unusual food + interesting combinations

  • Here are some interesting foods/food combinations that I've come across during my challenge. I'd like to hear about yours as well. (For the "red book purists," please forgive me in advance -- maybe this thread could be interesting for maintenance. :))

    Canned pumpkin: Not exactly unusual, but I've started using it all the time, mixed with cottage cheese, spread on ww toast, in oatmeal, in protein shakes, etc.

    Low-Fat Quark - A type of curd cheese somewhere between yogurt and cottage cheese. Quite sour and thick on its own, so I've taken to mixing it with other low-fat yogurts, which gives the final result a nice hearty flavor and texture. I bet it would even be good on its own atop a baked potato. I think they sell this at Whole Foods. Be careful to select the low-fat one! Approx. nutritional value per 100g: 70cals, 12.5g protein, 4g carbs, .2g fat.

    Dried Soja Chunks: I know you're supposed to soak these in water and cook them as you would ground meat, but I like them plain, straight out the bag. (Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but you never know until you try!) I miss the crunchiness factor of carbs and these, in my opinion, are a great alternative. This morning I sprinkled a few on my quark + apricot yogurt mixture, which gave me over 6g of protein and a lot of crunch. If you're eating them this way, don't overdo it; 5 - 15g would be sufficient. For maintenance I'll definitely be adding these to homemade granola and snack mixes. Approx. nutritional value per 100g: 320cals, 48g protein, 14g carbs, 8g fat.

    Ajvar: Savory Balkan relish made out of red peppers/eggplants and sunflower oil. Could give you some healthy fats, in addition to being delicious. Mixed into cottage cheese it's heavenly (I say this as a previously anti-savory cottage cheese person), and I also like it with plain egg whites. Not all ajvar is created equal; I like the Baktat brand. Use sparingly! Approx. nutritional value per 15g serving: 36cal, 0g protein, less than 1g carbs, 3.7g fat.

  • Thanks for posting this thread, love your creative suggestions!  Will have to definitelybtry the canned pumpkin idea. A few things that have become staples for me:

    Matcha tea: this is a powdered green tea, has some caffeine but also catechins...I take a scoop, put it in my water bottle, shake it up and use it as my pre-work out drink.  All of the benefits of green tea but multiplied since you are actually ingesting the leaf, as opposed to the brewed version.  I get mine from matcha source, but Rishi brand also has it as well as powdered oolong tea.  Interesting study on thermogenesis (aid in weight loss) too posted at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20156466

    Shiratake noodles:  you can find these in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods or Asian grocers.  (I buy mine online at Konjac Foods in bulk, theirs don't need to be refrigerated.) This is a noodle made from the root of the konjac plant...no calories, no sugar, nothing added and 9g of fiber per serving. All natural, has been used in China and Japan forever.  It has been a lifesaver for me in replacing carbs! That said, some folks don't care for it...you do have to chew it (even though it looks like a noodle, can't just slurp it down because it is actually a root, and you need to chew to aid the digestion of all that fiber!). I mix it with healthy sauces and good to go!  You do need to rinse really well,and blot the extra moisture out with paper towels. The water it's packed in can have a fishy smell and doesn't go over so well with some folks (there is no fish in it!  some of the noodle brands make the noodles with the plant but add tofu...I like just the plain ones personally.)

  • just had the cottage cheese and ajvar for dinner:

    cottage cheese + 15g ajvar

    1 slice ww bread, toasted

    (~250cal, 28g protein, 5.5g fat) < YUM.

    @bflbride: excellent suggestions! for some reason I had forgotten all about matcha. I sense some matcha protein shakes in my future.

    I'd never heard of the noodles before, so thanks for the tip. Definitely looking for those on my next weekly trip to the asian grocer.

  • where can you buy ajvar?! it sounds AWESOME

  • it is, trust me. i get it at the turkish grocery, but if you don't have one, try international, east european or middle eastern food stores. keep an eye out for different but equally tasty variations, such as the Bulgarian "ljutenitsa."  

  • Thanks all for posting such creative suggestions. I'm a "foodie" myself, so this is a way to keep it exciting. I like to have company over and am always in quandary as to what to give them. I don't like to go too far off the program on my free days.

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  • more culinary awesomeness...

    protein noodles - noodles made out of either wheat or soy protein. (i prefer the wheat protein variety.) not quite the same as their carb-filled counterparts, of course, but a good substitute nonetheless. the kind that I bought have 20g of protein (!) and 110 calories for a small 30g serving. i eat mine with tofu bolognese, a slice of lite cheese and a pile of sauteed vegetables.

    dry roasted edamame - salty, crunchy deliciousness. perfect for "snacking", as protein and carbs are naturally balanced. one serving (30g): 130cals, 4g fat, 10g carbs, and 14g protein.

     

  • I think I'll have to make a special trip to Wegman's (the only supermarket that seems to carry exotic foods). What is edamame?

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  • Will have to try those protein noodles!  Hey Elle, edamame is just a fancy name for soybeans.  I also love them dry roasted!!! You can do the same thing with chickpeas, and add seasoning....tastes like corn nuts :)

    Not sure how unusual this is, but I've been on a kale chip fix for the past week! :) basically you simply wash and dry the kale (dry really well), toss with light drizzle of olive oil and then add seasonings...chili pepper, sea salt, whatever you like...then bake at 275 for 20 mins or so....yummy!!!!!

  • Thanks, BFL Bride. I like soybeans. I never tried them dry roasted. I'll see if I can find them at Wegman's this weekend. I'm going to try the kale chips too. :P

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  • as BFLbride2b suggested, shiratake "noodles" are good for a source of fiber. You shouldn't eat it more than twice a week, though. According to the Japanese, more might irritate your intestines as they are really high on fiber.

    This recipe is a favorite: Falafel burger:

    - 1 cup of chickpeas/fraw ava beans

    - Handful of coriander, handful of dill, handful of parsley, handful of leek, one medium onion grated or very finely chopped, salt and cayenne to taste, a tiny spoon of baking powder, the blend all into a "dough". Then use cooking oil to "fry" on each side. Make the burgers slim to cook on the inside.

    Another recipe is British called "bubble and squeak. It uses boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage, a dash of fresh coriander, grated or finely chopped onions, 1 egg or two egg whites. Salt to taste. "Knead" with hand until you get a consistent mixture. Use cooking spray as above. Very yummy and has a sweet taste to it. You can make this recipe with any left over veggies as well like celery, squash, etc.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Also, basturma. Air-dried seasoned cured beef Turkish/Armenian style. 30 Grams of portein per 100 grams, 3 grams of fat, no carbs or 1 gram carbs.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Ruby. That is certainly good to know. If I like the Japanese noodles, I would have unwittingly ate them for a solid week (I tend to get into a rut). :P

    Bubble and Sweak sounds interesting. I just asked a British colleague about it. I'm definitely going to try that.

    I like your siggy.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

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  • Hi Elle,

    LOL.. No please.. not the Japanese ones. A Japanese celebrity (will never remember his name) passed away eating Shiratake every single day to lose weight. They are that hight on fiber they clogged his intestines.

    Thanks for the siggy compliment hehe

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Amazing. People do what they think is good for the body and something else happens. Heh heh.

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