I’m just back from my 6 day visit to NYC (the Big Apple) and truly understand why they call this ‘the city that never sleeps’ – exhausted doesn’t even come close to how I feel! It was a remarkable visit and there was much to enjoy. I did the usual tourist things and some very different ones – a mix of work and play. It was fun but also educational – I have learnt a lot about
how my friends across the pond cope on a day to day basis after WLS. Food choice has improved immeasurably since I was there a couple of decades ago but the the portion sizes still remain HUGE! When I optimistically hope that WLS patients can eat half of a restaurant or take-out portion size I think I need to revise this to one-third. Portion sizes offered on many items are still a problem post-op. I know many US patients are clever enough to re-purpose these leftovers (having requested the take-home bag) but it doesn’t suit everyone and seems such a waste and dare-I-say for many, an additional temptation? On a positive note the walking everywhere (which New Yorkers seem to do) helps to keep any calorie excess to a minimum – I have developed some pretty impressive calf muscles in the last week!
The visit has armed me with a good many topics and ideas for blogs this autumn so you can expect some further chat on portion control; tips on eating out when travelling; some special recipes for Hallow’een and using pumpkins and squash; some food ideas inspired by an exhibition I went to; and some restaurant-based meal concepts that I experienced and are totally on trend and suit our bariatric lifestyle so very well.
After a tiring night flight home on the ‘red-eye’ (so apt) all I wanted to do was crawl under the duvet but did manage to produce something meal-wise from the refrigerator/freezer and fruit bowl to put on the table. It’s a wonderful quick family supper recipe, full of crunch and nutty-sweet flavour which was most welcome after the dire flight-style meal that was largely rejected. It uses celery which I know some find a challenging food but if chosen wisely and cooked judiciously can be a great WLS food. Just remember to chew thoroughly. I used the inner tender stalks from new season Fenland celery which isn’t stringy like some other varieties. Lightly stir-fried with apple, onion, ginger and soy sauce it provided great crunch and a meal on the table in under 20 minutes. I served it as cooked but more substantial appetites and other family members or diners might appreciate some noodles or rice as a side accompaniment. It’s the perfect dish to prepare, if like me, you feel braindead or want something reassuringly WLS-friendly and compliant after a race-around.
CHICKEN, CELERY AND APPLE STIR-FRY
low-fat cooking spray or mist
2 large skinless and boneless chicken breasts, sliced
6 young celery stalks/sticks, thinly sliced
1 dessert apple, cored and cut into thin wedges
1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 clove garlic, crushed
2-3 tsp peeled and chopped root ginger (or Lazy Ginger)
1 large chilli, seeded and finely sliced (optional)
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
2 tsp granulated sweetener (I used Splenda)
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp light soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a wok or large, heavy-based non-stick frying/saute pan over a high heat, spritz generously with low-fat cooking spray or mist.
- Add the chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the celery, apple, onion, garlic and chilli if used and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the cornflour/cornstarch with the sweetener, lemon juice, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the stir-fry mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute until everything is coated with the sauce.
- Serve immediately with noodles, rice and extra soy sauce if liked.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
CALORIES PER PORTION: 185
Image courtesy of www.fendlandcelery.com