Some people are just lucky, they don’t put on weight even by eating a cooked breakfast for every meal. For the rest of us though, we’ve got to watch our waistlines. You are what you eat, after all. Even if you work out, some say that diet accounts for 65% of the weight-loss battle, so we thought we’d bring you five of our favorite low cal recipes because we’re nice like that.
Our criteria insists that the recipes be cheap, quick and easy to make and be scrum-diddly-umptious, so without further ado, here’s our first, The Turducken, a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Total cost: $289. Preparation time: One month. Only kidding.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps (53 calories per wrap)
Though buffalo traditionally don’t have wings (not where I come from, anyway) adding the word takes anything from bland to yummy. This tasty recipe does away with carb-filled tortillas, instead using lettuce as a wrap. You will need:
3 large skinless boneless chicken breast
¾ cup red hot Buffalo Wings sauce
15-20 butter lettuce cups
¾ cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup sliced green onions
½ cup ranch dressing
First, cut your chicken into half inch cubes and add ½ cup red hot buffalo sauce to a bowl before covering and placing in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then preheat your grill to 400 degrees and grill the chicken for 8-10 minutes or until cooked right through.
Remove from grill and place grilled chicken in a bowl, toss with ¼ cup more buffalo sauce. Place the chicken into your lettuce cups with diced tomatoes, diced avocado, a pinch of green onions, and a drizzle of ranch dressing.
Zucchini Bolognese (326 calories per serving)
Known as Courgetti in Europe, this dish uses thin strips of zucchini instead of pasta and low fat turkey mince instead of ground beef but still rates high on the taste-ometer.
1 lb. turkey mince (thigh or breast)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 x cans chopped tomatoes
2 chicken stock cubes
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 large zucchini
Fry the the turkey mince until browned in olive (or coconut) oil, then scoop into a bowl and set aside. Introduce the onion to the pan and cook on a low heat until tender. Then add the garlic, followed by the carrot and the mushrooms, stirring for about 3 mins, until softened.
Reintroduce the turkey mince back into the pan, add the tomato purée, give everything a quick stir and stir in the chopped tomatoes. Fill 1 can with water and pour into the pan then crumble in the chicken stock cubes and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 40 mins until the sauce has thickened and the veg is tender, then when the Bolognese is nearly ready, stir through the soy sauce and some seasoning.
Spiralize your pasta-thin strips of zucchini with a large noodle attachment. Heat a large frying pan with a little more oil and add your zucchini. Cook for 2-3 mins until slightly softened. Season with salt and serve topped with the turkey Bolognese, grated pecorino and basil leaves. Easy.
Red lentil & carrot soup (258 calories per serving)
We don’t want to exclude veggie-sauruses from our recipe list, and meat-o-sauruses – you don’t have to eat meat every dinner time, so why not try this easy, yummy and filling meat-free soup?
1 green onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 carrots, diced
3 oz. red lentils
1 vegetable stock cube
Heat olive or coconut oil in a pan, add the finely sliced onion and fry for 2 mins before adding the garlic and diced carrots. Allow to cook briefly over the heat.
Pour in 2 American pints (or 1 litre) of boiling water stir in with the lentils and stock cube, then cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 15 mins until the lentils are tender. Take off the heat, stir in the parsley and serve into bowls, scattering with extra parsley leaves.
Avocado Pesto Linguine (Around 200 calories per serving)
This has got to be the easiest of them all, and so simple an idiot like me could follow the recipe. All you need is:
1 lb. linguine
⅓ jar of store-bought pesto
freshly grated parmesan
cherry tomatoes, halved
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook linguine according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return to pot.
Add the avocado and pesto to pasta along with ½ cup reserved pasta water and toss well to combine. Add tomatoes and toss. Serve with more parmesan, a sprig of basil and – Hey Pesto! A delicious, low calorie dinner… and leftovers for work tomorrow.
Cauliflower Fried Rice (142 calories per serving)
While this last dish doesn’t sound the most tasty dish in the world, you’re gonna have to trust us here, it’s actually really delicious and contains so few calories that your waistline might as well be on a one-way ticket back in time.
1 medium cauliflower head cut into florets
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 large eggs whisked
2-3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 spring onions/scallions thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Pulse the rinsed cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice.
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion
for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the peas and carrots, and cook until they are heated through, then slide the vegetables to the side, and pour your 2 beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs.
Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetables. Add the cauliflower rice, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and a bit crispy. Remove from heat, add the chopped spring onions. Serve to your disbelieving, ravenous family and sit back and watch them change their mind. We did!
So there we have it, 5 Favorite Low Calorie Recipes that even I could make. Go on – what are you waiting for?
One last pro tip before we leave you – singing and dancing while you cook burns calories and adds that extra special ingredient – ‘love’ to every meal!