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Subject:Cooking, portion sizes
Time:11:55 pm
Poll #1591151 Larby larby larby

I know what larb gai is (without looking it up, of course)

Yes
19(39.6%)
I think so
3(6.2%)
No
26(54.2%)


My back is getting better. It's down from being nearly incapacitating when it first happened to just being painful and slowing me down right now. I have to be careful about everything I do, but tonight I managed to go to the grocery store and cook lunches for the week. Getting into a car is way harder than it seems-- you do all sorts of weird motions.

I decided that I wanted larb gai for lunch at work this week. For those who don't know, that's a thai ground chicken salad with shallots, mint, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, toasted rice powder, and thai peppers. It's a fairly low-calorie dish that's also quite tasty. I made a double batch of it, which should have been eight servings, and enough rice to go with five of them-- one for dinner tonight, and four for lunches this week.

A quick aside: I absolutely love using my grandmother's cast iron cookware to prepare dishes she'd never heard of. This amuses me to no end.

One of my favorite rants, and one I'm sure you've all heard before, is about how Americans have a distorted perception of what a portion size is. I count myself in that category-- recipes that claim they make four servings really come in at about two or two and a half when I make them. I'm more conscious than most people of the fact that my perception of a reasonable amount of food is skewed, but that doesn't make it less skewed.

When I was done cooking I measured out a serving of rice and a serving of larb and had dinner. Afterward, I put together four lunches for the week. I carefully measured a serving of rice into the first one, then visually filled the rest to match the first. When I was done, I had about a quarter of a cup of rice left in the pan. That's certainly within the margin of error of my haphazard measurement technique.

And then the larb. I measured out a serving into each of the containers, and eyed what I had left... it looked like about three servings. I grabbed three freezer bags and measured a serving into each. The final serving was exactly spot-on-- exactly the right amount, and nothing but dregs left in the bowl. I planned it that way, but I didn't actually expect it to work.

Thus far I'm batting a thousand for following my eating rules, and I've been within 6% of my calorie goals each day. Actually, I'm about 70 calories under for today. I'd grab some blueberries on my way to bed, but I'm stuffed.
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adbjupe
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-07-12 11:05 am (UTC)
Yet, the portions served in American restaurants are gigantic. The expectation that there will be enough left to take home a box is a real trouble maker. I've gotten a paella in Newark that would have served 3-4 all by myself. The customer expects big portions and the restaurants deliver, since they sell more that way.

Regarding diner, I've been thinking to stop using our big diner plates and reducing them with flat plates 1" smaller in diameter than the soup plates. That should make you eat less.
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ronsrants
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-07-12 01:05 pm (UTC)
Smaller plate sizes helps big time. Also, don't serve food family style (i.e. bringing all the food out too the table and passing the dishes around). Instead, keep the food in the kitchen.

Also, some research has been done that says you are more likely to eat all the food on your plate if you are the one that served yourself. So have you S.O. serve your food.

Since they aren't barefoot and pregnant, you might as well put them to good use. /sarcasm

-R
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grey_evil_twin
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-07-12 01:33 pm (UTC)
I make larb gai fairly regularly. But no matter how much I make, the kids seem to hoover it all up. If you use sesame oil, just a wee bit, when you do the mince, it has a lovely flavour. And fresh bunches of herbs are mandatory.

I plate the food in the kitchen, and then they come and get it. If there's enough for seconds in the pot, sometimes it goes (teenage boys) or I seal it up for lunch the next day. Maybe its an Aussie thing, but most people I know plate the food first not have all the bowls on the table to help yourself. Things like tacos and rice paper rolls, which are "roll your own food" are different, because you make them as you eat them.

But I have found the "don't eat as much" pattern of eating to work well for me. It's not what I eat or drink, I just don't eat as much.
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drj0402
Subject:Mmm tasty larb
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-07-12 03:54 pm (UTC)
I am impressed that you made larb gai at home.

It's something we often order when we are out but I hadn't considered making it myself.
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whipartist
Subject:Re: Mmm tasty larb
Link:(Link)
Time:2010-07-12 04:13 pm (UTC)
Make it. It's easy. Here's a practical recipe of sorts:

http://www.shesimmers.com/2009/06/how-to-make-larb-gai-lahb-gai-laab-gai.html
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[icon] Cooking, portion sizes - Patti
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