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Low and lower carb ways of eating


NulloModo
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What is SB acceptable at Chinese places?  My big problem eating Chinese has been that most dishes seem to have a good bit of added starch/sugar (especially in the sauce) and the corn starch used is pretty much as bad as white flour.  I suppose one could request that no starch/sugar be used in the preparation of one's dish, but I am way of such things, especially when the counterperson has a rather limited grasp of english to begin with...

Yes, I have the same problem with Chinese. Plus, there's the white rice thing... :huh:

Deb

Liberty, MO

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What is SB acceptable at Chinese places?  My big problem eating Chinese has been that most dishes seem to have a good bit of added starch/sugar (especially in the sauce) and the corn starch used is pretty much as bad as white flour.  I suppose one could request that no starch/sugar be used in the preparation of one's dish, but I am way of such things, especially when the counterperson has a rather limited grasp of english to begin with...

Most Chinese dishes have sugar and cornstarch. The cornstarch amount would probably be 1 to 3 tsp. per dish. If you are sharing the dishes and if you have a variety of cooking, you wouldn't be getting that much. Even Dr. Agatston, the founder of SBD eats Chinese food, and he permits the use of cornstarch within reason. Cornstarch has a GI of 37. I don't know about flour.

With the sugar, there is sometimes a tsp. or so to a dish (I guess the yin/yang thing to balance the soy) But if the dish has some oil, protein or even vinegar, it slows down the rise in blood sugar, and that is a good thing. If you want the sugar left out, ask someone Chinese to write it out for you, or if you want, I'll see if I can transpose the characters here.

The simple stir/fries are the best. Look for things like Mu Shu anything - without the pancake, things with Black Bean Sauce, White Wine Sauce or Brown Sauce. This last one is made with a jarred Oyster Sauce and has no sugar added to the sauce itself. (or at least the brand I use has no sugar.) Beef with Broccoli is a good example. Another good dish is Gong Bao Chicken, (Kung Pao) or Chicken Almond Ding. Lake Tung Ting, Triple Delight and Happy Family are all stir/fries.

Some dishes are labled 'Mongolian' or 'Peking" and usually there is hoisin sauce in it. If they use Koon Chun brand (my fav) that is god as it has 3 gms sugar to 2 Tbsp. Not bad! But there is another brand - Lee Kum Kee and it has a walloping 21 gms to 2 Tbsp! I don't want to know which one the restaurants use!!

There's a variety of selections on the regular menus listings: Meat, poultry, or shellfish with snow peas, mushrooms, Chinese vegetables, bean sprouts, broccoli, etc. All good.

The things to avoid are those Western favorites - Sesame Chicken, Crispy Beef, Tangerine anything, General Tso, Lemon Chicken, Sweet/Sour ---in other words, the breaded deep/fried dishes with the overly sweet sauces or glazes.

I've seen some menus with brown rice listed. If so, you are in luck -- just keep the amount low. Otherwise, skip the white rice.

Actually, I'm not yet clear on the rice thing. The converted rice is not bad as far as GI goes, it simple doesn't have the nutrients as brown. If it was my main starch, I might be more careful, but if it is only on occasion, I'll eat some. I really don't know what rice the restaurants use.

Another problem area is with the Appetizers. Most are doughy (yum) &/or deep/fried. Lettuce wrapped chicken or pork would be good here. Grilled things on sticks are fine. The insides of the egg rolls are good. Dumplings are out, but I have them occasionally, or eat most of the insides and a little of the outside. (hard to do!!)

However you can always start with soup. Hot/Sour, Egg Drop (ugh), Winter Melon, if they have it, or my favorite -- Shredded Pork and Pickled Cabbage. That's a treat if you've never had it. (to me, anyway)

Wheat and rice noodles aren't good, but if the restaurant has Ants on a Tree, made with mung bean noodles, then you are fine.

Some menus offer steamed dishes with sauce on the side. Those are OK, but I am a purist, and to eat that, I might as well eat at home. I want the oil, garlic, ginger and scallions mixed in during the stir/fry process. I want the Chinese experience.

Are you concerned with MSG? It may not be ADDED - physically sprinkled on the dish. BUT it is sometimes already present in pre-made sauces. However MSG is found in so many things that are not even Chinese that you would be shocked. You can find it in soups, prepared foods, frozen foods, cold cuts and on and on. If you see 'flavor enhanser' or 'hydrolized protein' among others, ---think MSG.I don't get excited about MSG. It is a salt, but not at the levels that table salt is.

Some chefs have a heavy hand with the oil. Since dishes are made to order, you might ask them to go light on the oil when stir/frying, if you want to keep it down. Most places use soybean oil, so that is good.

One other thing ---- About Egg Fu Yong. I'd read somewhere that traditionally, in China, they were mostly fried as a pancake. But restaurants and take-outs deep/fry them. It is faster, and as we know, quite tasty. Perhaps passing them up would be better, unless you can just eat one bite.

Does this help? Sorry to go on so, but Chinese food is a big interest to me. I'm no expert on its SBD relation, but these are observations I've come up with for my own needs.

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Thank you for the reply.

Unfortunately Atkins is not as starch/sugar forgiving as South Beach. Rice of any kind is out until the maintenance phase, and even then it is a very occasional treat. Due to Atkins being based on a ketogenic state any amount of starch could be disasterous, so even those couple teaspoons is way too much. I would love to see a transcription of 'I cannot eat any sugar or starch/flour of any kind, I would very much appreciate if my dish could be prepared without these items' or something similar that I could print out and bring with me. I know Chinese has a variety of spoken dialects, but is the written form more universal?

Fortunately the oil thing with Atkins is not a big deal. You do not have to limit oils/fats at all, and in fact, you are encouraged to include them in the daily diet as it helps burn fat faster if you are eating more fat. The Egg Foo-Young just never seems the same without that gravey though...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I occasionally eat at a nearby Chinese buffet place, and follow these guidelines: No rice, noodles, or sweet 'n sour, and nothing batter fried. Even then, I'm sure I'm eating some things that have some added sugar, but I haven't had a bad result this way. I start with a small cup of the hot 'n sour soup and then follow up with a variety of tasty chicken, beef, and shrimp dishes. I try not to do it too often, but it's a nice occasional treat.

For supper tonight I made meatloa(d) and roasted cauliflower. Mmm.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Many of the Chinese places we go to now offer brown rice as an option - it's still rice/starch, but at least there's some nutrition with it.

I generally don't eat much of it because I find that with a cup of hot and sour soup and an entree, I'm pretty full and just don't have room to eat more than a mouthful or two. Or I just have the lettuce wraps - they're darned tasty. But I just love the hot and sour soup - in fact, I make it for dinner now and again - lots of protein with the pork, eggs, and tofu. More winter comfort food.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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While not Chinese exactly, we had lunch at a Vietnamese place yesterday, and I had a wonderful salad--all kinds of shredded cabbage, topped with chicken, peanuts, and onions, with a sesame dressing--and the menu even noted that it was "sugar free, flour free, no MSG; exact ingredients available upon request."

Are there alternatives to egg-roll-type wrappers? I've used large egg roll wrappers to make lower-calorie empanadas (via a Stephen Raichlen recipe), and I'd really love to try them again, in a lower-refined carbs way.

Thanks!

Diana

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I have heard lots of good things about using Yuba sheets as a replacement for pasta/egg rolls. Supposedly they are made from tofu, I haven't found them anywhere yet though.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Thanks, NulloModo. "Yuba Sheets". . .got it. On my list of things to search out. There's an import/Italian market (since they make their own pasta, I'm going to guess I might not find them there), a produce market run by a Korean family (who has the best kimchi I've found), the surprisingly well-stocked Publix, and an Asian market not too far away. The folks at the Asian market have already helped me find other things that I'd never heard of, so maybe they'll know about this?

I've been roasting sweet potatoes lately, do radishes roast well? Frying isn't really an option because of other health concerns, but hearing they came out well in the fryer kinda makes me want to see if I can pass them by the boyfriend (who until 2 weeks ago, didn't think he liked sweet potatoes).

Oh, and a random thought brought on by the talk of small pumpkins--Better Homes & Gardens showed a cheese dip set into a small (cleaned out) pumpkin. Absolutely great look.

We have an Atkins-adherer coming over for Thanksgiving. He's a very nice guy, understands the family tradition with cornbread dressing. I have a recipe for a pumpkin chiffon pie that's basically pumpkin, spices, whipped cream, and sugar. I'm going to try a few sugar substitutes in small trials and see how they taste, I'm hoping to have a dessert available that he'll be able to eat and enjoy. Would the amount of butter needed to help hold a crushed-nut crust together be a no-go? Or is butter okay on Atkins?

Diana

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Diana, yes, butter is okay on Atkins. How nice of you to make an Atkins friendly dessert for your guest. If you work out a good recipe in your trials, would you care to share it?

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Hee! I'll share anything with someone who quotes SlingBlade in their sig line. The basics (from the boyfriend's step mom) are canned pumpkin, sugar, and spices, whipped to a frenzy in the mixer, then folded in with <cringe> Cool Whip, poured into a pie crust, and refrigerated. I feel certain there must be a better way (I don't particularly care for the pie, it tastes like. . .well, like canned pumpkin.) Whipped cream as opposed to Cool Whip should make a world of difference. Real pumpkin vs canned pumpkin, I'll have to see, since all I knowingly have tried is canned pumpkin, and I don't like it one bit.

If I can't get it right, I figure I'll go for a pumpkin cheesecake. The crust we've tried out is basically just ground nuts of some sort, a little butter, and an egg white, mixed together, smashed into the pie pan, and baked. It's not quite as hold-togethery as a SBD one I like better, where I use Voortman's sugar-free shortbread cookies, nuts, and butter. Cheesecakes seem to be fairly forgiving (though not nearly as good) when reducing sweetener amounts. Heck, maybe I'll just make both?

Yessss....both.....and more......

(randomly, how about hearts of palm? My dad really likes them in salad, if they're good for Atkinsites, then I'll adjust the dressing just a bit to make it Atkins-friendly, too. The hearts of palm salad is hearts of palm, avocadoes, and dark leafy greens with a citrusy dressing)

Diana

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Diana, George Stella, from Food Network's "Low Carb and Lovin' It" has developed a low carb pumpkin pie recipe (it uses canned pumpkin, though). I might give it a try for Thanksgiving. Here's the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_27075,00.html

Low Carb Praline Pumpkin Pie

Recipe courtesy George Stella

Show: Low Carb and Lovin' It Episode: Deceiving Desserts

Praline Crust:

2 tablespoons hot melted butter

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pie Filling:

1 (15-ounce) can no sugar added pumpkin filling

3/4 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)

1 tablespoon plus a dash pumpkin pie spice

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the crust: Mix all crust ingredients together in a small bowl. While mixture is still warm from the butter, press it evenly into the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until browned. Remove piecrust from oven.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Make the filling: Place all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a wire whisk. Pour filling into prebaked piecrust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake for an additional 50 to 55 minutes. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick in the center; if it comes out clean, the pie is done.

Cool and then chill before serving. To serve, top each slice with a dollop of low carb whipped cream.

Low Carb Fresh Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)

1 teaspoon no sugar added vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on high, whip the heavy cream just until frothy. Then add in the sugar substitute and vanilla extract and continue to whip on high until peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip, or cream will break. Transfer to a pastry bag or just spoon onto pie.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Thank you for the reply.

Unfortunately Atkins is not as starch/sugar forgiving as South Beach.  Rice of any kind is out until the maintenance phase, and even then it is a very occasional treat.  Due to Atkins being based on a ketogenic state any amount of starch could be disasterous, so even those couple teaspoons is way too much.  I would love to see a transcription of 'I cannot eat any sugar or starch/flour of any kind, I would very much appreciate if my dish could be prepared without these items' or something similar that I could print out and bring with me.  I know Chinese has a variety of spoken dialects, but is the written form more universal?

Fortunately the oil thing with Atkins is not a big deal.  You do not have to limit oils/fats at all, and in fact, you are encouraged to include them in the daily diet as it helps burn fat faster if you are eating more fat.  The Egg Foo-Young just never seems the same without that gravey though...

No matter the dialect, the printed character is understood. The words below are Mandarin, but I have found that most Chinese waiters, even those from South China, understand Mandarin.

請不要用糖或太白粉. 謝謝

Please do not use sugar or cornstarch. Thank you.

To say it:

Qing bu yao yong tang huo tai bai fen. xie xie .

(Ching boo yao yong tang hwo bai fun. she(d) she(d)

Anyone Chinese on this thread?

Your original words come out like this on Alta Vista:

無法吃任何糖或任何種類太白粉, 我非常會讚賞如果我的盤能準備沒有這.

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Marathon cooking this weekend --- Comfort food!

I work a lot of hours during the week and lately have started putting up various cooked dishes in my freezer. Now that the weather has become cold, I am getting turned off by cold meals (e.g. salad and cold cuts).

So last weekend I made two dishes from "Linda's Low Carb" recipe site.

http://users3.ev1.net/~fontlady/

Her recipes are not at all difficult and they use economical ingredients.

One was the "White Castle Hamburger Pie". This is kinda like a cheeseburger casserole. It was kinda greasy so next time I'll drain the fat from the meat before assembling the dish.

http://users3.ev1.net/~fontlady/white_cast...burger_pie.html

The other dish I made was really delicious. "Sausage, Mushroom and cream cheese casserole". Highly recommend it.

http://users3.ev1.net/~fontlady/sausage_mu..._casserole.html

This weekend I have planned a 3-meat casserole (with beef stew meat, baby back ribs, and Italian sausage); a minestrone (without pasta), and a southwestern pork stew with lots of chiles - each froma different cookbook.

Needless to say with all these meals you need to balance them with salad or veggies!

For breakfast I make an onion and cheddar crustless quiche - 1 pie plate full lasts the week. Make it on Sunday and nuke 1 piece in the morning during the usual rush hour to work.

http://users3.ev1.net/~fontlady/cheddar_onion_quiche.html

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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Whipped cream as opposed to Cool Whip should make a world of difference.  Real pumpkin vs canned pumpkin, I'll have to see, since all I knowingly have tried is canned pumpkin, and I don't like it one bit.

Canned pumpkin is superior. It has a more intense pumpkin flavor and a darker color. Fresh small edible pumpkins just don't make pumpkin pies/bread that are pumpkiny enough. At least not in my experience.

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Whipped cream as opposed to Cool Whip should make a world of difference.  Real pumpkin vs canned pumpkin, I'll have to see, since all I knowingly have tried is canned pumpkin, and I don't like it one bit.

Canned pumpkin is superior. It has a more intense pumpkin flavor and a darker color. Fresh small edible pumpkins just don't make pumpkin pies/bread that are pumpkiny enough. At least not in my experience.

Happy you printed this, as I thought it was only me who liked canned pumpkin. Maybe I have made canned pumpkin the standard for assessing mashed pumpkin, but when I have used fresh, I just don't get the texture, the density or the deep flavor.

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Whipped cream as opposed to Cool Whip should make a world of difference.  Real pumpkin vs canned pumpkin, I'll have to see, since all I knowingly have tried is canned pumpkin, and I don't like it one bit.

Canned pumpkin is superior. It has a more intense pumpkin flavor and a darker color. Fresh small edible pumpkins just don't make pumpkin pies/bread that are pumpkiny enough. At least not in my experience.

Happy you printed this, as I thought it was only me who liked canned pumpkin. Maybe I have made canned pumpkin the standard for assessing mashed pumpkin, but when I have used fresh, I just don't get the texture, the density or the deep flavor.

I prefer frozen pumpkin. It has more of a fresh taste. Compared to frozen pumpkin, canned pumpkin tastes burnt. I thaw & heat the frozen pumpkin, then drain excess moisture in a collander lined with paper towels.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Time to resurrect this thread.

Tonight dinner was:

Venison roast, browned in some EVOO along with an onion, then slow-cooked in Trader Joe's Organic Chicken Stock with rosemary, majoram, bay leaf, black pepper, and salt, oh, and several slices of chopped bacon.

Alongside was simple steamed broccoli with some plugra melted on top.

Both were very nice with a sauce of sour cream, horseradish, and the tiniest bit of black truffle oil (I think the hardest part of cooking with that stuff is to use minute amounts, or else it overpowers).

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I started a new medication that's making me a little bit queasy (for the short term).  The foods I'm familiar with eating for an upset tummy--saltines, bananas--aren't SouthBeachy.  Any suggestions for low-processed things?

Diana

Slow cooking oatmeal? Followed by 'tummy' tea - there are lots of varieties, but all seem to include mint(s), cinnamon, fennel, ginger, etc.

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I'd second the tea idea, I like mint myself on an upset stomach.

I actually tend to like very spicey flavors when my stomach is upset, it seems to clear out the head and distract from the pain in the stomach with a pain in the mouth ;) Somehow it numbs everything once it goes down though, and I do feel better afterwards.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I started a new medication that's making me a little bit queasy (for the short term).  The foods I'm familiar with eating for an upset tummy--saltines, bananas--aren't SouthBeachy.  Any suggestions for low-processed things?

Diana

Chicken soup? Chicken broth? Sugar free jello? Whole Wheat Toast? Homemade applesauce with cinnamon? (Might be a little high, but I find cinnamon helps settle my stomach a lot.)

I don't know how you react to dairy, but I can often handle cottage cheese even if I can't handle other dairy.

When I have stomach ailments, I tend to be somewhat more lenient with my diet, because whatever it is I'm eating, I'm not going to be eating much of it. This isn't to say I go particularly high carb, because these days that doesn't sit too well, either. But if a banana is all that will sit well, I say go with the banana.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a little while, and I just wanted to pop in to mention a thing I've been enjoying lately: halloumi cheese, which I like just shallow-fried in olive oil. It's filling and savory and goes wonderfully with a green salad or pile of cooked greens. 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 g, and we generally find 100-125 g. to be a generous serving.

Speaking of greens, another thing that's nice as a way of having a bit of grain but not going too far is a modification of a traditional bulgur and spinach dish from Paula Wolfert. The original has a cup of (dry) bulgur to a pound of greens, but we do 1/3 c. bulgur or less. It's a different thing -- that's a pilaf with greens, and this is greens with pilaf -- but still very nice, and more suited to taking a "heavy" role in a meal than the greens alone would be. Also, I find that nice frozen greens work fairly well in this context. Obviously fresh is nicer, but not (in my opinion) the kind of fresh greens I'm finding around here right now. The options are tasteless prewashed baby spinach or tiny bundles of exorbitantly priced chard and the like. Boo.

The greens:

1 large onion, cut in thin semicircles

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound spinach or kale or other mild green, trimmed and shredded OR good quality frozen greens

1/3 cup coarse bulgur

1/3 cup vegetable broth, heated to boiling

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions very slowly in a covered pan, stirring often, until they're dark gold. In the meantime, wilt your greens in a saucepan that also has a lid. If there's sigifigant excess liquid in the saucepan, drain it off. Turn heat to very low. Then add the bulgur, the broth, the allspice, and salt and pepper and put the cover on. Cook 20-25 minutes, until the bulgur is tender. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another five minutes or so, then stir in the onions.

Edited by redfox (log)

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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