6 Dishes That Slash 1,000 Calories Off Your Meal
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Fitness

6 Dishes That Slash 1,000 Calories Off Your Meal

You won't gain an ounce over the party season if you serve these delicious recipes.

Sweet Potato Soup

Fact: The typical holiday meal has 2,500 calories, more than the average woman should consume in a single day.
The fix: Serve these six yummy, better-for-you dishes instead.

Serve Sweet Potato Soup...

...instead of sweet potato casserole
Turn beta-carotene-packed sweet potatoes into a trendy appetizer by serving soup in a "shooter" glass.

Calories saved: 326
Grams of fat saved: 16 (5g saturated)
Makes: 10 1/4-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large (8-ounce) sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 10 tablespoons pressurized whipped cream

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring sweet potatoes and broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are very soft.
  2. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree in pan until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in a regular blender.)
  3. Stir soy milk into soup over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil.
  4. Serve soup hot in espresso cups or large shot glasses, topped with 1 tablespoon whipped cream.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 44 calories, 1g protein, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber.

Onion Gravy

Serve Caramelized Onion Gravy...

...instead of traditional giblet gravy
There's no need to add fat to gravy when pureed caramelized onions are providing the flavor, body, and creaminess.

Calories saved: 48
Grams of fat saved: 4 (2g saturated)
Makes: 6 1/3-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe Caramelized Onions, below (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dry rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring just to a boil over high heat while stirring. Season to taste.

Nutritional information

Per serving: 52 calories, 2g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 2g fiber.

Caramelized Onions

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 large (10 ounces each) white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir often for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Chill until use in Caramelized Onion Gravy.

Nutritional Information

Per cup: 234 calories, 6g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 5g fat (0g saturated), 9g fiber.

Smashed Potatoes

Serve Truffled Smashed Red Potatoes...

...instead of mashed potatoes
Truffle oil is made by, well, soaking truffles in olive oil -- meaning it has all the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as olive oil, with the pungent, earthy flavor of truffles. Note: This stuff is strong, so use it sparingly!

Calories saved: 90
Grams of fat saved: 6 (4g saturated)
Makes: 6 3/4-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds large red potatoes, with peel, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup low-fat (1%) buttermilk
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring potatoes and 6 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add buttermilk, scallion, garlic, and butter. Let simmer uncovered over low heat for 5 minutes, or until hot.
  3. Drain potatoes; add to a medium bowl. Whisk truffle oil into warm buttermilk mixture; add to potatoes.
  4. Mash potatoes to desired consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 150 calories, 4g protein, 28g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber.

Green Bean Casserole

Serve Green Bean Mini Casseroles...

...instead of classic green-bean casserole
Canned fried onions don't come close to the sweet, fragrant caramelized ones used in our makeover. Plus, guests get their own individual casserole!

Calories saved: 65
Grams of fat saved: 9 (6g saturated)
Makes: 6 1-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen cut green beans
  • 1 can (14-ounce) organic semi-condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 recipe Caramelized Onions, below (about 1 1/4 cups), divided
  • 1/3 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 reduced-fat potato chips, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Portion green beans among 6 ramekins or other 1-cup baking dishes.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir soup, 1/2 cup caramelized onions, soy milk, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Divide soup mixture evenly and pour over beans.
  3. Place dishes on a baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until steaming.
  4. Remove from oven; stir. Top with onions and chips.
  5. Bake 10 minutes more, or until beans are steaming.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 135 calories, 4g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 5g fat (1g saturated), 5g fiber.

Caramelized Onions

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 large (10 ounces each) white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir often for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Chill until use in Caramelized Onion Gravy.

Nutritional Information

Per cup: 234 calories, 6g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 5g fat (0g saturated), 9g fiber

Herb Stuffing

Serve Fresh Herb Stuffing with Turkey Sausage and Cranberries...

...instead of traditional bread stuffing
Classic stuffing is loaded with butter -- most recipes calling for as much as a stick and a half! Here, we use less than a third that amount.

Calories saved: 161
Grams of fat saved: 8 (1g saturated)
Makes: 12 1-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1-pound loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces spicy or regular bulk turkey sausage (or purchase links and remove casing)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large stalks celery, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large (10-ounce) red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups natural, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange bread cubes evenly on two large baking pans. Brown in oven for about 25 minutes.
  2. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage for 5 minutes, breaking into small pieces as it browns; place in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onion, garlic, and sage. Lightly brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer broth, cranberries, and butter for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add celery mixture, bread cubes, and cranberry broth to sausage. Stir until broth is absorbed. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Evenly spread stuffing in pan; cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 199 calories, 8g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 9g fat (3g saturated), 3g fiber.

Apple Phyllo Tart

Serve Flaky Apple Phyllo Tart and Frozen Yogurt...

...instead of apple pie and ice cream
Phyllo dough satisfies your flaky-piecrust craving without all the saturated and trans fat of a regular crust.

Calories saved: 340
Grams of fat saved: 25 (8g saturated)
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 full sheets phyllo dough
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large apples (2 Granny Smith, 2 red), cored, halved, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. On a flat surface, stack phyllo sheets, lightly coating the top of each with butter-flavored cooking spray. Cut in half; put one half on top of the other to form a stack of 6 layers. Cut into 6 portions (about 4 1/2 inches square).
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on pan on rack. Preheat oven to broil.
  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon in bowl; set aside.
  5. Arrange apple slices in two 9-by-13-inch baking pans. Lightly coat slices with cooking spray. Broil for 1 minute. Stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Broil for about 1 minute.
  6. To serve, top each phyllo stack with apple mixture and frozen yogurt.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 200 calories, 3g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 2g fat (1g saturated), 4g fiber.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.

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