The story of a low fat oxtail soup

Okay… This is an impromptu post due to popular demand of my Low Fat Oxtail Soup recipe.

Disclaimer: I honestly don’t like oxtail. My good friends will testify that I normally only eat the broth and vegetables around oxtail soup.

So, this began with Matthew and I being unhappy with our existing stubborn body fat. We both love eating so much that we think it’s just not possible to reduce portion or frequency.

At Warung Eropa, Bali. LOVE the crispy duck and sambal! (Notice that Matt only eats itsy bitsy tuna salad? Pfft!)

The best way is then to make sure that what we put in our mouths is the perfect balance of high in taste and low in toxic, sugar, and trans fat. And the only way to ensure that is to always cook it myself whenever possible. Matthew and I always eat my home cooked meal every day, three times a day, except when we’re travelling or attending a social call.

Matthew’s lunch box. Prepared every morning with BBC News on the background.

It’s pretty embarrassing when we have guests at home and they sometimes point out that every product we have in our fridge is low sugar, non-fat, and unsalted. It’s embarrassing for me because I never wanted to be that pretentious girly girl who orders skinny latte. *pokes finger in the mouth* But fair enough, since we’re not getting any younger and none the slimmer, we do have to watch our health on top of our waistline. So I agreed to go down this route that Matthew started.

A big HOWEVER, I have to claim that there are things I don’t want to give up. First and foremost is MSG. Second is rice. Third is meat. Go ahead and call me Asian!

And now back to the point, my low-fat oxtail soup and any other of my low-fat dishes consist of basically the same thing as the original recipe. What makes them low-fat is the smart ingredients substitution. For example, while restaurants and warungs cannot afford using with olive or canola oil all the time, I can! Also, we follow the right proportion. For each plate, we serve 50% vegetable, 25% meat/protein source, 25% starch/carbohydrate source.

Cooking tip: I stir fry the carrot with spring onion before mixing them with the oxtail soup. It makes the carrot crispy! Plus, the aroma of fried spring onion is yummy!

So, please find yourself or use whatever recipe of whatever dish, I don’t create new recipe! But here’s the substitution I normally have instead of the fattier one:

Oxtail lean stir-fry cut beef and/or mixed with lean minced beef… in supermarkets you can ask the attendant for beef that has less fat or you can see that the meat is all red without white fatty bits.
Palm oil canola oil, sunflower oil, olive oil
Sugar the good ol’ honey… I never like nor recommend artificial sweetener because it’s laxative, expensive, and does not taste good at all
Fruit to blend or juice To refrain from using sugar at all, always use the very ripe fruit. If you see a banana or strawberry that doesn’t look appealing, as it’s almost rotten, don’t throw it away! It will make THE best smoothie ingredient.
Yogurt I am currently in love with Elle & Vire brand as they have a 0% fat product line with various flavours that have the fruit pulps in it!
Spices Since I cannot not include MSG in my food I try to limit the amount. But my Asian taste buds need strong and powerful flavour. So what I normally do is to go liberal on spices like onion, spring onion, shallot, garlic, chilli, paprika, and pepper. I use a combination of most if not all the above in one dish every single time. I live in Asia where spices grow effortlessly and I thank God for that.
Rice I don’t and can’t substitute rice with anything. Also, I’ve just learned that the tip I’d been practicing was a myth! It was: to cook/steam rice the day before you want to consume it. Take it from the cooker, let the steam out, and then keep it in a container over night in the fridge. Reheat it just before you eat it.The new tip I learned today, which I will start doing is: to always choose brown rice if possible and to soak the rice overnight before cooking it, as the rice will be easier to digest. This will prevent constipation and other digestive problems.

The important thing to remember in any diet method is to enjoy your meal. Matthew and I always clean our plates because we don’t sacrifice flavour over calories. Really, life is short so not enjoying an activity you do 3-5 times a day is unacceptable. Tasteless dish is bullshit. But above all, there is no food or drink in the world that is literally to die for!

Grilled chicken breast with garlic, lemon, and butter sauce. Served with a side dish of boiled string bean and l.o.v.e

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