Studies have found that if you think your meal isn’t filling, it won’t be. Combined with the effects of Supersized restaurant portions, this can leave people disappointed when they try to limit themselves to healthy portion sizes.
Studies have found that if you think your meal isn’t filling, it won’t be. Combined with the effects of Supersized restaurant portions, this can leave people disappointed when they try to limit themselves to healthy portion sizes. But with a little creativity in presentation, a healthy portion can look and feel like a satisfying feast. One easy trick is to avoid serving small amounts of food on large plates. Instead, serve meals on smaller plates that make healthy portions appear larger. Another way to trick your brain is to heap healthy whole grains and vegetables on the plate before adding any of the protein or main course. This gives the feeling of an oversized serving without all the fat and calories. You also can borrow a trick from restaurants. Stack and arrange foods in a way that gives them height and suggests greater volume. These garam masala-spiced shrimp and asparagus towers are a good example of this technique. Healthy, low-fat shrimp and asparagus are sauteed in an curry-like sauce, then stacked in alternating layers with crispy, baked wonton wrappers. Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that can vary in the heat level it delivers. Curry powder can be used as a substitute. Look for wonton wrappers near the tofu in the produce section of your market. If you like, you can deconstruct this entree and serve the shrimp, asparagus and crisps separately to dip in the spicy sauce. Making a dish more interactive like this is another way to slow down a meal and make it feel more satisfying. Garam masala-spiced shrimp and aspara gus towers Start to finish: 50 minutes (25 minutes active) Servings: 4 12 small (about 2 inch) wonton wrappers 2 cups low-fat milk 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 teaspoons butter 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1- inch lengths 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Heat the oven to 300 F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the wonton wrappers in a single layer on the baking sheet and lightly spritz the tops with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low, heat the milk. In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil and butter until the butter is melted. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and garam masala and cook, stirring frequently, for another 3 minutes. Gradually stir the hot milk into the onion and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a strainer and set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the shrimp and saute until firm and pink, about 3 minutes. To serve, set a wonton crisp on each plate. Top each with an even layer of asparagus. Set another wonton crisp on top, followed by a layer of shrimp, then another wonton. If desired, repeat layering. Serve with the garam masala sauce for drizzling or dipping. Alternatively, the shrimp and asparagus can be tossed with the sauce before assembling. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 313 calories; 97 calories from fat; 11 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 143 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate; 21 g protein; 3 g fiber; 997 mg sodium. AP