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What to cook this week?

Sat, 4 January, 2020

Have you finished the last few chocolates from the Quality Street box? Are all the gingerbread cookies gone? Have the final crumbs of panettone been turned into French toast and consumed? Good. We can start tightening the belts.

It is a miserable time of year with the festive period ending and nothing but credit card payments to look forward to. Blue Monday is coming soon, the weather isn’t cold enough to make coming home from work cheering and that blasted gym membership we got gifted at Christmas looms like a menace. After two weeks of ‘sod it, I’ll diet after New Year’ attitude it’s hard NOT to be constantly munching and grazing on treats. But despair not – we can do it. Once you get into a routine of eating less, the results seen on your bathroom scales will be the best motivation. And seeing yourself becoming leaner, stronger, healthier and fitter will definitely cheer you up.

Whatever the diet, you still need to mind your overall calorie intake so at the end of the day whatever works: keto, South Beach, 5:2 – or my favourite, Just Eat Less. Chicken trumps pork, fish trumps chicken, cheese is fine only if you’re keto and drinking water is the key regardless of your eating drive. Melon, chicken and feta salad for example is a good idea. Fish fillets, bream or bass, simply pan fried, will satisfy everyone. You can serve it with any green side: buttered spinach or courgette ribbon salad. Salmon may be less boring if it’s wrapped in a lettuce parcel. Or you can not bother to cook the fish and have a poke salad bowl or tuna tartare made with spanking fresh fish.

For some people low-carbs won’t work – perfectly normal as everyone is different. Let’s face it: sumo wrestlers notwithstanding, Japanese population tends to be lean in spite of the lots of rice in their diet. Limiting meat might be the way, and eating dishes full of fiber and high in starches like vegetable fried rice or pasta fritta will work towards weight loss. If you add to it raw vegetables in salads, like zingy carrots or the radish and cucumber sabzi, the nutritious values of a diet like that will definitely look better than those of a ketogenic one.

Speaking of which though, I’m going to give it a go – mainly as research of course, nothing to do with the 5-odd kilo my fitness app is nagging me to lose (heh). I’ll be sharing my impressions with you in this space, so watch it! Or best subscribe to the newsletter to get the news and new (not only keto) recipes. Happy New Year!

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