Don’t be mean, make sure you eat lean
When Chef Daniel Green was nearing his twenties he was overweight and not the handsome TV personality he is today.
After getting stuck in a rut, and depressed about his weight, he embarked on improving his diet and shed the pounds. He lost weight and gained a career.
The British chef, bored by the low-fat options for people looking to slim down, has forged a name for himself in the US as an expert in healthy cooking.
He is a regular on US TV shows and author of six popular healthy cook books and guidebooks.
Surprisingly, Daniel is not a fan of spending hours in the gym and perhaps even more unexpected – he hates meagre food portions.
“Small portions are not my philosophy, it is about large potions that don’t have the fat,” he says.
Daniel made a recent visit to Dubai to introduce his healthy dishes to the Dusit Thani Hotel and the Dusit Residence, Dubai Marina. He took time out to chat to 7DAYS. The first tip the healthy cooking guru, had for our readers was to warn those fighting the flab not to be fooled by the latest diet fads. “These diets reinvent themselves all the time,” he says.
“Atkins was a reinvention of the Meat and Orange diet in the sixties that iconic model Twiggy was on.
“At the end of the day, those diets eliminate things and, while they take you down a route where you will achieve things, you will succeed for only a short period.”
So what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off?
“It’s not my saying but it’s right – eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner,” he says. “It really is the best approach because you will burn it off.”
Chef Daniel also encourages people to think long and hard about the way they cook. Tiny changes in cooking methods can make all the difference to a meal, he says.
“Crab cakes are normally saturated in fat, fried in oil and padded out with potatoes,” he says. “Mine are almost all crabmeat, with coriander and a few other flavours thrown in,” he adds, offering an example from his recent menu.”
Daniel’s cuisine career has taken him all over the world. He says that visiting Thailand led to the epiphany that low-fat food does not have to mean boring nosh.
“Whenever I hear a chef today say fat is flavour, I would tell them to take a flight to Thailand.”
He is also well-placed to name and shame the worst offenders.
“Indian cuisine is one that is notoriously bad for ghee and high saturated fats.”
EASY FIX FOR HEALTHY FOOD
>> Nothing deep-fried.
>> Follow the weekday plan – no cheese, no butter, cream. During the week those are the things not to have. If you take those elements out and only have a little bit of oil – such as olive oil or the sesame oil – it will make a huge difference to your health.
>> Change butter to a low fat option.
EAST MEETS WEST CRAB CAKES
Ingredients (serves 2)
200 grams premium lump crab from the can
Half a clove garlic, crushed
1 pc egg white
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 pc red chili pepper
1 quarter red onion,
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 pcs spring onions, chopped
1 slice white bread into crumbs, breadcrumbs and egg into batter
5 grams carrot, julienne
5 grams beetroot, julienne
10 grams mixed salad leaves
>> Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
>> Shape the mixture into patties and dip them in some whisked egg
>> Slightly coat in breadcrumbs
>> Fry for a few minutes each side until golden brown
>> Serve with some sweet chili sauce, some salad leaves and serve with some diced tomatoes around the plate