Recent research studies have found that if vegetable and fruit purees are added to various foods, it lowers the overall calorie content and leads people to consume significantly fewer calories without knowing it.
I thought this would be a good trick to employ last night because I made dinner for my father. My father LOVES eating, and rarely shows any concern for his health when it comes to what and how much is on his plate.
He doesn't eat junk food, but he's a real foodie who appreciates good quality food of every variety. The only thing he is known NOT to love to eat so much are certain veggies, which, my mom complains, he will only eat when covered in sauce.
So I bulked up this already nutritous, comforting, hearty dish with some finely grated cabbage, cooked into it at the beginning and really undetectable by the end. The result is a warming, aromatic, creamy, satisfying dish, perfect for a cold winter night.
1 tsp olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
About 1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded (I used food processor)
1 tbls garam masala
1/2 tsp turmuric
1/2 tsp salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
I can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can light coconut milk
1-2 cups water
Place sweet potato chunks on a foil lined baking sheet and toss with a bit of oil, salt and pepper. Do the same with cauliflower and place it on another baking sheet. Place both in the oven at 350F with cauliflower on top rack and roast for about 30 minutes. For a totally smooth, creamy curry, dump sweet potato in food processor for a few seconds, otherwise skip this step if you would like to leave it a bit chunky.
Meanwhile, saute onion, ginger and garlic in oil over medium heat until onion is softened. Add cabbage, vinegar and spices and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Add chickpeas and coconut milk and turn heat down to medium low. Add sweet potato and roasted cauliflower and simmer until the sweet potato has melted into the sauce (will still be a bit chunky if you didn't puree it). Thin out to desired consistency with water. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over brown basmati rice. Makes 4-6 servings. Leftovers can be frozen.
Hidden vegetables: an effective strategy to reduce energy intake and increase vegetable intake in adults
Alexandria D Blatt, Liane S Roe, and Barbara J Rolls
Background: The overconsumption of energy-dense foods leads to excessive energy intakes. The substitution of low-energy-dense vegetables for foods higher in energy density can help decrease energy intakes but may be difficult to implement if individuals dislike the taste of vegetables.
Objective: We investigated whether incorporating puréed vegetables to decrease the energy density of entrées at multiple meals reduced daily energy intakes and increased daily vegetable intakes.
Design: In this crossover study, 20 men and 21 women ate ad libitum breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the laboratory once a week for 3 wk. Across conditions, entrées at meals varied in energy density from standard versions (100% condition) to reduced versions (85% and 75% conditions) by the covert incorporation of 3 or 4.5 times the amount of puréed vegetables. Entrées were accompanied by unmanipulated side dishes. Participants rated their hunger and fullness before and after meals.
Results: Subjects consumed a consistent weight of foods across conditions of energy density; thus, the daily energy intake significantly decreased by 202 ± 60 kcal in the 85% condition (P < 0.001) and by 357 ± 47 kcal in the 75% condition (P < 0.0001). Daily vegetable consumption significantly increased from 270 ± 17 g of vegetables in the 100% condition to 487 ± 25 g of vegetables in the 75% condition (P < 0.0001). Despite the decreased energy intake, ratings of hunger and fullness did not significantly differ across conditions. Entrées were rated as similar in palatability across conditions.
Conclusions: Large amounts of puréed vegetables can be incorporated into various foods to decrease the energy density. This strategy can lead to substantial reductions in energy intakes and increases in vegetable intakes. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01165086.