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Summer, sun, friends, dinners on the terrace and… diet! :(
To choose a menu capable to follow the season and the swimsuit fitting, without falling into banality is an art and, above all, the “light trap” is always around the corner…
Behind an unexpected Caprese insidious calories are hiding and the rice salad, well… who can’t stop eating it?!
Abolish, therefore, the terms “fatless” (or “tasteless” ?!) on various products, take advantage of the many wonderful vegetables that the season offers and fearlessly invite our friends for a dinner.
First, take care about drinking. More than 90 Sex and the City episodes taught us that true friends cannot come together without having a bit of alcohol at their own glass.
In Madrid, I have known (and loved!) the clara, a beverage made from water and lemonade and I assure you it has nothing to do with the sweeter panaché.
The addition of water and lemon juice will allow you to immediately lower the alcohol content and enjoy… a glass more!
Then choose a light beer, preferably a Spanish one. Pour into a carafe and add the same amount of carbonated water. For every liter of preparation add the juice of 3 lemons and a spoonful of brown sugar (sweeten at your will, but do not overdo, otherwise your efforts will be vain!). Add the lemon slices and serve very cold. Prepared the second (third, fourth …) jug, using plastic bottles and keep cool. You can also add some mint leaves, if you like.
Meanwhile that your clara cools, let’s think about the menu itself.
As mentioned before, beware of what you have learned to perceive as light. If you read well, the caloric intake of a large number of products, especially some fresh cheese, that we believe as innocent, easily reach the one of a nice cup of vanilla ice cream! The same as for the rice, which although with a better yield in cooking and increased digestibility, has almost the same calories of a pasta dish. Not to speak of other products, which added with preservatives and aggregating, become a loose cannon for our body…
What do you do then? I propose you a delicious appetizer, very tasty, that I adapted from the Jordanian kitchen: primosale cheese (preferably goat’s), cut into cubes with cherry tomatoes and green peppers, just seasoned with thyme leaves. And it does not even need a little oil!
If the weather allows you to turn the oven on, however, you can also prepare “fake” fried eggplant: slice them, put them to soak in salted water for fifteen minutes, then dredge in flour and cook on top of the oven at 200 °C, turning a few times, until they are golden. You can serve with a sauce made by mixing one tablespoon of flower honey and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Alternatively, we take advantage of eggplant still in season, to prepare the Parmesan portion, as you see in the picture. Just cut into slices, grill them and arrange in layers, alternatively, with diced tomatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and marjoram, and a light cheese, like cottage cheese, or feta, mashed with a fork. Two or three minutes in the microwave and will be perfect! If you prefer, you can replace eggplants with zucchini, but in that case, you should cut them to length and arrange them in layers in a baking dish.
Then? Then a single course will be perfect!
Almodovar, in his film “Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios“, pays tribute to gazpacho, so here I offer my personal version with Belgian endive, accompanied by grilled prawns, but you can also follow the original Andalusian recipe. Just remember to prepare the vegetables the day before, so they will acquire more flavor.
If you prefer meat, you may want to prepare the curry chicken (150g per person), with peppers and pineapple: just cut everything into small cubes, fry in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, abound in curry and stir in the coconut milk (which, in addition to respecting tradition, has half the calories than cream that we have got into the habit of using for this preparation. 200 ml will be enough for 3-4 people).
Serve accompanied with quinoa, which has the same calories of pasta, but it will do just 20 grams to be used as a side dish!
We know that you cannot finish a meal without dessert, but which dessert is really light ?! You can simply serve fresh fruit, such as pineapple, blueberries or apricots, perhaps accompanied by a lemon sorbet. Or… prepare a yogurt bavarois! Cut pieces of fruit to taste, like a couple of peaches or a bowl of berries, add 3-4 teaspoons of sugar, a bit of water and bring to a boil, until the fruit is soft. Puree and add a sheet of gelatin, soaked and wrung out. United now a jar of greek yogurt (170 gr), stir and let cool in small molds for a couple of hours in the refrigerator or freezer. Left out some fresh fruit and a mint leaf for garnish.
Enjoy your meal!