Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Omit the Cheese

Hi guys, sorry for not putting up any posts last week. Was busy with my corporate training as well as made a trip down to Redang Island. It was really awesome. Will share more about that holiday in my next post. Will also share with all of you some of the gorgeous pictures i took of Redang Island. Definitely worth another visit.

Anyway, this week i wanted to cover a simple topic called Omit the Cheese. Reason being lots of people keep asking me how to make an unhealthy meal healthy, and one of my best received tips was, omit the cheese. Let me explain further.

In almost all restaurants, how can you instantly make any dish more delicious? You got it... just add cheese. Think about the many different kinds of food we have which we have added cheese to.
Cheese fries - melting cheese over already unhealthy fries
Cheese Naan - Adding cheese to naan
Cheese in your sandwiches - How do you make a boring sandwich taste better? Just add cheese
Pizza with Cheese crusts - Just in case pizza doesn't have enough cheese already, lets just add more cheese into the crust
Adding Cheese to your burgers - It always seems to taste better doesn't it.
Cheesy garlic toast - Add some cheese to garlic toast
Nachos El Grande - How do we make it better? Just add cheese
Healthy Salad - Lets make it better by grating some cheese in
Pasta - Mmmmm.... some grated cheese will go well with it.

The list goes on and on. The point is, many restaurants out there seem to add cheese just to make dishes more delicious. Don't get me wrong. Not saying there is anything wrong in eating cheese. But if you are on a weight loss program, you should understand that cheese adds in a lot of additional calories which you can do without.

The big question i have is, does adding cheese really add that much more flavour to the dish? Or are you just ingesting additional calories but you can't tell the difference? In some cases, yes, the cheese is an integral part to the dish. Without it... the dish will taste very.... plain. Eg. Pizza. If you are going to eat pizza, then yes, the cheese does make a huge difference in taste. But in almost all other dishes, i found that it really doesn't make much of a difference.

Have you ever tried eating a Subway sandwich without the cheese? I have... and honestly, i can't tell the difference at all. Have you tried eating a chicken fajita without the cheese? again, i really can't tell the difference because there are so many other flavours in there, that the cheese just gets blanked out. Cheese naan... i have tried some where you can taste it... and some, which honestly you can't taste at all.

If you can't taste it, can you easily omit it from the dish? Absolutely. Here are some dishes which i have found makes absolutely no difference whether you have cheese in it or not

Sandwiches
- almost 99% of the sandwiches i have tasted out there tastes just the same without the cheese. If you can't tell the difference, why add it?
Burgers
- If you eat burgers in places like Hard Rock Cafe, TGIF etc, i have noticed that the cheese has a very small part in the overall taste.
Tortilla Wraps - If you like to eat mexican, i have noticed that most mexican dishes taste the same with or without the cheese. This includes your fajitas, tortilla wraps, tacos etc. Of course some dishes like enchilladas, where the cheese is melted on top... then yes, you can taste the absence of cheese. But besides that, most of the time, you can't tell the difference
Salads - almost all salads i have eaten taste just the same with or without your cheese shavings.
Pasta - Ever tried adding some parmesan cheese sprinkles? By the time you mix it up, you can't really tell the difference. Of course if you empty the whole container, then you would, but most of us sprinkle very sparingly.... and honestly, that small amount makes almost no difference to the taste.
The point is, if you can't tell the difference in taste, then why add it to your dish? Yes most of the times the amount of cheese added to any dish is small, but hey, when you are watching your calories, any amount you can save helps right? What more when you can't tell the difference.

Now it is also important to note the kind of cheese you use makes a huge difference. Some cheeses have a strong tangy taste... so you are more likely to taste it. But most of the time, you will get either cheddar slices, swiss cheese, mozerella cheese or parmesan cheese. All these cheeses don't really add much taste at all to you dish. So you can easily leave it out and the dish will taste just as great.

Again, if you are going to eat pizza or something, then by all means enjoy it. Please don't ask them to omit the cheese from your pizza. But for all other situations, just give it a try and see. If you can't tell the difference in taste, why not leave it out. And guess what, you just made that dish of yours a whole lot healthier.

So what are the other dishes t you can easily omit cheese from? Are you one of those who must have extra cheese on the dish? As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

3 comments:

daniel yusof said...

hi..can u reply my comment on your post about 'should you do cardiao before or after weight training session'

(http://fitnessmalaysiablog.blogspot.com/2011/05/should-you-do-cardio-before-or-after.html)

i really need to know your suggestion

thank you so much

John Lim said...

Hi,

Is there an email we can contact you at?

Thanks
John

Rajan said...

Hi John, sure thing.

Send your email to rajanrj@hotmail.com