4 tasty low-calorie meals

Gracewell  |  October 12, 2016
These low calorie dishes are delicious and good for you.
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These low-calorie dishes are delicious and good for you.

Lowering your calorie intake is a good way to stay fit. Meals made of rich, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, fish and other ingredients leave you feeling much more full than meals loaded with trans fats, carbohydrates and sugars. 

Recipes that incorporate plant-based foods while avoiding red meat or artificial additives often contain fewer calories and are overall much more healthy. Check out these four low-calorie dishes to try at home:

Halibut with Sugar Pea Salad:
Not only is this recipe from Real Simple fresh and delicious, but it is quick and easy to make. You'll feel full and satisfied when eating this meal without worrying about any deleterious health effects.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups sugar snap peas 
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 pieces of halibut fillet 
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper for flavor
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional

Instructions:

Combine lime juice, ginger, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Remove strings from snap peas and slice onion thin before adding, along with sesame seed. Toss to coat.

In a pan, heat the additional olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with salad and a lime wedge.

Avocado Pest Linguini
Although pasta isn't completely devoid of calories, it does contain a surprising amount of protein. Combined with the healthy fats contained in an avocado, the pasta in this recipe from Delish is tasty and nutritious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Instructions:

Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook linguine according to packaging. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain and return noodles to pot.

In a food processor, combine avocado, basil, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt if desired. Blend until creamy, adding more olive oil for a looser texture. 

Combine pesto and pasta along with reserved pasta water and toss well to combine. Halve cherry tomatoes and add. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Baked Root Vegetables
This is a hearty meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. All Recipes found that certain veggies can be swapped as desired, and this is an all-time favorite comfort food. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large turnip
  • 1 large sweet potato 
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. sweet red chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. steak seasoning
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 190 C. Next, begin peeling and cubing rutabaga, turnips and carrots, as well as cutting potatoes and sweet potato into even-sized pieces. 

Toss veggies in olive oil with chili sauce in a large bowl and coat evenly. Add onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning and pepper. Toss again until evenly covered. 

Spread vegetables in a glass roasting pan. Place in oven for 20 minutes before stirring and returning to oven. Cook an additional 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Salmon Baked in Foil
This recipe from the Food Network is perfect for a wonderful salmon dinner. When served with a nice salad or other vegetable dish, this becomes the centerpiece to a low-calorie meal that is rewarding and healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets 
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200 C. On a sheet of foil season salmon with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. 

Flip salmon oiled-side down on foil and wrap ends to form spiral shape, waterproof bottom. Spoon tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely and sealing well. Do this for each fillet.

Place the foil packets on a large baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is cooked through, usually about 25 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer foil packets to serving plates.