What keeps you from cooking at home: a lack of time, energy, groceries, or desire? No matter what's holding you back, these four tasty recipes are an easy fix for your home-cooking obstacles.
Protein pancake: Forget starchy diner-style flapjacks, which can set you back more than 750 calories. Instead, give these pancakes a try—they’re packed with satisfying protein and go for a mere 266 calories.
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (quick cooking)*
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (those with diabetes may use sugar substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Generously coat a skillet with oil spray and preheat over medium heat.
In a small bowl, whip together all of the ingredients. Pour the mixture onto the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown, on each side.
Tip: For a moister pancake, cover the skillet with a lid while the pancake is cooking.
Wild salmon and chickpea salad: Canned salmon is the new tuna, and it’s absolutely perfect in this slimmed-down tasty dish. Served over leafy greens, this filling meal will cost you just 340 calories.
Makes 3 servings
- 6 ounces canned wild salmon (boneless, skinless)
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
In a medium bowl, mash the salmon. Mix in the chickpeas, onion and red pepper.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the salmon mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Buffalo chicken chili: Forget greasy, fatty chicken wings (and those messy fingers!). This slimming stew has the traditional flavors your whole gang will love. And the best part? A hearty 2¼ cups clocks in at a modest 330 calories.
Makes 4 servings
- 6 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into half-moons
- 6 stalks celery, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground chicken breast (99 percent lean)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or tomato juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
Liberally coat a large pot or Dutch oven with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes; add water, a tablespoon at a time, as necessary to prevent scorching. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the ground chicken, reapplying oil spray if necessary. Sauté, stirring continuously and breaking the chicken into small pieces, for 5 minutes or until cooked through. As the chicken cooks, continue scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any large bits.
Sprinkle in the chili powder and flour, and stir quickly to distribute them evenly. Immediately add the vegetable juice and hot sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
While the chili is simmering, prepare the optional blue cheese topping: In a small bowl, mash together the sour cream and blue cheese with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
Season the chili with the salt. Ladle the chili into serving bowls and top each with about 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese topping if desired.
NOTE: The amount of hot sauce you use will depend on the brand you select as well as your (and your family’s) own personal tolerance for spicy foods. I advise adding ¼ cup hot sauce to start with, then tasting the chili and adding more if you find it too mild.
Slow cooker option: Toss all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours). You may want to decrease the vegetable/tomato juice slightly.
20-calorie dessert shots: Nope, that’s not a typo. There actually is a dessert you can enjoy for just 20 calories. These dainty fruit shots are simple to make and fun to serve if you’re hosting a party. Cheers!
- Different types of fruit (berries, apple, banana, peach), sliced or cut into pieces
- Aerated whipped cream
In a shot glass, place a slice or piece of fruit on the bottom. Top with aerated whipped cream and another slice of the same fruit on top.
Set up shot glasses like a flight for a beautiful presentation