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Diet no-brainers

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Diet no-brainers

Oscar Wilde infamously said 'I can resist anything but temptation.' I don't know if good old Oscar was on a diet when he said this, because temptation is at its least resistible when one is on a diet.

And when the temperatures are soaring, and the humidity reaching breaking point, it is so easy to fall victim to temptation in the form of an ice-cream or a summery hobża biż-żejt. For us Maltese, this most basic and ubiquitous of bread stuffed with tuna, olives, capers, tomatoes and a whole host of other delicacies, is possibly symbolic of our tuck shop lunches back in our school days. A snack, which like the equally traditional and ever available pastizzi, we keep returning to over and over again. 

But not when we're on a diet. 

Well, not exactly. If you extract the bread factor from the hobża, and limit the lashings of olive oil, you're left with a nice hearty salad which you can have with rice cakes or cracker bread. I know, I know, it's not the same. But it does go some way into satisfying the craving for a 'workmen's bar' bought hobża or ftira with something equally tasty but with half the calorie count. 

As a post gym treat today I did just that: I used half a can of John West chilli and garlic infusions tuna and chopped up 3 cherry tomatoes, a gherkin, a couple of black olives and a handful of green ones (I'm more partial to green olives). 

I also added some capers and tossed all the ingredients in a bowl until they were combined well. Because of the reduced oil in the tuna, I didn't need to add any, even because it would have diluted the spicy flavour, and added unwanted calories. I didn't season either since there was enough saltiness in the capers and pickle and the chilli gave the necessary peppery kick. 

According to myfitnesspal.com, this light dinner totals to just about 240 calories which I think is pretty neat for a diet-friendly twist to a traditional snack. Don't you think? Would you give it a shot? 

I've some other tricks up my sleeve on how to turn traditionally fatty food into light meals. Give me a shout if you want to hear more! 


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