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Light Recipes that you love?

Just wondering what sort of lighter fare do you cook, I'm looking for light recipes with lots of flavor not that you would think of as diet food, I have a heck of a time since my husband is a meat and potatoes guy, not big on chicken and I'm tired of making two dinners every night anyone got any ideas?

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  1. we love beef stroganoff but I make it light by using 97% fat free cream of mushroom soup and reduced fat sour cream. Brown a pound of lean ground beef in skillet (meanwhile boil off 1/2 bag of egg noodles). Drain meat, mix in can of soup, 1/2 a 12 oz sour cream and enough of the starchy noodle cooking lquid so that its a consitency you like, either mix in the noodles or serve meat mix over top of noodles. It is very creamy without being fatty and the taste difference is negligable, especially if you've never made it before (so no one will know the diff.) Also, sometimes I add a little worcestire sauce, beef buoillion, onion or sauteed mushrooms.

    3 Replies
    1. re: momoftwo

      I picked up a tip from Cooks Illustrated a few years ago regarding Beef Stroganoff. Don't slice the mushrooms, quarter them. That way they're big and bold enough to stand up to the beef and be their own distinct, yummy part of the dish.

      Even when I'm not particularly trying to make a light stroganoff, I use my favorite fat free sour cream (cow print container, no idea what the brand is) and use TONS of quartered mushrooms. I love the taste, and the far healthier nutrition profile is a big bonus!

      1. re: modthyrth

        Word on that first graph. Quartered mushrooms are better than sliced ones for most any rustic strew, braise, fricassee, etc. I'll even leave smaller specimens halved or whole, esp. chanterelles and whatnot.

      2. Does he eat fish? One of my go-to healthier recipes is for tilapia baked with herbed breadcrumbs/parmesan cheese with light mayo to hold it all together and green onions for flavor. I was skeptical about the mayo, but everyone loves it and no one thinks it's light! The original recipe was from cooking light I think, but I've tweaked it a little bit over the years.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mom22tots

          He does eat fish so I'll have to try the tilipia recipe you suggested, I know mayonnaise is a main ingredient in crabcakes and fishcakes so its not too suprising.

        2. My light foods tend to be heavily seasoned. Oftentimes it can be as simple as stirfried chicken breast with mixed vegetables in a sauce of soy, oyster sauce, chilies, ginger, garlic and wine. Othertimes I will sautee ground pork with vegetables and aromatics, somewhat mimicking the interior of an eggroll without the frying.

          I have also become partial to steamed or fish en papilotte. There are plenty of seasonings that can make for a very satisfying main with minimal calories.

            1. heavenly tofu:

              mix together 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of maggi sauce (available at far corners or any other asian market: it's the funny shaped bottle with the yellow cap), 2-3 tbsps of oyster sauce, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, and hot sauce (i use sriracha -- a good spritz if you likey da spicey).

              dice a pack of soft tofu and zap in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. poor out any liquid the tofu might have sweat out. heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil (i use peanut oil, but you can use any oil you like) until it smokes, then pour over nuked tofu. add aforementioned sauce. add chopped scallions, a heaping helping of cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds. inhale.

              super-low cal, super-tasty.

              4 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                I've seen you post this recipe a few times and have finally gotten around to trying it and my goodness is it good! I have to admit I was nervous about microwaving tofu (haven't done that before) but it was fine and your sauce is delicious on top. Thanks for the simple snack!

                1. re: JungMann

                  I'm glad you liked it. I have one of our Chinese poker buddies to thank for this one, his own invention. I make it over and over, b/c it's so simple & tasty. And lo-cal, which is a rare combo '-D

                2. re: linguafood

                  linguafood, may I ask, what does the hot oil do for the tofu? Does it sizzle when you pour it over the tofu? Thanks! I'm just trying to understand that step.

                  1. re: Val

                    You know, I'm not entirely sure.... I'll have to ask my buddy. Sometimes it sizzles, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe it's supposed to add a bit of that elusive (for the home cook) "wok hei" flavor?

                3. I like to use small amounts of steak to address this kind of balance. Favorite options include a takeoff on vietnamese bun (http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinat...), a little bit of seared steak w/ this broccoli and chickpea salad (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/hea...), or variations on rice, beans (preferably homemade - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/hea...), salsa, etc. w/ as much or as little meat as you want.

                  1. Most of the food I cook would be classified as "light," but I rarely use red meat and often cook vegetarian, so I don't have a lot ideas from my own archives for you, I'm afraid. Have you checked out Cooking Light Magazine? They have a wide variety of recipes and surely some of their stuff would appeal to both of you. I also like Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine - there are definitely recipes there that are not light, but many are fairly healthy, and again, there is wide variety and they are easy . . . . maybe these will provide some inspiration? Good luck!


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gansu girl

                      The issue on the shelf right now is "light" and I love many of the recipes in it (Everyday Food Mag). My personal fav light comfort food is a big bowl of sauteed vegies (cabbage, mush, carrots, brocolli, cauliflr, etc) in braggs liq amino (soy substitute) over brown rice, toss on some grated cheese and lil spike seasoning. It's nice because if hubby wants more heavy, just give more rice and cheese, where I can have mostly vegies. We both love this dish:

                    2. Here are 504 "beef" recipes from Men's Health that are healthy and appeal to men. There are many other "guy" recipes besides beef too.


                      1. Have you tried quinoa? We fix it in a variety of ways. While it seems like a carb it's got lots of protein.