|Swapping rice with cabbage for mapo tofu - so-so results - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I am by no means a health nut. I'm a strong advocate for Unleashing the Kraken at happy hour, you're damn right I want fries with that, and I'm the first to admit, "just looking" at the dessert menu is code for, "Don't bring two spoons, we ain't sharing our desserts." We should enjoy our meals whole-heartedly, but not with reckless abandon. Like our battles, we should choose our meals carefully. A few years ago I started cutting back on things like bread, rice and pasta, the usual suspects that are given the blanket term of Evil Carbs. Which is of course a sorority girl catchphrase/misnomer, as carbohydrates are everywhere. They're in fruits and vegetables, and we shouldn't be excluding those from our diet. And I'm not on the No Gluten Bandwagon, I love a good gluten-y pastry now and then as a treat, so I don't vilify pasta and bread by any means. I've just found that I've gotten more optimal energy levels by cutting back on processed carbohydrates and sticking with more vegetables and high protein. But time marches on, and when I do indulge in a plate of pasta now and then, my metabolism cries foul and the skinny jeans just make me look like a sausage on legs, something I like to avoid as much as possible.
The pasta and bread were eased out of our kitchen staples for the most part, but the hardest thing to kick is the rice. Damn my Asian roots! I've switched to brown rice, which I'll cut with quinoa, but it can still leave you with a bit of a bulky-belly feeling afterwards. It's really hard not to have rice when you're making a lot of Asian style dishes with tasty sauces and deliciousness that will just languish in a bowl, wasted, if not soaked up by some base ingredient. One of the hardest dishes to go rice-less is mapo tofu. I've made it a million times, over-posted about it just as many times, because it's one of my favorite basic salty-spicy dishes that's easy to make at a moment's notice. I saw people on low-carb/borderline Paleo diets using a lot of shredded cabbage as rice or noodle substitutes. I thought that was a brilliant idea, so I tried that with mapo tofu.
|Swapping rice or noodles with cabbage - not perfect, but the scale is happier for it - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Bi bim bap - no rice? No problem - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Meat and eggs - can't beat a protein combo - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Veggie-heavy dish, never a bad way to go - Photos by Wasabi Prime|