Chicken soup for the cold

After leaving me stranded on a weekend my husband is finally back in Hong kong with a bad case of sore throat and cold. And here I have been desperately waiting to talk to him and give him the update on the latest gossip. Lucky for him he is unable to talk and naturally comment on anything. Thats the thing about men though isnt it, they love listening to gossip but act as if thats the last thing they would rather do.

The doting wife that I am, I have decided to make his throat get better. So I am going to fix him my classic chicken soup. I was inspired to make this soup after I moved to Hong kong and love the way they make soup here. Although mine is not the exact recipe of the street version I believe it is a good soup for the rainy days.

What you will need is

water

light soya sauce

spring onions

ginger

brocolli stems

Carrot ends

chicken pieces with skin

boiled egg

bok choy

salt to taste.

Take about a litre and half of water and set it to boil. Add all the ingredients and let it simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. By this time the house will be filled with the soup aroma. Strain the soup and discard everything but the chicken pieces. Debone the chicken toss it back into the soup. You could add some regular egg or rice noodles to make a chicken noodle soup.

Finally pour the soup in a bowl and serve it with some TLC.

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Your just not that into losing weight

Its been almost a week since I started the blog, but I have not been to the gym or close to anything that can be remotely called exercise and I have been making excuses.

I live in the most beautiful place in Hong kong (sorry, but I am not giving out my address) and I could as well just go for a walk to soak in all the greenery and beauty around me(by the way, there is also a lot of eye candy-but lets keep that aside for a while). However I all I am doing is coming up with excuses.

If I come to think of it with my list of excuses I could well write a book and title it ‘Your just not into exercise”. I bet  it will be a best seller, for one all of those in my situation might buy it to learn of new excuses.

Lets see, ‘I am going to start from the first of the month/next week/mondays’. Why, is it because its an auspicious day or is it because today is no good.

“I want to get started with my diet first”, yeah thats right baby, because it will take soooooo long for me to stop eating junk and start eating right that it will be next month by then. So you see what an awesome excuse this is. I am actually using one excuse and getting the ground ready for the next one.

‘Weekend is just round the corner’, but weekends are always round the corner. A week is only 7 days so it will always be weekend soon in fatland.

The best is, ‘it is that time of the year/month/day’, if you start exercising for a change your blues and all other signs of weakness will vanish making each day of the year a time to exercise.

What can one do to get rid of this excuse making habit. For one, maintaining a journal will always help. I know it helps to maintain a diet journal. Bad habits are just the junk food for our brains. So why not maintain a journal and watch everything that we feed our minds. We are what we eat and we are what we think.

My color is Green

My favorite all time vegetable, is Spinach. I just love its color, texture and taste. The following recipe is one of the easiest to make, extremely tasty and very healthy. You could have it with a roti or some rice.

You will need:

spinach

yogurt

gram flour/cornflour

olive oil

cumin seeds

garlic

water salt.

As with most Indian Spinach recipes you will be required to blanch the spinach, of course in hot water and then cut it.

On the other side, mix 1/4cup of yogurt with 1 1/2 cup of water and 2 tbsp of gram flour and mix well. Make sure no lumps are formed not for any culinary expertise but because they taste awful. Seriously gram flour lumps while eating this amazing dish. Not such a great idea.

Now mix this with the cooked spinach.

In a pan take 1 tsp of olive oil and add some cumin seeds and garlic. Once the garlic starts to brown add the spinach and salt to your taste. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes and its ready. Now was that fast or was that fast.

Enjoy it without the feeling of guilt.

Kebabs all the way

I was using the weight watchers approach for quite sometime and it brought me success. The problem with that is, you have to use portion control. If I had that kind of control on my food habits I would not be at weight watchers. If I am allowed to eat everything that is tasty, chances are I am going to slip. And if you are wondering I did slip. I went right up to 70 kg and then I got onto the ‘excuse’ bandwagon and climbed back up to 78 kg. So now I am planning to go with the same approach but make a few changes. Nobody eats carbs at night. So if I haven’t cooked em I wont eat em.

This brings me to the dish of the day ‘Chicken kebab’. You could most easily substitute the chicken and use prawns, salmon or cottage cheese. You could also use all of these and present it as a Kebab platter for one of your parties.

What you will need:

Chicken pieces fat removed. I prefer the boneless kind

Low fat yogurt

Lemon juice

olive oil

The spices:

dry mango powder

garam masala

turmeric

chilli powder

coriander powder

ginger-garlic paste

salt

coriander leaves for garnishing

Once you have washed the chicken pieces add the lemon juice and leave the chicken in it for 15 minutes. Wash the chicken and add all the other ingredients to the chicken and let it marinate for at least 20 min but a couple of hours or overnight would do no harm either.Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Sprinkle some oil on the chicken, remember not generously, we are trying to lose weight here and put them on the skewers and set it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Turn them once after 10 minutes and your dinner is ready.

I am going to have this with a salad tossed in lemon juice and salt. If you still feel hungry there is always the clear vegetable soup to go with it. If you don’t have the recipe you just have to wait for it.

Tip for the kitchen idiots: if you are using wooden skewers please soak them in water for 10 minutes.

Quick n Easy Pomfret Curry

Today is the day when my helper takes her weekly off and I am strapped for

ideas which are fast, easy and basically require the least amount of fresh ingredients, which means it saves my trip to the ever lovely superstores.

And today being one such day, I decided to go for my all time favorite fish curry rice. Well one of my all time favorite, because when I say favorite a whole array of foods come before my eyes fighting for my attention and a mention in my blog. Good things come to those who wait. And yes my dear old fish curry has waited for such a long time.

What do you need? I love to use Pomfret the silver diamond-shaped fish, can’t live without it having been born and brought up in Mumbai, but sometimes I have to do away with that and stick to

what is available. So today I am using some Mackerel (cut and cleaned).

Then you need to marinate it for about 20-30 minutes. Basically while you get the rest of stuff ready. I have marinated it with, salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and tamarind juice.

tamarind juice is tamarind soaked in hot water till you get a pulp, usually takes about 15 minutes. As I mentioned,helperless today, so always have this ready in the fridge on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile grind the onions, ginger and garlic. You will need about 3 tbsp of this entire mixture.

Now here the process starts where your kitchen will be filled with curry aroma. Might want to get the exhaust started.

Fry the fish in a smoking hot pan with oil for about 15 seconds each side. Remove the fish.

Add the onion paste and saute till golden brown. I love using the same pan and oil it has the flavours.

Add the fish, the marinade,a few curry leaves (optional), fish masala (you could get it in any of the indian stores and water just enough to cover the fish. Let the fish cook. Once they are cooked add the coconut milk say about 1/4 cup or till you get a pale yellowish color of the curry. Take it off the fire and serve and serve with piping hot rice.

Now I am really hungry so you try this and I will have my dinner..

my all time favourite salad

This is a recipe for my favourite salad..Why? I guess because this is the only decent salad I can make. Believe it or not I don’t know how to make salads and I am quite skilled at making sense out of really intricate recipes. Why no salad. In the initial stages of weight loss I actually took this as a sign from whoever there is out there. Maybe its a sign’ “I should not be losing weight.” Yes boss if you say so. But thankfully my brain took matters in its own hand and said enough is enough. Think woman think, you can definitely come up with a decent salad recipe that your salt, cola, taste hungry  tongue might accept. And finally this is what happened.

Now some of you may ask, there is a whole variety of vegetables out there so why only this. The answer is simple and more like-minded people will agree…I am a meats person so redder the better and vegetables just don’t give me that satisfaction unless of course it is malai kofta or cream palak paneer. But if you want to lose weight you have to make peace with the vegetables. They are the winners through and through and help you win and when it comes to vegetables rawer the better.

So, here it is;

  • 1/4 cup diced yellow pepper

  • 1/4 cup grated carrots

  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber

  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp chopped onion

For the dressing:

  • milk

  • mayonnaise

  • mustard

  • salt

  • pepper

I know I have not written it but isn’t it obvious that all the above ingredients have to be non fat..now now don’t come up with excuses cause if you have an excuse I have already come up with it ages ago.

Stir all the ingredients together as if you were exercising one of your arms( remember the other hand is holding the bowl at all times) and toss the salad. It tastes amazing.

I haven’t mentioned the quantities of  individual salad dressing ingredients is because it should be as your taste buds suggest. The milk is just so that it is of pouring consistency but please don’t go with water. When you try to do one extreme of a weight loss programe the other extreme will soon be blowing up. I meant you. So everything in moderation.

so here I am

my husband who has been with me through thin and thick

After I got married I put on just a little bit of weight, enough to call it the sign of a happily wed girl. But after that it would not go back and kept increasing a little bit every time. And every time I kept on making excuses until I got pregnant.  I looked at myself in the mirror and there she was a grotesque looking mid twenties girl standing before me. Honestly, I did not recognize her. I was looking hideous. I had always thought that weight gain is something that happens to the person on your either side but you. Will you believe me if I say that I was still making excuses? But trust me, I was.

After the delivery of my daughter I was this whopping wait for it, wait for it, 96kgs and I could not look in the mirror anymore. I was so ashamed that when friend had his birthday party in my favourite pub I refused to go and locked myself in the room. I was able to get into this only one pink outfit I had borrowed from my friend. I didnt know what I was going to do.

my precious 

Until one day, my husband came back with the news that we were going to Hong kong. I thought to myself this is a good opportunity to run away from all these  people who knew me as a slim person.

However, as soon as I landed on the Hong kong airport my dreams were crashed. The airport was filled with these really good looking extremely genetically slim women. I was actually worried that if I fell on one of these girls they would look ironed like the cartoon characters. On my way to our new life, I decided this has to change. I must get back to

Hong kong Disneyland 

looking atleast decent and I went on this strict regime, fruits for breakfast, salad for lunch, a modest Indian meal for dinner with no rice (it was a big challenge) and about three hours of exercise. But I did it.

Today I am 78 kgs and I have a reached a block. The block is because I am actually comfortable with weight. Now that sucks. If you are comfortable with your weight you will not do anything.

So I have decided to go online and jot down my weight loss and hopefully not my weight gains and add recipes which I will be using along the way. This should probably embarrass me enough to lose at least 20 kgs if not more.

So wish me luck as I set out on this arduous journey and if possible pep me up when I am suffering from the deadly blues.