Looking through the usual foodie haunts has made me realise the power and influence of timely festive baking. By timely, I’m referring to all of the fluffy Christmas log cakes, perfectly-decorated sugar cookies and comforting Christmas morning breads followed closely by the most decadent spreads on New Year parties and gatherings held everywhere. It is hence not surprising that for many, their new year resolutions would include a healthier diet, or in some extreme[ly healthy] cases, the abolition of desserts altogether.
Personally for me, weight issues are close to heart, as with the case for many ladies out there, I am sure. From being a severely underweight young lady, struggling to surpass the 40kg threshold, to a much happier me today, I find myself in a situation where I don’t want the scales to go any further, yet I don’t exactly want it to go back to the painful get-blown-by-the-wind times. And while I have been maintaining my weight for about two years now, I am aware that I have not actually made a conscious decision to be healthier.
Much like baking and cooking, everyone has their own go-to recipe when it comes to losing weight, or keeping fit. Farhan turns to running and strength training, Lori is putting her competitive spirit to good use by participating in her local gym’s Biggest Loser competition, and Ari has shared her secrets to losing weight while still maintaining a mouth-watering foodblog.
For me, I don’t think I can ever give up my desserts, but two things I’ve learnt over the years is that first, moderation is the key (even if it means passing on the sugar to other loved ones), and second, for every recipe, there is almost always a healthier choice. The little steps go a long way;– reduce the sugar amount in your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, opt for vegetable/canola oil instead of melted butter in your morning glory muffin recipe, or substituting whole wheat pasta for your favourite pasta the next time you cook.
Whole Wheat Fettuccine Aglio E Olio
a handful of whole-wheat fetuccine
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
1 tbsp vegetable oil (you can use EVOO)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, toasted
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes/chilli flakes
salt and pepper to taste
- Bring salted water to a boil, and cook the fettuccine until al dente.
- Drain the fettuccine, but reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- In a pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add in the sliced garlic, toasted breadcrumbs, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the garlic turns light brown (do not burn the garlic).
- Add in the boiled fettuccine and mix well. Pour in the reserved 1/4 cup of pasta water bit by bit, to prevent dryness. Cook for about another minute or so.
- Serve the pasta with chopped rosemary.