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What's your best non-fattening recipe?

It's been a delicious but long summer, and now that I've officially ended it with grilled cheeseburgers and Ina's Outrageous Brownies, a glance in the mirror tells me it's time to be a bit more ... judicious about my food choices. I know what to do -- fish, chicken, lots of vegetables and fruit -- but it would help me tremendously to have some mouthwatering, not-full-of-cream, butter or beef recipes to face the next few weeks with. What's your favorite "healthy" dish? Relatively quick and easy for weeknights would be a bonus, but I can certainly stockpile on weekends.

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  1. Do you "do" tofu? Just asking before I suggest what I believe to be a good one!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Val

      Sure! I always have trouble with getting it to brown without sticking, though, so if you have suggestions about that, I'd love to hear them.

      1. re: emmccarty

        Well, here's a recipe called Gingered Greens with Tofu and it is really great. Not sure about your question on the tofu sticking...this calls for it to be broiled, which I never do because I just brown it on top of the stove instead...I do use a non-stick skillet for that. But we love this with kale and I always decrease the amount of oil. I also use extra firm tofu and drain off extra moisture by putting it between layers of paper towels and then put my cast iron skillet on it BEFORE marinating:


        1. re: Val

          Val, which type of tofu is used for this recipe? I know there are different grades of firmness. It sounds wonderful. My husband and I enjoy tofu as an alternative now and then.

          1. re: sivyaleah

            I use extra firm; the recipe does not specify but they must also use extra firm because I think if you boil the soft tofu as they instruct, it would fall apart, right? They use a different method to extract the liquid by boiling it, as you see in the first step of the recipe. I've heard others say that that is a good method to get the liquid out prior to marinating but I use the paper towels and heavy weight method.

    2. I feel your pain! Today, I grilled a nice piece of high quality tuna, marinated in some soy, sesame oil, fresh ginger, garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes and lime juice. No "recipe", just sort of to taste. Just don't marinate too long, the tuna picks up the flavor pretty quickly - I think I only let it sit in it for maybe 10 minutes maximum, if that. Tuna is very low in fat, you can eat a huge piece of it without feeling guilty :-) I like it served over greens personally, or a side of couscous, maybe some rice cooked with light coconut milk in it. Some grilled asparagus on the side, nice and light, healthy and it will make you forget about all those burgers and ribs you indulged in all summer!

      1. My favorites start with frozen shrimp!

        Cooked - defrost and serve with cocktail sauce. Lately I've been eating some for lunch with tomato and cucumber from my garden. Yum!

        Raw - defrost and season with garlic powder, paprika and "Old Bay" seasoning. Lightly spray with spray oil (just to keep from sticking). Grill or broil till pink.

        1. Soup! Hot or cold, soups satisfy and are easy on the figure as long as you don't over indulge on cream bases.

          When I need to detox from one too many summer bbq's I switch to ginger soups and fresh fruit based soups.

          Don't be too hard on yourself tho--non fattening recipes abound!

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            What kind of ginger soups? That sounds intriguing.

          2. I've been eating a lot of Vietnamese summer rolls - especially given how hot it's been in LA lately, I haven't wanted to turn on the stove any more than necessary. Plus, having these for lunch has made me feel better about the more extravagant dinners I've been having.

            My favorite fillings are either poached shrimp, sliced in half lengthwise, or thin strips of pan-roasted pork chops, along with wonton wrappers that've been rolled up loosely and deep fried (okay, so perhaps not that healthy, but I like the textural crunch that they add - you probably don't need to have these if you're trying to be healthier). You could probably also use thin slices of tofu, prepared however you like. I actually don't include any rice vermicelli, but rather use extra lettuce (I like red leaf lettuce for these) and add a couple of basil leaves in as well. Sometimes I add in thin strips of cucumber.

            The shrimp/meat and wonton wrappers can be prepared ahead of time and kept for several days in the fridge as well as the peanut dipping sauce I prefer. (I make up to 5 days' worth at a time.) Then, I prepare what I want to eat (I find that 4 or 5 of these fills me up for awhile) when I'm ready to eat them. Actually rolling them in advance is not suggested, especially if you use the crunchy wonton wrappers because they just become soggy. It's really quick, anyways, to just prepare what you want when you want it.

            Oh, and this summer I've been absolutely in love with otsu, recipe linked below:
            It's a little more substantial than the summer rolls, but so fresh and healthy at the same time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jacinthe

              I go for the whole grains and cut down on my fat. Less cheese, Less butter. and I watch portions!

              1. re: jacinthe

                Went to the otsu link -- that sounds incredible. I wish I'd had that recipe last month during the 100 degrees-plus stretch. Will definitely try it, as well as the summer roll idea.

              2. Silver Palate chicken in foil with lemon and herbs (I used 1/8 tsp olive oil instead of butter on each), steamed artichokes and sliced strawberries with a little balsamic vinegar. I guess that is really a recipe plus the rest of the meal...

                1. Breakfast Minestrone (8 to 10 single breakfast servings)

                  This recipe is eaten for breakfast as part of a weight reduction and maintenance regimen. The recipe was concocted for the purpose of reducing weight, reducing and controlling cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar due to my medical results as reported to me by my physician. I have lost 25 pounds, more than one-tenth of my body weight, in 5 months, by eating this every morning for breakfast after walking for an hour. The weight reduction continues…

                  Some of the measurements are approximations


                  ¾ cup dried navy beans*
                  ¾ cup dried pinto beans*
                  Extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of 5-quart stockpot
                  1 cup diced onion
                  2 stalks celery, diced
                  1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced**
                  ⅓ cup lentils
                  ⅓ cup split peas
                  ⅓ cup of barley
                  1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
                  ½ head of cabbage, chopped (about 1½ pounds)***
                  No salt added (crushed tomatoes contain salt)


                  Soak the beans together in water for at least 4 hours. Pour off water and add fresh water to cover the beans by 3’’ in a 2-quart sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer partially covered for about ½ hour. Turn of heat and cover until next steps are completed.

                  Sautè the diced onion, celery and bell pepper in the 5-quart stockpot until onion is translucent. Add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid to the stockpot along with rinsed lentils, split peas and barley. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir all the ingredients well. Simmer for at least another ½ hour before adding the chopped cabbage. Then simmer for another 15 minutes. Add water as necessary.

                  About 4 quarts of minestrone should result. Season with herbs if you wish, and stir well before filling containers to hold the minestrone. Refrigerate until ready for consumption. Heat in microwave before serving adding water or stock as needed.

                  * Any kind of dried beans of your choice can be used.
                  ** I use extremely spicy hot chiles instead of bell pepper
                  *** Any cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, kale, cauliflower etc.) can be substituted

                  Buon Appetito e Buona Fortuna

                  Reference: http://www.news.uiuc.edu/scitips/01/0... (about resistant starches)

                  1. Low Fat/Low Carb Cracklin' Chicken Tenders

                    You can reduce the fat of this dish even more by just using the hot sauce without mixing it with butter, but that's *very* spicy. The butter and lemon help cut the heat.

                    This recipe is a modification of my Cracklin' Wings recipe, which is a low carb alternative to buffalo wings. I just had to add this note from my husband: "Cracklin' Wings isn't 'a low-carb equivalent to buffalo wings'. It's a 'far better alternative to buffalo wings (oh, and it happens to be low-carb too)'".

                    Method: Bake
                    Serves: Either one hungry person, or two people who eat smaller portions and are having filling side dishes

                    * 1 cup egg substitute
                    * 1 cup whole wheat flour
                    * 3 tablespoons Penzey's Adobo Seasoning
                    * ¼ teaspoon Penzey's chipotle powder
                    * 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (around half a pound)
                    * 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter
                    * 4 ounces hot sauce (I use Frank's Hot Sauce Original)
                    * 2 ounces of lemon or lime juice

                    You'll also need:
                    * sharp knife
                    * baking sheet
                    * Aluminum Foil
                    * Nonstick spray
                    * small sauce pan
                    * wire whisk

                    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
                    2. Trim any excess fat or cartilage off the breasts.
                    3. Slice the breasts lengthwise into three large strips each (for a total of six strips).
                    4. Put the egg substitute in a bowl large enough to dip the strips in without crowding too much.
                    5. Mix the flour and seasonings together thoroughly, then put them into another, shallow bowl or pan.
                    6. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with some aluminum foil and spraying it with non-stick spray.
                    7. Dip a strip into the egg, coating it completely, then move the strip over to the bowl of flour.
                    8. Coat the strip completely with flour, then move it to the pan.
                    9. Continue this process until all the strips have been dipped in egg then coated with flour. If you run out of either flour or egg, just add a little bit more to finish the strips.
                    10. Spray the top of the strips with non-stick spray to help it brown up and crisp some in the oven.
                    11. Put the sheet in the oven, and set a timer for 15 minutes.
                    12. When the timer goes off, pull out the sheet, turn the strips over, spray with nonstick spray again, then put the sheet back in and set the timer for another 15 minutes.
                    13. During this last fifteen minutes, melt the butter in the saucepan.
                    14. Add the lemon juice and hot sauce, whisk together and heat through.
                    15. The strips may or may not be particularly golden, but they should be completely cooked after the last fifteen minutes. Don't overcook them because they'll get too rubbery and dry. Pull them out and serve with the hot sauce if desired.

                    Nutritional info can be found here: http://burntofferings.wikispaces.com/...

                    1. When I'm looking to eat lighter I enjoy vegetarian chili (with or without TVP), and polenta and tomato sauce (easy on the oil, butter, and cheese) with a simple green salad with chickpeas on top.

                      1. I just made a big batch of cauliflower curry that was alas in no way authentic but quite good with jarred curry paste, lots of garlic ginger and onion, cauli and zucchini and a can of tomatoes. I cheated a bit as it was a bit too acidic and added half a can of lite coconut milk. I'm sure there are better recipes out there, but the point is that cauliflower takes on a satisfying texture and taste when cooked in a sauce. Also, lite coconut milk is not too yucky.

                        I'm going to try the marinated tuna recipe above, but it scares me a little, this tuna cooking thing (not a fish person per se).