Weighty Matters

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Small Bite Wonders

on April 24, 2012

First off, so many thanks again to all of you for your prayers for my cousin and for your understanding and support for me.  You getting where I’m coming from and what I’m feeling really helps.  It’s tough to cope with all of this emotion without food when I’m used to overeating as a coping mechanism.  I had trouble focusing today but I’ve made it through and I’m equalling out now — all without a binge or diving into inappropriate foods in vast quantities.

Tonight I want to talk about food in a friendly way.   After all, food itself isn’t really my enemy.  The way that I used to eat the food caused the problems.  In changing my life, I also want to change my relationship with food.  I am learning that I can not only be satisfied physically and nutritionally with small portions, but I can also please the senses that so enjoy really, really good food.

A friend and I went out to lunch today.  Instead of ordering a hamburger that would have come in a big basket with a bun and fries, I opted for a cup — not a bowl — of chili.  Easy to consume beef in a tomato-y sauce with peppers and onions and a great combination of spices.  Because of the sauciness, this was physically easy to eat.  (Sometimes solid meat, even if I eat tiny bites and chew a lot wants to get stuck.)  Bonus, the layers of flavor were delicious.  I had the best of all eating worlds — easy to consume, tasty, and a small portion.   I ate what I wanted, stopped when I ate enough, and felt satisfied instead of deprived.

Over the weekend, I watched a cooking show called “Best Thing I Ever Made – Italian”.  I heart chef/restauranteur Scott Conant.  (Scarpetta Restaurants.)  On this show he talked about making Gnudi and explained that it’s like the filling of good ravioli without the pasta pocket.  I’m half-Italian, but had never heard of gnudi.  However, if a chef of Conant’s caliber describes a dish as the best Italian food he’s ever made, I’m going to pay attention.  I watched his demonstration carefully, after discounting the mushroom puree he also made.  (I don’t like mushrooms.  The gnudi themselves looked fairly easy — combining ricotta cheese, sauteed chopped spinach, egg yolks, a few tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs and flour and some seasonings.  After mixing, one forms the mixture into balls and slides them into boiling water to cook for a couple of minutes.  Then you shock them in ice water to make sure they hold together and reheat them when ready to serve.

Protein from cheese and egg, without the extra carb of pasta.  Granted, not something I would make and eat every day but certainly something that would make a tasty treat for dinner one night, served with some simple marinara sauce.

I made them tonight and, let me tell you, the results were scrumptious.  I love gnudi!  I only ate one and a half and enjoyed every creamy, delicious bite of the small portion.

Last year, I had people over for a boat parade party.  (We have a holiday boat parade in town and it sails right past my house.)  I’d seen a recipe for Mini-Buffalo Chicken meatballs.  Again, super easy to prepare with the ground chicken and buffalo hot sauce mixed together with some minced celery and a couple of other ingredients, then baked in the oven.  I think I should make those again.  They are a lower fat, yummy protein source for sure.

This is one of my goals for my new eating life — to explore small bite recipes that provide my protein with fewer carb grams and lower fat count but still have lots of flavor.

When one can only eat a little, it’s good to get the most out of ever small bite.

Anybody have any suggestions on small bite recipes that they’d like to share?  I don’t think it matters whether you’ve also had weight loss surgery, and you don’t even need to be overweight to appreciate great taste in small portions.

8 responses to “Small Bite Wonders

  1. […] got the ingredients for Gnudis.  (To read more about my discovery of these delicious treats, click here.)  Tonight after work, I took fresh basil from my herb garden, walnuts, garlic and olive oil and […]

  2. Mary Stella says:

    I would love to have the recipes for the lamb-chicken meatballs and for the Southwestern egg rolls! They both sound like things I’d like to try making. If you don’t mind sending, my email is mary at mary-stella dot com.


  3. pinkpelican says:

    One of the things I learned with pierogies & ravioli is that once you make them, you can freeze them, and then pull out a couple at a time & toss into hot water to boil/cook. I bet you could do that with the gnudi … that way, you could make a big batch at a time, put them, one or two to a snack sized ziplock bag, put all the bags into a big freezer bag (to help protect against freezer burn), and then you can easily pull out perfect-for-you serving sizes whenever you want and they’ll last for quite a while.

    I found a recipe for chicken swedish meatballs. You make a mushroomy sauce to go with it, but you could easily do a plain bechamel if you want the sauce, or you could mix up whatever other kind of sauce you like. the chicken meatballs themselves are pretty nummy, and you can get a pound of ground chicken at the grocery for about $3.

    I also made up a recipe for meatballs made of ground chicken & lamb, and then I use a yoghurt/tzatziki dipping sauce with them.

    Both of the meatballs stay pretty moist. I cook them & keep them in the fridge; they are new recipes & I haven’t tried them frozen, but I’m willing to bet to you could make up the meatballs, freeze them, then thaw & cook as many as you like at a time.

    I’d be happy to send you the recipes. Let me know the best way to do that (either via email or I can post to the comments if you prefer; you can contact me at pinkpelican AT comcast DOT net).

  4. I have a recipe for Southwestern Egg Rolls that makes a bunch, but they freeze pretty well. It’s black beans, corn, cilantro and cheese mostly, rolled in a egg roll wrapper, sprayed with cooking spray and baked. They are very like the one’s that Chili’s has as an appetizer, but much healthier. Let me know if you want it and I’ll email it to you. I’ll think if I have other stuff that would work. I do have a bunch of soup recipes many of which could freeze in individual portions if you want.

  5. Mary Stella says:

    I do like to grill, Susan. I’ll contemplate a good meat-veggie combo and try it perhaps this weekend. Thanks!

  6. hoperoth says:

    I am a big fan of mini quiches.

  7. kipper43 says:

    If you like to grill, may I suggest skewers of veggies, fruits, and maybe some kind of meat. Make or buy 3 different sauces to complement the skewers. Hope it is fun!

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