As some of you know I have dabbled in the South Beach Diet. I admit, I never would have tried it simply because the name sounded like some hokey fad diet, but my doctor recommended it. I read the book and thought it sounded smart, moderate and very healthy. The basic premise for those of you unfamiliar with it is this: Phase 1: For two weeks give up all sugar, fruit and "bad" carbs, ie, bread, pasta, potatoes, cereal, etc. Eat as much as you need to fill satisfied of lean proteins, including low-fat cheeses, healthy fats (no butter), and most vegetables. Phase 2: Slowly introduce healthy carbs, ie, whole grains and fruit but continue to stay away from sugar until you've lost your desired amount of weight. Phase 3: After you've acheived your healthy weight continue to make healthy choices and limit the bad stuff, but basically enjoy anything in moderation. Whenever you want to loose some quick pounds go back to phase 1.
So, the first time I tried the strict "phase 1" I didn't even last a week before I gave up. I loved it every day until I gave up, but at that time of my life I couldn't really stick to anything. So this next time, after Thanksgiving I had eaten so many sweets and yummy unhealthy things that I felt I really needed to get sugar and bad carbs out of my system for a while. I stuck to it for about 10 or 11 days and lost 8.5 pounds! I was really shooting for the full two weeks but it was too hard with all the holiday goodies sitting around. But the great thing is I've maintained those pounds lost!
Anyway, with the holiday tempations gone I'm back on the "phase 1" wagon so to speak. And the reason I'm sharing this with you all is that I've discovered some really yummy recipes that are amazing whether you're dieting or not!! And the best thing about them is they are healthy!
Seriously, this Thai soup is delicious! It totally reminds me of Thailand. If you are not fond of seafood, try chopped chicken, I bet it would be just as good! So please try it!
Thai Shrimp Soup with Lime and Cilantro
South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook p. 78
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (1/2 pound) head napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or substitute scallions if you prefer)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and onion; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth and red pepper flakes; increase heat and bring to a low boil.
Add cabbage and cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice; cook just until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro if using.
Super easy, huh? And quick too, only about 30 minutes to finish! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. (Jeff ate three huge bowls of it and even Carter gobbled it up too!)
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