Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fructose or Sugar Free Vegetable Dressings

Hi Followers,
Sorry it has been a while since my last posting....was called away on urgent business to Sydney last week, and it truly demanded my undivided attention .....and energies.... to say the least. But I am back on board now (fingers crossed), and hope that the dust settles at least for the next few months before I have to make another visit to the big smoke.


And wasn't I tested having to forage in the Sydney without my fructose-free supplies. Despite the fact that I didn't think I slipped up in any way, I didn't do too well on the scales on my return home. I actually gained a kilogram!!!!! So I have done a whole rethink of what I consumed last week (excluding the wine), and believe that once again I most likely overdid the 'quantity' thing and the carbs. As of Monday, I have really cut down on my carbs (as well as the sugars/ fructose) and am actually feeling a lot flatter in my tummy for it. Hardly any bloated feeling in my tummy, and the sometimes puffy ankles are noticeably absent.....uhmmmmm......


So what exactly am I living on? Well....I always have my 2 vitabrits (my only carbs for the day) with some mixed natural berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries), a small handful of toasted almonds and some delicious whole milk for breakfast. For lunch I have a salsa of vegetables with a portion of meat/ fish/ chicken. And for dinner, I have steamed vegetables with a dressing, and a portion of meat/ fish/ chicken. This doesn't seem like much but it is enough to keep me truly satisfied without the mid-morning/mid-afternoon munchies wanted. So I will see how I go over the next two weeks.


One of my retired male friends is going great guns and losing heaps of weight just following the sugar free regime. Mind you he is climbing our 'little hill' here in Townsville twice a day....so that has to help right???? I truthfully have a fairly physical job, but a lymphodoemia problem... so maybe the carbs I have been enjoying lately could be my undoing. Time will tell. Bye pasta, fresh bread, and rice!!!! I know I won't give up until this weight comes off. If any of you have any words of advice or encouragement, please tell me...I promise to take it on board.

For todays little 'treat' I thought (seeing as how Ralphy and I are eating lots of vegetables), I would chat about the different dressings I quickly make to 'spice' the vegetable dishes up. After all, I am trying to come up with a lifestyle change and not simply a 'few-months-diet' plan. And vegetables have to be a delight to eat 24/7 especially if you are not that keen on vegetables!!!! Truthfully Ralphy and I quite enjoy our veg but they can get a little boring (like all foods) when eaten day in and day out. So here are a few of my quick ideas especially for during the work week when time is often in short supply.




Beef and Vegetable Salad


One of my favourite dishes (and Ralphy's) is to quickly cook a steak in a pan to medium rare. Whilst this is cooking, I crush on a chopping board a garlic clove with some salt (and sometimes some parsley). I then smear this garlic paste all over the board. As soon as the steak is cooked, I remove from the pan on to the board and thinly slice without resting the meat. Using clean hands, I quickly toss the pieces of meat around on the board to blend through the garlic, salt (and parsley if used). The 'dressed' beef slices are then added to a bowl of prepared (and slightly olive-oiled) vegetables with leaves of basil or watercress or baby spinach or........ How fresh and clean is that taste. Now if I wasn't on my almost carb-free diet, I would toast up a slice of sourdough bread and heap a ladel of this gorgeous dressed beef salad on top. Still it is nice without the carbs!!!!




The simplest way to dress vegetables is to just toss them with a little GOOD quality olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt (and pepper if you must). I won't be adding pepper to any of my following recipes as I hate pepper except on boiled eggs. Cannot explain that....go figure???? Sometimes I may add a squeeze of lemon, or limes, or lemonade fruit juice depending on the vegetable(s) to be dressed. This simple idea is particularly great with fresh beans, asparagus, and/or broccolini.




Dressed Grilled Vegetables


Another quickie is to drain the vegetables well, then toss them with a teaspoon of dijon mustard (sugar free of course) and a little salt. Carrots are really nice done this way. New potatoes chopped into bite sized pieces (and still with their skin on), steamed or microwaved, then tossed with a little sour cream or better still, my homemade greek yoghurt soft creamcheese is to die for (see earlier post). And don't forget the fresh finely chopped parsley if not already in the creamcheese.


Tonight I cooked a vegetable dish consisting of quartered yellow squash, quartered brussel sprouts (one of my favourite vegetables), one crushed garlic, and a 1/4 cup of flaked almonds. After heating some olive oil in the pan with a 1/2 teaspoon of butter, I added the vegetables, garlic, and almonds and kept tossing gently so that they cooked on all sides. When browned I then  squeezed over a little lemon and a quick grind of salt and removed from the pan into a serving dish. WOW!!!! What a yummy dish, and yet so easy. Next time I may add some very finely grated lemon rind or ginger before tossing.


Of course, the quick addition of fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts or roasted almonds, a piece of red chilli, some olive oil and salt into the blender and a quick whizz makes the most tasty pesto to add to chick peas or beans, diced tomatoes,  or even roasted diced pumpkin or sweet potatoes. And don't forget the wonderful flavours of soy or tamari sauce especially on a beef or chicken and vegetable salad like the one above.


None of these dressings I have just mentioned are harmful to you or against the principles of the fructose/ sugar free diet. Yes there are fats but not a lot. We must have some fats in our diets as these are essential in the production of many of our hormones etc. And don't forget from an earlier post, that the fats must be of good quality and whole.... not low fat or skimmed or margarines, or seed oils etc. Just remember what your mum always said...quality not quantity!!!! So I hope I have given you a few quick, tempting ideas to try for yourself (if not your family and visitors!!!!!).


And that my cherubs is your lot for the week. Don't forget to post me if you have any good ideas or words of advice...... I too am on a learning curve as I am sure many of you are (from the statistics I receive each week.... great to see... welcome and thank you for joining me).


Until my next posting, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite..... and have a good week...... Noels

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