If you overindulged during the festive period and have made it your resolution to be pin-thin/make your body a temple/blah blah blah by February, might I suggest that instead of embarking on a crazy crash diet, you employ a simple formula? Something along the lines of: porridge for breakfast, soup or a sandwich for lunch, and some sushi or steamed fish or chicken with vegies and rice for dinner. Keep it varied. Step up your physical activity, have the occasional piece of dark chocolate, swap caffeine for herbal tea, cut out alcohol and fizzy drinks, get a meaningful hobby, and before you know it, you will feel about a thousand times healthier and will be obsessing over far more important things than your weight. (I really should have saved this wisdom for a bestselling book with celebrity endorsement, but hey ho.)
This is a recipe dreamt up by my wonderful mother, and it fits the bill whenever you need something soothing or restorative. I eat it whenever I have a poorly tummy or just need to cut down on eating rubbish; even without the added bits and bobs, it’s incredibly tasty.
500ml chicken stock (homemade or from a good quality stock cube/powder)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon Marigold Instant Miso Bouillon Powder or 1 x 10mg sachet instant miso soup (you could also use miso paste)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced or grated (optional)
plus your choice of tasty morsels and garnish – see below
Put all the ingredients for the soup base in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Add any vegetables you like, and/or fish or small chicken pieces, and simmer until cooked/heated through – the key is to keep everything bite-sized. I like to add a poached chicken breast that has been cut into slivers, as well as one 150g pack of straight-to-wok udon noodles (you could substitute tiny pasta shapes).
Ladle into bowls. If you want to be extra fancy, garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander and serve with a wedge of lime.
Even alpha males who approach such ostensibly ‘healthy’ concoctions with skepticism and would, frankly, rather have a great slab of steak, have been known to utter, “Mmm, it’s delicious,” on tasting this broth.