Tag Archives: Food

How I lost quite a bit of weight


Over the last 6 months, I lost quite a bit of weight (almost 10 kg or 22lbs since June, but I started losing weight before I kept track too). A lot of it was due to no longer being on meds that have increased appetite as a side effect (am unfortunately back on them) but some of it is due to my efforts.

One of the things I did was get healthier staples. I didn’t have any and what I ate was fairly unhealthy, so for me, almost any staple would have been an improvement. I settled on menemen, pesto sandwiches, brown bread with PB&J (very light on the jelly), protein bars and yoghurt (what I put in yoghurt I switch often depending on what’s in the fridge or what I’m in the mood for). I used these as lunch and breakfast staples. This reduced the unhealthy stuff I’d sometimes eat for breakfast, like bread with Nutella or other sugary stuff.

Additionally, when I was really in the mood for sweets, I either took a healthy-ish sweet like yoghurt/custard, or took something small but delicious like one chocolate truffle or one piece of orange and almond filled dark chocolate.

With yoghurt/custard, I bought both a healthy variant (low in sugar and high in protein) and a less healthy one. When I ate yoghurt I mixed the healthy and unhealthy variants and slowly decreased the percentage of unhealthy yoghurt in this mix. This way I was I could get used to less sweet yoghurt in a very incremental way.

I didn’t always give in to my sweet tooth either. I know my desires for food are fickle, so sometimes I waited for a healthy craving to come along and satisfy it rather than my sweet tooth.

A last thing I did was keeping track of what I ate on the website of the Voedingcentrum (a foundation subsidised by the Dutch government, with the goal of informing the public about nutrition). This helped me see what I ate so I could for example notice that one chocolate truffle is about the same amount of calories as a small bowl of yoghurt. Knowing what things cost in terms of calories helped me make more informed food decisions. It also helped me notice when
sugar consumption in the previous days was causing more sugar cravings in the present. This way I could cut back on sugar in time to prevent a slide back into heavy sugar consumption.

For people who don’t know Dutch, there might be something similar to the Voedingscentrum where you’re at. If there isn’t you can try chronometer, a for-profit company which also lets you track your nutrition. I tried it for a while too and, to me, it seems more user friendly (you can copy and paste food you ate and it gives you in my opinion better graphs) than the Voedingscentrum’s nutrition tracker, but in exchange, you have to pay if you want to download your data and there’s a lot of other features locked behind a paywall too.

I hope this was helpful to some of you and that these techniques will be as helpful to you as they were to me.

How to make a pesto sandwich


This is a recipe which I found online and really liked. I just made one small tweak to fit the recipe to the ingredients I generally use. So take a look at the original, for Becoming Betty deserves the credit for this delicious thing.

Ingredients:

1 Oven pistolet

15 to 25 grams of pesto

40 to 65 grams of mozzarella

1 tomato

a dash of pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F).

Slice the pistolet and bake it for about 5 minutes on an oven-safe plate.

After baking the pistolet for a bit carefully transfer the pistolet to a cooler plate and spread pesto on the bottom half (this is a slight diversion from the original recipe. I spread pesto only on the bottom half of the sandwich, at first. This is because my sandwich needs to go into the oven longer to finish baking the pistolet. The pesto on the bottom will be somewhat protected by tomato and mozzarella so it can stay, but if I put pesto on the top half now, it will burn while in the oven).  Wash and slice a tomato and put it atop the pesto covered bottom half of the pistolet. Then slice some mozzarella and put it on top of the tomato. Add a dash of pepper and put the sandwich and put it back into the oven, for another 5 minutes. Once It’s done transfer to the cooler plate again. Add pesto to the top half of the sandwich and you’re done.

Hope you enjoy this meal, which I find quite delicious.

How I make menemen


Ingredients:

1 egg per portion

(half) a tomato per portion ( I started out with half a tomato per slice of bread, but since I now usually make only one portion, I use the entire tomato and like it that way too)

sambal to taste (this is an Indonesian thing which mixes chili pepper and salt, I usually use about 4 teaspoons or so of it)

4 slices of (vegetarian) pepperoni per portion

brown bread (preferably with sesame seeds) or a simit

Method:

Put some olive oil into a frying pan on high heat. While the oil heats up slice the tomato into thin slices. Put the tomato slices into the frying pan. With a spatula or big (wooden) spoon make sure the tomato slices don’t lie on top of one another.

This time I sliced my tomatoes slices a bit too thick

Add the sambal to the frying pan.

Stir for about 15 seconds or until things start to splash because of the heat then add the egg(s) and immediately resume stirring.

Do this until the egg begins to set and starts to properly looks like scrambled eggs then add the pepperoni and put your bread into a toaster.

When the bread is done so are your eggs. Place the dish on the bread and it’s ready to eat.

Menemen is originally a Turkish dish and I found out about it from the following video about food in Berlin.

Rice with fruit, satay sauce and vegetarian meatballs


Ingredients:

50 to 100 gram per person of Rice per person (I use a mix of mostly brown rice and a little bit of pandan rice)

1/3 to 2/3 of an orange per person

1/2 to 1 of a banana per person

(Garden gourmet) vegetarian meatballs 3 to 7 per person (these don’t really taste like meatballs, but are kind of perfect for rice with satay sauce)

Any cooking oil

Satay sauce (I make the satay sauce from calvé peanutsauce, between 50 and 70 grams per person. The calvé thing is a spiced peanut butter designed to make satay sauce out of. I also add a dash of Ginger powder, galanga plant root powder, Coriander powder, Cayenne pepper, and some sambal oelek to taste. The last one is a kind of grounded chili pepper with salt. I also add Ketjap manis to taste, which is a sweet and salty kind of soy sauce).

Method:

Cook the rice (I cook it for 10 minutes in water about double the volume of the rice, which is the time indicated on the package).

Fry the vegetarian meatballs in the oil and follow the instructions on the package. You should only have to flip them once. I usually start on the satay sauce while the rice is cooking and the “meatballs” are frying.

Put the spiced peanut butter into a saucepan along with some water (a little more water volume than peanut butter) stir the mixture until it has boiled and is smooth, then stir the spices into the mixture. Add a splash of water. When the sauce is smooth again, add the sambal and ketjap and stir until blended in. Once the mixture is smooth again the sauce is ready. The amount of water you should add depends on how thick you want the sauce to be.

When the rice is done cooking drain out the water from the rice and add some ketjap manis and stir the rice.

After the sauce and “meatballs” are done too, slice the orange and banana and put them into a bowl (or on your plates).

Put the food on plates and done.

Variations:

If you want to change the recipe here’s some variations I sometimes use:

  1. add apple and/or Belgian endive to the fruit
  2. Serundeng on top of the dish
  3. Some krupuk with the dish
  4. Replace the “meatballs” with an egg

I think it’s a family dish. Either my dad came up with it on his own or he read it in a book, a long time ago.