Monday, October 4, 2010

The Challenge: Less than 10

I have been given a new challenge: Consume less than 10 grams of saturated fat a day. Well technically this is supposed to be less than grams of saturated fat and trans fats combined, but I rarely eat prepackaged foods so giving up trans fats is really easy. Saturated fat is harder because its in cheese. I LOVE cheese. Even reduced fat cheeses have around 3 grams of saturated fat in one ounce. ONE OUNCE!!! That is nothing! So you can see my challenge.

The first day I realized that my morning omelet had almost all 10 of those grams so it needed some tweeking. I switched to egg beaters from whole eggs, a nonstick pan with cooking spray from a pan with olive oil, a mix of reduced fat and fat free cheese for whole milk cheese. this brought the saturated fat down to one gram and only 104 calories. Honestly it doesn't taste the same, but everything is an adjustment.

The good thing about this diet is that it has helped me find some new and interesting recipes that I never would have tried before. The other night we had Pan- seared Portobello Mushrooms with Grilled Polenta. It was SO tasty and only a whopping 160 calories!!! I actually went overboard and ate another half of a mushroom and a couple extra polenta squares and still didn't go over 300 calories for the entire meal. That left me with plenty of calories and fat left for the rest of the evening. Sadly, my favorite reduced fat ice cream bar still has 7 grams of saturated fat but I am working on finding a flavorful alternative. ANY suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Since I know you are all dying to find out more about those healthy recipes I tried out, I will post the recipes and pics. You are really gonna love them. Even my daughter who normally hates mushrooms loved the meaty portobello.

The first thing I made was the Grilled Polenta. The name is kind of misleading because it is actually broiled not grilled, but it was still really tasty.  I doubled the recipe and we had a bit left over for my family of 5.

First you cook the polenta on the stovetop until it is thick.

Then you spread it on a baking sheet and place it in the fridge for a bout an hour.

Once it is set, cut it into squares and broil until crispy.

Grilled Polenta

Makes about 8 slices
1/2 cup dry polenta
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 vegetable oil spray

Combine polenta, water, salt, and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring often, until polenta is very thick. Spread on a baking sheet in a 1/4-inch layer and refrigerate until completely cold, about 1 hour.

Preheat broiler. Cut chilled polenta into slices (about 2"×3") and arrange on a vegetable oil sprayed baking sheet. Place under broiler and cook until crusty, about 10 minutes. Turn and cook other side 10 minutes.

Per slice
■Calories: 32
■Fat: 0.2 g
■Saturated Fat: 0 g
■Calories from Fat: 4.3%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 0.7 g
■Carbohydrates: 6.7 g
■Sugar: 0.1 g
■Fiber: 0.4 g
■Sodium: 149 mg
■Calcium: 3 mg
■Iron: 0.4 mg
■Vitamin C: 0 mg
■Beta Carotene: 10 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0 mg

Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

For the mushrooms you place them top side down in a saute pan with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and red wine.

After 3 minutes flip them over and continue cooking. They were really good and had a great meaty flavor.

Pan-Seared Portobello Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings

4 large portobello mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine or water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Clean mushrooms, trimming stems flush with bottom of caps.

Mix oil, wine or water, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and oregano in a large skillet. Heat until mixture begins to bubble, then add mushrooms, top side down. Reduce to medium heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Turn mushrooms and cook second side until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Per mushroom

■Calories: 58
■Fat: 2.8 g
■Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
■Calories from Fat: 43.6%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 3.3 g
■Carbohydrates: 4.9 g
■Sugar: 0.2 g
■Fiber: 1.8 g
■Sodium: 273 mg
■Calcium: 10 mg
■Iron: 0.7 mg
■Vitamin C: 0.5 mg
■Beta Carotene: 5 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

I served it with some beans for added protein and a couple veggies. It was really a fantastic vegetarian lowfat meal.


Dana said...

The polenta is really good with spaghetti sauce (no meat in it) and some really good parm cheese on top of that. YUMMO!

Elizabeth said...

I will have to try that Dana!