Rice-free Dinners

A week ago I stopped eating rice during dinner. This is the nth time that I’ve started doing this and many of those who know me are probably doubting how long I can stick to this. But I am determined. I am also tired of explaining myself to others so instead of doing that I will just focus on following my own edict. This will entail cooking my own food because as I’ve mentioned before, the meals eaten in my house are far from healthy–my mother tends to cook using too much oil and salt, with a preference for fatty cuts of meat and for frying things.

For the first time, I tried to use healthier substitutes for rice like boiled camote (sweet potato) and saging na saba (sweet plantain) and I found them very suitable, especially to saucy and pan-fried dishes. Dishes with broth such as sinigang, tinola, or sinampalukan are better eaten as hearty soups because they’re somewhat complete. Have I mentioned that my all-time favorite food is Chicken Sopas? My mother serves this at least once a week so I’m covered.

Three times last week I just prepared a simple salad to go with some proteins. I had marinated some skinless chicken thigh fillets in lemon juice, salt & pepper. I pan-fried them on a non-stick pan so I didn’t have to use oil then ate it with some romaine lettuce and a sesame dressing. Yummy! Once, my mother made one my favorite foods–fish spring rolls. I sliced the spring rolls, sliced some iceberg lettuce, and I made the dressing normally used for Vietnamese spring roll–made of water, fish sauce, brown sugar, grated carrots, crushed peanuts.

ala-khmer salad

The picture above was taken before I dressed the salad. The taste reminded me of this Cambodian-Vietnamese breakfast dish I used to get from a particular market in Phnom Penh. Again, yummy! Although the original dish uses mainly rice noodles, the veggies are only garnishing, and the spring rolls are made of ground pork and shrimp.

My goal is to remove white rice from my lunch meals as well. I plan to do that transition in a couple of weeks. I will probably try eating brown/ red rice as well. Wish me luck, and I will wish for more determination and discipline.


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