PCF eating plan: power proteins, complex carbs, friendly fats

Israeli Sima Cohen came to the United States 20 years ago and was stunned at the way many Americans look at food.

"According to the CDC, 70 percent of all Americans are either overweight, obese or extremely obese and it's getting worse.

"Everybody is on some kind of diet. But the problem is these diets are too extreme to follow. We live in the wealthiest country in the world, yet nobody can lose weight," Cohen said.

In response she wrote Sima's Healthy Indulgence to help others understand that including the three main nutrition components is the best way go, using what she calls PCF.

"PCF stands for power protein, complex carbs and friendly fat, which you combine with every meal and every snack throughout the day," she said.

Sounds like common sense, but many are caught up in restricting carbohydrates which can often result in yo-yo dieting due to fluctuations in blood sugar and lack of fiber.

In addition, nutrients may be lacking in the diet.

Her suggestion is to get cooking.

Like quinoa chicken salad with blueberries, walnuts, a smattering of cheese and olive oil dressing.

She's adapted her grandma's sloppy joe recipe using her PCF motto as grandma wouldn't have added antioxidant-packed pomegranate arils, or fermented black garlic, or even the thick slices of monounsaturated fat avocado.

We all have our own family recipes and Sima uses her version of Shakshuka using PCF.

"It's a very famous mediterranean egg dish which is made with chopped onion, garlic tomatoes, tomato paste and eggs. Because I like it super spicy I always add jalapeño on top," said Cohen.

Which she serves with sweet potato or whole wheat pita.

These dishes are suggestions, but Cohen says the combinations are filling, tasty and nutrient packed to help you enjoy your day.

"You stabilize your blood sugar. You won't have an insulin spike, which means you won't have cravings. You'll stay full. You won't even think about food .

Sima Cohen's Shakshuka:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups ripe diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)

pinch of sea salt and black pepper
6 medium eggs
1 sliced jalapeño and 3 ounces low-fat crumbled feta cheese

Heat a deep, large skillet on medium heat.
Add olive oil to the pan.
Add diced onion, and sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to brown and get a golden color.
Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped bell pepper; sauté for additional 3 minutes.
Then, in a small bowl mix together the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and 3 tablespoons of water.
Stir with a fork and add the tomato mixture to the hot skillet.
Let it cook for 5 minutes on medium heat until it starts to reduce.
Next, crack the eggs into the skillet and season with sea salt and pepper.
Reduce to low heat, cover the pan, and let it cook for 12-15 more minutes (to prevent from burning, make sure sauce does not reduce too much). Remove from heat and garnish with optional jalapeño and feta cheese.

Sima's Tip:
Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve with 100 percent whole wheat warm crusty bread or 100 percent whole wheat pita bread that can be dipped into the sauce.
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