Recently my husband had a stroke. Fortunately with little damage, but with the mandatory recommendation to lose weight and lower cholesterol levels.
He is Italian. Italians do care so much about food and good taste.
I quickly noticed it wouldn’t be possible to present him a dry minute steak with a salad dressed with a teaspoon of olive oil.
Well, I use to say that it’s easy to cook tasty dishes using a lot of fat – even healthy fat as extra virgin olive oil! The difficulty is cooking tasty and inviting meals with…little fat.
As I have always watched my weight since I was a teenager, I use to cook with little fat. That’s my challenge: good food with the less calories.
My husband used to have only dinner at home, so he only ate part of my “light” food, often looking for extra cheese and bread other than what was already on the table and on his dish.
Now he has to lower weight…and is having all meals at home. And my challenge became bigger: how to prepare different and inviting meals everyday, using little fat (I control even the good fat as he not only has to lower cholesterol but to lose a lot of weight too) and a lot of fantasy
I decided to begin sharing here my ideas, maybe someone else out there is into my same situation, so it can be a little help.
Today I prepared brown rice with zucchini served with codfish and cherry tomatoes. Here I’ll specify quantities and nutritional qualities to justify my choice.
What I used to prepare brown rice for 2:
- 1 small fresh onion minced (about a tablespoon)
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 1 fresh zucchini grated
- 120gr/0.5 cup of brown rice
- 2 tea spoons of extra virgin olive oil
How to prepare it:
Put the oil into a pan and then add the minced onion and garlic. Let it cook for a while and then add the grated zucchini. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the brown rice. Add salt and about a cup of boiling water (using cold water will only take longer, no problem). Let it cook, stirring from time to time until you feel the grains are cooked. Cover the pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes (brown rice is harder than the white one). Done!
Light Cherry Tomatoes
Just cut the cherry tomatoes in 4 (if they are too small just in half), put them into a bowl and add salt and…spray extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Take some breadcrumbs. Add fine herbs or whatever you may prefer (just rosemary, oregano, etc) and salt.
Take each piece of codfish and pass it on this mix covering it well.
Spray extra virgin olive oil on a non-adherent pan and place the codfish pieces carefully. After a while turn them to cook the other side. Take care of the gas, as they can burn out easily with little oil. When it is done, add the juice of a big Italian lemon (or any lemon you may have otherwise). Turn off the gas, cover the pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
Done! Here you have a tasty meal using only a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil plus some oil squeezes (so little that it is even difficult to measure) per person (45 calories per person of good fat). Here you find more info I wrote regarding the benefits of olive oil.
Why choose this menu?
- Brown rice is recommended for lowering cholesterol – whole grain food helps increasing the “good” cholesterol (HDL):
- Garlic is also recommended for the same reason;
- Codfish – it is a very good source of niacin, another B vitamin that is often used to lower high cholesterol levels;
- Tomatoes are recommended too for the same reason;
- Zucchini – all doctors recommend eating vegetables and fruit, especially in this case.
Calories per person: 500