It is crucial what you eat and what you cook and it is equally important how you cook.
If you are one of those who take care about the amount of calorie you digest and intake, then it is very important that you follow a healthy diet and a healthy way of cooking.
Often people have the notion that going for a healthy diet means sacrificing the whole lot of good food. However it is never so.
Healthy eating can be tasty, healthy, good to smell and look and easy to cook, all at the same time. To make a healthy dinner one just needs to know the secrets behind preparing it.
One thing that all calorie conscious minds must avoid is deep fried stuff. It is not always the stuff that is unhealthy; it is the unhealthy oil that it carries all the time since oils and fats are known to give highest amounts of calories.
So people can go for grilling, baking as well as boiled and smoked stuff.
What Makes a 500 Calorie Recipe?
A 500 calorie recipe means nothing but a recipe containing 500 calories in total.
If it is the recipe for dinner then you should select your menu in such a way that all of them together provide you a total of just 500 calorie.
For example, if you go for a pizza prepared from black beans and smoky corn which serves about something more than three hundred calories, you can have a choice between two desserts like plain yoghurt served with blueberries making about hundred and twenty calories or a tasty papaya-lime sorbet serving you with exactly hundred and ten calories.
You can serve this dinner with a 60 calorie soup made of squash and baja butternut and a 50 calorie salad of chopped cauliflower and served with cream.
So the total calorie count of your dinner becomes 300+60+50+110/120 which makes about 520 or 530 calories.
You can also go with a dinner comprising of lettuce and turkey wrap as the main course, hot and sour slaw and a Japanese cucumber salad as side course and hot fudge pudding cake or just a 5 ounce glass of red wine for the dessert.
This again makes up about 530 calorie for your dinner.
These types of recipes are ready to cook, quick to prepare and most importantly keep you satisfied with much less amount of calories.
Another interesting way of planning a delicious and healthy dinner each day is to allot every dinner to a day of the week.
For example if you plan for a black bean pizza for Monday, you may plan for the wrap for Tuesday and something other for Wednesday. This way you never fall short of recipes and also successfully serve an interesting and healthy dinner every day.
You can even change your dinner by just changing the kind of dessert to go with the main course. It is simple, it is effective and it is smart.
Recipes to Consider
Knowing a recipe is just not enough if you do not know how to prepare it.
Of course the ingredients it consists of decide the amount of calories served by the recipe but modes of preparations also provide some calorific values.
For example, if you end up frying a potato instead of boiling it or serving it smoked, can you imagine how many calories have you added to that recipe?
Hence in order to help you with your daily meal plan, here come some recipes which you may deliciously consider as they save you a lot of time to prepare as well.
500 calorie recipe 1: Eggs and Chips good for your Health
Ingredients include 500g potatoes properly diced, 2 sliced shallots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon dried and crushed oregano or a spoonful of fresh leaves, small mushrooms of 200 grams and four eggs.
Preparation is short and simple and costs the cook only about 10 minutes. The cooking time takes something around thirty minutes.
Cooking involves mixing the shallots and diced potatoes with a sprinkle of oregano and some olive oil and baking them for about fifteen minutes under a flame temperature of 200 degree Celsius.
After proper baking, mushrooms are added and all the contents are further cooked for about ten minutes until the potatoes become golden brown in color.
Four eggs may then be added in four created gaps in the non-sticky pan. The contents may then be cooked for further three or four minutes so as to allow for the eggs to be cooked.
500 calorie recipe 2: Healthy Chips and Fillet Served with Tartare Sauce
This is again one of those easy recipes which take only about forty five minutes from the cook, five minutes for preparation and forty minutes for cooking.
Ingredients include 450 gram of peeled potatoes cut carefully into chips, 2 white fish fillets about 140 gram each, grated zest and juice extracted from 1 whole lemon, a spoonful of chopped capers, a handful of parsley leaves, 2 spoonful of Greek yoghurt (0%) and a lemon wedge especially for serving.
The recipe takes just 1 tablespoon of olive oil but you may need a little extra for brushing.
To begin with the recipe just heat the oven until the temperature rises to about 200 degree Celsius and just toss the carefully cut potato chips in olive oil.
Make sure that the potato chips are spread like an even sheet on the pan. Bake the evenly spread potato chips until they are brown and crisp. This will take nearly forty minutes.
While the potatoes are being baked, prepare the fish fillets on a shallow dish by brushing them with some olive oil, pepper and salt.
Sprinkle about half of the lemon juice and bake for about fifteen minutes. After about ten minutes, you can do the finishing by sprinkling some parsley and lemon zest.
Side by side you can mix the yoghurt, capers, the remaining parsley after addition on fillets and the remaining half of the lemon juice together and keep aside for serving with the fish fillets and potato chips.
500 calorie recipe 3: Salmon and Spinach served with Tartare Cream
The preparation time takes about 5 minutes while the cooking time for this simple and quick recipe is only about 10 minutes.
Ingredients include 1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil, 250gram spinach, 2 skinless fillets of salmon, juice extracted from half a lemon, 2 tablespoons of fraiche with reduced fat cream, 1 tablespoon of properly drained caper, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and several lemon wedges for serving.
The first part of cooking involves frying the fillets of salmon for about four minutes till they golden in color and the flesh flakes out easily. However before frying, the fillets must be seasoned on both sides.
After frying, keep the fillets aside on a plate until you finish cooking the spinach. The next part of the recipe involves the cooking of the spinach and preparing the sauce.
Season the spinach leaves properly and tip them in the hop pan and leave them for a minute until they wilt. Stir the spinach leaves once or twice while they are being cooked in the pan.
Place the spinach on plat and then top it with the prepared salmon fillets. Next, the fraiche with reduced fat cream is heated gently and add the juice of lemon, parsley and capers to it.
Then season the ingredients as per your taste and make sure that the ingredients do not get boiled. The prepared sauce is then spread over the fillets and served with lemon wedges.
500 calorie recipe 4: Spiced up Chicken Salad served with Broccoli
This simple recipe takes about fifteen minutes for preparation and even lesser ten minutes for cooking. Ingredients to be used while cooking are two broccoli heads, obvious from the name and four chicken breasts properly roasted and sliced.
Along with these, you will also require 2 tablespoon olive oil, five finely sliced shallots, four tablespoon soy sauce, a handful of black olives, two sliced garlic cloves and two red chillies properly sliced after being deseeded.
The broccoli heads must be steamed for about four minutes until they become tender and they can be tipped into a fairly large bowl for seasoning.
While this is being done, the cook may heat the olive oil gently in order to fry the shallots for about two minutes. The red chillies and the garlic can then be added to the shallots and cooked for another four minutes so that the ingredients get tender and soft.
The pan-ful of shallots, garlic and red chillies may then be removed and the roasted chicken, cooked broccoli heads and black olives may be mixed.
Finally the soy sauce is heated gently over a medium flame and poured evenly on the salad. The salad may be eaten warm or cold and that purely depends on the choice of the eater.
500 calorie recipe 5: Chicken with Fennel and Tomato Ragout
The recipe costs the cook only ten minutes for preparation and twenty-five minutes for cooking and serves two persons at a time.
Ingredients for the simple and yet recipe include a large bulb of fennel, two chicken which are boneless as well as skinless and cut properly into chunks, 200 gram potatoes again cut into chunks, one garlic clove finely chopped, 150 ml of vegetable or chicken stock, 400 gram of chopped tomatoes and three chopped and roasted red peppers soaked in brine.
Begin you begin with the cooking, trim the top green part of the fennel bulb in order to reserve them. Cut the bulb of fennel in the following process.
First half the bulb and then cut it in quarters. Then properly cut out the core and then cut the bulb lengthwise in order to obtain slices. Fry the boneless chicken in gently heated olive oil till the chicken becomes light in color.
Then add the sliced fennel and garlic and stir the ingredients briefly till the fennel glistens. Then new potatoes, tomatoes, the vegetable or chicken stock and a little seasoning are mixed.
Bring these to boil and then cover them and put them in simmer for about twenty minutes till the potatoes become tender. It is better to cook with new potatoes since easily get softened on boiling. Stir the red peppers while heating the ingredients.
Finally the reserved fronds of fennel are sprinkled over the ragout after a little chopping. The ragout may be served with some bread to make use of the juices.
500 calorie recipe 6: Spicy Lentil and Root Casserole
This involves a preparation time of about ten minutes and a cooking time of about thirty-five minutes. The recipe serves four persons at a time with the given amount of ingredients.
Cook may include larger volume of the ingredients to serve more number of persons at a time.
Ingredients for this recipe include two tablespoon of vegetable or sunflower oil whichever is available, two garlic cloves properly crushed, 1 finely chopped onion, four thickly sliced carrots, 700gram peeled potatoes properly cut into chunks, two thickly sliced parsnips, vegetable stock of about 1 litre, two tablespoon of curry powder or paste depending upon availability, small bunch of roughly chopped coriander, red lentils of about 100 gram and some yoghurt of low fat. Naan breads may be included to serve with the recipe.
Firstly, cook the crushed onion and garlic over a medium flame in a large pan in heated oil for about four minutes. Stir the onion and the garlic occasionally. This process will make them soft and tender.
The sliced parsnips and carrots and the potato chunks are tipped into the pan and after the flame is turned up, the vegetables are cooked for about six to seven minutes until their color changes to a golden one.
The curry paste or the powder is then stirred and poured in the vegetable stock. The resultant mixture can then be brought to the boil.
Add the lentils after reducing the heat and then cover the ingredients. Put them under simmer for about twenty minutes until the sauce has become viscous and thickened considerable and the vegetables have become tender.
A major part of the coriander is then stirred with the ingredients and after seasoning, the ingredients can again be heated for a minute or two. The yoghurt and the rest of the coriander are used while serving with the naan bread. For serving, you just need to spread the yoghurt on top.
500 calorie recipe 7: Salmon Burgers for a Super Healthy Diet
This quick recipe takes only about twenty minutes for initial preparation and about ten minutes for cooking.
Ingredients include two tablespoon of Thai red curry paste, grated root ginger approximately of the size of thumb, four fillets of salmon about 550 gram in weight, boneless and skinless and properly cut into chunks, one teaspoon of soy sauce, one teaspoon of vegetable oil, a bunch of coriander with half leaves picked and half chopped and lemon wedges for serving with the burger.
Additionally for a complementary salad, you would require two carrots, a cucumber either half of a large one or a small whole one, one teaspoon of golden castor sugar and two tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
The fillets of salmon are tipped along with red curry paste, soy sauce, root ginger and the chopped half of the coriander in a food processor.
Pulse the processor until the ingredients are roughly minced. The mix is then tipped out and evenly shaped into four burgers. The vegetable oil is then heated in a non-sticky pan in order to fry the shaped burgers on both sides.
Fry the burgers till they crisp enough and properly cooked through. While cooking the salmon fillets, you may prepare the salad by peeling the cucumber and the carrots into strips using a swivel peeler.
Toss the vegetables with a little sugar and vinegar until the sugar has properly dissolved. The carefully picked coriander leaves may then be added and tossed. The salad can then be divided into four plates to go with each burger. The burger and the salad can be served with rice.
500 calorie recipe 8: Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
The preparation time takes about fifteen minutes while the cooking time for this recipe cost just ten minutes.
Ingredients for this recipe include hundred and forty gram of trimmed green beans, one fillet or trimmed rump steak of about 300 gram in weight, one chicory head with its leaves separated and about twenty-five grams of roughly chopped walnuts.
Additionally for the dressing part, the following ingredients are included. One lemon zest and juice extracted from half a lemon, one tablespoon of walnut oil or olive oil, a small finely chopped shallot, one tablespoon of chopped tarragon and a tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese. Tarragon is optional and you may skip it if it is unavailable.
Firstly the rump steak must be seasoned with a lot of pepper and a small amount of salt as per your taste. You may either choose to cook the steak on a barbecue or under the grill. This would cost you about two to three minutes for each side of the steak. You must also make sure that the flame is reduced to medium or rare whichever you like.
Keep the steak for about ten minutes to rest and then cut the steak into slices. For the dressing part, you just need to whisk the lemon zest and the lemon juice, the olive or walnut oil, the optional tarragon, blue cheese and the small shallot together with some pepper and salt. Then boil some water and cook the beans in it until the beans turn soft and tender.
Drain off the boiled water and rinse the beans in cold water. Then again drain off the cold water thoroughly. The separated chicory leaves can then be divided between two plates and top the serving plates with the boiled beans, the cooked steak slices and the chopped walnuts. The dressing may be poured over the salad just before being served or just before eating.
500 calorie recipe 9: Vegetable Tagine with raisins and chickpeas
The preparation time for this easy to cook recipe takes just about ten minutes. Ingredients for this interesting recipe include two chopped onions, two tablespoon of olive oil, two large courgettes properly cut into chunks, half teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of coriander, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, four hundred gram of can chickpeas properly rinsed and thoroughly drained, two chopped tomatoes, four hundred and twenty-five milliliter of vegetable stock, four tablespoon of raisins, three hundred gram of frozen peas and some chopped coriander for serving.
The chopped onions are first added into the heated oil and fried for about five minutes until they become soft. The spices are then added one after another and stirred well during addition.
The tomatoes, courgettes, raisins, chickpeas and the vegetable oil are then added and the mix is then brought to boil. Cover the ingredients and put them under simmer for another ten minutes.
Then finally add the peas and stir them while cooking for another five minutes. Sprinkle the mix with some coriander and your recipe is ready to be served.
500 calorie recipe 10: Super Healthy Salmon Salad
This recipe takes more time for preparation, about twenty minutes than for cooking, about just five minutes. Ingredients for this simple recipe consists of one tablespoon of olive oil, hundred gram of couscous, two fillets of salmon, juice extracted from one whole lemon, two hundred gram of roughly chopped sprouting broccoli with their large stalks removed, a small handful of pumpkin seeds, seeds separated from half a pomegranate, about two handfuls of watercress and some extra olive oil and lemon wedges for serving with the recipe.
To begin with the cooking, heat some water in a tier steamer. After proper seasoning, toss the couscous with about one teaspoon of olive oil. Then pour some boiling water over the seasoned couscous so that the water covers the couscous by about 1 cm.
Keep the boiling water immersed couscous aside. When the water in the steamer is about to boil, add the broccoli into the boiling water tier and then place the salmon fillets in the tier above. Cook this for about three minutes until the broccoli becomes tender and the salmon gets properly cooked. The broccoli can then be drained off the hot water and rinsed under cold water to cool.
The lemon juice and the remaining olive oil can then be mixed together. The cooled broccoli, the seeds of the pumpkin and the pomegranate can be tossed thoroughly through the couscous along with the lemon dressing.
Finally, the watercress may be roughly chopped and tossed through the couscous. Serve the couscous with the salmon and drizzle some olive oil over it. Use the lemon wedges for serving as well.
500 calorie recipe 11: Beef Stew in Italian Style
This simple recipe requires only ten minutes for preparation and twenty minutes for cooking. Following ingredients are required for this recipe: one sliced garlic clove, one sliced onion, two tablespoon of olive oil, four hundred gram of canned and chopped tomatoes, three hundred gram of thinly sliced beef steak, alternatively you may also use packed beef stir fry strips, one thinly sliced and deseeded yellow pepper, a handful of pitted olives and some chopped sprig rosemary.
Cook the chopped onion and garlic for about five minutes in olive oil in a fairly large pan. Cook until they become soft and turn golden in color. Then add the strips of beef, tomatoes, pepper and the rosemary and bring them to boil. Then lower down the flame and simmer the ingredients for about fifteen minutes until the beef strips are properly cooked through. You may add some boiling water during this process. Finally stir the mix with some olive and your dish is ready to be served with the mash.
500 calorie recipe 12: Mushroom and Thyme Risotto
This simple recipe takes about just five minutes for preparation and twenty-five minutes for cooking. It needs about 350 gram of sliced chestnut mushrooms, one tablespoon of olive oil, a liter of vegetable stock preferably hot, about a hundred gram of quinoa, a handful of thyme leaves, 175 gram of risotto rice and a handful of grated parmesan. You may add about 50 gram bag rocket while serving.
Cook the sliced mushrooms for about three minutes in olive oil and then add the quinoa while stirring. Before you begin cooking, you must make sure that the vegetable stock remains warm over another flam and after you add the quinoa, just add some of the warm stock into the medium pan containing the mushrooms and quinoa. Stir the stock well so that it gets absorbed. Then add the risotto rice and then again add some stock. Repeat the stirring process until all the stock is absorbed and the rice and the mushrooms become tender and properly cooked through. Finally add the thyme leaves and stir them while addition in order to mix the leaves evenly. Finally the dish is ready to be served with the grated parmesan and the rocket leaves.
Things to Remember
The main things that make a recipe healthy are the process by which it is cooked, the oil used for cooking as well as the ingredients involved in the recipes. You will notice that most of the above recipes ask for olive oil while only a few demands for vegetable oil or sunflower. These oils reduce the calorie contents of these recipes considerable.
Furthermore, most of the recipes involve boiling or grilling which is again a very healthy cooking habit. The frying processes involved in some of the recipes involve less time and since they are fried in olive or vegetable oil, they are not unhealthy. The vegetables used in the recipes again have low calorie contents. The recipes mentioned above have calorie contents in the range of two hundred to four hundred. You can still have a choice of soup, dessert or a glass of red wine to do with these.
A salad with wisely chosen toppings can also compliment these recipes. Yoghurt with low fat grades served with raspberries or blueberries or just a bowl of strawberries can serve as low calorie desserts. Similarly a lentil soup or a black bean soup can be served with some of the items. Dark chocolates and red wines are known to be healthy and low in calories. You may consider them with your dinner if you want to limit your calorie intake every time. This helps you to stay satisfied with lower calorific values and hence these are not only good for your health but also for your taste buds.