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Aug 27, 2008 01:58 PM

Delicous AND low in Calories??

What do you make that really is delicous and helps you keep your weight in check? I'd really like some ideas for making dishes that really work...and aren't full of calories....and fat.

Here's something that I make that is super easy and great. Marinate boneless chicken breasts in plain, greek yogurt. Add garlic, salt and your favorite Indian spices and lemon. Grill it and it seriously tastes like tandoori chicken.

You can do the same marinade on salmon and bake it. I also shredded zucchini and saute it on high heat in just a little bit of olive oil. Add garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice...and a little shredded cheese.

Please share your ideas. I'm doing the gym thing....but it would help to have some dishes that don't make me feel deprived.

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  1. Not sure if this will satisfy you for dinner, but I just made a salad for lunch for my fiance and I that was light, yet filling and delicious.
    Basically it was just butter lettuce, avocado, grapefruit segments and lobster claws. It went together really simply, and I made a quicky shallots-mustard-herby vinaigrette to dress it.
    We both agreed the claws were soo much better than the tails we had for dinner earlier in the week. And when I asked if it would be hearty enough for dinner I got a thumbs up, so there you go.
    Truthfully, I'd get a nice loaf of bread and probably make a mini cheese plate to supplement it at dinner time. It's finally warm and breezy again in SF, which made this salad perfectly satisfying.

    1. This is a favorite in our house:

      I sometimes substitute brown rice for the wheat-berries and spinach for the watercress.

      I just lost thirty pounds ....

      4 Replies
      1. re: todao

        Congratulations on the weight loss! Can you share any more things that you were eating that really worked?

        1. re: DaisyM

          Well, it's not so much what I was eating but what I wasn't eating. I got rid of that jar of mixed nuts that I loved so much, cut my ice cream intake (I LOVE ice cream) to 1/2 cup, reduced my breakfast intake to 200 - 300 calories, reduced my lunch intake to 300 - 400 calories and made sure that whatever I cooked for dinner didn't exceed 800 calories (including the ice cream). Any "snacks" involved one or two "Triscuits" and those were only permitted once a day. I exchanged my regular soft drinks for diet soft drinks (I think Coke Zero is pretty good, so is A&W Diet Root Beer) and if I had wine with dinner it was limited to four ounces and those calories were included in the 1500 calorie daily total meal count ( Focused on lots of veggies and limited meat to four ounces at dinner. Made lots of lunches using flour tortillas with lots of veggie fillings and very little meat. Used only 2% milk and learned to use my oven for roasting veggies I had not remembered to include in menus for a long time. Last, but not least, refused to consume any food after 6PM and I walk a mile every day.. A pound a week (on average) and I'm lovin' it.

          1. re: todao

            Thank you for sharing that and congrats again. You must feel great!

            1. re: todao

              I'm sorry for the wordy but rather uninformative manner with which I responded to your question. I felt guilty so I went back to my notebook and gathered up the outline of what I actually experienced in losing the weight.
              Based upon my research and my recent diet plan, 2 cups of any of the foods listed below, individually or in combination, shouldn’t exceed about 100 calories. I’m hoping my math skills haven’t weakened too much. (Thank you professor).
              I mixed and matched these veggies, tossed with a tablespoon of oil (I like olive oil or walnut oil) and added some herbs/spices (e.g. cumin, curry powder, paprika, lemon juice, horseradish, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, chil powder, sage, rosemary cayenne pepper, basil, thyme, tarrgon, and/or a little vinegar) and produced some pretty good tasting meals by either roasting the veggies first, steaming them or just plating them raw.
              As I see it a 2 cup portion, with the oil and a bit of salt, shouldn’t run it up to about 250 - 300 calories and adding 4 ounce piece of beef (burger) adds about 250 calories for a grand total of 500 - 550 calories. One French bread dinner roll, about 90 calories, would finish off the meal for me at a rounded up figure of 600 - 650 calories. I think I might be able to sneak in about 2 teaspoons of margarine for the roll and stay within those boundaries. If I just had to enjoy the dessert, my half cup of ice cream brings the total to about 800 calories +/-. Now there's a relatively low calorie meal that should fill up a wide receiver.

              Green beans
              Bean sprouts
              Bell Pepper
              Brussels sprouts
              Head lettuce
              Leaf Lettuce
              Snow Peas
              Summer Squash

        2. try to incorporate more bean & lentil dishes into your diet...dips/spreads/hummus, bean salads, etc. they're a great source of fiber & protein, and very filling.

          do a search for my Spicy Black Bean Dip recipe - it's posted on a few different threads. it's always a crowd-pleaser, totally satisfying, and extremely nutritious.

          if you want access to a wide variety of relatively health-conscious recipes, a magazine subscription to either Cooking Light or Eating Well would be a very worthwhile investment...or you can pick up one or two of their many cookbooks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I agree, beans and lentils really help you feel full and satisfied. I haven't cooked with grains all that much but I just made a Lentil & Barley Salad for lunch today and while it packs 300 calories a serving(I had it with veggies and hummus so lunch was about 400cals) it's under 5g fat, and has 14g protein, 18g fibre(!) - most importantly it was delicious and I didn't feel deprived. (I can find the link to the caloriecount info if you'd like it)

            Link to the salad (and to a local low fat cookbook author who's recipes I use all the time):

          2. pretty much any vegetable can be roasted with just a little bit of olive oil and salt; carrots, beets, cauliflower and summer squash are some of my favorites right now. If you have leftovers they are also good tossed into a salad.

            Also, vegetables soups (pureed or not) can be very lowfat. i made a carrot leek ginger soup (with a couple of potatoes for texture); just tablespoon or so of olive oil to saute the vegetables. Can also do easy minestrone, potato leek, cauliflower, fennel, etc. Sometimes I add yogurt or cheese or croutons for more flavor.

            the nyt has a new section with some good recipes too:

            1. Giant bowls of soup, packed with veggies, beans, and fresh herbs. I usually make them with whatever is in season. Summer squash, tomato, corn, and basil now...more root veggies and cabbages in the fall/winter. Broth-based soups tend to be low calorie, and are a great way to add more veggies.

              I also keep a ton of fruit at the office for snacking. Right now, I have 2 kinds of grapes, pluots, and plums.

              Another trick is to actually weigh the protein portions. A "serving" of meat or fish is WAY smaller than what I usually make! When I'm trying to eat healthier, I'll also make two different veggies, and balance the plate so that it's 1/4 low-fat protein, 1/4 healthy grain (brown rice, potatoes,etc), 1/4 veggie A, and 1/4 veggie B.

              In the summer, grilling is a great way to make tasty food without a lot of added fat. Chicken and grilled veggies makes a great meal!

              7 Replies
              1. re: bex109

                I was going to say the same thing about soups and stews. You can make delicious homemade broth, full of rich flavor, and then chill and lift off all the fat from chicken soup or beef soup.

                Minestrone simmered with tons of veggies and beans (I do celery, carrots, onions, leeks, cabbage, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash, and diced fresh tomatoes, all simmered in chicken broth (defatted), with some garbanzo beans and cannelli beans....and a nice grating of parmesan on top.

                Cioppino also can be a richly flavored but lowcal spicy tomato saffron broth, with lots of veggies, and chunks of fish, shrimp, etc added (naturally high protein/lowfat!).

                You can make really good "quiches" or fritattas using eggbeaters and cottage cheese purreed in the blender as the base, with any veggies and protein (I love salmon or crabmeat).

                I satisfy my sweet tooth with smoothies, filled with fruit. Using frozen bananas, milk, ice, and sugar-sub sweetner of choice you can make a great "base" - add vanilla extract or a good sugar-free cocoa powder or try some of the sugar-free syrups (normally used for coffee or lattes) to flavor the mix.

                1. re: Mellicita

                  mellicita, you might want to consider adding some protein powder to your would balance out the high carb content from the fruit, and lower the glycemic load. it's better for your insulin levels, and will likely be more satisfying as well.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    goodhealthgourmet: Any particular protein powder you'd recommend? I have family with diabetes anything to help lower their glycemic loads (Gran is a big fan of sweets, and "cheats" frequently much to my chagrin) TIA :).

                    1. re: maplesugar

                      maple, i know you're up north so i'm not sure if you have access to the same brands [although you can always buy online]. but i recommend following these general guidelines.

                      - skip the soy. look for whey, rice, pea, egg, or any combination thereof
                      - use one that doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners, HFCS, or too much added sugar

                      my favorites:
                      - NitroFusion Vanilla - 100% vegan, no soy or artificial sweeteners
                      - Jay Robb Whey or Egg protein - *not* the soy
                      - Jarrow Formulas Unflavored 100% Whey Protein
                      - Now Foods 100% Pure Whey Protein Isolate

                      hope that helps!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Thank You goodhealthgourmet! There are so many on the market (kinda like breakfast cereals...20 yrs ago it was a section now it's one side of an aisle) and I didn't want to waste $$ on icky ones. It's nice to get opinions from people who've tried them. Thanks again :)

                          1. re: maplesugar

                            my pleasure. teaching people how to adjust to a diabetic-friendly diet/lifestyle is one of my specialties, so i'm especially glad i could help in this case :)