Bland, boring and blah: Those three adjectives sum up how most of us think about low-calorie foods. And we agree - with a few exceptions. Among those exceptions: The delicious, nutritious recipes featured in the new weight loss book: "State of Slim: Fix Your Metabolism and Drop 20 Pounds in 8 Weeks on the Colorado Diet" (click to order), published August 20 by Rodale Books. Crafted by two slim-down specialists from the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, the book combines guidance on how to change your eating habits so that you shed pounds while savoring tasty meals.
Authors James O. Hill, PhD and Holly Wyatt, M.D. provide you with just enough information to help you understand why and how their diet plan works. (If you've ever tried to wade through a book that contains more science than diet guidance, you know TMI can weigh you down!). With that background, you'll be motivated to follow their clear directions throughout the weight loss plan and on into maintenance. Major bonus: Delicious recipes that are good enough to serve to guests! Ready to get cooking? Try the recipes below, and get the full diet and more recipes by clicking here to order for "State of Slim: Fix Your Metabolism and Drop 20 Pounds in 8 Weeks on the Colorado Diet."
Crowd-Pleasing Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili
Make this in the fall for Sunday football. (The recipe is easily doubled for a crowd.) Start it early in the morning and your house will smell great by afternoon game time. Nobody ever suspects how healthy this chili really is. The pumpkin gives it a smooth texture and flavor even without any added fat or fatty cuts of meat. If you don't have a slow cooker, you can also do this on the stove in a heavy pot, like a Dutch oven. In phase 2 or 3 of the Colorado Diet, you can add kidney beans or your favorite bean to the recipe.
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef or turkey breast
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped (optional), wear plastic gloves when handling
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat Add the ground meat, breaking it up into pieces, and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
In a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine the ground meat, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper (if using), garlic, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper to taste, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours, until the vegetables are tender. Stir to combine the ingredients, ladle into bowls, and serve hot.
Makes 4 servings
1 serving = 1 protein & 1 Reignite carbohydrate & 1 vegetable carbohydrate
PHASE 2 FRIENDLY REBUILD YOUR METABOLISM
Pan-Seared Salmon with Chile Oil and Wild Rice
In phase 3, this dish pairs well with the Crunchy Mango Salsa (page 226). The sauce offsets the spice from the chile oil and adds a soothing note.
- 2 skin-on salmon fillets (4-5 ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons chile oil (store-bought or homemade; recipe on page 200)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- Chopped scallions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rinse the fillets under cold water and dry with a paper towel. Rub the chile oil on the flesh side of the salmon (not the skin side) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a nonstick ovenproof skillet (or a regular skillet coated with cooking spray) over high heat. Add the fillets skin side up and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until a light brown crust appears. Flip the fillets over and cook skin side down for 30 to 45 seconds to crisp up the skin.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the flesh just loses its opacity and turns pink (do not overcook), about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
Place the fish on a serving of rice and garnish with chopped scallions.
Makes 2 servings
1 serving = 1 protein & 1 Rebuild carbohydrate & 1 fat
Homemade Chile Oil
This beautiful red oil can be used to spice up salad dressing, as a rub for chicken or pork, or added to anything where you want a little zing. Stored in a cool, dark place, it will keep for 2 to 3 months.
- 1/2 cup canola or peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
In a small saucepan, heat the oil to 250°F (use a thermometer). Add the pepper flakes and stir well. Turn off the heat and let the pan sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a sieve and discard the pepper flakes.
Makes 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon = 1 fat
Juicy, Cheesy Spinach Turkey Burgers
The spinach and feta cheese add moisture to ground turkey breast, which has a tendency to be dry. Don't overcook the burgers. Omit the bun and this will be phase 2 friendly.
- 1 pound ground turkey breast or extra-lean ground meat
- 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or fresh garlic, minced
- 4 whole wheat burger buns
- 4 lettuce leaves (optional)
- 4 tomato slices (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, feta cheese, spinach, pepper, and garlic salt or garlic and blend gently but thoroughly. Form into 4 equal patties.
Grill the burgers or pan-fry in a hot nonstick skillet for about 6 minutes on 1 side. Turn and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes.
Serve on a whole wheat bun. Add lettuce and tomato, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
1 serving = 1 protein & 1 Reinforce carbohydrate & 1 vegetable carbohydrate
Reprinted from “State of Slim” by James O. Hill PhD and Holly R. Wyatt, MD. Copyright (c) 2013 by James O. Hill PhD and Holly R. Wyatt, MD. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold. To purchase "State of Slim" from Amazon, click here.