One of the hardest things to gain control over in a diet is not fats, not proteins, its Carbohydrate. While on my last weight watchers session, I realized that passing up a pack of potato chips was no big deal, but resisting that third slice of toasted bread or an extra ladle of plain rice (and I'm taking the fifth amendment on specifying the size of the spoon used for the rice!) meant overcoming that little voice inside that gently goads you on to 'go ahead its just one little slice / spoon more'. t was entirely by chance that I happened to tune into Dr. Richard Lustig's interview on NPR a couple of days ago that completely validated my own personal observations.
Getting healthy is not about skipping a meal, or salving away on the treadmill. Its about consciously avoiding processed sugars, in particular the dreaded F word.. Fructose
Lets face it, there is something irresistible about the texture / flavor/ mouth feel of Carbohydrates that makes us want more. Turns out that the receptors that get activated by sugars are the very dopamine receptors in the brains 'reward centers' that get a high from other addictive substances such as nicotine. I'll get back to this topic once I finish reading Dr. Lustigs latest best selling book ' Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease'.
As odd as it seems to wrap up a post with a Carb heavy recipe, I still like to maintain that its infinitely better to indulge in a smaller serving of tasty, nutritious (relatively) unprocessed carbs rather than an American super sized portion of toxic fructose laden ... (prefer not to use expletives here!).
Ever since I tried out Vikas Khanna's recipe for Forbidden rice pulao, I was hooked on its chewy earthy flavor, so different from the processed white rice. Discovering forbidden rice noodles at the Oriental grocery store was a bonus. Its conveniently apportioned out into five bundles (even though it says 4 servings on the package), each bundle worth 128 calories, 25 .6 gms total carbs, 4.8 g proteins, 1.6 g dietary fiber and 0.8 gs of Fat. (WW plus points value - 3). the texture is chewy and the noodles have a refreshing earthy flavor that fill you up beautifully. Although I've used Brussels sprouts , feel free to substitute other roasted vegetables such as broccoli or bell peppers for a refreshing variation.
Roasted Brussels sprouts with Forbidden rice noodles (makes 2 servings, 5 Weight watcher plus points)
2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon oil
Salt & pepper to taste
2 bundles forbidden rice noodles:
for the dressing/ seasoning
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon soy sauce,
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Combine the teaspoon of sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, the lemon juice and zest along with the sesame seeds and set aside.
Heat the oven to 450 F. Combine the shredded Brussels sprouts, Oil, salt & pepper & mix well. It may be an optical illusion but measuring out oil in a 'beaker' tends make it feel as if you're being extremely generous. and conversely, a tablespoon is plenty to coat the vegetables liberally.
Spread the Brussels sprouts on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, taking care to periodically keep stirring the veggies around.
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles, lower the heat to a simmer. and allow the noodles to cook for about 7-10 minutes until they turn limp. The texture needs to be a tad softer than 'al dente'. Drain and shake to get rid of any excess water. Add the soy sauce seasoning and toss to coat. Fold in the roasted Brussels sprouts and combine. Serve warm.
2 cups of Brussels sprouts have a collective Weight watchers points value of 2 (which by the way can be omitted from the total points values since the new program does not assign values for fresh veggies in the hope that will be generous in filling themselves with fiber rich produce) the oil brings in 4 total points. This works out to 5 points for the entire meal.