A common opinion for many is that, foods that, are healthy and fewer in calories are not as tasty when compared with those, which have high caloric content. However, there are ways to make low-calorie foods interesting, delicious and also very festive.
Food plays a major role when it comes to celebration and fun. It is tough to make food choices, especially when a variety of favorites are placed on the table.
Choosing calorie dense foods, cutting down on the fat as much as possible during the preparation of the meal, using pre-preparation methods like marination, soaking to retain as many nutrients as possible are few methods by which we can make our low-calorie foods and preparation tastier.
A menu containing few recipes of salads, starters, main course and a dessert would help you bring in the New Year the healthier way by consuming fewer calories. You might be surprised that they are healthy as well as tasty and may also be better than your favorite high-calorie foods.
1. Tangy Protein Salad
Legumes, capsicum, tomatoes and seasoning are the major items that go into this dish. Legumes are low in glycemic index and high in protein and fiber, which means that they contain fewer simple carbohydrates, and takes longer for blood glucose levels to rise. Sprouts contain high amounts of Vitamin C, low in fat, and contain micronutrients like folate, iron, potassium and magnesium
- Chickpeas – cup, soaked overnight
- Kidney beans cup
- Green gram sprouted – cup
- Capsicum 1
- Tomato 1
- Onion 1
- Salt 1 tsp
- Black pepper 1 tsp
- Ajwain (carom) 1 tsp
- Dry mango powder 1tsp
- Basil leaves few
- Vinegar/lemon juice 4tsp
- Vegetable oil 2tsp
- Soak chickpeas and kidney beans overnight and pressure cook with 1tsp salt and 2 cups of water for ten minutes.
- Steam the sprouts for 3 minutes.
- Prepare the salad dressing by mixing all the ingredients together.
- Cool the pressure-cooked legumes and slice or dice the vegetables as desired; add them in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over and toss well. Serve.
2. Low-calorie Creamy Salad
Salads are mostly served cold with small pieces of raw or cooked food mixed with a sauce. Salads are prepared with a wide variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, including cooked meat, eggs, and grains. The salad dressing used to a flavor a salad is commonly prepared with fruit juices or vegetable/olive oil. Salad is one of the healthiest ways to incorporate nutrients into the diet as they require no or very little cooking. Salads make us feel full and thus, reduce the overall intake of any meal.
- Toned milk 2 1/2 cups
- Curd cup
- Thick curd (yogurt) 1 cup, hung for hour
- Carrot – finely cubed and boiled
- Capsicum- , cut into thin strips
- Grapes cup, cut into halves
- Apple 1, chopped
- Cucumber 1/2cup, chopped
- Boil milk. Reduce flame and add curd or lemon juice to curdle the milk. Strain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth. Leave it in the cloth till the whey water is drained.
- Blend the cottage cheese obtained from the curdled milk with curd, sugar and essence.
- In a bowl, add the contents with salt, pepper.
- Keep some fruits and vegetables for garnishing and add the rest of it in the curd and spice mixture.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve chill.
3. Vegetable Gold Coins
Vegetables are a rich source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and phytochemicals. They are fewer in calories compared to any other food and are healthier too. Cooking vegetables for a minimum amount of time retain their nutritional value. Below is an easy – to – prepare starter or finger food, which is fewer in calories, yet tasty.
- Bread slices 6
- Potato 1, boiled and grated
- Onion 1, finely chopped
- Carrot 1, grated
- Capsicum 1, diced, finely
- Soya sauce 2tsp
- Tomato sauce 2tsp
- Pepper tsp
- Chilli powder tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sesame seeds 2 tsp
- Cook onions in a pan with cup water
- Add vegetables and cook for 2 minutes
- Add potatoes, Soya sauce, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and chilli powder. Cook for few minutes
- Cut the bread into small rounds about inch diameter
- Spread the potato mixture on the round piece of bread
- Grill at 180 degree Celsius till bread turns crisp on the underside
- Serve hot with chilli tomato sauce
4. Grilled Chicken with Orange Juice
Grilled foods have low calories compared to fried foods and have a reduced fat content as the fat drips off as the food is being cooked and grilled. It results in healthier meals and makes it easier to manage a low-fat diet. Also, the shorter cooking time results in minimal loss of moisture and vitamins and adds more value to the food.
Compared to other red meat, poultry is less in fat. 100gms of chicken gives 143 kcal out of which only 73kcal is from fat whereas 100gms of beef contains 332kcal and 271kcal comes from fat.
- Chicken breast 300gms
- Lemon juice 3tbsp
- Fresh orange juice cup
- Garlic 4 to 6 cloves
- Tabasco or chilli garlic sauce 1 tsp
- Chopped fresh coriander 1 tbsp
- Salt 1tsp
- Ground Peppercorns 3/4th tsp
- Cornflour 1tsp
- Wash and dry the chicken pieces on a towel. Make 2 incisions on each piece.
- Mix all the ingredients except cornflour. Marinate the chicken for 6-8 hours.
- Heat grill. Sprinkle pepper on the chicken and grill till the chicken is cooked.
- Mix cornflour to the remaining marinade and cook it for few minutes. Pour it over the prepared chicken and serve hot along with some steamed vegetables.
5. Yogurt Chocolate Souffl
Cakes, chocolate, candies, cookies, custards, puddings, doughnuts, pastries cover a vast variety of desserts. Desserts are a sweet course and it usually means high content of sugar, fats and calories. Desserts are very popular and most people over-indulge in them. The trick is to make desserts like yogurt chocolate souffl and reduce the calories to make them healthier and very palatable.
Originally, souffl is prepared with egg but we have replaced it with yogurt in the recipe given to make it healthier. Yogurt contains bacteria, which is friendly to intestines and keeps the colon healthy. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of yogurt will approximately provide 450mg of calcium. The calcium in yogurt binds bile acids with unhealthy cells so that irritation on the colon wall is decreased.
- Toned milk 2 cups
- Cornflour 2tbsp
- Cocoa 3tbsp
- Sugar 9tbsp
- Butter 1/2tsp
- Gelatine 2tsp
- Curd cup, hung for hour
- Vanilla essence 1 tsp
- Fresh fruits and mint to garnish
- Dissolve cornflour and cocoa in cup warm milk.
- Boil milk, add the dissolved cornflour and cocoa. Add sugar.
- Cook the milk by stirring till it becomes thick.
- Remove from heat and add butter.
- In a small pan, add cup water and sprinkle gelatine. Dissolve the gelatine on low flame.
- Remove from heat and add to the chocolate custard.
- Whip the hung curd and add enough milk to make up to 3/4th measure in a cup. Add essence.
- Add the curd mix to the cooled chocolate custard and mix well.
- Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate it till it sets. Garnish with fresh fruits and mint.
Eat smart for a better and healthier you.