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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 29 April, 2018

The lovely season has arrived, with the greenery bursting and exploding all around; except the corresponding weather is lagging behind. The dreaded season is also here, when most of us desperately need to shed a few pounds before the summer.

I’ll keep my views on various diets for another occasion but must say am quite an authority: you name a diet, I’ve tried it. My conclusion is that the most effective of them is the ‘eat HAM’ diet – ‘eat Half As Much’. But that’s what works for me; if keto is your thing, go for it. If, however, you fancy following my example – and I’ll only say I’ve lost 6 pounds over the last few weeks – here we go.

First off, bake some lemon pistachio slices for the fortunate family members who don’t want to be on a diet. Mind, though, dieting together with someone increases the success rate a lot. Announce your plans to the household so they won’t let you have any of those gorgeous lemon bars and will make you feel horribly embarrassed should you sneak one.

Then on, mean business. Look up calorie content but not obsessively. Avoid fillers (pasta, potatoes, bread) and categorically no snacks, bites or nibbles. Keep going - the first kilogram off is the best motivation.

Fish should feature a lot as it’s low in calories, high in nutrients. Salmon and broccoli bake, for instance, will be a good choice; or monkfish with chorizo and mushrooms. You can swap the expensive monkfish for any firm fish like tuna or even cod.

Chicken is the go-to weight fighters’ meat so you could have chicken tagine one night this week. And even the satisfactory crispy chicken dish won’t set the scales off into panic attack. As long as there are no crispy potatoes to go with it…

Vegetarians are more problematic when it comes to cutting calories buy I’ll say to you: eat soup. Broccoli and Stilton, for instance. And you can have lots of rice, especially wholemeal: brown rice with mushrooms tastes so much better than it looks. Or a cheese and mushroom omelette: omelettes seem out of fashion these days, unfairly so. Can’t look much further for a better source of protein than eggs. Swap mushrooms for spinach or roasted peppers and have your omelette with a green salad for a quick weeknight meal.

For those who believe you can’t lose weight unless you eat salads, here’s a good option of lettuce with bacon and blue cheese. Or a warm spicy salad of bacon, cucumber and potatoes. Make it heavy on cucumber, light on bacon.

And finally: get a couple of bunches of radishes from your local market (supermarket ones are still rubbish), and snack on them whenever you lose your drive. They are almost negative in calorie content. Good luck – and reward yourself with one of those lemon slices at the end of the week - if there are any left.

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