Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sunday Roast: Diets and Cook Books

I am one of those people whose weight fluctuates. The only time I start to think about dieting is when I get near the 70 kilo mark. This has happened on several occasions throughout my life. Once when I was doing my A levels and my idea of exercising was waddling to the bus. Another time was after two years of living in Spain and living off tortilla (totally yummy and totally fattening). The first time I gave up giving up smoking I hit the 70 mark and the last time I hit it was at the end of my pregnancy. On each occasion I lost the weight either through boot camp style exercise ( a summer job at the post office) or through some crazy diet my Dad, work colleague or gynaecologist suggested.

The problem with diets is that they are either difficult to follow or the food is horrible. And you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that eventually the diet is going to fail. After giving up on food combining and The South Beach Diet, I finally ended up trying Weight Watchers, where to be perfectly honest, everything they propose tastes like pants. South Beach on the other hand had well yummy recipes, but an impossible regime to follow. And let's not even go down the food combining road hey.

So, this is where in the end Weight Watchers wins out. You can eat whatever you want. Seriously, I know colleagues who have done WW, stuck within their points, but lived on beer for three months and still lost weight. It's not healthy, but voila.

For me to succeed at WW, I had to eat good food. Tasty food. And The South Beach Diet cookbook is full of tasty recipes, really full. I've tried two, maybe three of them. I'm terrible with cookbooks. I see them, I covet them, I try a handful of recipes out of them. They take up space on my shelf that could otherwise be filled with fiction and in the end they get covered in dust. I have vowed to buy no more. The internet has rendered cookbooks obsolete.  So before I pack the things away for good, I'll share the one or two recipes from each book that I use.

Aubergine Pasta

1 big aubergine sliced lengthways
a tin of tomatoes
loads of fresh basil roughly cut
olive oil
1 tbsp tomato purée
clove of garlic

  1. Brush the aubergines with oil and grill each side for 5 minutes, then set aside until cool (trust me on this one, cutting hot aubergine is painful).
  2. Heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. 
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, purée and loads of fresh basil. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. 
  4. Cut up the aubergine up and add to the sauce for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add pepper.
I prefer this sauce with tagliatelli, but we all have our own preferences.

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