Dinner or Supper – or whatever you call it
Over the last couple weeks we’ve looked at breakfast and lunch. This week we are moving along to the evening meal.
As I suggested last week, you might prefer to have your “heavier” meal at noon. We will be talking here about the heavier meal; eat it whenever fits your schedule and preferences.
My suggestions assume two things. First that you like things to be simple, perhaps because you operate on a tight schedule or because you aren’t really fond of cooking. Secondly I am assuming that you are carrying around a bit too much body fat or have some chronic disease(s). If that isn’t the case, congratulations!
As was true for breakfast and lunch, the emphasis in these meals is on animal based protein. Why? Well, there are several important reasons but one is that the protein prevents the ongoing hunger that leads us to snack on the wrong food. Snacking interferes with weight loss.
Supper for the busy and those who aren’t into cooking.
Supper can be what you think of as “breakfast”. Or lunch. Break the rules. Just thought I should mention that again.
Your crock-pot is your friend
Whether you live alone or have a family, your crock-pot is your friend. Soup, chili, “spaghetti” sauce, beef, pork, or even deer roast, meatloaf, chicken, stew. There are other specialty cookers and there isn’t much you can’t make in them BUT there are usually lots of steps requiring your ongoing attention, The value of the crock-pot is you put the food in, season it, turn the pot on, and several hours later you end up with supper.
The second value of the crock-pot is that the leftovers can be breakfast or lunch tomorrow, supper tomorrow night, and/or a healthy snack when you are hungry. Pack them in a child’s lunchbox for school.
A crock-pot comes with a recipe book. But there really isn’t any reason why you can’t use your own personal recipe, a recipe you find in your family cookbook, or one you find on-line.
An oil-less fryer
I have a small Farberware oil-less fryer which allows me achieve crispness on meat and vegetables without making a mess on the stove. There are other brands but the price was right.
There is a larger version which will work better for a family. It is not a slow-cooker and will require more attention. However many (like me) are fond of fried food and would struggle getting “fried” without the seed (vegetable) oils that are best avoided. Chicken wings are a delight in the oil-less fryer.
The other nice thing about a crock-pot is that vegetables can be added near the end of the cooking cycle and the whole meal is done. But a simple way to add vegetables to a meal is a salad.
Reminder that a salad can be made in quantity, whatever vegetables you prefer, and will keep nicely in the refrigerator for several days if well sealed.
As to salad dressings, it is most important to avoid any dressing which includes seed (vegetable) oils and sugar. My personal preference is red wine vinegar and olive oil. But if you choose to buy a bottled dressing, read the label carefully.
Cauliflower is a phenomenal substitute for potatoes and rice. Take whatever recipe you use for potato salad, a-gratin potatoes or rice/cheese casserole, oven roasted potatoes. Simply substitute cauliflower for the potatoes or rice. Cauliflower can be roasted whole, chopped, grated, and even purchased frozen at the store.
Another starch option is spaghetti squash. A good friend of mine fooled her son and his family by serving spaghetti squash with her famous spaghetti sauce. She didn’t tell them of the substitution until they had eaten and loved it. There ends up being a lot of “spaghetti” in a squash so this option might be best fitted to a family vs a single meal.
Not eating at home?
Once again, you may find yourself eating out. Any meat grilled (not breaded or fried) or roasted, steak/hamburger/chicken/ribs etc. as your protein along with a salad or the side vegetables. Preferably not bread. Not french fries because they will be fried in commercially processed industrial seed (vegetable) oil. They always are.
And by the way
If you have forgotten why the processed commercially manufactured food and sugar isn’t a good idea, you might buy my book, It’s All about the Food, available on Amazon. You can also find it in Mount Ida, AR at Mount Ida Pharmacy, Bob’s Food City, Marilyn’s Old Country Store, and the Chamber of Commerce visitors center.
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All About the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Pat is a resident of Montgomery County, AR, president of Ouachita Village, Inc. board of directors (Montgomery County Food Pantry), and president of the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Her email address is email@example.com; phone number is 870-490-1836; visit her website at allaboutthefood.org