Changing your eating habits can seem daunting – or you can view it as a culinary adventure. If you are following a bariatric diet, worlds of flavor are still at your fingertips.
Most bariatric physicians recommend a diet high in proteins – not only during the early stages of your journey, but as a lifestyle. This can result in higher energy and it can feed your muscles as you exercise. The best part is, high protein foods are easy to prepare and taste great! Consider the following easy recipes.
During the early stages of your recovery from bariatric surgery, your doctor may recommend that you consume only clear liquids. How can you obey this advice while fulfilling your nutritional needs?
Bone broth has spiked in popularity in recent years, but it has, in fact, been a staple of the human diet for millennia. This rich and flavorful broth contains minerals and other components, such as collagen, thought to help the body heal. Make your own delicious bone broth at home using the following easy recipe. This broth also makes an excellent base for soups or purees.
1/2 to 1 lb bones
1 to 2 liters water
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 onion, slices
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Sea salt to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker. Set to low, and simmer broth for at least 48 hours.
2. Add water as needed to combat evaporation.
3. Strain solids from the broth using a cheese cloth or sieve.
4. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
5. Enjoy the broth either heated or chilled, or add to your favorite recipes.
Where do you get the bones? Some delicatessens, grocers, or butchers may sell food grade bones removed from their prepared meats. If this is not available where you live, simply save the bones from the meats you are your family regularly consume. Any type of bone will do – chicken, turkey, pork, beef, even venison. Place the bones in a freezer safe storage bag and freeze until ready to use.
For a time, your diet may require that you puree your foods before consuming them. At this stage, you may have tired of fruit smoothies and creamed veggies. Why not try this daring, protein rich twist on a dinnertime favorite?
Taco in a Jar
1 ounce lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 tsp bell pepper, finely chopped
3 leaves fresh cilantro
1 tbsp cottage cheese
1 ounce broth
1. In a skillet, combine beef, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute over medium heat until onions are caramelized and beef is thoroughly cooked. All vegetables should feel soft when pierced.
2. Drain any residual oils from beef mixture. Combine beef mixture, cilantro, cottage cheese, and broth in a food processor. Blend on high until it reaches a smooth consistency.
3. Fiesta time! Enjoy your Taco in a Jar, consuming the volume recommended by your doctor.
Taco in a jar photo courtesy SkinnyMs’s Skinny Taco Salad recipe
Fish can be another high protein dinner option, one that brings the added benefit of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Consider the following recipe for soft, flaky fish with a light, lemony flavor.
Lemon Garlic Cod
1 filet wild caught cod, skin removed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. If using frozen filets, thaw fish in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Oil the baking dish with 1/2 tsp olive oil. Place filet in dish.
4. Brush the filet with 1/2 tsp olive oil. Drizzle with lemon juice, and top with garlic, salt, and pepper.
5. Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Perhaps you would enjoy sipping on a hearty, high protein soup alongside your main course. This broccoli potato soup provides both nutrient dense dark green vegetables and the calcium and protein inherent in its dairy based ingredients.
Broccoli Potato Soup
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 tbsp corn starch
1 cup broth
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Peel and chop the potato. Boil until soft when pierced with a fork.
2. Steam broccoli until tender.
3. Place broccoli and potatoes in a food processor. Puree.
4. Mix 1 tbsp corn starch into 1/4 cup broth. Bring to boil in a small sauce pan for 1 minute. The corn starch will cause the liquid to thicken, resulting in a creamy texture. Slowly add remaining broth to the mixture, returning to a boil.
5. Stir in milk, puree, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
7. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
Did you know that you can still enjoy healthy deserts while following a bariatric friendly diet? The following recipe is naturally sweet and high in protein.
Cottage Cheese and Peaches
Sliced fresh peaches
1. Slice peaches and remove the skins.
2. Serve peaches with a spoonful of cottage cheese. Enjoy a bit of fruit and cheese together in every bite.
Always talk with your doctor or dietitian before making changes to your diet. These professionals can help you to understand what foods to avoid, how much you can eat, and how to prepare healthy and flavorful meals that will both help you to heal and reach your weight loss goals.