Tag Archives: Food

Pizza: the healthy way

My current hardcore dieting unfortunately means that I can’t eat a lot of the delicious food I love and crave. Actually, it means I can’t eat food very much at all. I am a massive Italian food lover- and if I ate as much of it as I desired I would literally be an extremely massive Italian food lover. As Italian food is generally ridiculously high in carbs and calories and fat and everything else, and as I am the type of person who generally manages to find a way around everything, I have come up with a solution for me not allowing myself to eat carby high calorie favourites: pizza and pasta. Pasta is my favourite food ever.

The pasta one is super easy- it’s called Slim Pasta. While perusing a local health shop recently and gazing longingly at the pasta section, I came across a little package labelled Slim Pasta. Which for obvious reasons caught my immediate attention. Upon further investigation I discovered it had only 34 calories in the entire pack, which had two serves. It’s $4 for a pack, which is kind of expensive for pasta, but still not too bad and definitely worth it. It’s made from ‘konjac flour’ and even though it doesn’t exactly taste like normal pasta and it’s quite noodle like, it’s still pretty great. Definitely better than no pasta. I just mix it with a bottle of pasta sauce and a sprinkle of cheese and it’s like a 100 calorie, super duper filling meal! So fantastic.

Now on pizza: last night I was on cooking dinner for the family duty, and as I am vegetarian and they are the complete opposite, I try to find something that all of us like and will eat. Last night’s solution: healthy pizzas.

How do you make an actual healthy pizza, you wonder? Pretty simply, actually. All I did was use wholemeal pita breads as a base, spread them with tomato paste and pile on whatever veggies I desired- I used mushrooms, pineapple, olives, asparagus and capsicum, but I’m sure there’s plenty of delicious combinations. I put some ham on everyone else’s and left my share nice and meat free, and covered everyone elses with an abundance of cheese while only putting a sprinkling on mine, as it’s super fatty and high calorie. It was incredibly delicious and really filling, and it’s a fantastic meal to make to cater for a number of people who don’t eat the same things, because you can vary the ingredients on each one.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased I have found a way to include my favourite foods in my current crazy dieting mode!

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Testimonial to pasta (or, ‘I have found the most orgasmic pasta in Brisbane city’)

Testimonial to pasta (or, 'I have found the most orgasmic pasta in Brisbane city')

One of my best friends/roommate and I have started a regular thing of going out for dinner together late Friday nights. Our adventure last Friday night led us to Vapiano, an Italian restaurant in the city, where I discovered what was probably the best pasta I have tasted in my life.

Yes, I completely blew my current diet and that one meal probably contained a substantial amount of days worth of my self-advised calorie intake- but it was completely, without a doubt worth it.

We decided since we were both completely ignoring our diet plans we might as well go all out, and ordered a bruschetta (which was also incredible), a glass of Moscato each (the best I have tasted, Chalk Hill I believe) and the pasta. Holy mother of god, the pasta. After much deliberating over the abundantly pasta filled menu we finally decided to choose the most creamy, fatty one we could find- ‘Pollo E Spinaci’- which to put in a less fancy way, was chicken (that my new half vegetarian self removed), onion, pesto and baby spinach in a cream sauce. I would almost go as far as saying this pasta was as good as sex. Whaaat an experience. Literally, my friend and I sat there giggling in awe of the deliciousness and making a lot of appreciative moaning noises. Yes, sometimes we get a little too over excited about food, but in my defense, this was something to get very over excited for.

Apart from the absolutely amazing food, Vapiano ticks all the right boxes. It has a very unique ordering/serving system, in that you go up to the counter and order your meal from one of the many chefs standing behind it in a kitchen, who then focusses on you and your food only and makes the meal right in front of you. Excellent customer service, and the chefs were all very friendly and chatty, making you feel right at home.

I am definitely one for quirky, different, well set out restaurants that set a certain mood. I wouldn’t describe Vapiano as so much quirky, but it definitely had a very bold, friendly, comfortable and very Italian atmosphere.

Price wise, it only turned out around $20 each, as one bowl of pasta was more than enough for the both of us- as much as we tried to stuff in more delicious goodness, we couldn’t even get through it all. As a sign at the restaurant said, ‘the problem about Italian food is that five or six days later you’ll be hungry again’. I appreciated that one.

This will definitely be my place of choice when I want to treat myself to an Italian feast and break my diet good and proper. My love for this place is probably quite intensified by my extreme love for pasta and Italian food, and I’m rather glad I don’t live in Italy, pretty sure I would be quite the fatty.

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Vegetarian Adventures

I have recently decided to become ‘more vegetarian’- I am cutting red meat out of my diet, severely limiting chicken/poultry, but still eating fish. And a lot of tofu/lentils to make up for the protein. I am also trying very hard to diet, by decreasing my calorie intake and having as little fat and sugar as possible.

I find that vegetarian and healthy recipes often have complicated ingredients that I don’t usually have in my pantry, and don’t want to buy because they’re not used often of difficult to find, but these can often be easily substituted for other ingredients, or omitted altogether, and I often add different ingredients that weren’t in the original recipe, to suit what I’ve got on hand/have access to.

To accommodate these things into my lifestyle and make it a little more ‘exciting’ and not so difficult, I have been spending quite a few hours researching delicious and easy recipes for healthy vegetarian food, as well as some experimenting. My efforts thus far have been rather successful, and hopefully I will maintain the motivation to keep at it!

I tried out a recipe last night but tweaked it a little and revised the ingredient amount so it made enough for just me, and it turned out fantastic. I based it off this recipe:
http://www.calorieking.com.au/recipes/Vegetarian/Vegetarian-Dishes/Vegetables-with-Tofu_Y2lkPTEmc2lkPTI0JnJpZD01NjY.html (this site also has loads of other awesome recipes, and it’s great because it shows all of the nutrition information for every recipe) but my own version was as follows:

1/4 teaspoon garlic and ginger (just the already prepared crushed in a jar ones)
about 2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornflour
splash of soy sauce
splash of oyster sauce
whatever vegetables I had in the cupboard (which turned out to be carrot, broccoli and green beans)
a handful of tofu

Then I simply heated up the garlic and ginger in a frying pan with a tiny bit of oil, added in the vegetables, tofu and a little bit of soy sauce and oyster sauce, adding more as needed, stir fried the vegetables until they were cooked, added the cornflour mixed with the water and stir fried for another couple of minutes, and ate! Turned out super delicious, and was a piece of cake to make (just a lot more healthy and a lot less fattening).

The original recipe version of this says that it only has 190 calories per serve, so my version would have around the same amount. This one will definitely become a dinner regular.

I then made an asparagus frittata, a recipe invention courtesy of myself, for lunch today, which also turned out wonderfully. All I did for that one was fry some canned asparagus in a tiny bit of crushed garlic and cheese, laid it out in the bottom of a baking dish, covered it with as many beaten eggs as I thought sufficient, and sprinkled with some cheese, salt & pepper and mixed herbs, and cooked in the oven.

A couple of fantastic, super easy, delicious and healthy, low calorie and low fat recipe ideas. Next experiment is tofu rice paper rolls!

If anyone has any other ideas/recipes that would suit my diet, I would love to hear about them.

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