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The Things That Irritate Us About Diet Recipes

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Old 08-28-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default The Things That Irritate Us About Diet Recipes

I'm constantly scanning for lower calorie, lower fat, lower carb, lower sodium recipes on the web and at the library. While I find many scrumptious dishes, there are little things that drive me crazy about this genre of recipes that is not prevalent in other cookbooks.

1) I'm sorry, but if it's crustless---IT'S NOT A QUICHE! It's an egg casserole. If I want quiche, I want crust.
2) The amount of canned ingredients seems to increase as the calories decrease which increases the sodium.
3) Usually about half the splenda they call for would do just fine.
4) Sometimes veggies were meant to be on the side. Not every entree can be stuffed with spinach and still be tasty.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. What are your diet recipe frustrations?
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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LOL.

I hate recipes that 'allow' you 3 oz of some veggie - a tone of most veggies won't hurt the diet but some meals seem designed to be smaller than they need to be just to emphasize haha you're slimming, fatty.
and

The Big Hate: such and so 'topped with' - like it was some big treat. Drives me insane.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:37 AM   #3
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Nutrition information that seems to have been pulled out of the sky instead of being calculated by someone knowledgeable with access to a good database. We need real numbers, not hopeful guesswork.

Totally agree about the canned and processed ingredients. For me, healthy, delicious food does not come from a factory.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eumie View Post
I'm constantly scanning for lower calorie, lower fat, lower carb, lower sodium recipes on the web and at the library. While I find many scrumptious dishes, there are little things that drive me crazy about this genre of recipes that is not prevalent in other cookbooks.

1) I'm sorry, but if it's crustless---IT'S NOT A QUICHE! It's an egg casserole. If I want quiche, I want crust.
2) The amount of canned ingredients seems to increase as the calories decrease which increases the sodium.
3) Usually about half the splenda they call for would do just fine.
4) Sometimes veggies were meant to be on the side. Not every entree can be stuffed with spinach and still be tasty.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. What are your diet recipe frustrations?

This is funny to me because I got a sparkpeople email today that featured a crustless quiche
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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Well I think canned ingredients are usually added for convenience most of all not calories. Like I have a cookbook that calls for a lot of canned beans. Well it is tastier and cheaper for me to make the beans from fresh so I do. Although canned beans and canned tomatoes are really the only canned things I use. I really don't notice anything in recipes that calls for other canned things.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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I hate menu plans that called for tiny portions of sour cream and other perishables. And of course it's a different perishable every day. What are you supposed to do with the rest of the container? People publishing these menu plans are clearly *not* thinking.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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BIGGEST irritation are diet recipes that call for lite or fat-free EVERYTHING. Cause I don't want to use products like these because they are SO processed and full of sugars and even if I DID, I can't find the majority of them in my town.

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Old 08-28-2009, 01:16 PM   #8
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My peeve is deceptive dessert recipes that are purported to be low in calories - but are actually just the regular recipes carved up into microscopic portion sizes -- such as 48 servings out of a 9x9 pan. Give me a break.

See a lot of these around the holidays.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShihtzuX2 View Post
My peeve is deceptive dessert recipes that are purported to be low in calories - but are actually just the regular recipes carved up into microscopic portion sizes -- such as 48 servings out of a 9x9 pan. Give me a break.

See a lot of these around the holidays.
I'm with you on this one! I'll get SO excited when I see a low-cal dessert recipe, then notice it's a quarter inch thick slice of something. No real point in even going to the effort...
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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I generally don't look at 'diet' recipes. One of my favorite recipe blogs tries to focus on low fat foods but it is all based on real food.

I have a ton of cookbooks, I flip through them looking for various recipes, sometimes I'll try to modify the recipes by cutting back the oil or what not but overall I basically evaluate them for what they are and if they look to be within a decent calorie range, I'll make it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:03 PM   #11
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For me, it's meals with ridiculously small portion sizes. My driving force in a menu plan is portion for the calories, so it makes me nuts when someone (usually Cooking Light) makes a "light" mac and cheese that is 425 calories for a cup. Sure, its a reasonable amount of calories for dinner. But I can get 4x as much food with one of my recipes.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:50 AM   #12
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Same for me. I hate it when recipes pare down the calories just by making the portions smaller.

I also hate recipes that purport to be nutritious and light, but don't include nutritional data. Nine times out of ten, when you run the numbers, they aren't light at all. Martha Stewart Living ran a feature on "light" recipes several years back and didn't include any nutritional data. When I ran the numbers, many of the recipes were higher in calories than the regular versions. I guess she meant that they were "light" in color.

This isn't specific to "light" recipes, but I hate it when recipes call for a bunch of specialty ingredients that I'm going to have to go to very specialized stores to get. For example, I had a recipe that called for dashi recently, which, as far as I can tell, you pretty much have to get a Japanese grocery. Chicken broth worked just fine. I especially hate it if these specialty ingredients come in very large sized containers. If the recipe has to include a note explaining what an ingredient is and listing the one store in the entire region that carries it (that is an hours' drive away), I think it should also suggest an easier to acquire substitute. Or if I have to go to five different stores to get all the ingredients, that's a problem too.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:10 PM   #13
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I hate it when recipes call for butter-flavor cooking spray. Blech! Either use a small amount of regular butter or omit this chemical fakeness!
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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As much as I hate tiny portions for the WW points/calorie descriptors, I hate it even MORE when the recipe is accompanied a photo of what LOOKS like a huge portion but is REALLY 1/10th of an 8x8 pan...

My last WW magazine had an amazing picture of a small peach tartlet (4 inch diameter), for 6 points. Tough to work in, but doable. But when you READ the RECIPE, 6 points referred to 1/2 of the tartlet. HALF of it Like, as IF.....

There should be a LAW requiring these publishers to include a "WARNING -- Item is smaller than depicted. Some assembly required".



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Old 09-01-2009, 02:23 AM   #15
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A couple of other pet peeves:

I hate it when recipes list ingredients as optional that really aren't, just so they don't have to include them in the calories. This happens all the time with recipes that are meant to be served over rice. They don't include the rice in the calories because it is "optional." Give me a break.

I also hate it when recipes don't state the weight of an ingredient that is hard to measure in volume. Like diced vegetables or cooked meat. Don't tell me to add one zucchini or a cup of basil. How big is that zucchini? Is that a tightly packed cup or a loose cup? Cooking Light does this all the time and I'm sure they weighed the ingredients to figure out the nutritional content. If they know how much the ingredient weighted, why not tell readers? Why not include both the volume and the weight measurement in the recipe--it doesn't take up that much room to include this extra info.

I also hate it when recipes refuse to give nutritional data because an ingredient is marinated. The food section in my local paper does this all the time. Oftentimes, when you look at the ingredients for the marinade, you can tell that it is adding only nominal calories. Why not give the calorie info for the recipe and just say that that it doesn't include the marinade in the calories? Or include the marinade as if all of it is absorbed by whatever is marinated in it? Either way would be preferable to not including any nutritional data.
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