The most difficult part of losing weight for most people is finding healthy meals to eat and enjoy. In this fast-paced digital world we live in, most people find it easier to simply grab a box of “food” to microwave when they have time for a little sustenance.
Well if you want your body to work with you as you burn fat and calories, you have to give it something good to burn. As tasty as you think dinner in a box is, do you really think its the best route to helping you achieve your weight loss goals?
What you need are easy dinner ideas that take little to no time to prepare. These meals look good, taste good, and most importantly will make you feel good too! If you’re one of those people that only eats 3 meals a day, keep it at 500 calories or less for weight loss success!
Easy Whole Wheat Spanakopizza (8 servings) 176.5 calories per slice!
Everyone likes pizza, even people who don’t eat pizza anymore still love it. Unfortunately doing things the so-called easy way leads us to believe that pizza is one of those things that we can no longer enjoy…unless it’s done right that is!
1 whole wheat pizza dough (it’s worth the trip to a specialty shop!)
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
7 ounces red pepper, chopped
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5 grams fresh spinach, torn
6 ounces red tomatoes, chopped & seeded
7 ounces black olives, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
7.5 fl. oz. pizza sauce
Use olive oil to saute all vegetables except spinach and tomatoes for 4-5 minutes until tender.
Add tomatoes and spinach and cook for 2 more minutes.
Roll out the pizza dough and spread the sauce on it.
Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese
Add vegetables evenly across pizza dough
Add olives and then feta cheese and remaining mozzarella.
Bake for 12 minutes and let stand for a few minutes before eating.
Cut into 16 slices.
TIP: Add a salad with vinaigrette to 2 slices of pizza for a complete meal.
One-Pot Veggie Gnocchi (Serves 4) 325 calories per serving
When people here gnocchi they often think it’s complicated and beyond their culinary capabilities, and they’d be wrong! This dish is easy to make and it’s only 325 calories per serving!
1 package gnocchi
1 onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 leaves of swiss chard or spinach, chopped
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, shredded
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. olive oil
Heat tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add gnocchi. Cook 5 to 7 minutes until brown and plump.
Transfer gnocchi to plate.
Add leftover teaspoon of oil.
Cook onion for 4 minutes, then stir in garlic and water and cook until the onion is soft, another 3 or 4 minutes.
Add chard or spinach and cook until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer.
Stir in gnocchi and cheeses.
Cover and cook until cheeses melt and sauce bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes.
TIP: Add soup or salad to this hearty meal for a well-rounded evening of Italian goodness!
Moo Shu Chicken & Veggies (serves 4) 229 calories per serving
3 tsp. sesame oil
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 bag of broccoli slaw
2 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch of scallions
1 tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce (available in Asian food aisle)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast (boiled & shredded)
Heat 1 tsp. oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add eggs and stir softly until set, about 3 minutes and put on a plate. Add rest of oil over medium heat and add ginger and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add slaw, sprouts, half of the scallions, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir until blended. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Add eggs, chicken, and hoisin, stirring to break up the eggs. Add rest of scallions and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
TIP: Add brown rice or snow peas to fill out this dish. Or enjoy the leftover calories in a glass of white wine or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Eating healthy can be quick and easy with a little creativity. Just don’t go overboard on the salt because it’s difficult to get through a session of cardio when you’re feeling dehydrated. And please, adhere to the servings! The most damaging thing you can do to your diet is double or triple your serving size.
Think of how quickly a tasty dinner can go from “yum yum” to “oh crap!” between slice 3 and slice 5 of whole wheat pizza!
Read our review of The Diet Solution Program for more information on eating the right foods for weight loss.