Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grilled Portabella and a Salsa Soup


I am done with my challenge, it ended on Saturday. I had a glorious lunch to go to on Sunday so I ended it one day early, no harm done.

It was really good this time and I did not crave or miss anything at all. The meals were simple and yet we ate a lot of veggies and also heart-healthy fish. I stuck to eating no grains, no processed food, no sugar and almost no meat. I did bend the rules and ate out on two nights. One day it was salad, the other day a chicken vindaloo which we ordered home. I think bending the rules a bit and also a simpler meal plan helped to do the whole thing without any stress and accept it as a life style instead of one week fling.

If you ask me about weights, honestly I did not weigh in, neither before nor after. The weighing machine at home has given up after umpteen weighing of suitcases whenever the parents are here and gets totally messed up if humans are aboard. The gym whose weighing scales I trust was not visited.

I know I am nowhere near the target weight which the BMI calculators predict for me, man I would rather grow vertically than reach that pathetic low weight. But I do feel lighter and better, I think a week of restricted good eating does that to you anyway. The best thing is I have lost in inches, I can feel it , really.

Ok and the real proof of the pudding is in I could gracefully fit into the saree-blouse my Ma got stitched for me and sent over last week. This is no mean feat if you know my Mom and my blouse fitting saga.

My Mom is a health freak and is either exercising or eating small portions of healthily cooked food. She wasn't always like this but her arthritic knee has made her very watchful of her and consequently my weight. She gets my blouses stitched by the tailor whose template is from my wedding days. So most of the time I am huffing and puffing to get into those wry pieces of fabric which think I am Malaika where in real life I maybe Mayawati.

Now I am not sure if the tailor lost his original template but this time his creation was a much easier fit. A reward worthy of the challenge.

Before I go into the recipe I would like to make it clear that the no-grain diet is not necessary the best thing to and will depend on the individual's health and such factors. As some of the readers have asked, whole grains are definitely good for you in small portions.

Basically the No-Grain Diet is based on the idea that meals high in grains, sweets, and starches promote elevated insulin levels, causing you to become hungry soon after you have just eaten. This is referred to as a "grain addiction" - when the cravings trigger you to eat more of the "wrong foods" and a harmful cycle ensues. So getting rid of the grains reduces your carb cravings.

Back now to two more recipes which are much welcome in our home on no grain days are a Grilled Portabella Caps and a Salsa Soup. I have no pics for the Salsa Soup but trust me, it is a wonderfully tasty soup.


Grilled Portabella Caps

Remove stems and wipe portabella caps clean with a damp paper towel. Combine Olive oil, Lime juice, Sambal Olek or Hot Chili Garlic sauce, little Honey, Garlic salt and Red Chili Powder.Brush the dressing on the outer side of the mushroom. Place mushrooms on their backs, with dark "gill" side up on the grill. Brush dressing over gills. Grill, gill sides up. serve whole or sliced.

The Salsa Soup is a quick recipe from here. Check the original link for measurements. I made a total vegetarian version with little changes and no Tortilla Chips but papad

Salsa Soup

Heat Olive Oil in a deep, heavy pan. Add a pinch of red pepper and about 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds to the oil and stir briefly.
When the cumin sizzles, add chopped onion and fry till soft.
Now add your salsa. Note: Either home made salsa or the jar will work. If you like it hot add chili powder or use a HOT salsa.
Cook the salsa and oil together for couple of minutes, stirring constantly so that it does not burn or stick.
Add the black beans, and the corn. I used a can of black beans.
Next, add the organic low sodium vegetable stock and stir all to blend well. If you don't have stock use plain water, add salt to taste.
Bring this mixture to a full boil and reduce heat to medium low.
Add Lime juice.
Simmer the salsa soup until the corn/bean is completely cooked .
Turn off heat under the cooking vessel and stir in a bunch of chopped cilantro.
Ladle your finished salsa soup into individual soup bowls
Stir in avocado chunks on top . Toss a bit of cheese on top of that.
Top with a few tortilla chips or papad.

Edited on 01/18/2011: Today I made this soup with a speedy homemade salsa. In a blender add
1 firm good quality tomato roughly chopped,
1-2 clove of garlic,
2 hot green chili pepper
a little cumin powder
Process till chunky to get your own salsa. Add some minced coriander to the prepared salsa.It was delicioso.Use this for the soup.

I will be on a break until next week. I haven't been able to visit blogs as much as I would have liked to the last week and the trend will continue for the next week or two. I am sorry but I will be back.

Trivia: Aztec lords started to make a mixture of tomatoes with chili peppers and ground squash seeds as early as 1521. They used it as a condiment, to be eaten alongside turkey, venison, lobster, and fish. It was Alonso de Molina who first gave the name ‘salsa’ to the mixture, in 1571.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful meal. I can never resist mushrooms and I bet so tasty with this soup. Lovely! Now I must go find something to eat :)

  2. I love the grilled mushroom! :)

    And yay :D for the no grain diet!

  3. Yayyyy! you did great! :) grilled portabella looks yummmmmmm!

  4. the mushrooms look superb. these are my fave kind i'd say, second only to button mushrooms :)

  5. Template! LOL! Salsa soup sounds wonderful .. and so do the grilled mushrooms. Enjoy your break. :-)

  6. Congrats dear! I am with you on the diet rcommendations. I was LOF when reading your blouse fitting saga :) The soup and the grilled mushrooms looks like real treat. I want some right now.

  7. I loved the blouse part. My mom does that too..gets my blouse stiched to the wedding blouse size and then I am huffing and puffing in them.

    Man! if you could wear that comfortably then I am inspired to do the challenge again. (I did it once before. was inspired by your blog that time too).

  8. congrats on sticking to your diet. A no grains diet is very tough for a Bong.

    So one more Bong Mom who is concerend about her child's weight in the other direction. My Mom keeps fussing over my eating and asks me to keep it down.

    The steak looks really yum...will try it with chicken

    Enjoy your break... and will be good to have you back

  9. Salsa soup ....ha ha ..Sounds spicyyyyyyyyy..enjoy your break...BTW, I'm hosting an event on fish, check details on my blog and expecting lots of good dished from U,sandeepa

  10. What a lovely meal, and congrats on completing the challenge.Enjoyed the blouse saga :-D

  11. wow ...that mushroom looks cute ...almost like a burger patti :)

  12. I am big mushroom lover, this is divine, & so is the salsa soup. very nice idea.

    congrats sandeepa! a week in a pretty long time.

  13. Congrats on the inches lost Sandeepa! Yeah, how the clothes fit is more indicative of the success of a weight-loss plan than the actual lbs lost.. :)
    I have never heard of salsa soup before, sounds intresting.

  14. Hi Sandeepa, check out this link from anadabazar patrika.

    I think in the "pither karkhana" section, they copied your picture of patishapta. I was wondering if this is a violation of your picture copyrights?

  15. congrats dear,u did grt the way the portabella looks too tempting!!!!!

  16. That sounds amazing! Check these great ideas for exercise

  17. was it 6 flags...god i am dying to go there. The hubs has no interest..i finally whined and cribbed and getting to go on Friday next week with a few buddies ;)...cross ur fingers for me...

  18. "So most of the time I am huffing and puffing to get into those wry pieces of fabric which think I am Malaika where in real life I maybe Mayawati." line in a year!

  19. Congratulations!! the grilled mushroom looks delicious and would have loved to see pics of the salsa soup as well. Havent heard of it before and will definitely try it out.

  20. I discovered ur blog one day and since then i'm hooked, love ur recipes, more so ur style os writting.:-) Njoy

  21. Fantabulous, out of this world…great man, you have proved the world that innovation is not lost from the universe. I am so influenced by your way of expression; I think I will work to improve mine…great going dude!!!

  22. These meaty mushrooms marinate in oil, onion, garlic and vinegar for an hour before they are tossed on a hot grill to cook to perfection.


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