The hot weather is here and you probably feel like eating something healthy and fresh. Here are 7 ideas for a light, low-calorie dinner.
If you want to eat a healthy diet, then you’ll also want a low-calorie dinner, which will also help prevent any digestion problems overnight. The trick to a light dinner is beans and whole grains: they’re quick to make and filling but not too much (as long as you eat the right amount, of course).
1. Stuffed avocado
Empty out half of an avocado and fill with chopped meat and whatever other ingredients you’d like. Some great options are:
- Fresh parsley
- Sweet corn
- Grated carrot
Serve in the peal, which will be used as a bowl. It may not seem like much, but half of a medium-sized avocado can be quite satisfying!
2. Lettuce roll-ups
You can make lettuce roll-ups with Romaine lettuce in no time. It’s also a chance to use up whatever you have in the fridge. Try mixtures including:
- Brown rice
- Bean sprouts
- Grated carrot
- Sweet corn
To roll them up, just use the most tender parts of the lettuce, while slicing the parts closest to the stalk and adding them to the filling.
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3. Potato salad
Here’s another tasty low-calorie dinner to try.
- Steam a batch of small potatoes and then let cool. Use two or three and save the rest for other dishes.
- Just cut them up and mix with grated carrot, onion, strips of red pepper, olives, and a few chopped tomatoes.
- Season with olive oil and lemon or vinegar. Some like tahini too, for a creamy touch.
You can save any leftovers in the fridge for the next day. If you add a bit of mayonnaise and mash everything up with a fork, you’ll get a refreshing sandwich filling.
4. Fruit salad
Use whatever fruit you have on hand and that’s in season: apples, pear, melon, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, etc. Cut everything into small pieces and top with natural, sugar-free soy yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and even a few mint leaves. To make it special, add a dollop of coconut cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
The only trick to a good fruit salad is in selecting flavorful, ripe fruit and chilling them before making the salad. Also make an effort to get high-quality produce; usually farmer’s markets have fresher, tastier fruit than supermarkets.
5. Vegetable spreads, dips, and pates
Another excellent option for a low-calorie dinner is vegetable spreads, dips, and pates. The great thing about them is that you can make them one day and have them ready for several meals during the week.
Make hummus, baba ganoush, a mushroom spread: the sky’s the limit. Serve a small bowl of each for dinner along with toasted whole grain bread, a green salad, and tabouli, as an example. Hummus is also a great dressing. Just add a bit more liquid to it, like water or oil, to make a very flavorful sauce for salads and lean meat.
The best low-calorie dinner for summertime hails from Spain: gazpacho. A few tips for a really great gazpacho:
- Before making the soup, slice the cucumber and let marinate in vinegar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Then strain, rinse, and add to the rest of the ingredients.
- Don’t overdo it with the garlic. Try using roasted garlic instead. The next time you have the grill on, just place a few heads of garlic on to the grill and then keep them in the fridge for whenever you need them.
Finally, one more great idea for a lite, low-calorie dinner is soup. Start with a clear broth, like water with a few dried shiitake mushrooms and a bit of kombu seaweed, if you like. Add a heaping spoonful of miso when it starts to boil and then remove from heat. Then you can add protein and whole grains like tofu cubes, grilled tempeh, quinoa, or brown rice.