Small Talk

Weight loss challenge

January 27th, 2010

My husband is involved in a weight loss challenge. He came home one day and told me everyone at the office (and by office, I mean mortuary) is doing it, so he is. That's great. At least he will have very fit funeral directors who don't want to become clients sooner than they have to.

Moanalua Mortuary staff

Moanalua Mortuary staff

Here's the challenge: the person to lose the most weight in 30 days wins the kitty, which is now at $300. As a former competitive athlete and then Division I coach, Claus is a health nut, so he added his own personal incentive. He'll give the winner an additional $100 out of his own pocket, if that person keep the weight off for six months. But, if in another six months from that, the person has gained back weight, he or she has to return the $100.

As he was telling this to me, I walked back to the kitchen for a fourth bowl of soup. "Gee. Maybe I should invite you to join the challenge?" he joked.

"Are you counting how much I'm eating?" I said, with raised eyebrows.

<Red alert! Red alert!>

He wisely read the signals. "Oh, of course not. Four bowls. That's including mine and Olivia's bowls, I mean."



Hey, soup is healthy. If they all ate this, they would probably lose weight. I should therefore like to share a very easy, very tasty, very clean recipe for aforementioned soup. Got it out of Sunset magazine two years ago.

Japanese-style one-pot supper

Prep and cook time: 20 min

Makes 4 servings

3 oz dried bean-thread noodles

5 c low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c Mirin or cream sherry

1/4 c soy sauce

1 T sugar

3-5 thin slices ginger

12 oz boned, skinned chicken meat in 1" chunks.

1 small red bell pepper, thin slices

4 oz snow peas

4 oz button mushrooms, sliced

8 oz firm tofu, cubed

3 green onions, cut

Sriracha for flavoring

1) Soak noodles in boiling water until soft, about 5 min. Drain.

2) In 6 qt stockpot or 12" frying pan with sides at least 2" high, bring liquids to boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer 5 min.

3) Arrange noodles, chicken, veggies, tofu in separate piles in the pot. Cover and simmer about 5 min without stirring, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Cut one to test. Serve with a side of Sriracha.

I liked it. It doesn't get any easier than that. And it felt healthy. I used ham instead of chicken, as you can see in the photo. I tend to do a lot of substituing when I cook, based on what I have in the fridge. I also don't mind having less meat than this (or any) recipe calls for, since I try to lean towards more vegetables and fiber.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


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14 Responses to “Weight loss challenge”

  1. theDman:

    kinda looks like a variation on Chicken Long Rice....soupy style, which is the way I make it.

    Throw in some Shitake mushrooms in place of the button ones and we are just about there.

  2. maxcat:

    The recipe sounds really good. Thanks Diane. And, darned if I didn't just stock up on boeless Chicken breats which were just on sale.

  3. maxcat:

    err 'boneless'

  4. Aunty Paula:

    Great idea for dinner tonight. Thanks!

  5. Katy:

    Diane, thanks for the recipe. But did you use that much mirin or sherry? I read that alcohol doesn't really evaporate in soups or sauces, so be careful if you're serving it to children.

  6. m@x:

    I volunteer to eat Claus' share of home-made cake!

  7. Diane Ako:

    Hi all! Katy- mirin.
    Aunty Paula- you're welcome!
    maxcat- Thanks, copy editor! 🙂
    Dman- Shiitake. That sounds nice!

  8. Rodney Lee:

    So who else besides my wife (Aunty Paula) made this soup last night? The weather was perfect for it.

  9. oldshoes:

    Can i play? Although those mortuary folks may have some secret weight loss techniques. Would it be okay to add tabasco or jalepeno's to your classic soup recipe?

  10. Diane Ako:

    Rodney, you crack me up. I hope the soup was ok. Hi to wifey.
    Oldshoes, the mortuary guys have the hottest sauna that will literally melt fat. OK, sorry. That was bad.

  11. maxcat:


    did you mean to say that mortuary guys can crem... er burn fat? noooo. did I really type that?

  12. Rodney Lee:

    The soup was ono! Instead of Sriracha sauce, I added ko cho jung (cannot help, Korean das why). 😆

  13. Diane Ako:

    Rodney- Good call. I like kochujang better!

  14. Boot Camp:

    That sounds yummy! Thanks Diane.

    @Rodney I'm thinking of making it tonite. @Aunty Paula, How did it turn out?

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