Low-calorie dinner recipes don’t have to taste like diet foods. With the right ingredients, you can keep the calories down without sacrificing the flavour. Plus, you won’t be left hungry or unsatisfied.
There are a few tweaks that everybody can do to achieve low-calorie meals. Firstly, bulk up on the vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables typically have fewer calories and still taste great. For example, we make a large batch of authentic Italian tomato sauce at our house every week. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it is very low in calories. We use this as a sauce base for many dinner recipes including Italian meals, curries, and casseroles.
Herbs and spices are the most important ingredients to enhance the flavours in your dinner recipes. While vegetables bulk up the meals and add some flavour, the addition of some herbs and spices such as ginger, rosemary and coriander, will make all the difference. Fresh is best, but we understand that fresh ingredients aren’t as convenient as dried spices.
While fat tastes good and adds flavour to meals, it can leave you feeling very full and sluggish. Many fats are not good for you unless they’re natural fats occurring in foods such as nuts, oily fish or avocado. Reducing the amount of fat that is in your cooking significantly reduces the calories. This is because fat is far more calorie-dense than protein and carbohydrates. Avoiding or reducing butter and saturated oils in your cooking is a great method to adopt.
For those of you who love a bit of sweetness in your cooking, there are alternatives to sugar. There are plenty of dinner recipes that have added sugar in the ingredients such as Thai foods and Korean recipes. You can still make these recipes by using naturally sweet products. They have much fewer calories or zero calories, and still, give your low-calorie dinner recipes the sweet kick that they need.
When you go to the grocery store, search for meats with the fat removed. Seafood is typically lighter in calories, as is chicken breast. Just give it some thought when you’re making your purchasing options. Look for the heart-smart options in beef and pork. If you’re choosing minced meat, there are usually meats with as little as 5% fat content in them. And avoid meats that you know are heavier in calories such as sausages, a shoulder of pork or chicken thighs with the skin on.
When you go out to dinner nowadays, it seems as though portion sizes are becoming increasingly larger. We actually don’t need to eat giant plates of food to feel satisfied, especially if the meal tastes good. Stick to smaller portion sizes to help you keep the calories down. And avoid sides of fries or bread. Fresh salads or steamed vegetables are much healthier and lighter options.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.
Join our network and receive exclusive offers, the latest eNews and retirement eGuides.