‘The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet’ by Dr. Barbara Rolls is Delicious–and It Works

If you like big portions and healthy food, Dr. Barbara Rolls‘ book The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet is for you. I’ve been writing about Dr. Rolls’ advice for years for Cosmo and Glamour and other magazines. I follow it myself. There’s a reason why Dr. Rolls, a scientist at Penn State, is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Her basic idea is that you can find foods that satisfy your nutritional needs and your hunger. You get to decide what to eat based on how many calories you want to consume (calorie density). For example, for a 500-calorie lunch, you could have 1.5 tablespoons of peanuts, 2 ounces of pretzels and a cup of lemon-lime soda. Or you could choose this option: a large bowl of vegetable soup, a salad with vinegar and oil, a few pita chips, a large bowl of melon balls and a glass of water. I’d definitely go with the latter.

Dr. Rolls wants people to eat healthy, enjoy foods they want and still lose weight. She’s a researcher, and her methods are backed up by studies. Volumetrics is not so much a diet as it is a way of eating. Her latest book includes a 12-week plan filled with delicious foods. Here is one dinner recipes to give you a taste of what Dr. Rolls is all about. Click to the jump for a great pancake dish.

Below is her healthy take on General Tsao’s Chicken (and how much you can have pictured at left versus the portion you could eat on the right.) ”I enjoy making stir- fry dishes because they cook up so quickly and can be made with whatever combination of vegetables I have in my refrigerator,” Dr. Rolls writes. “Don’t be afraid to get the wok or skillet nice and hot.”

Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry with Water Chestnuts and Carrots (pictured at right)
Makes 4 servings (390g each), 11⁄2 cups chicken and vegetables plus 1⁄2 cup rice each: Good for leftovers

2⁄3 cup (125g) brown rice
2 large (950g) heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
2 medium (201g) carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
3⁄4 cup (180g) low- sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons (8g) canola oil
1 tablespoon (10g) finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 (9g) garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
12 ounces (340g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1- inch pieces
2 tablespoons (31g) reduced- sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon (20g) hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
One 8- ounce (227g) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1⁄2 teaspoon (3g) sesame oil
3 (45g) green onions (scallions), white and light green parts, thinly sliced

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, micro wave the broccoli, carrots, and 1 ⁄4 cup of the chicken broth in a large bowl, covered, for 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. Spray a wok or large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the canola oil in the wok over medium- high heat. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds to soften. Add the broccoli, carrots, and liquid from the bowl and stir- fry for 5 minutes, until just tender.
4. Add the chicken, the remaining broth, the soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often.
5. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Add to the wok along with the water chestnuts. Simmer for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with the green onions.

Serve with the rice.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 330 • CD 0.85 • Carbohydrate 43g • Fat 7g • Protein 26g • Fiber 8g

Traditional General Tsao’s chicken

How we lowered the Calorie Density
• Added more vegetables
• Reduced fat and sugar in the sauce
• Switched from fried, skin- on chicken pieces to chicken breast fillet
• Decreased the portion of rice and switched to brown rice

Light as a Feather Pancakes with Berry Sauce

“I like the light and delicate texture of these cottage cheese pancakes, and they have a lower CD than the traditional ricotta cheese version. When I want an even fluffier pancake, I separate the eggs, combine the yolks with the cottage cheese, beat the whites separately, and then fold the whites into the yolk mixture.” –Dr. Rolls.

Makes 4 servings (240g each), 3 pancakes with 1⁄3 cup fruit sauce each

½ cup (60g) white whole- wheat flour
2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (26g) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons (4g) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1g) table salt
1 ¼ cups (226g) 1% fat cottage cheese
3 large (150g) eggs
1 tablespoon (15g) melted butter or oil

3 cups (450g) frozen or fresh mixed berries, strawberries, or blueberries
1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon (13g) sugar

1. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the cottage cheese, eggs, and butter in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir to combine. It is okay for the batter to have a few small lumps.
2. Heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet on the stove over medium- low heat. Place 2 tablespoons of batter on the griddle for each pancake, leaving space for the pancakes to spread without touching each other. Flip the pancakes with a spatula when the bubbles on the top begin to pop and the bottom is dry. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the bottom is lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, toss the berries with the cornstarch and sugar in a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 1-minute intervals, gently stirring between intervals, until the berries are soft and the liquid is bubbling and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 310 • CD 1.3 • Carbohydrate 43g • Fat 9g • Protein 16g • Fiber 4 g

Add a Comment
Back To Mom Must Read
  1. by dcorneal

    On January 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve loved Barbara Rolls’ work since I was a graduate student at Penn State. And now she has a General Tsao’s recipe I can eat without guilt?!? Life is good. Very good.