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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Salad Bouquet and Weightlossophy tip #5: Spend time on Non-Eating Food-Related Activities

Celebrate the beauty and flavor of simple vegetables with a festive design. Plus the weight loss tip of the day.
Over the last two days I published the first 4 guiding principles that helped me lose 55 pounds over 7 months. This is my 5th Weightlossophy tip.

Spend time on non-eating food-related activities
  I am obsessed with food, have always been. I am one of those who remember places by the foods they ate there. A huge portion of my thoughts is dedicated to food, often even when I am actively doing something else. I suppose that’s just how I am and I have to accept it, especially since for me food is one of the greatest joys in life, and I don’t want to deprive myself of it. 
  But thinking about food does not necessarily have to lead to munching. You can direct all this food-addict energy into other food-related activities that will actually distract you from eating. Like planning what you are going to eat, looking up the recipes, doing grocery shopping, reading restaurant reviews and menus, cooking, counting calories (additional benefit of Tips #2), taking pictures of your food, and blogging about it (yes, yes - that’s one of the main reasons I started a food blog). 
  
  A perfect example of a non-eating food-related activity is the Salad Bouquet recipe below. Yesterday evening I spent at least half an hour thinking about the design. Today I spent another 30 minutes actually “building” it. Then at least 1 hour taking the pictures (we barely have any windows at home, so my only chance at natural light is on our small balcony in pretty ridiculous conditions ;-) ). And now finally writing this up. This gives you 2-3 hours happily dealing with food and consuming 0 calories. Not too bad, I think.
Salad Bouquet
Source 
Improvised
Taste 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty 2 (out of 5)
Ingredients
- 4,5 thin round slices + 1/2 tomato (10 cal)
- 4,5 thin round slices daikon radish (5 cal)
- 10-15 small lettuce leaves (10 cal)
- 2-3 twigs watercress
- 1-2 twigs parsley
- 1 medium bell pepper (30 cal)
- 1/2 mini cucumber (10 cal)
- 1 tbsp no-fat yogurt (10 cal)
- 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
- 1/2 green onion
- salt and pepper to taste
Total 75 cal, 1 serving
Instructions
1. For the vase: Cut the top and the bottom of the bell pepper. Clean the remaining cylinder and fill with lettuce leaves, parsley and watercress twigs. 
2. For the flours: Place the thin round strips of daikon radish and tomato in a raw so that the overlap slightly and roll them all together to create a “rose”. For tomatoes it might be easier to use thin strips of tomato skins, especially for the finer “petals”. Place the roses inside the lettuce. With vegetable peeler cut thin slices of mini cucumber and arrange them “artistically” all around.
3. For the dressing: Peel 1/2 tomato, and blend together with the yogurt and the lemon juice. Add the finely chopped green onion and use the bell pepper tip (the one without the stem) to serve the dressing.

Afterthoughts
You can serve this salad as an individual dish, but it would probably fit better as a decoration for a large salad bowl on a dinner table. Of course, if you have a large salad, you can use one additional pepper to accommodate a larger amount of dressing.

15 comments:

Lazaro Cooks! said...

I can totally relate. My thought process for the construction of a dish can go on for days. I think about flavor profile, what I want to taste, what textures I want to feel in my mouth. And of course how to present it. Kind of an obession I guess. Is that strange? Cheers!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Hmm...like salad arrangement....and blogging? LOL I totally get you on the food obsession, I'm similarly afflicted!

Another great tip on the quest for gastronomic gratification while curbing the hips' expansionist tendencies ;)

Mini Baker said...

Just found your blog and I love it! so many creative ideas/recipes :) can't wait to browse around!
-Mini Baker

Cristina @TeenieCakes.com said...

Beautiful salad bouquet presentation and the roses you created with the vegetables. So much room for creativity! Thx for sharing this.

Angie's Recipes said...

Beautiful salad bouquet! You are really creative.

Emily Ziegler said...

How fun and cute is that?! Thanks for sharing!!

C and C Dish said...

Awesome salad bouquet...what a creative idea!

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

I am in total agreement about the food obsession...often times I can't sit through a TV show or movie without needing to get up and write down a recipe idea or physically cook something in the kitchen!

Love the bouquet...it's beautiful :)

Scott K said...

Great post!

foodieforager said...

Love it!

sweetlife said...

great post..I love your salad bouquet..


sweetlife

whisk-kid said...

Wow, this is gorgeous!

Unfortunately, I think I've gained weight since I started blogging. Looking up recipes always makes me hungry :P

Cooking Rookie said...

Re: whisk-kid
Thanks for the comment! If you get hungry when you look up recipes, you might find my tip #4 (and comments therein ;-) ) useful: if you eat a little before you start browsing the food blogs, you might get less hungry :-).

Rochelle said...

This is beautiful! I've always wanted to try doing things like this, but have always thought I wound up cutting myself, hehe. But I think I'll start with a few things and move on to a whole salad bouquet as I get better :D

Mother Rimmy said...

Fun! I'm with you. I love food. I love cooking, I love planning menus. Lovey salad!