Zone Diet recipes do contain moderate amounts of whole grains

The Scoop on Whole Grains

From the Zone Diet

Yes, whole-grain food products are "politically correct," says Dr. Sears. And whole grain is always a better choice than the highly refined grains found in white bread, pasta, and commercially baked goods. But Dr. Sears advises shoppers to approach whole grains with caution. Why? "First, most foods labeled 'whole grain' really aren't," he says. "Real whole-grain products contain fats that go rancid at room temperature, and that's why they are found in the frozen section of the supermarket." Dried whole grains, like steel-cut oats, need to be cooked for at least 30 minutes before eating, he adds.

Even when you have identified a truly whole-grain product, it must be eaten sparingly. "Whole grains still have to be eaten with a certain degree of moderation because of their carbohydrate density, which quickly increases the glycemic load of a meal." Case in point: It takes just 1/4 cup of whole-grain pasta to equal the glycemic load of 4 cups of broccoli.

All that said, Zone Diet recipes do contain moderate amounts of whole grains, which add heartiness to dishes, even in small amounts. Try this delicious recipe for Stuffed Zucchini "boats," which uses dry oatmeal:

Stuffed Zucchini


1 medium zucchini
2 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon shoyu sauce
Garlic powder, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce low-fat ricotta cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons dry oatmeal
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Fresh seasonal herbs, minced


1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Leave zucchini ends intact and blanch or steam for 5 to 7 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove pulp but leave enough meat so the zucchini will stand upright.

3. Mash tofu with a fork and integrate shoyu sauce. Add garlic powder and sauté in olive oil in a skillet for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add to ricotta in separate bowl.

4. Add olive oil to same skillet and sauté onion, celery, and mushroom until slightly browned. Add to tofu-ricotta mixture with oatmeal and egg.

5. Stuff zucchini boats and place in baking dish on a layer of tomato sauce. Top with remaining tomato sauce and herbs. Bake 20 minutes, covered, at 350°F. Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer.

posted by Diet & Body @ 5:45 AM


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