Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recipes To Help Lose Weight

Popcorn has done a lot to keep me from being shaped like a beach ball. Other people have usually found it helpful too.  It does not work if you eat it with a lot of butter and salt, etc. on it.  I make it with olive oil and don't put anything else on it.

Store brand popcorn works fine for me. If you like this you may want to dedicate a popcorn pan.  Mine is about 8 inches across by 4 inches deep.  It makes enough popcorn at one time to fill a large bowl. That is the dedicated popcorn bowl. 

1/3 cup of popcorn kernels works well for me, but it would be best to start with 1/4 cup to see what your pan will hold.  You  won't like it if popcorn sprays all over your kitchen from a too full pan.  2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the popcorn pan is the way to start.  I turn my stove burner on high and stay right there and watch it.  As soon as the oil flattens out and runs quickly across the bottom of the pan when you pick it up and tilt it, the pan is hot enough to put in popcorn.  I have the popcorn kernels already measured out and ready to dump in the pan.

I hold the lid for the pan in my left hand while I gently shake the popcorn kernels in the oil in the pan in my right pan.  Set the pan down on the burner frequently to allow the pan to get hot.  As soon as the first kernel pops, put the lid on the pan.  Continue to shake the pan, setting it less frequently on the burner as the popcorn inside pops faster.  When the popcorn stops popping after touching it to the burner, it is done.  I usually stop when there is no popcorn popping after a second.  Dump the popcorn into the bowl and enjoy it.  The extra virgin olive oil gives the popcorn a nice flavor without needing butter.  If you find it too bland, you could add butter substitutes and salt substitutes.

Salad is my second favorite instead of fattening foods.  I found that preparing the salad greens after I bring it home from the store makes it stay fresher.

I soak the greens in cool water for a few minutes to an hour.  Even if they are a little wilted they will absorb water and become fresher and more crisp.  If the weather is hot, you may want to add ice to the soaking water, especially if your tap water is a little warm.

You will need either paper towels or lots of cloth ones, to gently blot the leaves dry.  Salad spinners are another way to dry off the leaves. Line a plastic container with towels. I have only used paper towels so far, but am planning to work out a way to use cloth.

Place a thin layer of greens in the bottom of the plastic container on top of the paper towels.  They can be more than one leaf thick, but they spoil faster when they touch.  If you eat them fast, no problem.  Otherwise, one leaf thick is best.  Put another layer of paper towels on top of the leaves and add another layer of leaves.  Keep alternating leaves and towels until the container is full.  The greens will stay much crisper and not spoil as soon when you do this.  They are also ready to eat without further preparation except tearing into pieces if you prefer.

I like to make the salad a balanced meal.  That means I put a protein, at least one other vegetable, and a carbohydrate in it.  I usually put in low fat yogurt which counts as a protein and a fat.  Most of the time I make a dressing in addition to the yogurt with oil and vinegar with chopped basil in it.  If I think I need to cut down further on my fats I will only use the low fat yogurt as dressing.

Brown rice is my carbohydrate most of the time for the salad.  Sometime it is leftover pasta, or breadcrumbs or cubes or chopped potatoes. Carbohydrates in the bottom of the bowl absorb liquids from the salad.  Save some to put on top to make it look nicer. Put the rice in a circle on top of the greens leaving a ring of leaves showing around the edges.  I put the yogurt on the rice and if I am adding oil and vinegar that goes on top of the yogurt.  You can mix the basil into the yogurt or oil and vinegar or just sprinkle it on top of everything.  Next put the decorations on the ring of greens.  That might be black olives or mushrooms.  If you are using beans or nuts as your protein, that can go there as a decoration too.  Beets, broccoli, and carrots are colorful vegetables that make nice decorations.

I think this post is long enough so I may put in more recipes later on other posts.  I intend to write about ideas for how to do a food diary next.


  1. This is good information. I like your blogs and you write well. :)