Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Confessions of What's To Come - The Dukan Diet!

I have a few confessions to make....

Recipes won't be coming as quickly anymore for a few different reasons.  The first, is that it's almost summer time!  In the summer, my family's dinners generally consist of meat & veggies on the bbq.  Pork chops, steaks, lamb chops, veal, chicken breasts, you name it.  Thanks to Wagjag we always have a healthy selection of grain-fed quality meat in our deep freezer.  For veggies, the farmer's market opens this week (yay) and we usually do beets (used in a salad with oil, balsamic & feta), corn, asparagus (try wrapping them in bacon!) or peppers & onions on the bbq as side dishes.

The other reason is that I have started the Dukan Diet, which drastically limits the variety of foods I can eat.  If you don't know about the good old Dr. Dukan, I can fill you in.  Here's the short story - he's a guy who made an eating plan for people like myself who are always hungry.  It was a diet popular in Europe and than picked up by celebrities (Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, etc).  It has 4 phases with the last one being how you will eat for the rest of your life.
Attack Phase is first - a few days (based on the timeline provided on Dukan's website) of strictly low fat protein - lean cuts of meat, eggs, egg whites, low fat cheese, low fat dairy, etc), a daily dose of oatbran, lots of water, and a 20 minute walk a day.  You lose quite a bit in these first few days which is supposed to motivated you regardless of the fact that it's just water weight (and it definitely motivated me!)

Then you move into the Cruise Phase which alternates pure protein days with protein & vegetable days - there is a complete list of foods allowed all over the internet, but I highly suggest buying the book if you're doing this, it's well worth it.  You stay in this phase until you reach your goal weight (a healthy goal weight is calculated for you on Dukan's website)

Then there is the Consolidation Phase which re-introduces carbs and fruits, allows a celebration meal, etc but you keep one day as a pure protein day.  You stay in this phase for 5 days for every pound you lost (so for example if you lost 30 pounds, you're in the Consolidation Phase for 150 days).

The last phase is Stabilization which teaches you how to eat for the rest of your life.

It's a fairly easy diet for me to follow since the "allowed" foods are unlimited, there is no counting calories and the exercise expected is minimal - although I exercise 3 times a day on most days, twice a day on others.

The downside is I won't be enjoying very many summer fruits.  Although I am expecting to be at my goal weight by mid-July at which point I can enjoy them.  The other thing is that there isn't any alcohol allowed.  Anyone who knows me knows that aint gonna happen!  So I haven't lost as much so far as I probably would have if I were following the rules to a "T", but I'm ok with that (4 lbs so far - just starting the Cruise Phase).

In saying all of that, I'm sorry in advance for the lack of exciting recipes over the next few months.  I am still cooking and baking restricted items for my family, so there will be some great recipes posted, but they probably won't be as indulgent as they have been in the past.
Thanks for listening to the weight loss rant, and I'll post again soon!

Salt & Vinegar Chicken

This is a slightly odd recipe and it threw me off when I first saw it, but I had some chicken thighs in the fridge begging to be cooked, and not a lot of time to throw the meal together, so I figured what the heck.  I served this with rice and a simple side salad.  My only words of wisdom is to discard of the marinade once finished cooking.  I left mine in a bowl to the side, and I had company over.  They thought it was gravy and drowned their rice in it.  This sauce is SALTY.  It was pretty embarrassing.  Oh well.

I also made the instant Swiss Chalet sauce to serve over the chicken - I love this sauce, and I love the fact that you can recreate it in your own home with some water and the powder packet.  Genius.

Salt & Vinegar Chicken
2 c cider vinegar
1 c veg oil
1 egg lightly beaten
3 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
8 chicken thighs
I added other seasonings, see below

In a large bowl mix the first 5 ingredients. I also added garlic powder, smoked paprika, a pinch of cayenne, seasoning salt instead of regular salt, and onion powder.  Add chicken, cover & chill at least 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange chicken in baking dish with 1/4 of the marinade (I used it all).  Bake 30 minutes, drain off marinade, continue cooking 15 minutes (I cooked it for another 30 to get nice and crispy).