Monday, January 10, 2005

Slick and Slimy

I’ve been feeling just a trifle tubby and unhealthy of late, which has prompted me to take yet another stab at making healthier meals.

I just whipped up a batch of cole slaw that I am pretty sure I won’t be able to bring myself to eat. Now I love cole slaw, and the only thing wrong with it from an artery’s perspective is the pesky lipid-rich mayo-sour cream dressing that makes it so tasty. It seemed to me, though, like cole slaw would lend itself to healthification, so I purchased a jar of Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayo and a carton of Tillamook Fat-free sour cream. Normally, I shun such items, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Worth a snot is more like it. My largest Tupperware is now filled to the brim with shredded cabbage that looks like the Jolly Green Giant sneezed on it. I’m rather irked at myself for falling prey to the zillion-dollar diet industry’s tactics. I do know better. But I just grabbed the mayo and the sour cream off the shelf without looking at anything but the words “Reduced Fat” and “Fat-free”--and thinking to myself of all the heaping servings of cole slaw I would soon be feasting on while effortlessly shedding a couple of unwanted pounds.

The mayo is particularly nasty. It’s eggless. How can mayonnaise not have eggs in it and still be called mayonnaise? I suspect that whatever imitation egg substitute glop they put in it is what is giving the slaw its unappealing mucusoid appearance. The sour kreme looks OK, but it’s got something in it called Propylene Glycol Monoester, which I believe is either the principal ingredient in White Out™ or else the stuff I used in high school to keep my marching band shoes so blindingly white. How frightening.


Blogger Rusty said...

I feel your pain. I, too, have been working on the diet angle, in light of all that's been going on lately.

In terms of recommendations, Best Foods has, I think, the best reduced fat mayo (and it even has eggs!), though nothing compares to the real thing. Whatever you do, avoid the fat free mayo. That stuff tastes very, very wrong.

I do think Sugar Free Jello tastes good. So far, it's the only low-cal option to a normal food I've found acceptable, other than the standards like skim milk and sugar-free fizzy water.

But, believe me, there are some sacrifices not worth making. If you're going to do sour cream, don't do sowr kreme. If you're going to do mayo, do it right. You only live once...enjoy it, and make B take you for more walks.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

But but can make some great cole slaw (or that broccoli cole slaw shredded stuff, which is the only way I'll ever touch broccoli) with a grapefruit viniagrette instead that is out of this world.

Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice...some walnut oil...salt, pepper, a dash or two of sugar...mix it together until it emulsifies (use same proportions you'd use for a viniagrette) and then toss it over the shredded cabbage.

I'd toss a few handfuls of chopped peanuts in the slaw, maybe.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I agree with Pieman: Reduced fat = good, fat-free = horrific. There is only so much locust bean gum a person can eat. Ugh.

I do differ re: the sugar-free Jell-o, though. I quit Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners completely several months ago (which is actually fairly hard to do if you ever want to chew gum again...they sneak those chemicals into everything nowadays) and have been very glad of my decision. I don't care what they say, I think they're dangerous and I *know* they make me feel headachy and crave sweets.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

*Although the only reduced-fat dressing I deal in is Miracle Whip Light. Can't vouch for Trader Joe lowfat mayo.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

I hate the taste of fat-free foodstuffs. Reduced fat is somewhat okay - although I still shudder to think what it must be made from. I usually just go for the real stuff.

Besides, it's all crammed full of hydrogenated oils so at least we can be skinny Minnies on that gurney in the ER during our first heart attack.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about giving up Aspartame, it horrendous and proving to be very unhealthy for us. I've found Splenda is 'ok' for most but NOT for baking. But you know, I've been on the diet revolving door for a few years and it really all does come down to what we know to do, eat smaller portions of the right foods and exercise. Easier said than done I know. Think I'll go grab a carrot and hit the treadmill, you've inspired me :P

8:28 AM  
Blogger Jilly said...

I would give you sound advice if I had any idea how to make coleslaw, but I don't, so I can't. I'm hugely impressed that anyone makes their own anyway!

10:14 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

Know what you're saying on the aspartame. I steer towards sucralose whenever possible. Fred Meyer's Crystal Clear fizzy waters are made with sucralose, and are always on sale. Love 'em.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention I'm in love with light canned fruits for snacks. Fred Meyer's light (er, lite) peaches, pears, apricots, etc. are packed in pear juice instead of the old heavy syrup. Compare to Del Monte Lite, which uses pear juice and sugar.

Hmm, now I feel like a shill for our local one-stop shopping center...

2:14 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Well, it seems pretty clear that we all *know* that the only really sensible thing to do is eat moderate-sized portions, exercise regularly, and avoid processed food as much as possible.

Even the marginally acceptable reduced-fat stuff like the Best Foods mayo (and Miracle Whip!), probably makes no measurable difference as long as one isn't behaving like a hog at the trough--so we might as well eat the real thing and not pay a premium (reduced fat and fat- free always cost more) for an inferior-tasting and quite possibly more toxic product.

I did attempt to eat some of the cole slime today (I hate wasting food). It was atrocious. Bad, bad, bad. Fit only for the In-Sink-Erator.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I made some cole slaw for lunch today. Can't give a quantities but my old stand by is a good splash of vinegar, couple of teaspoons of sugar, squirt of mustard. Mix in several T of Miracle whip and thin with some 2 % milk..Use these in a little different quantity for potato salad too...

Any fat free items I've tried ended in the garbage.

I'm trying the old move more, eat less..but my biggest complaint is the "bat wing" arms..darn

1:06 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...


The slaw I made was pretty similar to yours except I put a bit of horseradish in and, of course, wrecked it with the crappy mayo and sour creme.

Such a shame cuz, as you know, it's a darn tasty standby.

5:52 PM  

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