Grilled cheesy sandwiches – they make it on this ‘diet’ plan of mine and I am so happy about it ! To make them more sensible, use low fat cheeses, add flavor in the way of herbs, and be sure to use Pam and buttery spray. And then off you go – the variations are endless and here is a great Italian inspired one.
285 calories per serving
1/4 c low fat pesto
12 1 oz. slices sourdough bread
12 3/4 oz. slices part skim mozzarella cheese
6 1/4 inch thick slices tomato
18 large basil leaves
I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray
Spread 1 t pesto on each slice of bread. Top 6 slices of bread with a cheese slice, a tomato slice, 3 basil leaves, and another cheese slice. Top with remaining bread slice. Spray outsides of sandwiches with at least 5 sprays per side. Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with Pam. Add sandwiches, as many as will fit in a batch. Cook 2-3 minutes each side or until cheese is melted. You can use a Panini press here and the cheese will melt even nicer 🙂
A very simple and different side dish – feel free to substitute fresh corn kernels.
159 calories per serving
1 can corn
1 T oil
1 medium zucchini
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 t white vinegar
Heat oil over medium high heat. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and slice into half moons. Add zucchini and garlic to pan. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add corn and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes then remove from heat and stir in vinegar and basil.
Way better than the standard green bean and Durkee onion casserole ! So much fresher and oodles more flavor !!
49 calories per serving
1 pound green beans in 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons butter sprinkles (I Use Molly McButter)
2 teaspoons finely chopped basil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon oil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large pan, bring 1 inch water to a boil and place the beans on a steaming rack inside the pan. Cover and steam for 5 – 7 minutes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the butter, basil, zest, oil and pepper. Mix well and serve immediately.
This one really hits the spot ! I spice it up a little by adding crushed red pepper flakes 🙂 Don’t like eggplant, then substitute tomato slices. But be sure to give this one a try.
295 calories per serving
1/2 c marinara sauce
1 10 oz. Boboli (precooked pizza shell available at all food markets)
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 c part skim ricotta
2 T parmesan cheese
2 T thinly sliced basil
Dried oregano flakes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread sauce on Boboli. Sprinkle with a little dried oregano flakes, onion powder and garlic powder. Top with eggplant slices and drop ricotta by tablespoonfuls evenly over the eggplant. Bake directly on oven rack 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and parmesan right when it comes out of the oven.
This is a great low calorie side to any lunch or dinner. In the summer, I substitute heirloom tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. Regular cucumber can be used, but English cucumbers have many less seeds and I find them more enjoyable. I often substitute fresh herbs if I have them around (parsley, basil, dill, chives, etc.)
38 calories per serving
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut in thin slices
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
½ t oregano flakes
½ t basil flakes
¼ t red pepper flakes
4 T vinegar
Place all in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let flavors mix.