Wednesday, 16 January 2013

French women don't get fat?

I think I mentioned previously that I received the "French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook" by Mireille Guiliano for Christmas. Although I'm following the 5:2 diet, I'm still trying to eat healthy on my days off - which is where this book comes in.

The premise of the book, to me, is all about portion control. Learn to control your portions, slow down your eating and enjoy your food. I also like the idea of making each mealtime an event by having three courses, even if that's simply a sliced tomato to start and an orange to finish.

I haven't followed all of the principles in the book - for example, avoiding processed foods (those Cadbury mousses are just too good!) but I have been trying the recipes and I like them very much. As well as being healthy, relatively low calorie - and can be made more low calorie with a few tweaks - they are quite unusual, such as the recipe below, which is adapted from "Curried chicken with cucumber".

Don't let the cucumber put you off. It does sound strange, warm (and curried!) cucumber, but think of how well cucumber raita goes with Indian food. It's also extremely low in calories (10 calories per 100g) and so it's good for bulking up a meal!

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 small turkey breast (about 90g)
Salt and pepper
Low fat frying spray
45g creme fraiche
150g cucumber, cut into 1cm slices
1 teaspoon curry powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
25g basmati rice
25g peas

1. Slice the turkey breast into slices vertically and season with salt and pepper. Heat up the low fat frying spray in a non stick pan (you should only need a couple of squirts), and add the turkey breast. Cook until golden.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice as per packet instructions.

3. Place the cucumbers in a bowl and add the creme fraiche and curry powder. Mix it all together well.

4. By now the turkey should be cooked. Add the lemon juice to the pan and deglaze it. Then add the cucumber mixture and cook for a few minutes until al dente.

5. Cook the peas quickly by pouring boiling water over them and add to the drained rice. Serve alongside the turkey-cucumber curry mixture.

It only takes about 20 minutes in total and it's really delicious. I think it would be even better with a little bit of freshly sliced chilli and a sprinkling of coriander on top.

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