Archive for January, 2009

My first big 10

Yes !!! I have hit the 10 lbs mile marker this week. At my Week#7 weigh-in I measured a whole 2.6lbs lighter. Needless to say celebration was to ensue. The day started with a full-course fish lunch at a friends place made by his dear Mom. Fish in all forms, curry,fried,. Evening was none better with a Haldi-Kunku celebration at another friends house,where she served super-soft idlis and chutney. But in both cases I think I faired well. I stuck to my 2 chapatis and less than 1/2 cup rice.I tried to avoid second servings of the fish curry since it had a coconut base,and I traded that for a few bites of mithai and ice cream. Oh and anyways, that’s whats those 35 bonus points are for each week. To splurge,so this weekend I did.

Now that my weight-loss is noticeable,at least to some, people are inquiring about it. My friend Rach has already started eating healthier foods and lost 2 lbs. I seemd to have rubbed off on my aunt, who is a radiologist by profession, too. She began her journey by skipping a meal the day i told her my 10 lbs loss. I had to tell her that stravation was not a great choice. The guilt can make you skip only so many meals before you splurge into mindless eating.Anyways,my point is my success at this is influencing others too. And I think thats great. I think people feel, if I can do it,so can they. I on the other hand feel,I owe all these people an accountability now, more than before.And that keeps me going.

Today’s recipe is a dish we tried at our favourite Gujrati thali restaurant in New Jersey,Jhupdi. I had mentioned about it in my post before. When the waitress mentioned ,Turiya-Patra it sounded like a unusual combination. I had to ask her to repeat herself,just so I was sure what the ingredients were. But the dish turned out to be incredibly tasty, a sweet sour taste of the Patra with the slight crunch of thr turiya.

To the unknowns, Turiya (Parwar/Turai) is ridge gourd. Ridge gourd is very close to zucchini in taste. Patra (Alu wadi) is a dish made from colocassia/taro root leaves. Think about deli swirls  but done with greens like spinach minus the meat. Mad Tea Party and Vee of Past,Present and Me both have excellent instructions to make these at home, that is if you find colocassia leaves. For those of us lazy and not resourceful enough, frozen Patras by Deep will make do instead. To recreate this dish,I found a recipe online, however it seemed to be dry compared to what I had in the restaurant. So I contacted a couple of my Gujju friends and had thier moms share their secret. Powdered by the recipes, but aving tried this dish only once, I made my own from the taste and flavor I could remember.DH gave his stamp of approval.And sometimes thats all that matters,isnt it?

This is my entry to Food In Colors-Yellow Event hosted by Sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers

Turiya Patra Bhaji


1/2 packet of frozen Patra (Deep brand)
1 1/2 cup turiya  (ridges removed,peeled and diced)
2 tsp canola oil
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder(dhania powder)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp brown sugar or jaggery

  1. Peel the Turiya(ridge gourd) by first removing the ridges till smooth. Then peel off the green skin too,escpecially if the turiya is wilting dry.Then dice up the white part of the gourd into thin quarters.
  2. Thaw the frozen patra and chop a few of them into quarters. Leave a few as whole rounds.
  3. Heat oil, add mustard seeds and hing and allow it to splutter. Add curry leaves.
  4. Add diced turiya  and let cook. You may add some water if needed.
  5. Add turmeric,red chilli powder, coriander powder ,cumin powder and jaggery/sugar and let the gourd cook .
  6. When the turiya (gourd) pieces are soft add the patra pieces and mix it all well . Add salt to tast
  7. The patra will soften and and may even disintegrate but that lends the flavor. Cook for about 5 mins and serve.

Servings: 3 (half cup servings)
Points : 3 per serving


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eggwhites Confession: I like eggs. Rather,I love eggs. But what I dont like is that 1 large egg = 213 milligrams of cholestrol,most of which is in the yolk. Its recommended daily cholestrol be about 200mg a day. So if you eat 1 egg, thats it, no more meat or cheese. Ya right,like thats possible.But get this, an egg white has ZERO cholesterol.

On a recent visit a friend of ours,ordered his omlette be made with Egg Subsitute at a popular diner. When I asked, he said that’s what he uses at home  all the time.Egg Beaters,he said.Egg Beaters are made from real eggs without the yolk part. But then again, you will find a wide variety of Egg Beaters at a store.

This is what I found. Egg Beaters Regular is made from egg whites,but has extras for flavor and color. It irates me to see Xantham gum on a producst panel. It just sounds wrong. So I decided to try the Egg Beaters Whites ( actually, store brand same-as Egg Whites) instead. This contains ONLY egg whites. No extras.

3 tbsp of Egg Whites = 1 WW point. So on some weekday mornings,I will just pour 3 tbsp in a sprayed pan,with salt and pepper,fold it in between an English muffin and there I just cooked up my breakfast. I also found that if you whisk the whites and then pour them in a pan,it makes it very fluffy.I made omlette this weekend doing this,it was so fluffily good.

So this is my new staple in the fridge.So try it and let me know.

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Slow and steady

At my Week#6 weigh in this week, I did not get news as I was expecting it to be. I had only lost a 0.2lbs. I know its still a loss,but anything under 1 lb does not seem significant to me. Maybe I have hit a plateau. I don’t know. My current weight is the lowest I have been in a long,long time. Plateau or not,the goal is still on. We are only half way there.

DH has promised to help me look at my current eating habits to see if we can change anything to move ahead. I have heard, if you continue a routine, your body kind of gets used to it and begins to live with it , unless you shake things up.I want to take a moment here to say thanks to DH. He is my greatest cheerleader. He is one of the reasons I am on track. And believe me he has had to sacrifice on many things. B-Dubs wings for one.But he is not complaining.Most men would.Love him.

So at my weekly meeting, we were discussing foods. And one lady mentioned “Fish Tacos”. It was like a revelation. I hadn’t had fish tacos in a long,long time.The ones I love the most are those served at T.G.I. Fridays.So I decided to recreate the exact recipe called “Al’s Fish Tacos with a corn salsa and lemon remoulade dressing”. I found one version online but I modified it by using store bought fish sticks instead. Lazy I know !!

Fish Tacos


Lemon Remoulade

4 tbsp Hellmanns Low Fat Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp fat-free sour cream

Mix all ingredients and whisk to create a dressing.You could use water to thin it a little.

Corn Salsa
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp diced red onion
1 Serrano pepper (chopped)
1 tsp lemon juice
chopped cilantro
red chilli powder (optional)

Mix all the above ingredients. Sprinkle some red chilli powder for a added zing.

Fish Tacos
4 8-inch Mission Tortilla Carb Balance
16 Gorton’s Fish Sticks
Shredded Lettuce
Corn Salsa
Lemon Remoulade Sauce

  1. To assemble, lay a warm tortilla, top with fish tacos and the remoulade sauce, corn salsa and the shredded lettuce
  2. Here is a tip I read: To warm tortillas, in a plate take some water and dip both sides of the tortilla in it and then lay it on a heated pan. The water helps steam the tortilla warm.

Servings: 4 tacos
Points: 8 per serving

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Still going strong

I haven’t updated my WW journey for 2 weeks now.But things are going strong. Week#4 was the week of New Years Eve. And since we were going to be in NYC that Saturday,I had to skip my weigh in.I tried to stay on track,it was tough.

I always envy people who get to live in big,busy cities. Well,I lived in a big city(Mumbai) myself for 22 yrs. But let me tell you one thing, with all those dine-out options,huge portions, add to that unappealing cramped up apartment kitchen where you will never cook alone,let eat alone, gaining weight is so easy. I guess walking around town kind of helps burn those calories. But if I was to live in NYC,with a car(see I dont do walking!) and have a gazillion eat-out options at my disposal,I would be gaining weight like there was no tomorrow. So its a good thing,I was in NYC for only 2 days. But DH helped pick some healthy options. Loved Hampton Chutney’s Curry Chicken with balsamic onions and Spinach Dosa . Delicious! And oh ya how can I not mention our favourite Gujrati Thali place in NJ,Jhupdi. This time they served an uncommon subzi called Turiya Patra. Yes its Turiya(Parwar/Rodge Gourd) cooked with Patra(Alu Wadi).Unusual yet mind-blowing combination. And its a Gujrati staple I hear.I hope to post this recipe soon.

Anyways,back to WW. Week 4 I skipped weigh in. Coming back home,I knew I had to work all those NYC calories out.Surprisingly enough, at Week 5 weight in,I was even. No loss, no gain since Week 3. When the WW coordinator applauded,I told her, she didn’t know how much hard-work it took me to stay even.:) Losing – is a whole another game.:(

Moving along to this weeks recipe.The blogosphere is exploding with new events. One such is My Legume Love Affair by Srivalli’s Cooking 4 All Seasons and Susan’s The Well Seasoned Cook. I love legumes,  I *had to* post an entry to this one. So this weekend I sprouted up some matki. DH wanted me to stick to Matki Usal-Sukhi(Dry) or Patal(Wet). I chose to try this unusual recipe from Tarla Dalal instead. And though it sounds unusual, its a healthy tasty combination to serve.

Matki Palak Curry


1 ½ cup sprouted matki (moath beans)
3 cups chopped spinach (palak)
1 tomato, finely chopped
½ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
10 to 12 curry leaves, torn into pieces
3 tsp oil
salt to taste
Ground to paste
½ teaspoon coriander (dhania) seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
2 clove garlic
3 whole dry red chillies, broken
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsp grated coconut
¼ cup water

  1. In a pressure pan, mix the spinach, matki and tomato with about 1 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the paste.
  3. When the pressure cooker cools down,set it on low heat and add the paste , jaggery, salt  and let the mixture boil for 5-6. minutes.Turn of the heat.
  4. In a small pan/kadhai, heat  the oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they splatter, add the garlic and let it brown a little. Lastly add the curry leaves.
  5. Get the above mixture off the heat and drop/pour it into the curry in the pressure cooker while its still hot and sizzling. Immediately cover the cooker with a lid to lock in the aroma.Stir when ready to server
  6. Serve with chapatis or yogurt-rice.

Servings: 6 (1/2 cup servings)
Points: 1 per serving

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hostess_productsI have a nocturnal sweet tooth,meaning I crave something sweet after dinner almost every night. D,my WW buddy suggested Hostess 100 calorie cakes as a healthy way to feed that craving. I must say these are awesome!!. They are basically mini  creme-filled cupcakes and come three in a pack adding up to 100 calories only. Sometime I eat all three,other times just one does it.

To begin with I tried the Carrot Cake with creme cheese frosting. The cake was good but I found the frosting to be too sweet. I would eat the cake and feed DH the frosting layer. Second time, I tried the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and creme inside, and it was oh-so-good chocolatey.

Next, I may try their Cinnamon Coffee (Streusel) since hungry Girl raved about it. I also hear they now have a Twinkie Bites version too.However its a god awful 2 points.

Chocolate Cupcake/Carrot/Cinnamon Coffee/Banan Muffin/Strawberry= 1 Point
Twinkie Bites=2

Try these, its definitely healthier than hogging down a giant muffin or a slice of cake !!

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