pappu Charu) / Cooking at home with Pedatha / South Beach Diet Phase 1 Recipe

Cooking at home with Pedatha is one of the treasured book in my kitchen. I have used so many number of times that the pages are stained with hints of turmeric powder and drops of tamarind pulp. Thanks to Pratibha ji for gifting me this book for a review. I met Pratibha ji during my trip to India last November and all these months, I have been cooking up a storm with almost all the recipes there. The cuisine is very similar to the place where I come from – Tamil Nadu. When I started to cook by myelf I had my hand written notes from amma and achi. I still have them, they are torn and old and I preserve it like a family treasure. Sambhar, rasam, kootu and poriyals are few staple dishes eaten in most South Indian homes. 
Being a South Indian, I try to make dishes that are predominant to my nativity as I want my son to taste and love the dishes his parents had eaten all their life. Pedatha’s home style recipes brings back the aroma of the kitchen I grew up in.   The list of ingredients for most dishes were similar to my original recipes with minute variations like replacing tamarind with lemon juice or vice-versa. But I do refer back to this book for better understanding of the steps. 

What I loved about the book was neat, concise explanations with handy tips sprinkled along the way. The cooking directions are not confusing and are very clear that even my husband who has a phobia for cooking loved its layout. The book clearly gives out the exact meaurement which will make it easier for new cooks. The good thing about this book is limited quality recipes. I hate cookbook with tons of recipes and no pictures. This book has pictures of few ingredients and also gives a glimpse of how the end product will look like. The dishes are well classified under various sections like chutneys, rice, powders etc. It makes it easy for me to pick one dish from each section to plan a complete meal.  

The sepia tone picture of Pedatha reminds me of my achi (grandmother). Her serene look makes you want to go back to the book to try all the recipes. Today, I am sharing the most favourite recipe from the book – RASAM / CHARU. I just noticed I didn’t post a recipe for rasam all these days. How did I miss that? But there are recipes for pineapple rasam, onion rasam and chicken rasam in my blog. Do look for the recipe if you are trying to make something different from usual paruppu or tomato rasam.
I made one small change in the cooking steps. I used my mom’s rasam podi recipe instead of the recipe give in the book. Since I had a huge batch of fresh rasam podi, I didn’t bother to make another batch. Another major different I noticed the use of fenugreek seeds in the recipe. I haven’t used it earlier but from now on I am going to add them even in my mom’s rasam recipe. I highly recommend owing a copy of this book if you love authentic South Indian foods. It’s a bible for home cooked comfort meal.Cooking at Home with Pedatha is authored by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain. The book was awarded to be the BEST VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK in the world (Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2006).  You can find it in amazon. Do order your copy soon. Until then try this recipe below to see what I am talking about – such precise fool proof recipe.

  

RASAM | PAPPU CHARU RECIPE FROM AN ANDHRA KITCHEN

Source: Cooking at home with Pedatha cookbook
Serves: 4

Ingredients
5-6cups water
1/4 cup split red gram

2 large tomatoes, quatered
3-4 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon charu podi (I have my mom’s and Pedatha’s recipe there)
1 teaspoon asafoetida
10-12 curry leaves
2 tablespoon coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoon ghee
Salt to taste

The tempering
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Directions
1. Pressure cook the red gram in 1 cup of water. Churn and set aside.
2. In a deep vessel, heat 1 teaspoon of ghee for tempering. Pop the mustard seeds. Then add the fenugreek seeds. Lower the flame to avoid burning.
3. Add tomatoes, tamarind pulp, charu podi, salt and 5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil.
4. Mash the tomatoes with a ladle and add the cooked gram. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.
5. Just before switching off the flame , add asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
6. Finally, pour in the remaining ghee.

Additional notes
1. I enjoy a bowl of this soup in phase 1 of South Beach Diet. This soup can be eaten during phase 2 and 3 too.
2. The peppercorns and coriander seeds in the rasam powder is good for your body as it helps to releive your sinuses and other stomach problems. This hot South Indian soup is so good for you.
3. The ghee helps to lower your body heat. But when on a weightloss regime, use in minimum quantity.

Soup with chicken and kale

When I started with South Beach diet, the responses from my readers and loved ones are overwhelming. Thanks a bunch to all my well wishers and readers and also thanks a lot for writing in to me. Most of my family members shared a weird expression when I said that I am on a diet. All that comes to their mind is “Oh my god she is starving to lose weight”. For them, starving oneself  to death is equivalent to dieting. So here I am explaining what’s the PHASE 1 of South Beach diet all about.
Phase 1 is the shortest phase which lasts for just 2 weeks. This phase helps to eliminate the cravings for sugar and refined starches (Bad carbohydrates) in our body. The diet stabilizes the blood sugar level and this is perfect for those who are diabetic and ofcourse for those of us who are looking to lose weight. I stuck with phase-1 for 14 days following the menu suggested in the book. Since I traveled for the next 2 weeks, I could barely do any justice to my diet but managed not to gain any extra pounds when I got back. Then I went to phase 1 again. I have been jumping between phase 1 and 2 and still the results have been so encouraging. Every morning I get so excited to weigh myself and would jump up to the ceiling to know that I have lost some weight, even it is just 0.2 pounds. 🙂 It is better to weight oneself every other week but somehow, I get tempted to hop on to the weighing scale as the first thing in the morning.
The meals given in this stage are super delicious (Trust me when I say that), yes they are so yummy, nutritious and rich in fibers. You will be including lean protein such as fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, skinless chicken/turkey breasts, lean cuts of beef, tofu, reduced fat cheeses, eggs, 1% or fat free milk, nuts like almonds, soy, walnuts, pecans and seeds like flax, pumpkin or sunflower seeds , avocados, high fiber veggies like celery, greens, cabbage family, beans and lentils. I use extra virgin olive oil or canola oil for cooking.
You can have 3 hearty meals and 3 snacks. Few of my favorite dishes are Boy-choy shrimp, Pesto chicken, Pecan crusted trout or tilapia and Chok full of veggie chilli and few favorite healthy snacks are part-skim mozzarella sticks, roasted nuts (ofcourse you have numbers to stick to and cannot keep munching in cups), celery/cucumber with hummus or any roll ups. There also desserts to enjoy. But my personal choice is to avoid that as much as you can. The deserts are made with artificial sweeteners, which according to me is unnecessary to a normal body unless you are diabetic or have a medical condition that demands its use. Instead, I drink 8oz warm milk before I hit the bed. Sometimes if my cravings are high, I make nutty granola with 2 teaspoon Splenda.
According to me the most important thing to remember in South beach diet is the list of foods to avoid. In phase 1, you are denied from eating rice, pasta, grains like oats, barley, sugar, peas, carrot, corns, potatoes, beets and fruits. And no alcohol!!! This is just for 2 weeks. So it shouldn’t be a problem and we can stick through this easily. If you want to join me in this battle, shoot me an email. Let’s do it together.
Chicken kale soup is yet another Phase 1 dish. They are made with skinless chicken breast and kale. A very simple, nourishing and hearty soup. You can refrigerate them for couple of days too.
Ingredients
1 cup skinless chicken breast – cubed
1 bunch kale – chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red onions – diced
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
Method
Heat oil in a large cooking pan.Once they are hot, add garlic. Saute for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the chili flakes and cook for 20 seconds. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chicken breasts and kale and saute till they wilt, approximately 3-5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and sprinkle the thyme . Mix and cook covered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
Tips:
1.  Sometimes when I don’t have chicken stock, I add water instead.
2. You can add any herb of your choice.
3. You could also add chick pea for a variation. For my husband, who is not in any diet, I would add cooked brown or white rice to the soup.
4. This fits the phase 1 criteria and can also be enjoyed in phase 2 and 3 with a warm whole wheat baguette.
5. You can replace kale with swiss chard, spinach or any greens.
Will write about Phase 2 on my next post.

Summer is in and days are long and hot. Wouldn’t it be great to cuddle ourselves with a glass of refreshing drink? Non-alcoholic mocktail kit giveaway coming soon. One lucky reader will win a Tres Agaves T-Shirt, branded lime squeezer, Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar. Stay tuned!!!

South Beach Diet Phase 1 : Cauliflower Soy Subzi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Growing up, my favorite vegetable was cauliflower. Ofcourse next to carrots. My mom would make a crispy curry with it and served it with steamy white rice and rasam. She wasn’t too experimental with recipes and this recipe will be made in the way all the time but everytime it will taste divine. Maximum she did was to replace garam masala with whole spices. That’s it. That was how much she believed in tweaking a recipe her mom taught. But I am not her and for the personality I am, I have to introduce new flavors to create a spin to this beautiful flower. I can mash them to make chilled shots with lentils or puree them creamy to serve as bisque or even serve it as a crushed salad with mint and pomegranate. There are not infinite way to play and plate them. I have been experimenting a lot more plating style off late. You will know what I mean from my instagram feeds. I threw a Navratri giveaway for my Facebook readers for the festival season and the winners were announced on the day of Vijayadasami / Dussera. They will be receiving a gift bag with lots of kitchen goodies in it.

Today I am sharing the recipe for an easy version with cauliflower and soy chunks. I have used good old green chillies for the heat and sautéed them with ginger, garlic and onions. For a tart touch, I used mashed tomatoes and cooked them all together to form a delicious curry. Since it has protein as well, I eat them as a meal in a big bowl. This can be eaten during phase 1 of South Beach diet and for women with gestational diabetes, this can be eaten with brown rice or roti. I pack it with rice and ghee for my son.

Cauliflower_Subzi_1

CAULIFLOWER SUBZI

Cooking Level: Easy

Serves : A family of 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 green chillies
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 large tomato, mashed up
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cleaned and cut into small stems
  • 1/2 cup soy chunks soaked in hot water
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat oil and once hot, throw in the green chillies, garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute.
  2. Add onions and let it brown a bit, about 10 minutes on medium flame.
  3. Sprinkle turmeric powder and tomatoes and let it combine well.
  4. In the mean time, squeeze the water out of the soy chunks.
  5. Add the cauliflower stems, soy chunks and sprinkle 2 tablespoon or so water, cook covered for 15 minutes. Increase the heat for the last 5 minutes to crisp up the cauliflower. Add salt to taste and sprinkle cilantro. Serve hot with rice or roti/chapatti.