Overeating at dinner is too easy when you have not nourished yourself properly throughout the day, says registered dietitian Catherine Day.
“If you do tend to overeat at night – do not skip meals or snacks during the day and work together with a registered dietitian to find a way of eating that is individualised to your specific needs and schedule.”
One of Day’s favourite warm winter dinner recipes is this vegetable curry…
- 15 ml oil, canola, olive or avocado (1 T)
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 20 ml masala curry mix (powder) (1 T + 1 t)
- 2.5 ml dried chilli flakes or powder (1/2 t)
- 2.5 ml ground cumin (1/2 t)
- 2.5 ml ground coriander (1/2 t)
- 2.5 ml ground turmeric (1/2 t)
- 10 ml fresh ginger root, grated (2 t) or 2.5 ml ground ginger (1/2 t)
- 20 ml fresh crushed garlic (4 t) or 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 apple or firm yellow peach, peeled and grated
- 4 courgettes/baby marrows, cut into thick slices
- 250 ml broccoli florets (1 c)
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
- 2 yellow or red peppers, cut into strips
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 250 ml water (1 c)
- 410 g baked beans (or butterbeans or chickpeas) (1 x 410g tin)
- 5 ml salt (1 t)
- 20 g fresh coriander leaves, optional
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid, and sauté the chopped onions until just transparent.
- Add the masala powder, chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh ginger and garlic and stir-fry to bring out the curry flavours.
- Add the grated apple or peach and stir-fry long enough to coat the fruit with the curry spices.
- Add the chopped vegetables, and stir-fry to coat with the spices.
- Add 250 ml water.
- Add the drained tinned butterbeans or chickpeas. (No need to drain baked beans).
- Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes to cook the vegetables. Do not overcook.
- Check the flavour of the curry and season with the salt, as required.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve the vegetable curry on rice or cooked barley and sambals such as chopped tomato and onion, cucumber in fat- free plain yoghurt, some sliced banana in lemon juice and a little chutney.
What about dessert?
Day says many people struggle with sweet cravings at night.
“This can either be a habit they have formed or it can be your body asking for something it still needs,” says Day.
“You may find that you have not drunk enough fluids in the day and that your body is actually craving more fluids as opposed to food (for some reason the brain is not good at telling the difference between thirst and hunger).”
In that case, she recommends a warm cup of herbal tea or chai tea with low-fat milk and half teaspoon honey (if required).
“If you have not eaten your fruit servings (most people need two to three fruits minimum per day), then end off your day with a stewed apple, which can easily be done in the microwave. It’s warm, sweet and delicious with some cinnamon or mixed spice.”
Time to unwind
Stress can fuel overeating, so how does this dietitian unwind after a busy day?
“Having a candle lit, healthy and nourishing dinner with my hubby – it never gets old,” smiles Day, “It also helps me to practice mindful eating so that I really appreciate my food (the taste of it and all the flavours) and helps me not overeat.”