As part of number 80 on my 130 Before I'm Thirty list, I am starting a new meal plan, revolving largely around The Flat Belly Diet.
My mom, sister and I tried this meal plan two years ago with pretty good success. The premise is simple: eat four meals of 400 calories each throughout the day. Never go more than four hours without eating and always eat a MUFA with every meal (this counts toward your 400 calorie count). A MUFA is a monounsaturated fatty acid and these acids can be found in everything from dark chocolate and olives to avocado and nuts.
Note: this diet was designed for women, so J has been getting slightly larger portions to limit his intake to approximately 2000 calories.
Another note: I am not endorsing or otherwise promoting this diet. Anyone who is going to start a food regimen should consult a dietitian or doctor first.
I am simply sharing this information because it has affected our eating patterns and will affect the type of recipes featured on KT's Refinishing School. This also means I will try to include serving size and calorie information when available.
For example, I have a delicious recipe I'd like to share with you: Chickpea Curry with Indian Rice.
This is an affordable and easy meal (it takes 20 minutes from start to finish!) and one that I think will become a staple in our house.
We always have cans of chickpeas on hand because we love to make our own hummus for dipping veggies or thin it with some oil and vinegar as a healthier Caesar-salad type salad dressing. This makes whipping up something like this a no-brainer!
Chickpea Curry with Indian Rice, adapted from Flat Belly Diet Cookbook
Please forgive the picture.
I forgot to take one when we made this and had to take one of the leftovers at lunch today!
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth--I used chicken broth because that is what I had on hand
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
(1) 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped--Trader Joe's has a great nut selection if you are lucky enough to have one in your area!
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons fat-free Greek-style yogurt--I used the honey variety
2 cups long grain white rice--feel free to substitute Basmati, but this is what I had in our pantry
5 cardamom pods
2 cups of water
Strainer, for the chickpeas
Rice cooker, or small pan and lid for rice
Small bowl for cornstarch mixture
Whisk the cornstarch in a small bowl with enough broth to dissolve, approximately one and a half tablespoons. Set aside.
Combine rice and water in rice cooker. Add five to six cardamom pods for flavor. Cook according to manufacturer's directions.
Heat oil over medium heat and when hot, add onions, curry, salt, and pepper. Cover and stir with a wooden spoon occasionally for five minutes. Add the remaining broth and cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly until thickened, approximately two minutes. Add the chickpeas and cashews, reducing the heat to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes. Stir in cilantro and top each portion with a dollop (1 tablespoon) of the yogurt.
Serve over rice, removing cardamom pods before serving.
Calorie Count: 389, with 1/4 of chickpea mixture and 3/4 cup of rice