Strawberries

lowcalgourmet


Low Calorie Gourmet:Low on Calories; high on taste


Summer time break
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misoranomegami
Sorry for the lack of posts. If anybody has any good recipes to share go right ahead! Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case might be) we're starting to hit market season in Texas so most of my meals lately have been grilled or steamed fresh vegetables. You don't really need to do a lot to fresh blueberries and squash to make them tasty.

Soup
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misoranomegami
Well I've been fighting off a nasty cold lately so I've been living mostly on frozen low cal dinners suplimented with grilled veggies and/or canned soup. I'm not always the biggest soup fan because I'll be honest here it doesn't always really fill me up. I love soup but I tend to want to eat it with 'real food' as it were. So the trick for me is how to make a nice filling soup without loading it up with empty calories and using whatever is on hand.

Today I made a chicken and rice soup. Please note this also isn't exactly gourmet as I took many shortcuts namely canned stock and instant rice. I'm sick okay? I started with a full can of chicken stock (20 calories) and 1 can of water. I boiled that on the stove with 1 bag of brown rice (300 calories for the whole bag but I save half of it for later use) and added 2 cloves of garlic, thin slice of onion cut into bite sized pieces (10), and 1 vegetable bullion cube (5). While the rice was cooking I tooke 1/3 a skinless chicken breast and grilled it (90) and then shredded it and added it to the pot. Once the rice is cooked you can taste the broth and see whatelse you'ld like to add. For me I added some fresh thyme and basil, some cumin, some red pepper flakes, a squirt of lemon juice and 1/2 cup cooked green beans (35). This made approximately a 3 cup serving of soup for about 320 calories which was a very filling and sinus clearing lunch. Plus I now have 1 cup of brown rice to go with my dinner that was cooked in chicken stock with herbs and seasonings. Bonus!

Likewise I could have taken the same chicken broth (20), 1 egg (70) and 1 tbs of cornstarch (30) and made a basic egg drop soup.

Does anybody have a favorite soup recipe of their own?

On breadcrumbs
I wish
misoranomegami
A lot of the diet forums I read discuss substitutes for bread crumbs. When it comes to coating I'm going to go out on a limb and say there isn't a good one. On the plus side a little measure of bread crumbs goes along way.

One of my favorite dinner dishes these days is psuedo eggplant parmisean. I take a whole eggplant (approx 150 calores), slice it thin and grill it until it's tender all the way through. Then I layer it in a loaf pan with a sprinkle of bread crumbs, a splash of sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. I premeasure all the other ingredients out first so I use 1/3 cup of bread crumbs for the whole dish (110 calories), 1/2 cup of cheese (140) and 1 cup of garlic spaghetti sauce mixed with a little water (maybe 1/4 cup) so it pours more easily (100 calories). I think pop it in a 400 degree oven until the cheese on top is melted and the sauce is bubbly; about 20 minutes.

With a medium large eggplant this will fill up the entire loaf pan and make either a really large dinner at 500 calories or more usually I'll eat half with a small side of pasta and a salad and pack half for lunch the next day. It's not terribly photogenic and isn't as good as the freshly fried eggplant parmisean you'll find at a lot of italian places but it beat frozen hands down in taste and none of the restaurant versions come close calorie wise. I'm not kidding when I say this is a *lot* of food.

Shrimp tacos
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misoranomegami
This was more of a snack than a meal but could have easily become a meal with a side salad or other vegetable.



I keep frozen shrimp in the the deep freeze for quick and easy protein. These shrimp have been thawed, well drained and then tossed with a heavy coating of garlic, cumin and chinese 5 spice powder. I then fry them in a non stick pan coated lightly with pam. If you like your shrimp a little crunchier a half tbs of cornstarch gives them a nice crunch but I'm not big on the after taste. Added 2 tortillas and some grilled vegetables and topped them off with 2 tbs of salsa for a total of 230 calories for both tacos and the left over zuchinni. Not a bad mini meal all in all.

Chicken sausage pasta
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misoranomegami
Not the best presenation but I consider this to be gourmetish and quite tasty.
Not exactly a recipe either so much as an assembly.



Chicken, spinach, feta sausage grilled and sliced on a bed of tricolored whole wheat pasta (tomato, spinach and plain) tossed with grilled summer squash, red and yellow bell peppers and topped with garlic tomato sauce. I love bulking up my pasta with extra grilled vegetables since I end up with about the same number of calories and way more food. It's also got 2 tsps of parmisean cheese and 1 peice of low fat provolone torn up and melted over the top. Mmm. The whole dish comes in at 485 calories.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
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misoranomegami
Please forgive the crappy picture as I couldn't find my normal camera.



For today's lunch I tried out the Hungry Girl's Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. I made a couple of small changes. I'm not big on a lot of ham so I decreased the amount of ham to 1 large thin slice and I'm a firm beleiver that chicken cordon bleu should be breaded whenever possible. Today I just spritzed the top with some I Can't Believe it's not Butter spray and sprinkled on a 1/2 tbs of bread crumbs. This was a massive chicken breast btw weighing in at 8 oz or 225 grams but even with that the whole piece came in at just under 300 calories. Adding a side of brussel sprouts and 1/2 a grilled summer squash liberally dusted with cajon seasoning the meal came in at 363 calories. Very yummy and leaves me room for ham and dinner rolls tonight! YAY!

Vegetable Supreme pizza
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misoranomegami


Tonight's dinner is one of my favorites; pizza! This is the big version weighing in at approximately 11 inches after baking (12 before) and 790 calories for the whole shebang. You could theoretically split with with someone but I being the hungry pig I am ate the whole thing. It includes 1lb of highly hydrated bread dough (I keep a bucket in the fridge and weigh out portions on a digital scale); 1/2 a cup of tomato sauce,1 whole zuchinni sliced and grilled, approximately 1 tbs each mushrooms , onions, red and yellow bell pepper (prediced and stored in the freezer); (8) low fat turkey pepperoni; 1oz soy sausage crumbles and with 1/2 cup part skim mozzerella cheese. The crust and the cheese are the biggest calorie drains but I often make a much smaller version keeping the sauce and toppings the same but decreasing the bread and cheese by half. That comes in around 485 calories for the whole pizza. For extra flavoring I brush the exposed edge of the crust with water and sprinkly it with garlic powder. This puts me far enough below my 1500 calorie a day goal that I could even have a snack or desert later... when I have more room.

Compare this to a measley 6 inch personal pan Supreme from Pizza hut at 760 or a 12 inch supreme at 2080 (260 per slice * 8 slices)!!

Intro post
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misoranomegami
Hello to anybody reading this! As of this posting it's been 2 months since I looked my life in the face and decided that if I wanted to get serious of about weight loss and improving my health then I needed to get serious about my eating habits. In those 2 months I've lost over 20 lbs and I quickly discovered that by watching what I eat and doing my of my cooking myself that I'm actually eating better tasting more delicious food that many of the people around me. Therefore I'm creating this community for anybody else who would like to come together and share tasty low calorie dishes and or tricks. Come on in! The kitchen's fine!

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