Simone Appetit: It’s summertime, and the slimming is easy | SierraSun.com

Simone Appetit: It’s summertime, and the slimming is easy

Simone Grandmain

I was going to start this column with "Summertime, and the slimming ain't easy." But that just didn't have the same Ella Fitzgerald vibe. Plus this year, without any snow, my body hadn't been storing up tonnage in its usual winter fashion, thus decreasing the level of difficulty.

Yet, when spring really arrived and I took off my Burka, I realized I still had some work to do and a mere tanning booth was not going to cut it. Yes, it is time to share my annual bathing suit season shopping list. I call it.

Mother's Little Helpers

Water packed solid white tuna. This can be mixed with moderate amounts of:

• capers

• balsamic vinegar (pick a good one)

Recommended Stories For You

• olive oil mayonnaise

• chopped red onion

Best served on:

• Oroweat Sandwich Thins (100 cal., 22 carbs, 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat, 5 grams protein)

• La Tortilla Factory Low Carb, Whole Wheat Tortillas (50 calories, 10 carbs, 7 grams fiber, 2 grams fat)

• FlatOut Flatbreads (90 calories, 9 grams fiber, 16 carbs, 9 grams fiber, 9 grams protein)

And topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles/ pickled beets and sprouts.

—–

Fruits

Cantaloupes, and any berries. All are low in carbohydrates. All can be sliced and frozen in single serving plastic bags. I just use the ones I get from the grocery store, nothing fancy. You can them use them with smoothies when combined with:

• Almond Breeze: Make sure you get the unsweetened or vanilla which have either 30 or 40 calories.

• Greek Yogurt: Be very, very careful here. "Light and Fit" is a great way to go. It has only 130 cal. per cup (and you only need a half cup or a smoothie), 13 carbs, 0 fat and 18 grams of protein.

AK-Mak Crackers

Five big crackers (you only need two) will only set you back 110 cal., 20 carbs,. 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber. As for toppings, there are many great flavored, spreadable cream cheeses available All run about 80-60 calories and 2 carbs for two tablespoons, but two tablespoons is a lot of cream cheese. My favorites are Sunnyside Farms Salsa (Save Mart), and Philadelphia's Jalapeno or Vegetable.

Crab Classic Imitation Crab Legs

So incredible misunderstood! Three legs are 90 cal., 15 carbs., 0 fat, and 9 grams of protein. Wrap them in seaweed sheets found in your local grocer's Asian aisle and top with a little soy sauce, maybe wasabé, and you are now a happy, lean, mean, string-bikini machine.

—-

Real Popcorn

No, we are not talking the Jiffy Pop which proceeded the microwavable popcorn. We are talking the real deal, only spiced up a bit. I like mine curry flavored, but if curry is not your thing, substitute about 1/4 cup of powdered Parmesan for the curry and do not use the lemon pepper

Curried popcorn ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup Orville Redenbachers 100% whole grain popcorn

about 20 squirts of Butter Spray (keeping those calories down)

1 tsp. curry powder

1 1/2 Maggi chicken bouillon with the shaker top (this works as your salt)

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1/4 (or to taste) red pepper

Preparation:

Mix all spices together in medium sized bowl. Place oil in 5-quart pan with lid, preferably a glass lid. Twirl pan around to make sure bottom of pan is coated with oil. Place over high heat, add popcorn and cover. It should start to go crazy in about one minute. It should be done in five minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer to very large bowl. Spray with butter spray, using large spoon or spatula to ensure it is mixed in well. Add spices, using same procedure. Wait until it popcorn is fully cooled before you store it or it will get moist from the heat. I keep mine in a large cake Tupperware.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen "must-haves" and food news at simonegrandmain@gmail.com.