When you are busy, you tend to reach out for “ready to eat” food. In other words – processed food.
The package says natural, healthy, organic or even low calories. It sounds good, doesn’t it?
But, are they really good for us to eat?
So what is processed food? Here is the definition.
Processed food includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or has had nutritional composition changed with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways.
We all know that processed foods have too much sodium, added sugars, unhealthy fat, color and preservatives to taste better, to look better and keep longer.
A study I heard on KPBS radio may surprise you. They said:
“People who ate processed foods that have a defined amount of calories, sodium, and sugar for 2 weeks GAINED 2 pounds”
“People who ate unprocessed food that has the same calories, sodium, and sugar for 2 weeks LOST 2 pounds”
Wow! What a difference!
It is not about processed food, but it is about how the food gets processed.
The processed food is no longer the same food as our bodies require for energy.
You may want to avoid processed foods as much as you can. Instead, you buy less expensive and more nutritious whole foods.
Then, do simple cooking.
Let’s cook a 500 calories set meal in a simple way!
As you read through the recipes below, cooking whole foods has so much to offer to your body. Therefore, your body is prone to lose weight even if you eat until you are full!
Main Dish: Boiled Chicken Breast with Miso Mayo Sauce
Side Dish 1: Pickled Daikon
Side Dish 2: Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato)
Soup: Daikon Ginger Soup
Steamed White Rice
Total 497 calories
All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.
Boiled Chicken Breast with Miso Mayo Sauce
Why do you have to buy processed chicken such as precooked chicken and cold cuts?
You can cook moist chicken breast so easy, and it is inexpensive.
Chicken breast is a good source of protein and very low in calories.
Let’s make a simple chicken dish with miso mayo sauce. If you don’t have miso, you can mix ketchup or mustard instead.
Keep the leftover chicken in the broth after cooking and slicing. It will keep moist for up to 4 days in refrigerator.
You can use the sliced chicken for cold sandwiches and salad. How about quick grilling it and eating with teriyaki sauce by mixing soy sauce and honey.
Oh don’t forget! You can make a nice soup with the broth.
Pickled Daikon (Japanese Radish)
Daikon is in season in winter. This root vegetable gets sweeter during winter time.
My mom came up with the recipe because it’s hard for her to consume a whole Daikon by herself. She makes it every other day. She tends to sample while preparing this pickled Daikon and gets full before the meal! That’s how good it is!
Japanese people eat Daikon almost every day. It contains Diastase, an enzymes that breaks down starch into maltose. It promotes digestion. Also, it cleanse the palate.
It’s so easy to make, but it tastes better if you leave it longer about one hour because Dikon absorbs more flavor. So I highly recommend to make it extra for next day’s meal.
Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato)
I like Japanese sweet potato better than cakes! It is true! They are so sweet!
Satsumaimo is rich in fiber and yarapin, which prevents constipation.
Also, it contains a good amount of potassium that releases sodium from the body and vitamin E that has antioxidant effect.
Furthermore, vitamin C in the potato doesn’t get destroyed after cooking.
The calories are slighter higher than regular potatoes, but Satsumaimo is more nutritious. Good news is that it has less calories and GI than rice.
There are over 30 kinds of Satsumaimo in Japan!
In general, they have a thin red colored skin, and the inside is yellow. They are all sweet, but texture is slightly different, light and dry or heavy and moist.
There are purple sweet potatoes, but they are not sweet as Satsumaimo.
Unfortunately, Japanese sweet potato is hard to find in the US. You may be able to find it Japanese and Asian supermarkets. I have spotted it in Whole Foods Market.
The best way is to make it sweeter is roast slowly. However, by doing that it produces more sugar. Therefore, quick microwave cooking is the best way for dieting.
It satisfies your taste buds and makes you full. Yet, it promotes regular bowel movement. The result is much better when compared to eating processed sweets. I’m well experienced!
Daikon Ginger Soup
This soup keeps your body warm because of the root vegetables. If it warms your intestine, it helps to lose weight. Read more… 500 Calories Set Meal: Warm Your Body To Lose Weight
The ingredient is simple. And when you buy whole Daikon, you can use it for different dishes, like pickles and warm soup.
If you want to use the broth from the Boiled Chicken Breast, this is the right recipe.
100g of Steamed White Rice
Each 500 calories set meal comes with 100g of steamed rice. You will need to cook rice in a rice cooker or in a heavy gage pot. And measure cooked rice for 100 grams. I will show you how to make your cooking life easier. Read more How To Cook And Store Japanese Rice.