There is hardly anyone out there who has never indulged in some unhealthy eating. Why? Sure we know that it is probably not healthy, but “it is delicious,” we rationalize, “besides, how bad could it be if I only do it once in a long while?” Chances are we indulge in it more than once in a “long while,” chances are we probably pick up a few other such bad habits. For a long time, at least in most people’s mind, the choice was to deny oneself a lot of gastronomic pleasures or take chances.
In 2006 Nechama Cohen, the CEO of The Jewish Diabetes Association, published EnLITEned Kosher Cooking with over 250 recipes running the full gamut from the simple to the elegant. She writes in the Preface:
[...] in Deuteronomy (Devarim 4:15) it is written, “You shall be very careful of yourselves – V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoseichem,” meaning we are obliged to take good care of our health and well-being. It is now becoming more and more clear that it is not only those with actual health problems who have to change their coking and eating habits. Everyone should see if they can make improvements! This is the first step in assuring a healthy future without complications from diabetes and all other terrible diseases that can, God forbid, be caused by obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.
There is much to recommend this book, but we’ll just single out a few things. Not only is it well organized, not only does each recipe have its nutritional facts listed, but under the name of each recipe it tells you whether it a Low Fat, or Fat Free, Reduced Carb, or Low Carb. Among its 15 Appendixes are: How to Calculate Carbs, another on Calcium-Rich Choices, Nutrition Facts for Fruits and Vegetables (based on a USDA National Nutrition Database), Eyeballing Food for Portion Size, Food Equivalents to name just a few.
The cookbook claims it does not sacrifice on flavor, while providing for healthy eating. We decided to test the truth of such a statement so we made this easy recipe:
Low Carb, Low Fat / Yield: 4 servings
This chicken dish is easy, tangy and delicious.
- 11/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, partially frozen
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- non-stick cooking spray
- 2 cups dry white wine
- Sugar substitute equal to 1/4 cup sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons soy or whole-wheat flour
- 1 bunch watercress, stems discarded
- 1 large head radicchio leaves, separated
- lemon slices
- Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast diagonally into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Pound the pieces in a plastic bag until they are 1/4-inch thick.
- Heat oil and spray in a large non-stick skillet. Add half the chicken. Cook over medium heat until barely done, about 1 minute per side; they will not be white in all places. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and repeat with the rest of the chicken, adding spray if necessary.
- Using the same skillet and lowering the heat, carefully add wine, sugar substitute and lemon juice to the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
- Dissolve flour with 1/2 cup of the prepared liquid after it has cooled, and add to the skillet.
- Return chicken to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until the slices are completely white, about 5 minutes.
- Line a platter with the watercress and radicchio, and arrange the chicken slices on top. Garnish with the sauce and lemon slices and serve immediately.
Serving size (slice) 1
- (oz) 5
- (g) 150
- Calories 203
- Protein (g) 32.5
- Carbs (g) 1.8
- Fat (g) 3.7
- Sat. Fat (g) 0.5
- Cholesterol (mg) 77
- Sodium (mg) 160
- Calcium (mg) 34
- Fiber (g) 0.4
- Lean meat protein 41/2
We liked the taste, it compared quite favorably with the traditional recipe for Lemon Chicken. We used edible flowers for garnishing, they tasted nice and greatly enhanced the looks. By the way, you may use potato starch instead of flour and you will have a Pessach recipe!
This cookbook definitely proves you do not need to sacrifice taste to eat truly healthy. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!