Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All diets work...

Tikka Mackerel on Salsa with Bombay Wedges

In this, my latest, attempt to lose weight, I am not following a particular diet plan. I am counting no points or calories, and I won't cut out any food groups. So, certainly no 'just eat xyz for a week'.
What am I going to do then? - you might well ask.

Well, I think: ALL DIETS WORK.

If you stick to them, that is. Some people claim that they did and still didn't lose weight. That's not my experience. I always did lose weight, although sometimes not as much as the diet promised.
I think what doesn't work is the maintenance. Once you've achieved your goal weight, the old bad habits creep back in, you lose the impetus to keep up the exercise, and before you know it, you're back to square one.

As I said before, one overweight person isn't like the next. I can only talk for myself, really. Even with the best intentions, there comes a point when I can't be bothered to count and weigh and add up. There comes a point when I just haven't got the time. There comes the point when I'm grateful when HE offers to cook...

After numerous attempts of losing it and putting it back on - I refuse to call it yo-yo - I have come to the conclusion that, basically, I need to stay on a diet for the rest of my life. That I have to see the whole thing as a handicap, as a dear friend of mine called it recently.

There are many, many reasons why this is difficult, one of them:

Healthy/Diet recipes are not suitable for the whole family

Of course, some of them claim to be - and maybe they are, somewhere in the universe - but they're usually not suitable for MY Family.

But if I want to keep this up indefinitely, and don't want to cook several meals, then they have to be not only suitable, but actually LIKED by my family. So, my very personal, tailor-made plan is:

  • I will draw on all the recipes that I have liked from any of the diets I have been on in the past
  • I will test out recipes that may fit in, i.e. suitable for all of us, and ideally, under 400 calories for the main meal
My men will give each main meal a rating of up to three stars.

no star = don't cook it again
1 star = we will eat it again
2 stars = we LIKE this one
3 stars = we LOVE this one

This is an adaptations from a recent Tesco magazine recipe:

(Serves 4)

4 mackerel, filleted (I bought just 3 fillets)
1 Tbsp Tikka curry paste (I used Pataks)
juice of 3 limes (I used half lime, half lemon)
1 red chilli, chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander

For the Salsa:
1/4 cucumber, peeled and diced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 small red onion, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

For the Bombay Wedges:
As many small new potatoes as you allow per person, scrubbed and cut into wedges
1 - 2 tsp Bombay spice
1 - 2 tsp olive oil

1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes
2. Skewer the mackerel and place into a shallow dish
3. Spread with the tikka paste
4. Add chopped coriander chilli to lime juice and drizzle over the fillets, leave to marinate for 10 minutes
5. Boil water and blanch wedges for 2-3 minutes, then pat dry
6. Pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes to 2oo C
7. In a small plastic bag, combine olive oil, Bombay Mix and wedges, mix well
8. Spread wedges out on a non-stick baking tray and season. Bake for ca 20 minutes
9. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa and arrange on the middle of your plates
10. Pre-heat the grill for the mackerel, grill for 3 - 4 minutes

I served ours with Bok Choi, but Savoy Cabbage would have been equally nice. My men gave it 2 stars, so this will become one of my staple oily fish dishes. The original Tesco recipe had no extra stodge or veg but salad leaves added to the salsa and came - at 2 fillets per person - to 255 calories.
As you can imagine, my men cannot start to comprehend the idea of 'no stodge', so I added the potato wedges. Not sure what the exact calorie count would be for my version. I didn't have the wedges, and I was perfectly full and satisfied.

Tesco's were selling mackerel fillets which were already marinated, and although I did go through the trouble of following the recipe, my verdict is that you could use them straight away without the bother, especially as all that good marinade is tipped away.

At £1.77 for the three fillets, it was also incredibly cheap.


オテモヤン said...


try said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容 ..................................................

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Hilary Kuree
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Anonymous said...

I tend to agree, everything but in moderation. As long as you don't over-endulge things should turn out just fine. This is something I'm going to test over the christmas season, what with all of the Christmas dinners I have beeb invited to before and on the day I'm hoping that it'll work out just fine.

Jane - Kitchen Stools Direct said...

You put that so correctly! It is hard to make a diet recipe work for the whole family. Either you end up cooking endless meals to meet everyone's needs, or you share the same meal (which in all probability will be calorie-rich). Good idea to unearth the low calorie recipes that will work for all, and yet help us lose weight. Thank you for this wonderful post.