31 Aug2006


Here is a healthy lunch that doesn’t seem like you are suffering on a diet…except you can’t have much rice with it. First, I made a lot of balsamic onions by sautéing lots of sliced onions in some good olive oil. Season the onions with salt and pepper and flavor with liberal amounts of balsamic vinegar that is then reduced. Take this off the heat and use in several ways… I like to use it as a relish for sandwiches, on grilled fish or poultry, etc. Next, grill a nice medium thick slice of tanguigue (Spanish mackerel) seasoned simply with just salt and pepper on a hot charcoal barbecue. Also grill some asparagus and perhaps one zucchini that you have sliced thin and perhaps brushed with some olive oil…

I serve all of this on a nice sized platter to convince myself I am not on a diet and that adiet2I am eating enough to fill a platter! Drizzle the onion and balsamic mixture on top of the fish and eat slowly… If you manage to avoid rice altogether or just have a half cup, this is an excellent meal. High-protein fish together with the fiber from the veggies and the sweetness (though not sugar based) from the onions make this a great way to fake “extravagance”. The grilled asparagus have an incredibly smoky and intense flavor…so much better than just steaming them, I think…



  1. ajyoung says:

    MM maybe you can feature healthy salads thats delicious and filling. I always add assorted mushrooms ( portabello, button, shiitake, straw, enoki) as substitute to meat in my salads. You might also want to feature the brown mountain rice since we are on the topic of diet and healthy eating. :)

    Aug 31, 2006 | 4:40 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    aj, I iactually have posts on both topics you raise… I have a couple of posts on different rice varieties and a few posts on different salads… check the archives and keep strolling down the posts until you find the right ones…but thanks for the suggestions…

    Aug 31, 2006 | 4:51 am

  4. Bob says:

    Marketman, nothing “fake” about that extravagance! That’s a great (and healthy) meal! I think you have set my lunch menu for today!

    Aug 31, 2006 | 5:08 am

  5. issa says:

    uuummm that looks delicious, a perfect healthy meal. now i’m feeling hungry, its almost midnigh here:(((

    Aug 31, 2006 | 5:52 am

  6. SariS says:

    Am attempting to change my eating habits as well and it looks like you’re off to a good start! I would watch the use of oils though (olive or otherwise) — while they are good fats,they’re still calorie dense. I’d say measure out a tbsp and give yourself that limit to use in your prep for a serving.

    Also the frozen berries are the best to use in your smoothie, then you don’t have to use ice. You can also freeze your bananas that are about to go bad and use them in your smoothie as well. (be warned though that I think bananas are high on the glycemic index, but better than using ice cream)

    Aug 31, 2006 | 6:48 am

  7. millet says:

    way to go, MM! people (dieters or not) need to know there’s a whole world of healthy eating beyond boiled chicken breasts and steamed veggies.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 6:54 am

  8. Apicio says:

    Why, I can thrive on this type of food exclusively without ever feeling any sense of deprivation whatsoever. Well, perhaps it would be a tad more bearable if allowed occasional excursions to chez Robert Linxe. Jesting aside, way to go Marketman.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 7:40 am

  9. lee says:

    I love fish and seafood. I love palad. I had danggit last night. I can eat fried paksiwfied galunggong everyday. I love oysters with beer.
    I’m saddened by the Guimaras oil spill tragedy and the cruel fate it dealt to the seas surrounding my dear old Negros island. I’ll be having a haircut soon, they say it helps mop up bunker fuel.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 7:59 am

  10. Jen Tan says:

    Hello Mr. Marketman! I too put myself on SBD…but went way a bit over zealous on veering away from carbs…hahaha.. i prepared my own food then but they were not as appetizing as what you have made here! It looks great but just forget to have some rice and bread too =) Take care and good luck on your diet!

    Aug 31, 2006 | 8:56 am

  11. CWID says:

    Great looking dish. You probably do not have to deprive yourself totally of carbs. Just focus on the good carbs like brown rice or whole grain bread.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 9:05 am

  12. Lei says:

    I am a big fan caramelized onions, and the way you prepared them by adding balsamic vinegar makes those onions look more enticing to me. I’ve been reading a lot about balsamic vinegar, also have seen cooking shows on the lifestyle network using this, so can you recommend good brands that are available locally?

    Aug 31, 2006 | 9:53 am

  13. linda says:

    We’re having sashimi with pickled lemon rind and miso tonight for our entree.Try this,MM,it’s delicious!

    Aug 31, 2006 | 10:08 am

  14. Booey says:

    I am so thankful that you are weight watching now because your meals are ideal not only for weight watchers but also for pregnant women (like me. This meal is perfect–chock full of DHA!!! (no need to take the fish oil supplement) Thanks for the dinner idea!

    Aug 31, 2006 | 10:35 am

  15. Maria Clara says:

    It looks scrumptious and extravagant! The versatility of your dish is endless. Cabbage, romaine lettuce, carrots and mushrooms are good grilling vegetables too. I usually quartered the cabbage and romaine lettuce and kept the core intact to keep them on the grill. I rubbed them with olive oil, black pepper and sea salt before throwing them in the grill and they go fast. As soon as the grill mark is made I take them off the grill. Good start in modifying your eating habits! Keep it up. Remember the stake here are high — your health.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 10:54 am

  16. angela says:

    i love asparagus! i usually stir fry it with lots of garlic and oyster sauce. yummy.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 2:10 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    SariS, thanks for those tips. I add ice cubes to pump up volume without calories. Apicio, some good chocolate is always on my YES list, regardless of diet! Lee, don’t get me started on the oil spill, I have personally stopped buying Petron products or Gasul if 10,000 folks do the same and I spend a LOT on gas, then several hundreds of millions will hit their bottom line. That is the way consumers can express their total and utter disgust for the poor response to such a huge ecological disaster. I was going to send our lab to swim around the islands to collect oil but after she scared off the robber the other night she is QUEEN of the roost at the moment… Jen and CWID, thanks! Lei, any supermarket brand of balsamic is the totally low end of the range, but not to worry, the best way to make even the cheapest balsamic taste good is to reduce it in half in a pan…what results is a good alternative to truly good balsamic vinegar which can cost PHP100 for a teaspoon… I use the cheap stuff for most recipes or salads… Oh Linda, I love sashimi! Once holiday season I made a sashimi tartare that was to DIE for. I have to find that recipe and redo it. Booey, I have other healthy meals in the archives, I will re-post them or link to them so folks have more choices! Maria Clara, all those veggies would make great grilled choices… I also like endive, radicchio, large leeks, capsicums and onions grilled. If you cut kalabasa really thinly, that would taste terrific grilled as well! Angela, you may want to try asparagus grilled one of these days, the flavor intensity is something else!

    Aug 31, 2006 | 4:54 pm

  18. Rowi says:

    Hi! This is my first comment to your wonderful site which I regularly read and draw food inspiration from. Now I cant help it but put in my 2cents worth to your grilled fish and veggies as the start of your healthier line of eating. Although I love rice, I discovered that other alternatives such as root veggies that are full of fiber and well, good carbs are delicious rice or pasta substitutes. I have learned to appreciate that sweet potato, celeriac (celery rootbulb), jicama (singkamas?), parsnip,(like white carrots but sweeter) rutabaga and the like which are really winter veggies in Europe are so good grilled with just a sprinkle of olive oil, some pressed garlic, salt and pepper. Of course, there are dishes like good old adobo where rice definitely should be a part of.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 8:22 pm

  19. RoseLyn says:

    I just love carbs and I don’t think i’d be able to shed some pounds with that kind of mentality :p

    Aug 31, 2006 | 11:16 pm

  20. Bay_leaf says:

    my kind of luxury food. ah, tanguigue..it’s been a while since i’ve had those.
    MM, my version of a healthy meal here is baked salmon with sautéed spinach and a meager portion of rice.
    But i’d like some of yours for my dinner tonight. kakagutom tingnan. lol.

    Sep 1, 2006 | 12:07 am

  21. lojet says:

    Zucchini and it’s yellow cousin tossed with olive oil, salt pepper and balsamic is also good. I just roast mine in the oven.

    Sep 1, 2006 | 7:19 am

  22. irene says:

    MM, do you know where we can find parsnips in the Philippines?

    Feb 27, 2009 | 9:33 am

  23. Marketman says:

    irene, I have never seen parsnips for sale in the Philippines, even though it travels well and could easily be imported if desired. The closest I have seen them is in Hong Kong.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 10:19 am


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