Anti-Cellulite Kitchen Essentials
Not so very long ago, it would have been quite difficult to obtain the kind of store-cupboard items that are essential for an anti-cellulite kitchen. Now it is easy. The raw materials needed for this healthy way of cooking and eating are widely available from supermarkets and health food shops, and also, increasingly, from corner shops. The Indian revolution in corner shops has meant that so many previously exotic or difficult-to-obtain foods are now on sale in practically every town.
When establishing an anti-cellulite kitchen, the emphasis is on natural, additive-free, non-artificially coloured ingredients. Wherever possible, buy the real thing. Do not, for instance, buy instant coffee, but instead keep coffee beans in the freezer and grind them as you require them. It is now possible to buy decaffeinated beans, and also ready-ground decaffeinated filter coffee. The Nairobi Coffee Company produces a water-method decaffeinated filter coffee, in which the caffeine is flushed out of the beans with water. Instead of ordinary Indian tea, buy Luaka, in the mauve packet, which is real tea but low in tannin.
Get into the habit of buying herbal teas. There is now a huge variety available, so these drinks need never become boring. Invest in a water filter, too, which will soon save you money on bottles of mineral water. However, as no water filter yet delivers sparkling water you will still have to buy this.
All fruit and vegetable juices are good for you, so long as they do not contain added sugar. Always have a big bowl of fresh fruit and lots of fresh vegetables, preferably organically grown. All sprouted grains – alfalfa, mung, beansprouts etcare good, but they go off very quickly indeed and should really be eaten the same day they are bought.
Buy soya or oat flour instead of wheat flour, and try carob powder instead of chocolate. Carob is rather like chocolate in taste, but is much lower in fat and sugar and is not addictive.
Your store cupboard should always contain seeds and unsalted nuts. Choose from sesame, pumpkin, poppy, caraway and sunflower seeds, pine kernels, almonds, brazils, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans. Always buy fresh rather than salted nuts. Peanuts are not recommended on the anti-cellulite diet as they are acid-forming and heavy on the liver.
Keep on the look-out for bread and similar products that do not contain gluten. Rye bread, oatcakes, pumpernickel, barley cakes and puffed rice cakes are all good substitutes for bread.
Always buy brown rice rather than white and buckwheat spaghetti rather than the ordinary kind. Barley can be used in all brown rice recipes for a change.
Do stock up on pulses. Lentils – red, green and brown – do not need soaking so they are worth buying in packets, but if you prefer you can buy tins of the other pulses – butter beans, chick peas, kidney beans etc – to save time. Generally I do not recommend tinned foods, but pulses other than lentils take ages to cook and seem to lose very little in the tinning process. Tins of chick peas and kidney beans are cheap and ready to use, and can be rinsed and added to any salad dish to make a satisfying meal.
Dairy products should be avoided as much as possible.
Instead, get into the habit of buying soya milk and tofu – an unfermented soya-bean curd. Soya milk keeps for several months until opened, after which it must be treated like ordinary milk. Plamil and Granose are the big names to look out for in soya products. Granose also make a range of baby foods.
The only yoghurt you should buy from now on is low-fat live plain yoghurt. This is very low in calories and also quite thick. Don’t buy any cream — double, single, clotted or sour. Cow’s milk should be skimmed or semi-skimmed. Plain cottage cheese, from age frais, quark – a tasty soft cheese prepared with skimmed milk – and medium-fat vegetable rennet feta are the only acceptable cheeses from now on. Soya cheese, available from health food shops, is quite delicious and okay to use occasionally. Prewett’s make a reduced fat cheese, and you can obtain sunflower cheese as well.
Butter is better than margarine, simply because it’s more natural and not highly processed. Always buy the unsalted kind, and use extremely sparingly. Do not use in cooking. The vegetable oils you use should be cold-pressed. Always use extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, sesame seed, grapeseed, sunflower or safflower oil. Olive oil has a strong taste, whereas sesame seed oil has hardly any taste at all, and so may be better in some recipes where the taste of olive oil is not really wanted.
I have not eaten eggs for ten years and have not missed them once. They are not necessary to your diet at all. But if you like them, it goes without saying that any you buy should be free-range, from hens that have been fed on organic produce.
Any meat, fish or poultry you buy should be from an organic source. You do not need meat or fish, but if you like it, or feel you cannot do without it, then eat it from time to time. Smoked meats, fish and cheese are OUT, because the smoking process results in free radicals.
Seasonings are of course extremely important in the anti-cellulite diet. Always buy sea salt and whole peppercorns. Keep a large supply of vegetable stock cubes or buy Vecon or Vegemite in jars. Fresh ginger root is used a lot in the recipes, as is garlic. I have discovered onion powder available from many supermarkets, for dips and pates, and it is wonderful. It does not contain any additives, and it saves having to be in floods of tears from chopping up onions all the time.
All the curry spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, garam masala – are useful, especially when you are cooking low-salt recipes. Cinnamon, allspice, bay leaves, cloves, cayenne, dill, fennel, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, mustard seeds are all vital. Whenever possible, buy herbs such as basil, parsley, coriander, rosemary, sage and thyme fresh. Or grow them yourself, but keep the dried ones handy in case you run out – they’re better than nothing.
All flavourings, such as vanilla essence, should be the real thing and not artificial substitutes. It is now becoming far easier to buy real essences. For a long time, only artificial versions were available – I can’t imagine why.
Low-salt soya sauce is very handy as a flavouring. You can now also buy ‘healthy’ versions of tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce from healthfood shops.
Spreads and jams should not contain added sugar. I have grown to love sesame seed spread – tahini – and sunflower spread, which I now buy in preference to butter. Whole Earth jams and marmalades do not contain sugar but are quite sweet enough.
You will need a few gadgets, although most recipes do not require many at all: a coffee grinder is very useful for grinding up nuts as well as coffee beans, and a liquidizer is absolutely essential for many of the recipes. A fully fledged food processor ~s a good idea. Saucepans should not be made of aluminium. A steamer would be useful but is not essential. A garlic press is very useful too. An accurate pair of kitchen scales would help, but most of the recipes do not depend on absolutely accurate amounts.
There is no need whatever to count calories with most recipes. Although they are not all low-calorie, they will certainly discourage fat deposits from forming. They will . leave you feeling pleasantly full and satisfied. It is not so easy to overeat brown rice as it is to gorge on pasta with cream sauces.
Convenience foods are not totally forbidden. I stock up on vegetarian sausages, celery burgers, soya frankfurters, soya and mushroom burgers, and nut and sesame burgers. These are all made by Granose and are absolutely delicious. The Realeat company sells vegeburger mixes, soups and readymade burgers. The instructions are for frying, but I heat them up in the microwave and they are just as nice, if not nicer. They are already cooked and, unlike meat burgers, it doesn’t matter all that much if you do not heat them up.
If you have a freezer you can stock up on non-dairy ice-creams – I don’t mean those made with whale oil or whatever, but soya frozen desserts. They taste almost the same as ‘real’ ice-cream, but without the fat content. Also it’s a good idea to have frozen vegeburgers and sausages in the freezer for emergencies.
Over the past few years supermarkets have introduced ready-prepared salads. Marks and Spencer do a large range, as do Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. These are very useful for those occasions when you do not have time to buy ingredients and chop them up. Most supermarkets now do very imaginative raw vegetable mixes, and although they may seem expensive they can work out cheaper than buying lots of salad ingredients you will only end up throwing away.
All the recipes in this book are easy to prepare. There are no recipes for pastry, cakes, biscuits, bread, souffles or roulades, for example. The emphasis is on dishes that are easy and quick to cook as well as appetizing and enjoyable to eat.