If the thought of cottage cheese on Ryvita fills you with dread, you are not alone. It’s called a diet, not a kill joy… Spruce up your next diet with some great food suggestions from the Arabic kitchen. Let those taste buds rejoice, even when on weight loss mode. Often we avoid these foods because of the way they are prepared, a little tweak can make all the difference to your diet and your senses.
1 || Hummus
Yes it’s true, hummus doused in olive oil, and scooped up with a healthy serving of arabic bread is not diet material. Instead, reduce the amount of tahini in the hummus itself, reduce the olive oil, add some tomatoes and chili powder and of course use a fork.
2 || Tabbouleh
We love tabbouleh and it’s really good for you. The parsley is a great source of Vitamin C, B 12, K and A. Once again, reduce the amount of olive oil and add softer tomatoes to keep it juicy and moist. For an added twist add pomegranate and scoop it up with romaine lettuce.
3 || Freekeh
Dr. Oz famously said that freekah was ‘freakishly’ good, with nutrients knocking quinoa out of the park. Other than the fact that it is a healthy grain, it’s superpower is in its fiber content. This cleans out our insides and keeps us fuller for longer. The issue we have is in the way we cook it, adding plenty of butter or oil to cook it faster. Reduce the oil and allow it to cook for longer for a healthy option. Also, don’t eat it as you would rice, add it to salads instead as you would with quinoa.
4 || Shish Tawouq
Technically speaking our traditional grilled chicken is all about the tasty spices used. Part of the concern with eating shish tawouq when on a diet is that we usually order out. This delivers a super juicy meal with plenty of fat… Cook your chicken at home, applying your spices liberally and curbing your use of fat. Add plenty of vegetables to your chicken so the ratio is 1:1, for a well-rounded meal.
5 || Baba Ghanoush
The downside of this great eggplant salad is perhaps the preparation time, baking the eggplant is a bit of a hassle… The results are totally worth it though, a fresh juicy salad of eggplant, tomatoes, onions and colored peppers.
6 || Molokhia
Molokhia is a superfood packed with nutrients, cook it in some chicken stock, add chicken breast cubes and you have a heavenly meal that is low in fat and high in protein. Just reduce the rice you add to it…
7 || Lentil Soup
We are guessing that your grandma makes a darn good lentil soup. In fact it’s probably filled with much more than just lentils. Cooked with carrots, tomatoes and potatoes this healthy soup is as filling as it is nutritious. Skim on the potatoes for a better version though.
8 || Foul Medames Salad
Once again, foul medames doused in olive oil and scooped up with pita is not diet food. Turn it into a salad and you have a perfect protein dish. Cook the beans (peel off the outer skin so it’s easier to digest), allow to cool, add chopped tomatoes, onions, parsley, cumin, lemon juice and a little olive oil for a great meal.