I think with some healthy substitutes and within right proportions you can have anything. I learned this while I was dieting to cut down my weight and more importantly while I was hit with Gestational diabetes during my pregnancy.
Gestational Diabetes? What is that? Well, I am sure most of them who live in US might have an idea what it is. First time when I said about this at my home and at in-laws they were least interested to know what it is and gave loads of suggestions and said me to continue eating rice. Though, I refused to follow that and shifted to eating phulkas, but finally when my in-laws dropped to US, need not say, the tests once again turned positive and I ended up visiting diabetic specialist and there by with C-Section. During my visits to the Specialist is when, I learned about the balanced diet that has to be followed. Interested in knowing more about Gestational Diabetes please read here.
In India, specifically among my mother aged people, they have a notion that if they avoid eating sugar their glucose levels(Diabetes) will be under control. My mother and my mother-in-law both are diabetic and they never listen to what I say with the little knowledge that I gained. My mother-in-law hates to eat chapathis/phulkas, she dips them with oil and has them with dry curries. I tried to explain it is of no use, avoid oil on chapathis and try to eat with gravies that will help you in eating them. Well, I failed, I forced my mom to go get a diet plan from a doctor that will help you, she too ignored. So, I am not sure how many of you visiting this blog will gain but my sincere efforts will go on.
I remember the first time when I was introduced to Pizza in the year 1997. One of my friend was getting married so she threw a party for us in Burgerola at Secunderabad. That was my first time visit to a bakery place. So, I had no idea what to eat there. She asked if I would like to have pizza, my immediate question was is it vegetarian. She said yes, then I said fine. She ordered on veggie pizza and within few minutes it was at our table. Every body picked one by one slices and I tell you, it scared the hell out of me. Ask me why, the strings of cheese that was stetching reminded me of some nerves. I looked at her and said would you mind if I order something else. She said that is fine, I ordered my favorite pineapple pastry. Later after a year or so, some of my other friends assured me it is purely vegetarian, I had one bite and immediately fell in love with it. I cannot stop craving for it till today. With some healthy substitutions you may have it while you are dieting also. But as I said, be wise at your portion size. Pizza is a good combination of starch, protein and vegetables as per my dictionary.
Substituting simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates as much as you can is a good healthy way of eating your favorite foods. Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly. Many simple carbohydrates contain refined sugars and few essential vitamins and minerals. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and are usually packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Read more here and here. That is instead of white flour, substitute it with whole wheat flour, that will help. Use part skim or fat free cheese instead of regualr cheese and try not to use more than 2 to 3 oz.
So here is the recipe for my Cheese Pizza:
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 Cup warm water
1 package Instant Dry yeast
1/4 tsp Honey
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp salt
2 oz Fat free mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp Marinara sauce ( I used store bought)
I topped with couple of sundried tomatoes but they burnt, I would not suggest you them. I think they were too dry.
1. In the warm water dissolve honey and yeast. Keep aside for 10 min. You should see foam being formed on top of the water.
2. In the mean time, pour dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix in the yeast mixture and oil into the dry ingredients. Knead the dough enough, cover and let it rest for 1 hour. I keep the bowl inside the microwave.
3. After one hour you should see it is double in size. Punch down and make it into 3 equal portions. Preheat oven at 500 degrees F.
4. Take one ball and roll it to 6" wide. Spread a table spoon of Marinara sauce on top of it and sprinkle 2 oz fat free mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 min. or until the crust turns golden brown and cheese melts.
Recipe for Mixed Fruits in Custard:
I used Sugar free instead of sugar while making the Custard. Read the benefits of Sugar Free(No Calorie Sweetner) here.
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk (Fat Free)
1/2 cup Sugar Free (Ex. Splenda, I used Altern)
1 tbsp Custard Powder (Vanilla flavor)
Mixed fruits (I used fresh fruits like Apple, Mango, Peach, Nectarine,Banana)
1. Take some milk aside and add the custard powder to that.
2. Boil the rest of the milk and add the sugar free. After 5 minutes add the custard powder mixture to the boiling milk and stir until it thickens a little bit. It need not be too thick as the goal is to just pour a little bit of this mixture on the mixed fruits. Chill custard in the refrigerator.
3. Chop the fruits in to small cubes. Pour little custard on the mixed fruits. Store the rest of it in the refrigerator. Since the fruits have natural sugars, if you want you may reduce the sugar free quantity also.
Having fruits in your meal plan is good for health. Why? Read here and here. I keep the mango and banana quantities a little low compared to other fruits. I think I read somewhere that these fruits have more sugars and calories compared to other fruits. Enlighten me if I am wrong, I am here to learn more and more. My basic idea is to be far off from both diabetes and Heart disease. My mom is Diabetic and my dad had heart surgery. So, I am little cautious and want to stay away from both of these diseases.
Oh! by the way, I did not have the whole bowl of custard that you see above, this is what I had.
The rest of it served to hubby. You can store the custard in the refrigerator and make this whenever you want.
My Salad bowl contains:
Shredded carrots or carrot sticks
Red cabbage (I bought a packet of these mixed blend)
Slices of Red onion and tomato
Fat free Ranch Dressing (You may use Fat free Italian Dressing)
I do not break my head each time to make the fat free version of salad dressing. Basically I have no idea also and why to take pain when they are readily available in the market. A little of Semi-home made is allowed... don't you agree. I like Ranch Dressing so, I have fat free ranch dressing in my refrigerator. I had half of the bowl that you see up there.
So, please do not think you need to send me only soups or salads, you can be creative and send such entries too. If you look at the entire meal it is well portioned with starches, vegetables, fruits, diary and protein.
Note: Try to have the pizza or dessert once in a while not on a regular basis. These are to fulfill your cravings. Hope you guys enjoyed.
I would like to send my custard bowl with fruits as entry to AFAM - Peach/Nectarine being hosted by Manasi Desai of Fun and Food.