Saturday, 5 May 2012

Whats Your Desert Island Meal?

Okay one night on a desert island and assuming you could have a chef, what would you eat?

Well my choice is quite easy, my favourite meal of all time is a big steak, dauphinoise potatoes (or you may know them as potatoes au gratin) and baked beefsteak tomato.  Washed down with a glass or two of red wine, finished with apple crumble and custard.  Well no said it had to be just one meal!

So your probably thinking to yourself sounds okay, and quite delicious, my mouth is watering as I'm writing this blog!  You've got some protein, carbohydrates and fats, in fact something from all your three main food groups.  Now this meal perhaps once a week, as long as you watch portion sizes and are active, is not going to do much harm, but could we make it healthier?  Yes of course we could.  Here's a few pointers to help you on your way;

  • Your steak is from the protein group.  Protein is your bodies foundation.  It is essential for your bodies functioning and development.  Your daily protein intake depends on your activity levels, usually the more active you are the more protein you require to help your body repair and rebuild.  Anything from 0.75g to 1.5g per kg of bodyweight, perhaps more if you are a bodybuilder or serious exerciser.  For example if you were a sedentary or moderately active healthy adult weighing 80kg you would need 60g protein per day (0.75 x 80).
          Recommendations are that your steak should be around 4 ounces, or about the size of a deck
          of cards.  This is very far from what you would probably eat in a restaurant or buy from the
          butchers so now the portion of a steak is more likely to be sized on the length of the palm of   
          your hand from your wrist to your middle finger.

         Try different cuts of steak, my favourite is rib eye, also try rump, sirloin, fillet mignon, T-bone,  
         chuck steak and shoulder steaks.  Don't overcook your steak, pat dry, a little slither of coconut
         oil and seasoning, sear in a hot pan, turn once or twice.  Cook for 2 - 3 minutes for rare steak,
         4 - 4 and a half minutes for medium rare and 5 - 7 mins for a well done steak.  And if you can     
         buy organic or grass fed beef at least you know you've made a difference.

  • Next our dauphinoise potatoes and tomato.  If you've ever had dauphinoise potatoes you'll know just how garlicy and creamy and indulgent they can be while also adding a fair amount of calories sadly.  A better option could be mashed potato made with both white potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes are a lower GI so these will help lower the overall GI of the meal.  You could also substitute white potatoes for butternut squash which again is low GI or have a mix of all three.  And you could also swap the butter for a dollop of low fat creme fraiche, swap cow's milk for a dash of coconut milk or just add a little water.

  • Tomatoes, are very high in lycopene, they also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium.  Cooking tomatoes allows the lycopene to be better absorbed by the body.  Cook them quickly with a little coconut, or olive oil and seasoning until skins are starting to burst.  Not to say you shouldn't eat them cold, of course their great in your salads or as a handy snack, just eat them like you'd eat a fruit (which technically that's what a tomato is!)  Look for variety, tomatoes don't just come as red, you've got orange, yellow and green.  Also if you can, try and buy organic. 

  • My plate could ideally do with more vegetables, no one ever got too fat on veggies!  Vegetables should make at least a quarter of your plate, so take your pick from any coloured vegetables including; broccoli, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, onions, carrots, beans, kale, aubergines etc etc.
Not going to comment on the wine and pudding as you know that moderation is key, and life is to short at the end of the day, so my philosophy, is a little bit of what you fancy does you good!

Please leave me a comment on what your favourite desert island meal is.

Till next time,


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