Low Calorie Meals

Low calorie meals are the answer to keeping within our recommended daily calorie intake which is approximately 2500 calories for men and 2000 for women. 

Fish Dish

Everyone is different of course and there is no need to become obsessive about the exact number of calories we consume every day. However for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight the answer lies in knowing what foods we can eat to keep us within the guidelines.

I like the idea of a balanced 3 course meal so a lot of menus on this site will include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
 
Of course you could use the starter recipe or dessert for your meal at lunchtime and omit it for the evening meal.  Quantities shown are for 2 people.

Rustic Sea Bass (474 cal per serving)

Ingredients:
 
8 oz Sea Bass or similar firm white fish skinned and cut into bite sized chunks
2 ripe tomatoes skinned  and chopped or a small can of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
small glass of white wine or fish stock
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or teaspoon of dried Italian mixed herbs
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Method:

 Cook the garlic and fennel seeds gently for a minute in the oil then add the tomatoes, wine or stock and herbs. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the fish. Cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the fish is cooked through.  Serve with a thin slice of toasted ciabatta bread per person.

Spices

Chirpy Duck (730 cal per serving)

Ingredients:


2 duck legs - meat off the bone
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger grated
1 fresh green chilli chopped
2 oz water chestnuts or Jerusalem  artichokes
1 oz cashew nuts
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 teaspoon corn flour dissolved in a tablespoon of stock
¼ pint chicken stock
1 teaspoon corn flour
2 oz Basmati rice
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 cardamom pods

Method:

Cut the duck into bite sized pieces and roll in the 5 spice powder. Cook in the oil until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from pan and then add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli to the same pan and fry until the onion is soft and brown at the edges. Add the chestnuts or artichokes, cashews, duck, corn flour mixture and stock. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is rich and unctuous and serve in a warmed serving dish.

Rinse the rice in cold water. Place in a large pan and cover with plenty of cold water. Add the turmeric and cardamom pods. Bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked al dente. Strain the rice into a sieve and pour over boiling water to remove the starch. Shake and transfer to a warm serving dish.

Serve this one of my  low calorie meals with iced cold water and a slice of lemon added.

Pears with almonds (410 cal per serving)

Ingredients:

2 Conference Pears or similar firm flesh pear
300ml water
2oz sugar
vanilla essence
Almonds 1oz split and toasted under grill
Strawberries 3 oz

Method:

Make syrup by boiling the water and sugar for a few minutes; add a few drops of vanilla essence. Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the core. Place in the syrup and cook for 6 minutes or until soft. Remove the pears to a serving dish, flat side down and press the almond slivers into the pears.

Tip: Watch the almonds when toasting like a hawk, as they can easily burn

Cook the syrup until reduced by half and then add the sliced strawberries. Cook until the fruit is soft and then pass through a sieve. Pour this sauce over the pears, refrigerate and serve when well chilled.

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