It takes a really steely resolve to keep with a strict regimen when you're down with a combined case of the flu and a cold. The best that one can do under these circumstances is try to stay hydrated and fill up on soups and light stews. When half a ton of stress is added (by way of the little ones falling sick, its time to put any regimen up on a shelf, it can begin to grate on you and the last thing you need is to start resenting a resolution). Tales of my Carb-loading kitchen capers will be posted on the 24th of the month.. stay tuned! In the mean time, here is a sneak peek!
When it comes to favorites in the vegetable kingdom, I'd rank the white fleshed winter melon up there at the top. there is something about its crisp yet yielding texture with the explosion of pure liquid when you bite into a well cooked cube.
Winter melon is traditionally cooked with a coconut cumin and red chile paste which provide the bulk of its calories. a healthy and hearty alternative is to use cooked split mung dal instead. I found that the hearty flavors of the mung and vegetal lightness of the winter melon shone beautifully when the stew was spiced minimally. The best part, a chunk of the calories comes from the tablespoon of oil used for the tempering, which is pretty semi optional.
Mung beans and Winter melon stew: (serves 3 generously as a meal by itself)
4 cups winter melon cubed ( 40 cals, 2 WW plus points)
1/2 cup split mung beans (300 cals , 7 WW plus points)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch asafetida (optional)
1 green birds eye or serrano chile split longitudinally
1 sprig curry leaves
2- 3 cups water
Salt to taste
For the tempering:
1 tablespoon oil (120 cals, 4 WW plus points)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon split Urad dal
1 small arbol chile
Rinse, clean and drain the mung dal. Add the water, turmeric, split green chile and turmeric. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and allow the mung dal to cook until its soft yet retains its shape. Add the cubed winter melon along with the curry leaves , optional asafetida and salt. Allow to cook on a low heat until the winter melon turns translucent.
Heat the oil and add the ingredients for tempering. Once the mustard pops, the Urad and arbol chile turn a reddish brown ( I burnt it a bit in the photograph above) , add the tempering to the stew. Serve hot with a cup of fresh steaming plain rice. Given that Weight watchers does not assign points to vegetables, this dish tops out at a measly 4 points without the rice.
and yes, I confess, I also went ahead and created a fabulous fattening spiced Persimmon & blood orange mousse, which I promise to share in future posts! Bon Appetit!