Tag Archives: chicken

Quorn – brill for dieting and to keep weight off

When it comes to your new year diet or if you want to keep weight off, quorn is simply brilliant. Really versatile, it can be made into almost anything you would normally make with meat. And best of all it is really very low fat, low GI, high in fibre, high in protein, keeps you feeling fuller for longer, is fat burning and very low calorie. So all in all, a brilliant diet and weight maintenance food.

If you haven’t been converted yet, read on…..

What is quorn?
Quorn is a micro-protein, made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to a fungus called Fusarium venenatum which is described as being like mushrooms and truffles. Many quorn products also contain eggs. Quite disturbingly it was originally used to make material and animal feed! However it was quickly realised that because it has a good texture (some say its like it has been ‘knitted’) it is possible to shape it into various formats. By adding flavours it’s made into a meat-free alternative for everything from chicken fillets to fish fingers; from sliced deli-ham to a meat free pate.

What can you get…..
Quorn products which are great for slimming and watching weight include:

Need to be cooked:

  • Mince
  • Sausages
  • Chicken style pieces
  • Chicken style fillets
  • Beef strips
  • Swedish style and Italian style meatballs
  • Burgers
  • Pepper steaks
  • Lamb steaks.

Deli food ready to eat:

  • Sandwich meats – ham, chicken, beef, turkey
  • Fajita strips
  • Roasted fillets
  • Tikka fillets.

There are loads of other products too but not all are low fat or good for slimming. For example the bacon and Southern Style Burgers taste great but have more calories (though they are still relatively low calorie). And many of the ready meals or products can actually be quite calorific. So you need to check those carefully.

Really easy…..
Two great aspects of quorn which make it even easier to use are that it keeps quite well out of the fridge for a day or so if you are having food on the go. So I will often make a packed lunch/tea of deli products and a tub of salad.

Also you are OK to defrost and re-freeze. So even if I make a meal with frozen quorn I often re-freeze the cooked meal to have when I need something quick and easy.

Good on diets…..
Quorn should fit well with your diet. On Slimming World mince and pieces are superfree foods; on Weight Watchers  basic quorn products are low in Pro Points. It is also a low GI food so will fit with your low GI diet. Just check your particular diet for more details.

You do need to cook slightly differently though…
Believe me, if you slightly adapt how you cook quorn you can give it to unsuspecting meat eaters and they will often not know. The trick is to use more liquid than with meat and add in some additional flavours such as herbs and spices, marmite, Bisto, balsamic and other vinegars, Worcester sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, stock cubes or bullion etc.

A note of caution…..
However there is a note of caution with Quorn. Some people are violently allergic to quorn and it is thought this is linked to people who are allergic to certain fungi. I have a friend who will be really sick within hours of eating any quorn – tough for him as he is a mainly veggie! Although its believed the numbers of people allergic are relatively small, if you are new to quorn and you are ill after eating it (or if you get ill after eating a lot) then maybe you are one of those people.

So what are you waiting for? How about trying quorn soon in….
Bolognaise, curry, chilli, lasagne, stir fry, pasta sauce, with couscous or rice, sausage casseroles, cottage pie, roast dinner, fry-ups, steaks on their own with salsa and salad, meat loaf, paella, risotto, Thai curry….

Staying positive & motivated when your diet isn’t working!

Its one of the hardest things – staying motivated when you are dieting but not losing weight. I’ve become so expert at keeping weight off that this is what’s happening to me at the moment! I’m doing Slimming World Success Express and although I’m on week 5 I’ve lost no weight at all! Every Sunday morning my scales say the same thing; 142lb. I’ve even started taking Adios Plus tablets to try and speed up the loss!

According to some research from the US this week it’s not so surprising. Researchers  say that the common expectation that reducing our intake by 500 calories a day, or upping our exercise, means we will lose about 1lb a week is too ambitious. They say that weight loss probably takes about 3 times as long as that.

So does this explain why I’m not losing weight? Or could my body just want to stabilise at my current weight? Once, when I was on Lighterlife and I was living off 550 calories a day I didn’t lose any weight 2 weeks in a row! I even put some on one week. Bodies are funny things.

Having to occasionally lose weight is just part of keeping weight off
As readers of my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ know, I believe that when keeping weight off at times you need to actually diet. Every bit of research backs this up; everyone who keeps weight off has a way to monitor their weight and size on an on-going basis and takes action quickly when they know the pounds are starting to go back on. That’s what I’m doing at the moment so I can stay a size 10.

I don’t actually weigh myself normally; in fact I recommend ditching the scales. That’s because we all know our weight can fluctuate up and down various reasons – water retention, time of the month, building muscle etc. What does it matter if our weight goes up but we still like how we look and our clothes still fit? That’s why I recommend having a favourite outfit as your guide; when the outfit is too tight that’s when its time to take some action.

Not all doom and gloom though…
All is not lost though. Although I’m not losing weight at the moment, I am losing bulk. My favourite dress is certainly less tight around the hips than 5 weeks ago even if I know I still need to lose some more before I could wear it. Plus my tape measure is showing some improvement with at least one cm off each measurement.

 

So how do you stay motivated when the weight isn’t falling away?

It is hard to stay motivated when the weight isn’t falling off. That’s why on some occasions over the last few weeks I’ve not kept to the diet – the odd cake here, or a curry there, or crisps and biscuits at a mates house. If I’m honest it’s often been more than one; with one leading to another to another. But I have to face facts. All I am doing is making things harder for myself as at this rate I’ll be on this diet for months, not the weeks I originally expected.

So to get back on track I’m focusing on the positives. I keep reminding myself:

  •  That losing weight can be slow.
  • I am losing bulk as my green dress is getting that bit looser each week.
  • My measurements show I’ve lost some size over the last 5 weeks.
  • All my friends tell me I look great the size I am ; one even said I looked ‘perfect’ this size.
  • I actually don’t crave foods like cakes and chocolates when I cut them out all together so it’s easier to have none at all.
  • I have lost weight before; I can do it again.
  • There are still other options I can try if I decide this diet isn’t working; but I need to give it a few more weeks.

That’s what you need to do too if you are dieting and not getting the results you hoped for. Or if you are trying to keep weight off and putting some back on. Don’t let some slips push you totally off course. We are all humans so if you have a bad day or two don’t punish yourself. Instead, say today is another day, dust yourself down and just make some agreements with yourself that you’ll get back on course.

And to help me get back on course I’m making sure I cook food which feels comforting and lovely and is allowed by the diet. Here’s one of my favs – sweet and sour chicken/quorn. Its tasty, gooey and sweet, really quick but still hardly any calories. Brilliant.

Fat burning and low GI Sweet and Sour Chicken / Quorn

Ingredients:
3 shallots per person
½ to 1 bulb garlic per person for sweet and sour
Chicken breast cut into small slices or quorn pieces (defrosted)

For the sauce – each person:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp passata
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweetener
Large pinch of hot chilli powder to taste.
If using quorn you may need some additional sauce per person – 1½ – 2 tbsp.  

Stir Fry Veg
1 bulb garlic
1 cm of ginger minced or chopped into small pieces
Prepared stir fry veg

Instructions:

  1. Chop the shallots finely. Fry in some fry light and little sherry if so inclined. Mince the garlic and add to the frying pan. Fry for about 5 minutes till nicely browned.
  2. In a bowl mix up the sauce.
  3. Add the chicken / quorn to the pan and fry for around 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  4. Add the sauce and allow to cook over a medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile spray a wok or large frying pan with fry light and add the remaining garlic and ginger. Fry for about 30 sections then add the stir fry veg. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add splash of soy sauce and cook for a further 1 minute.
  6. Serve together and enjoy!

 

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