Can fried food be healthy?

Not all fried food is created equal. Tonight I was on a mission to make fish and chips. I wanted REAL fried fish instead of the baked variety and with a little help from Cooking Light I learned that it can still be a healthful choice.

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You need the right batter than will not absorb too much oil and the oil needs to be at the perfect temperature (too low and the fish would absorb too much oil, too high and it will burn on the outside before cooking on the inside). 375* is usually the sweet spot. Get your food thermometers out!

I used this recipe for fried catfish (using halibut instead) and it was incredible!! I loved not only the taste of the cornmeal crust but also the crunchy texture).

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The fish was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Not one bit greasy. Amazing!

My weird obsession with frying food just got stronger. Something about the oil bubbles… they mesmerize me and make me giddy. I don’t know… Rolling on the floor laughing

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Baked truffle fries didn’t hurt either Winking smile [Coat sliced potatoes in EVOO and dried thyme, bake at 450* for 10 minutes, finish with a drizzle of truffle oil.]

 

Healthy-ish fish and chips. Mission accomplished!

Have you ever deep fried anything? I want more bubbles. :lol:

 

Getting my focus back with Weight Watchers new Points Plus program

You may have heard that Weight Watchers launched a new program last week, their Points Plus program.

I joined WW 3 months ago for the group support and the weekly weigh-ins. I never followed their actual program because I thought that counting points was a less accurate way of counting calories; so on-and-off I’d toy with the idea of going back to calorie counting instead, lasting maybe a day or 2 at a time.

And then I went to a meeting last week. The new program encompasses all the nutritional research that has been done over the past 13 years (since WW launched their original points system). The Points Plus program focuses on how each macro-nutrient is used by our bodies (with protein being much harder to use for energy and carbs and fat processed easily). The bottom line is not all calories are created equal and I’ve been a strong supporter of this system. The program also encourages you to eat as many fruits and vegetables (the fiber in these is what makes them power foods); lean meats and low fat dairy are next on the list and carbs + fat are the most “expensive” points plus wise.

I would really like to be able to eat intuitively one day and not count anything. However, at this point of my life I need to do something structured and this program encompasses everything I was already aiming to do… just adding that structural component that I need.

I’m dealing with my emotional eating issue as well. This is my biggest obstacle that no diet can fix. I’ve been questioning the reasons for eating outside of hunger. In situations where I can’t deal with the discomfort/anxiety/whatever I’m feeling at the moment, I’ve been grabbing fruit (zero points, baby!). And I’m seeing results so far. It’s only been a few days since I followed the program to the T and I’m very encouraged to keep going. I think this is really going to work!! Open-mouthed smile

With my new focus back, I’ve been really focusing on nutrition and enjoying some really wonderful meals lately. Let’s check out dinners from the past 3 days…

Savory Mexican pancakes

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I used TJ’s pancake mix and loaded these babies up with corn, baby spinach, black beans and tomatoes.  A little salsa and low fat sour cream on top are a must! Smile

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Adam has a mild obsession with black beans so he was a very happy camper. I loved how quick and versatile this recipe is. Smile

Moroccan spicy chickpeas with whole wheat couscous

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I didn’t have ras el hanout (traditional Moroccan spice blend) so I used garam masala, so this was kind of an Moroccan/Indian dish. The sweetness of the dried apricots and the crunch of the almonds added a lot of complexity to this simple entree.

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Today’s kick-ass lunch was the leftover chickpeas served over salad greens, tomatoes, hot peppers and cottage cheese. MmmMmmM.

Beer-battered fish tacos with tomato avocado salsa

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One of the star ingredients (Adam really wanted me to show it to you :lol: )

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I always have some kind of fish in my freezer. Last night I dug out a few mahi-mahi fillets and tonight the rest of the meal came together in about 10 minutes. Fresh, light, just the way I love my meals. Yum, yum, yum Nyah-Nyah

My clothes are starting to fit a bit better, I’m having more homemade meals, and my focus is back. I’m feeling GOOD.

PS – I’m going to be visiting my sister in NYC this weekend and I’m meeting Joanne on Saturday night for dinner. Anyone would like to join us? I’d love to meet some of my readers!!

PPS – In case you missed it, check out my Real Food Diet cookbook review and giveaway.

See you tomorrow! Send a kiss

Where did those (not) food blogging hours go?

I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks since my last post. I seriously feel like I haven’t blogged here in ages (although I did continue with regular posting on Russian Bites. Sorry, gotta self-promote. You understand, right? ;) ). Blogging has become such a large part of my life, that days after days away felt like months. I even had time to get into a short (food) rut for a week there. Maybe it was the rebel in me. Oh you don’t have to take pictures of food for the next few weeks? Fine, how about you eat crap then?! I dug myself out of that hole relatively quickly though (I mean, the whole break was 2 weeks and the last week I was a cooking and baking maniac so I’d say I got my mojo back :mrgreen: ). I’m going to go ahead and say that that’s what my body wanted and move on, because I’m back. Ooh yeah.

So let’s see, what have you missed…

Eggplant “meatball” subs (it tasted like eggplant parm in a baguette!)

Dover sole picatta (I used this recipe, originally found through Meals & Moves, but of course subbed fish for chicken).

I actually made the chicken version first and it was so amazing (quick and incredibly flavorful and healthy!) that I wanted to try it with other proteins. Fantastic recipe! It’s definitely going to make the best of 2010 list! Saucy…

 

Btw, here is the chicken version :)

Also, after over a year, I finally made the brussels sprouts recipe everyone raved about after the 2009 Foodbuzz festival. I know I’m late to the party but it was worth it! :) No leftovers here…

Thank you, Shannon, for all the weirdo ingredients! I used pancetta instead of guanciale.

There was one baking disaster – protein banana muffins, aka banana flavored rubber in muffin form ;) [I won't link to the recipe I modified... and clearly screwed up.]

There were definitely baking successes. Oooh yeah. In cupcake form. Namely oreo cupcake and margarita cupcake form. Yes, you read that right and you should really find an excuse to make them right away. Especially the margarita ones. Tiffany, you are a genius for setting up a cupcake party! :mrgreen:

I also met one of my baking idols – Joanne Chang, the owner of Flour bakery. But you probably already know this if you like me on Facebook (you do, don’t you?).

I spy someone on the right ;)

I already bought all the ingredients for the granola bars. Can’t believe I get to make them myself!!

Ok, looks like there were even more sweets. Chocolate sausage:

… and FRIED food? Say what? Hey it was for the blog! :cool: Chicken Kiev:

… and I did have salad with it!

In fact, based on what’s on my camera, there were a few salads…

Mixed greens, grapes, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, pecans and rotisserie chicken (my new favorite thing… I get 1/2 a chicken at Whole Foods for just $5 and it lasts a few days!!)

Mixed greens, strawberries, tofu, pecans and goat cheese

And here is that chicken again in a chicken salad with dried cherries, walnuts and greek yogurt

Aside from the food, there were a few workouts. But not nearly as many as I wish there were. I’ll talk more about my lifting program in a separate post. Gotta give you something to come back to. :mrgreen:

How have you been? Did you miss me? ;)

I missed you, although not blogging didn’t really free up my schedule as much as I thought it would. Watching tv is extremely time consuming. :lol:

If you have a food blog, do you think you’d eat differently if you took a break for 2 weeks?

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