You can succeed with two dramatically different approaches to weight loss. One is based on “sensory satiety.” You eat the same boring food meal after meal – e.g., canellini beans and water-packed tuna. The other is based on variety – sometimes called “eating your colors.” You eat as wide a variety of nutrient-dense foods as possible.
This week, I’m going to talk about the second approach. Trying new foods can be intimidating: How do I cook them? Will I like them? Will my family/significant other eat them, too? From Eating Well, here are some tips on five under-utilized superfoods
Cons: Earthy flavors, mushy texture, gas.
Pros: Super-lean protein, fiber, folate. Cheap too!
Pair with a flavorful dark meat like beef or chicken thighs. Combine with crisp ingredients for textural contrast (think celery in bean salad). Mash or puree beans to thicken sauces or creamy soups. Puree with herbs and olive oil for a creamy dip. For firmer texture, cook beans “from scratch” rather than using canned beans; change soaking water to reduce the potential for gas.
Cabbage-Family (Cruciferous) Vegetables
Cons: Pungent flavors and smell; association with cheap meals, poverty.
Pros: Cancer-fighting phytochemicals, carotenoids, vitamin C, fiber.
Add assertive flavorings: bacon, toasted nuts, vinegar. Use creamy elements like cheese sauce (broccoli, Brussels sprouts). Don’t overcook (it makes flavors more pungent); vegetables should be tender-crisp, greens still bright.
Cons: Soft texture, bland taste.
Pros: Soy protein, isoflavones, calcium (in some types).
Dredge extra-firm tofu in flour, cornstarch or breadcrumbs, then sauté for a crisp outside, tender inside. Counteract blandness with extra-flavorful ingredients in a stir-fry.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Cons: Bitter taste.
Pros: Potassium, folate, vitamins A, E & C, fiber.
Balance bitterness with sour flavors (lemon juice, vinegar), creaminess (sauce or dressing) or richness (flavorful cheese).
Cons: “Fishy” flavor.
Pros: Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium (in canned fish with bones).
Soak fish in milk for an hour (in the refrigerator); discard milk and pat dry before cooking. Marinate with a little ginger, or saute with ginger. Serve with lemon or other acid elements (a vinegar-based sauce, a flavorful salad dressing, a strong mustard or hot sauce). Make fishy fish an element in the meal rather than the star (think salads, spreads, sandwiches).