Help my aunt enjoy food on her bariatric diet
November 5, 2020 5:29 AM   Subscribe

My auntie is going to have bariatric surgery next year. She has lost 100 lbs on a special diet and needs to lose another 50 before surgery. This is the diet. She is getting bored and wants to mix up flavors while staying within the confines of the diet.

Her doctor told her to ignore the right hand column and just focus on the portion sizes on the left hand side. This diet is NOT meant to be followed long term. I want to help her by coming up with combos of protein/a little fat/starchy veg/nonstarchy veg that actually taste good together. I've come up with a few combos, do you have any ideas?
posted by pintapicasso to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I assume spices aren't a major issue, so maybe consider Chinese or Indian food using riced cauliflower instead of rice? I think recipes should be pretty adaptable to the dietary restrictions here. There might be sites with recipes tweaked for this specific diet, too.
posted by LSK at 6:34 AM on November 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

That's exactly the kind of thing she's looking for, and she could do dal for starchy veg and a little whole yogurt for fat.

Thank you. I won't threadsit, I'm just really trying to occupy my brain right now.
posted by pintapicasso at 6:45 AM on November 5, 2020

Marinate sirloin tips in a small amount of soy sauce, plus ginger, grill.
Lean Fish - whatever white fish is fresh, grilled with lemon. There's a tiny amount of sugar in lemon, so use a small amount
Cauliflower roasted with hot sauce (I use Red's, Tabasco or other substitutes are good).
The pan will need at least a spray of Pam.
Brussels's Sprout roasted, then add a good vinegar. Sherry and Balsamic vinegars have sugar, so maybe cider vinegar. Cabbage can also be roasted; it's mild and delicious.
Sauerkraut has hardly any calories, strong flavor. Rinse it to tame the sour flavor, and it's a good snack.

Your link goes to Pinterest, and it looks like there are some similar links that have meal ideas.
It's very hard to stick to such a low calorie plan, she's made big progress, good for her.
posted by theora55 at 7:03 AM on November 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

We've been making stuffed peppers lately, might be another good candidate for the riced cauliflower swap? Beans, ground meat, and a little tomato and onion in the filling along with your faux-carb, I like it with cumin/cayenne/oregano plus some garlic and onion, kinda Mexican vibe, but I think you can go Italian pretty successfully too. Spend the fat serving on oil for sauteing the filling plus just a little cheese browned on top.
posted by february at 7:08 AM on November 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

One of my big swaps for keto food is to go with pasta flavors - like a nice tomato or bolognese sauce - over roasted vegetables. I hate zoodles, they're too ephemeral, but I really like chunky-diced zucchini (so the pieces are maybe the size of a regular shell or large elbow pasta), green beans, nearly-burnt broccoli and/or cauliflower. I also like a tomato-based pasta sauce over roasted eggplant wheels or halves (which people sleep on for calorie reduction, but an entire 1.25lb eggplant is about 120 calories), which normally want a ton of oil so I do recommend salt-and-rinse beforehand so they soften without the fat, and cook on parchment so they don't stick.

If she's got cold weather coming on and wanting soups and stews, you can replace traditional stew carbs with zucchini chunks (go large or it'll disappear), radishes (also delicious roasted!), turnip, rutabaga, green beans, broccoli (a great use for stems), mushrooms. You can make "noodles" with egg or egg white, just cook it flat like an omelette in a nonstick pan and then slice into ribbons, squares, or diamonds.

To improve the substantialness of small servings, you can roast slices/wedges of cabbage. I get weary of cauli rice, chopped cabbage is a great sub, and shredded cabbage either raw or more or less dry-fried (you can sprinkle some water if it isn't getting soft fast enough) in a nonstick pan to soften a bit to be a noodle sub for an Asian-ish dish.

A great gift for her would be a big Penzey's order, for good fresh spices. Florida Pepper, Penzey's Pepper, White Pepper, Aleppo Pepper, Ancho, Cayenne, Fox Point, Sunny Paris and Sunny Spain, good hot and sweet paprikas, garam masala, Penzey's Curry. They have a Chili 3000 (more traditional blend) and Chili 9000 (has cocoa, turmeric, fenugreek, anise - I haven't tried it but it is certainly Flavor). Get her the components of taco seasoning (all the pre-mixed stuff has sugar in it) - onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder.

Another great gift, if she doesn't have one, is an air fryer. I always talk up my multi-shelf-style PowerXL Oven 8 or 10qt, which I routinely use for entire meals at one time. It's such a good vegetable-roaster and a la minute protein-cooker - I keep thin-pounded halved marinated chicken breasts in the fridge (and also in the freezer; I freeze the pieces spread out on parchment on a cookie sheet and then cut the parchment and stack in a freezer bag so I can grab what I need) ready to pull out exactly as much as I need and have on the table in 20-30 minutes. You can do all that in an oven, but if she doesn't have a great oven this is an excellent (though large, the 8/10qt is more or less microwave-sized) option.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:45 AM on November 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

Bariatric patient here. Everything everyone above said is good. Before my surgery, I was on a very extreme diet consisting of protein shakes and all the nonstarchy veg I wanted.

I used a ton of different spices because I couldn't have too much salt (high blood pressure). Vinegars were very helpful. Hot sauces too (since surgery I've lost my tolerance for spice). I did a lot of roasting with a very short spray of Pam (okayed by the dietician).

If your aunt would like to talk, feel free to MeMail me. I'm happy to answer any questions or offer support.
posted by kathrynm at 10:54 AM on November 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have a spice mix from Kalustyans called “Key West.” I bought a little packet of it because the name made me laugh.

It. Is. Delicious. On. Lake. Fish.

It would be great on tilapia and also on chicken. And I bet it would be good in Dahl.

Also, a spice blend called za’atar might be something she’d like for variety. I eat it with bread and olive oil, on roasted meats, and on vegetables.
posted by bilabial at 12:30 PM on November 5, 2020

Trader Joe's Carne Asada is a great, flavorful, lean protein. I like to batch-cook it, chop it into little bites, and package it in 3oz servings. Great spice profile and not very heat-spicy.
posted by homodachi at 1:10 PM on November 5, 2020

If you look up recipes for okonomiyaki, it’s a Japanese pancake style that’s basically a whole bunch of shredded veg, primarily cabbage, held together with a batter that’s mostly eggs. Following a recipe exactly probably won’t work on the diet, but they’re very forgiving, and a version that’s basically straight cabbage/other-non-starchy veg held together with almost straight eggs, and then topped with just something like soy or hot sauce wouldn’t be exactly authentic, but it would still be good. (Not dieting myself, but doing this for breakfast is how I clear odds and ends of unused vegetables out of the fridge.)
posted by LizardBreath at 3:04 AM on November 6, 2020

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