I was asked for advice by one of my good friends I’ve known since medical school. We actually even shared a flat for over a year. But he complains about how I didn’t cook for us then and how I found my appreciation for food after university. The truth of the matter is; as a student you are limited to what is practical and you can afford, which is not much. I lived on 2 minute noodles, pretty much. Internship is the reason I found this appreciation of food, I had to move into a small town in KwaZulu Natal with 3 restaurants and a Spar supermarket. And let’s just say the restaurants’ food was very, very far from gourmet. So instead of subjecting myself to their food that I was confident I could make better, I decided to cook the food I want to eat. And that’s how the love flourished!
But back to his question, asked via LinkedIn on My Precious Kitchen: ‘I am currently on a low fat/low carb diet….. wat do u think is best for me to munch on…’
My first question is: what is your reason for your diet? Is it weight loss? To gain muscle bulk while losing fat?
People will tell you, you must eat salads. But what most people don’t understand is salad is not limited to leaves eaten by rabbits!
You can enjoy a lot of variety of foods without starch or unhealthy fat.
Mushrooms are a good replacement for starch in your meal, they can be very filling without the guilt😊!
I will suggest playing around with your veggies, trying different combinations. Even the ones we didn’t really grow up with in African culture. Such as aubergines or brinjal, baby marrow, parsnips, fennel, celery, leeks and leafy veggies such as kale and the different types of spinach. Just go to your local fruit and veg store and explore. When preparing your salads, using different cooking methods for your veggies adds a bit of different flavour, fun and adventure. So don’t be shy to grill some baby marrow, steam your green bean and saute some carrots with a bit of sugar or juice.
Don’t forget the herbs, they turn a simple meal to a one packed with flavour! I like the basil, coriander, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Remember spices as well!
As for the first part of the question, low fat food. Grilling and roasting works best for me as it uses the meats natural oils for the cooking and the moisture. But it’s important to remember that the most saturated fat( unhealthy fat) high in cholesterol and triglycerides is from the fat around the actual meat, so remember to either buy lean meat or trim the fat off the meat, the latter is more cheaper.
Otherwise steaming of veggies is best, it keeps in all the natural flavour and goodness which is much healthier and tastes delicious. But you can also lightly boil them as well.
A slight drizzle of olive oil is also low in fat, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Food is meant to be enjoyed after all. Just stay away from butter, margarine, takeaways and be mindful when eating out.
It is simple if you think about it and it’s a fun experience figuring out things and when you see and taste the results. But this should be more a lifestyle than a diet.
I normally don’t cook with a lot of oil but once in a while I will cook with some margarine and duck fat. I’m mostly good though, so check out the blog for the recipes.
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