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Dieters Size Up Food Differently

By Merri Lou Dobler Correspondent

Diet cookbooks often have the most gorgeous pictures of food. Here’s why: People on diets look at food differently. They want smaller portions, but bigger flavors. When dieting, you eat less, but you want every bite to be mouthwatering.

Jenny Craig’s “No Diet Required, Recipes For Healthy Living” cookbook is no exception to this “less can still be extremely satisfying” rule.

What surrounds the food - garnishes, table settings, scenery - is so visually appealing that you realize that eating is about much more than just taste. There’s a natural beauty to food. A beautiful plate of food is really a piece of art.

You’re not depriving yourself by eating less, says Craig, you’re taking the time to eat mindfully. And, she writes, “You savor the sweetness of seasonal fruits, relish the crunch of crisp vegetables and whole grains and discover the subtleties of fresh herbs and spices.”

There’s a great picture of Cheese-Stuffed Potatoes in the book. A potato is so basic, dug from the earth. Its very earthiness and simplicity makes it more precious. You want to cradle it in your hands with care.

Other pictures of simple foods are enticing: Lentil Salad with bits of feta cheese, Sugar Snap Peas with Papaya Salsa, Refreshing Lemon Sherbet.

Remember that life is a gift, says Craig. May we open many packages along the way!

Cheese-Stuffed Potatoes

From “Jenny Craig’s No Diet Required, Recipes For Healthy Living” (Oxmoor House, 1997).

6 small baking potatoes (about 1-1/4 pounds)

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

1-1/2 cups nonfat sour cream

1/3 cup finely chopped green onions

1/4 teaspoon salt

Paprika

Pierce potatoes with fork and arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at High power 16 minutes or until done, turning and rearranging potatoes halfway through cooking time. Let stand 5 minutes.

Cut a 1/4-inch-thick slice from the top of each potato; carefully scooop pulp into a bowl, leaving shells intact. Add cheese and sour cream to pulp, and mash; stir in green onions and salt.

Stuff shells with potato mixture; sprinkle with paprika. Microwave at High power 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories, 49 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams protein, 3.3 grams fat (11 percent fat calories), 3.3 grams fiber, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 272 milligrams sodium.

Note: As an alternative, first bake potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until done. After stuffing shells, bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

, DataTimes MEMO: The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

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