Spinach Salad

This one is high in calories as salads go – but I can’t skimp on the egg or bacon or it just does not feel like a TRUE spinach salad to me. So I pair it with some really low cal seafood like Cajun Seafood Mix and it makes a great meal.

Spinach Salad
Spinach Salad

1 serving
250 calories per serving

2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 hardboiled egg, sliced
3 sliced bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 T fat free thousand island dressing

Lay spinach on a plate. Top with egg, bacon and mushrooms. Spoon dressing over the salad.

Cajun Seafood Mix

Very spicy. Very low calories. Very high in protein. All good things :)

This one is truly not for the feint of heart – the Cajun spice definitely leaves your mouth burning and I always pair this with something that will help cool it down; a spinach salad, fresh cranberry relish, citrus slices, etc.

Cajun Seafood Mix
Cajun Seafood Mix

4 servings
80 calories per serving

16 large raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
12 large raw scallops, cleaned
Cajun seasoning mix (available at all food markets)
Parsley for garnish
Pam

Place a good amount of Cajun seasoning in a bowl and dredge each piece of fish to full coat it. Alternately, you can place the spice in a zip love bag with the fish and shake, shake, shake until all are coated. But I find you get a thicker coating with the dredging method.

Heat a pan on medium high heat. Remove from heat and spray with Pam. Return to heat and place scallops and in the pan. Typically large scallops are cooked 7-9 minutes total, but I like mine more well done so I go 11-13 minutes (about 6 minutes per side). You can be sure they are done by poking them – if they are soft and squishy, they are not done. You need them to have a little bounce and be firm – then they are done.

The shrimp will cook in 7-9 minutes, so place in the pan just before you are ready for the scallops to be flipped. Shrimp are done when they are pink and firm. Remove to a plate and garnish with parsley before serving.

Beef and Black Bean Stew

This crock pot meal is easier than easy ! Leftover meat, a couple cans and a little bit of chopping means only a 10 minute prep.

Beef and Black Bean Stew
Beef and Black Bean Stew


4 servings
232 calories per serving

8 oz. leftover grilled lean sirloin beef (grill an extra steak one night and freeze the left over portion to save it for this meal)
15.5 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

4 T sour cream

Place all except the sour cream in a crock pot. Mix well and cook on low for 4 hours.
Place a dollop of sour cream on each bowl before serving.

Crock Pot 20 Clove Chicken

A great recipe that is as tasty as my original ‘non diet’ version of this dish. It takes 5 minutes to throw it together and then it cooks for 6 hours in a crock pot leaving you time to blog while your dinner cooks :) Serve with Rice and Pasta with Parmesan Cheese and Sauteed Spinach with Garlic for a great complete meal under 400 calories.


Crock Pot 20 Clove Chicken
Crock Pot 20 Clove Chicken





6 servings
170 calories per serving

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (120 calories each – 4 ounces each)
¼ c white cooking wine or dry white wine
20 cloves whole garlic
4 stalks of celery, sliced
2 T basil flakes
2 t parsley flakes
1/8 t red pepper flakes
¼ c white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon (just the yellow, not the bitter white)
Pam

Zesting Lemons, Limes and Oranges is a snap with this tool. I have a whole set of Microplane graters from fine to coarse and they never fail to get the job done easily and quickly.

In a small bowl, mix the wine with the basil, parsley and red pepper flakes. Spray a skillet with a small amount of Pam and heat on high for a few moments. Quickly brown the chicken on both sides and remove from pan so they do not cook too much. Add the garlic and celery to the wine mix and stir around to coat well. Place the garlic mix in the bottom of the crock pot.

Place browned chicken breasts atop the garlic mix. Squirt the juice of one lemon over the chicken. Put the zest of one lemon over the chicken. Add salt and pepper. Cover the crock and cook on low 6 hours.

Rice and Pasta with Parmesan Cheese

Tasty, Tasty, Tasty !  This beats the pants off a 300+ calorie serving of Rice a Roni.  Serve with Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and Crock Pot 20 Clove Chicken for a great complete meal under 400 calories.


Rice and Pasta with Parmesan Cheese
Rice and Pasta with Parmesan Cheese




6 servings
166 calories per serving (serving = 2/3 cup)

2 T oil
½ c vermicelli broken into very small pieces
1 c white rice
1 ¼ c hot vegetable or chicken stock or broth (Emeril’s is great !)
¼ t pepper
Salt to taste
2 bay leaves
1 t parsley flakes
2 T parmesan or romano cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add vermicelli and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add in rice, broth and water along with salt and pepper, bay leaves and parsley. Cover and simmer on medium low 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

This literally takes 5 minutes to cook and just a couple to prepare, especially if you have a handy dandy garlic chopper.

Garlic chopper

The spinach wilts in no time and you can make this as mild or as spicy as you wish by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes. Serve with Rice and Pasta with Parmesan Cheese and Crock Pot 20 Clove Chicken for a great complete meal under 400 calories.

sauteed spinach
Sauteed Spinach

3 servings
58 calories per serving

2 t olive oil
Pam
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bags prewashed baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ t red pepper flakes
¼ t garlic powder

Heat the Pam and oil in a large skillet. Stir in minced garlic and sauté a minute or two on medium heat. Do not let the garlic brown or it will taste bitter. Pour in the 2 bags of spinach. It seems like a HUGE amount, but it will cook down to nothing in no time. Add all the spices and continue to sauté on medium heat, 2-3 minutes or until leaves are all wilted.

Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic

This recipe makes oft boring broccoli taste much more special, but only take a few minutes to whip up. Add more lemon and garlic if you want it zestier…it adds basically no extra calories.

broccoli with lemon
Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic

4 servings
96 calories per serving

6 cups broccoli florets
1 t oil
2 t minced garlic
1 lemon, cut into slices
2 t lemon juice
1 t buttery spread
Salt and pepper
1 T grated lemon peel

Fill 3 quart saucepan ¾ with water and bring to boil. Add broccoli florets and lemon slices. Keep at a low boil and cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on how crispy or soft you like the broccoli.

While the broccoli is cooking on low heat sauté the garlic in the onion and lemon juice. When soft, add butter to melt and set aside.

Drain the broccoli. Stir in the garlic mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the grated lemon peel over the top and serve immediately.

Quick Grab Snacks

I have a set of ‘GO TO’ snacks so that when I am hungry, I don’t dig into something that will tip the calorie scale for the day. Make a list, keep them around the house, keep them front and center on your snack shelves !

Almonds – raw, unsalted – – great for also getting in your good fats for the day
Sunflower seeds – high on the calorie scale but if you eat them individually, you’ll be tired by time you come to the end of 1/4 cup :)
Low fat string cheese – only 50-70 calories per stick and very satisfying
Turkey Pepperoni – pair it up with the string cheese !
Fiber One 50 calorie cups of yogurt
Pretzels
Celery sticks – cut them up on Sunday and keep them in a container ready to go all week (dip in Tzatziki) or eat with a Light Laughing Cow cheese
Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge – only 35 calories – WOW!
Pop Chips – these AWESOME 100 calorie chips are real potatoes, they are just popped instead of fried or baked. They come in many flavors and you can get them in single serve bags and the come out to less than a dollar a bag

Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips – eaten a few at a time, a tablespoon or 2 can keep you busy for a while
Jax (cheese doodles) – lots of curls for 130 calories
Ricola chewy breath mints – very minty – and after mint, I don’t want anything else for a while
Coffee – not a snack when it is just coffee, but by the time I am done with flavorings and toppings, it is more like a low cal dessert :) I will get a few of these recipes up soon

Breakfast Wrap DuJour

I mix and match this one all week long. Sometimes Canadian bacon slices are substituted, sometimes shredded low fat cheddar, sometimes mushrooms – pretty much anything you would throw into an omelette works well here.

1 serving
348 calories per serving

1 Smart Delicious Wrap (100 calorie version)
Pam spray
½ cup Egg Beaters
3 slices lean turkey bacon
1 Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
2 T salsa
¼ c avocado slices
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the wrap in the microwave for 15 seconds if they have been refrigerated – this helps them to roll better. Cook turkey bacon according to package instructions and set aside. Heat a small frying pan on med high heat. Remove from heat and spray with Pam. Return to heat and add the Egg Beaters to the pan. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Scramble eggs until set.

Lay the wrap on a plate and spread the cheese evenly over the wrap. Lay the three slices of bacon in the center (be sure to leave a little room at the bottom for folding). Add the eggs in a strip down the center. Spoon the salsa over the eggs. Fold one side over, fold up a bit of the bottom, then fold the other side over to make a wrapped burrito. Serve avocado slices on the side.

Exercise – Walking

What plan for weight loss and good health doesn’t include exercise? Unfortunately, not many ! I used to cringe at the thought of exercising but I now actually look forward to it.

These walking dvds help me get off my butt and get moving. The moves are not hard and not too repetitive – and the fitness instructors are not too annoying ;) I have interspersed these workouts into my weekly routine for years and they never get boring.

While they go beyond just walking (like you get with the Leslie Sansone workouts), they are not so hard that you give up quickly. They even have different levels on each dvd and my bad knee can handle up to the middle levels on both.

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