Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Accidental Diet

No sooner had I come up with a brilliant idea for a cookbook that I immediately decided to write, Mr. Hunting Creek decides to go on a diet. He does this occasionally, and all of us shiver in awe at his dedication and annoying success. He is a fanatic! Dieting is like a religion to him, including the periods of self-denial, ritual fasting and feasting. He never cheats - never!(Once several years ago, when he went on Pritikin, we were so fat free I used to dream at night about butter and olive oil. I am not making this up.) Only when my sister and I threatened to excommunicate him from cooking did he let us bring olive oil back into the kitchen. My sister still remembers this period with a shudder. After that debacle, he was forbidden to even utter the words low-fat in our presence.
This time he decided to combine Atkins with power-walking. Our children and I told him that while we totally supported him, we were not going to go totally carb-free. When we went to Ray's Hell Burger for Mother's Day, he ate his without the bun. Even though I am not on a diet, I had to stop baking, which is my main form of entertainment. Our son and I can't eat a whole cake or batch of cookies and then I'd just have to throw it all out. So in a way we are all inadvertantly dieting because it is no fun for us to eat dark chocolate brownies alone. However, it has been a challenge to design entire menus that do not include excess simple carbohydrates. It's like having vegetarians come for Thanksgiving. You have to be creative. When we had an Easter Brunch I made all the dishes so that he and his fellow dieters at the table could easily avoid the carbs by just not eating the home-baked soft rolls (which were awesome, by the way), and not putting sugar on their strawberries. I discovered that ground almonds make a nice crust for a savory cheesecake and an admirable addition to crab cakes.
This made me think what if there were a cooking site that could convert recipes to conform to different diet regimens? For example, suppose you want a cheesecake - just plug your recipe into the recipe converter and it sends back a converted recipe with suggested changes. My rule would also stipulate that nothing fake could be used, since I don't approve of artificial sweeteners or fake anything. Usually when I imagine something this awesome, the Universe nicely invents it for me and I don't have to do the tedious work of making it happen. (I 'invented' non-electric ice cream makers this way). I'm working on inventing low-carb Ice Cream and cake that has nothing fake. Wish me luck!


Beangirl. said...

um. ok. good luck.

'cuz I could use a website like that.

shoot. now I'm craving dark-chocolate brownies. and i don't even like brownies.

Karen in VA said...

I would love a site like that!!! I was diagnosed w/ type 2 diabetes a few months ago, so have had to cut way back on the carbs and sugar's been a challenge since I've never met a carb I didn't like and chocolate is my favorite food [group]...And I don't care what people say, there is a definite taste difference in low-fat varieties of anything..

KC said...

I can't help you with the cakes, but make cookies like cappuccino flats, freeze the dough in short logs before baking, and and bake them one sheet at a time for you and your son. Or freeze a sheet of pre-baked tollhouse cookies to bake a few at a time.

I need a cookie now.

Venus de Hilo said...

I am a great believer in stashing excess baked goods in the freezer. If you'd prefer not to bother, you could send them to me...

My DH doesn't need to loose weight, but playing with his diet/nutrition/fitness plan is his #1 hobby. He's love a site like that. He's tried everything from raw vegan (that was an awful 18 months) to "paleo" (grain-free). I aim for simplicity: plenty of healthy chicken, fish, and salads, supplemented with ample quantities of dark chocolate anything.