Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cooking Lean - quick recipes under 300 calories

Ground Beef & Tomato spicy chili....
This one is first, it's my fave! Simply saute 1 lb. lean ground beef in a saucepan, until no longer pink, adding in a bit of S&P, granulated garlic and onion. Set aside to drain. Meanwhile, add 1/2 chopped onion to the pan, and saute about 8 minutes, until translucent. If you don't want to add oil, use a bit of beef broth to keep it moist. I like the Pacific organic brand. when it's mostly done cooking, add 1T. minced onion, 1t. of cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Let those spices 'toast' a bit, then add 4 chopped fresh roma tomatoes. When they are tender, add back in the ground beef, and 1c. crushed canned tomatoes. Stir every few minutes, adding more beef broth as needed for the right consistency, simmer 5-20 minutes, season to taste.
Makes 4 servings, 224 calories each.
(Add grated cheese and eat with tortillas if desired!)

Lemon grilled Chicken
& Strawberry Salad
Season 6 oz. chicken breast with lemon juice, a pinch of granulated garlic, S&P. Let it marinate, then grill! Let chill before slicing then, and drizzle on more lemon juice, salt and pepper. Fix your fave salad greens, sprinkle both with fresh lemon juice as well, then top with fresh sliced strawberries.
Approx. 200 calories (5oz chicken and 6 big strawberries)
Approx 176 calories

Spicy lettuce-wrapped tacos
Saute 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef, drain. Add back to pan with minced garlic, 4T. tomato paste (mixed with 4T. warm beef broth to mix well). Add cumin, red pepper, a bit of oregano to season, add in a bit of salsa and/or crushed red pepper for more flavor! Serve on romaine leaf lettuce with fresh, sugar free salsa and a bit of cilantro.
4 servings, Approx 188 calories each.
(Add sliced avocado, grated cheese, hot sauce (or tortillas) if desired.)
quick canned chicken spinach salad
with fat-free dressing
Whip this one up in minutes when you don't have time to cook! Rely on all white-meat canned chicken breast in your pantry. This version is simply seasoned with a fresh vinegarette:
1 cup white wine vinegar, shaken with 1T. lemon juice and 1T. water, add S&P, granulated garlic, a bit of stevia, dried basil and parsley.
Approx 180 calories as served
(Add fresh parmesan and croutons if desired.)

Shrimp Cocktail!
Start with fresh shrimp, steam to cook! (Or, use pre-cooked shrimp) Sprinkle with a bit of S&P and lemon juice, serve chilled with sugar-free cocktail sauce and some yummy fresh fruit and veggies. Easy!
Approx 180 calories as served.

Fire-grilled spicy fajita-style-chicken salad
Season chicken breast with red pepper, garlic, cumin, S&P, let it marinade a bit. Grill with a fat slice of onion and a whole pepper, then slice thinly, and serve with fresh sliced veggies over lettuce, and sugar-free salsa. Sprinkle on fresh lime juice and S&P.
Less than 200 calories as shown.
(Add crushed tortilla chips, grated cheese, sliced avocado and a bit of sour cream if desired.)
stir-fried cajun shrimp and salad
Saute 2T. minced fresh onion in pan, adding water as needed to keep it from scorching. S&P, add 6oz. shrimp, season with Cajun seasoning, cook until pink. Serve over salad, topped with Cajun seasoning as well. Approx 160 calories as shown.
(Add salad dressing/toppings as desired!)

spicy faux lime 'ceviche' with fresh basil
I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp defrosted (instead of cooking it in the citrus juice) for this, just to be on the safe side. Add fresh lime juice to 6oz. shrimp, then add one chopped roma tomato and 1/4c. diced red tomato. Season with S&P, red pepper flakes, julieenned fresh basil, and minced garlic.
Approx. 170 calories as shown.

 Mesquite-Grilled Chicken, oven-roasted asparagus, and couscous
Season chicken breast with minced garlic, S&P and mesquite liquid smoke. While marinating, saute fresh onion and garlic in a small pot, add just enough oil to coat.  When cooked, add 2c. water (or chicken stock), S&P, along with basil and parsley.  Bring to boil, then remove from heat and add 1c. plain couscous, along with 1T. butter.  Cover, let stand 5 minutes, fluff. Roast asparagus in the oven (on bakeware pan or foil).  Grill the chicken.  
Approx. 300 calories as shown (chicken and asparagus=195 cal.)
(add butter to asparagus or EVOO when cooking if desired, toast pine nuts to top couscous for an added nutty bonus).

Each quick recipe is for 1-4 servings as stated, prepared using fresh ingredients and spices with little-to-no oils, preservatives or sugars. Calorie count for each meal is less than 300; which is a GREAT balanced lunch. I'm a girl with a big appetite (got that one from my Dad), and each of these is satisfying for me.  The best part I have found from eating lean is NO digestive issues. Let me know if have any questions about any of these recipes, I'll be happy to answer you!

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