1 cup of quinoa (640)
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (40)
1 cup of white wine (110)
2 tbsp of olive oil (240)
4 cloves of garlic (20)
A few handfuls of spinach (20)
5 stalks of asparagus (15)
Half of a lemon (5)
One egg (70)
1/2 cup of reduced fat mozzarella cheese (160)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (110)
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil and paprika to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup of low-fat marinara sauce for serving (35)
- Prep the veggies: wilt the spinach, and chop into small pieces. Dice the asparagus, and quickly sautee with a chopped clove of garlic. Set aside.
- Prep the quinoa: rinse it really well (like how you rinse rice, but 3 times). Strain with a fine mesh sieve.
- Bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
- In a separate pot, sautee the rest of the garlic in olive oil, then add the quinoa. After a minute, add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed. Optional, but recommended: pour yourself a glass! It’ll make the rest of the process pass faster.
- Add the chicken broth to the quinoa mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until it absorbs.
- Combine the quinoa, spinach, asparagus, and mozzarella cheese. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Let the mixture cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400, and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Beat the egg, and mix it into the cooled quinoa risotto.
- Distribute the mixture in the muffin pan. Optional: fill up each portion half way, put a pinch of mozzarella, then fill up the rest.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Right before you take it out, sprinkle some parmesan over the top and let it bake for a few more minutes.
- Take out the cakes, and let them rest and set before serving. Optional: serve with marinara sauce.
Total: 1430 calories (about 12 cakes, without the sauce)
Per serving: 357.5 calories (about 3 cakes)
To be honest: My goal was to make a risotto cake that held together after baking and stayed gooey in the center — success! All risotto cakes I’ve had were deep-fried, and I wanted to make it healthy by using quinoa and just an oven. The only hiccup is that I went overboard with the salt (because one of my last ventures came out really bland). My seasoning skills are just not up to snuff quite yet. Anyways, it takes a while to make this (about 2 hours for me), but it’s a really convenient snack for the following days. Tip: Heat one up for breakfast and eat with an egg over easy.
Inspiration(s): My love for risotto, Gochi’s deep-fried mushroom risotto balls, and Felicia’s adamant endorsement of quinoa.
2 sheets of seaweed
1/2 of an avocado (80)
1/2 of a cucumber (20)
3 tbsp of roe (60)
Low sodium soy sauce (5)
*ingredients measured for 1 person
- Cut a few sheets of seaweed into smaller squares with scissors, julienne the cucumber (mandolin works great), and cut up the avocado.
- Start with one small square of seaweed, and you can pretty much use any ingredients from there. I used avocado, cucumber, sprouts, and roe.
- Fold the seaweed wrap in half, dip it in soy sauce and wasabi, and eat! Easy peasy.
Total: 190 calories (about 8 sushi wraps)
Per wrap: 24 calories
To be honest: We cut up a lot of each ingredient, and I just estimated the calories based on how much I think I grabbed in the end. It’s not exact, but I’m just assuming this one’s pretty healthy. :)
Inspiration: My mother.
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (25)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites (64)
1 cup sugar (774)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (100)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (172)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (70)
Mojito icing ingredients:
3/4 cup powdered sugar (360)
2 tbsp butter (200)
1 tsp of milk (5) – optional, depends on how thick you want your frosting
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 shot of rum (20)
Juice from half of a small lime (10)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the applesauce, vanilla, egg whites, and sugar.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the batter into a small baking pan lined with cooking spray (I used 11×7).
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter evenly.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes. Do the toothpick test. Then take them out, and let them cool!
- For the icing, beat the butter and powdered sugar together with an electric mixer until they get a good consistency. Add in the lime, rum, and mint!
- The icing gets a better consistency when it’s cold, so stick it in the fridge.
Total: 1205 calories (15 brownies), 1805 calories with frosting
Per serving: 80 calories, 120 with frosting
To be honest: I really love Jenna Fischer’s brownie recipe! The mojito frosting was just a whim of mine, and I didn’t do it very scientifically. I just dropped in the mojito ingredients little by little, and added more after tasting it.
Inspiration: Jenna Fischer’s 88 calorie brownies
Spaghetti squash (180)
Two chicken breasts (260)
1 tbsp EVOO (120)
3 tomatoes (75)
10 spears of asparagus (40)
About 3 cloves of garlic (15)
Salt and pepper
Prep: Cut the chicken breasts into small strips, dice the tomatoes, slice asparagus spears thinly on a diagonal, mince the garlic, and julienne the basil.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise, remove all the seeds, and place it cut-side down in a baking pan lined with foil.
- Pour some water into the baking pan, enough to cover the bottom.
- Bake the spaghetti squash for about 45 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in it easily.
- Cut the chicken breasts into strips, and cook in a pan with some olive oil. When it’s cooked through, set it aside.
- Sautee the garlic, olive oil, diced tomatoes, and slivered asparagus together. Add the chicken back in.
- Add the basil, and season the mixture with lemon, salt, and pepper.
- Use a fork to scrape out the cooked spaghetti squash.
- Toss it all together!
Total: 695 calories (5 servings)
Per serving: 139 calories
To be honest: Cutting the spaghetti squash in half is the hardest part of the dish. To be COMPLETELY honest, I made my mom do it. Anyways, season the spaghetti “noodles” before adding in the extra stuff or else it won’t hold it’s own. I really like spaghetti squash now because you can mix whatever you want with it. Now I can try being more inventive with the leftover squash…
Inspiration: My co-worker (Kristen) first told me about spaghetti squash.
Whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (120)
1/3 cup of organic tomato sauce from TJ (35)
1/2 of a tub of grated romano (210)
4 slices of reduced fat provolone (200 calories)
Some parsley (3)
Some basil (5)
2 slices of turkey breast (50)
2 tomatoes (50)
3/4 of an apple (75)
1/4 red onion (15)
1 tbsp of EVOO (120)
Salt & pepper
*ingredients in the order that I layered them
- Let the dough rest for 20 minutes on a floured surface (whole wheat, for piece of mind).
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- After 20 minutes, spread/roll the dough into a blob that is about 12-inches in diameter.
- Spread the EVOO on a piece of foil, and somehow get the dough on there too.
- Get a-layering! Don’t forget the salt and pepper. I saved some of the grated romano for later.
- Watch the pizza intently for about 10 minutes. I got impatient by the end, so I turned on the broiler after sprinkling on the last of the cheese.
Total: 883 calories (6 slices)
Per slice: 147 calories
To be honest: I basically started with the apples, and tried to mix in ingredients that matched. Wish the bottom crust was crispier, needed more salt. But glad I got myself to make my own pizza, so I can avoid stuffing myself with fatty ones from restaurants.
Inspiration: Savory Apple Pizza Recipe, and my co-worker’s (Chris) apple and gruyere hamburgers
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (540)
1 tsp baking powder (5)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oats (450)
1/2 cup packed Splenda blend brown sugar — yes, I stooped that low (420)
1 3/4 sticks lite butter (1400)
1 jar of sugarless fruit preserves (210)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients except preserves.
- Spray a small pan (I used 11×7) with cooking spray, and press in half of the mixture.
- Spread the jar of preserves. I used raspberry for one batch (above) and boysenberry for the other (below).
- Sprinkle second half of the mixture over the top and pat lightly.
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until light brown.
- Let it cool completely (I stuck it in the freezer).
Total: 3025 calories (12 pieces)
Per serving: 250 calories
To be honest: I tried to cut the calories, but the butter did me in. It ended up a lot crumblier than I thought, and 1 out of the 10-ish people who tried it noticed the Splenda substitute. Tastes great if you microwave a piece for about 8 seconds! And raspberry > boysenberry.
Inspiration: The Pioneer Woman
1 package of ground lean turkey (600)
About three cloves of garlic (15)
1/2 white onion (60)
8 large tomatoes (175)
Three tbsp of EVOO (360)
Brown sugar (15)
Three zucchini (90)
1 cup of spinach (14)
1/2 of a tub of grated romano cheese (210)
1 tub of cottage cheese (320)
1 egg (70)
Salt & pepper
- Brown the ground turkey in 1 tbsp of EVOO.
- In a separate pan, sautee the onions and garlic with another tbsp of EVOO, then add the diced tomatoes.
- Let the tomato mixture simmer for a while, then drain the excess liquid.
- Add the chopped parsley, chopped basil, brown sugar, cooked turkey, salt, and pepper to the tomato mixture. Set this aside — tomato sauce, done!
- Beat the egg, and mix it with the cottage cheese and romano. By the way, don’t tell your friends about the cottage cheese until after they eat the lasagna.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a large pan with foil, and spray with cooking spray.
- Start layering: thinly sliced zucchini, tomato sauce, cheese. Again and again. And salt and pepper that shizz. End with whatever layer you want, but save some grated romano for later.
- Bake it for about 30-40 minutes. Right before you take it out, sprinkle the last of the cheese. I like to broil it so the cheese gets toasty.
Total: 1937 calories (8 pieces)
Per serving: 242 calories
To be honest: Reechard said it tastes more like ratatouille, Pei wished the zucchini would cut easily with a fork like pasta, and Deanna wouldn’t touch it because she hates zucchini.
Inspiration: Random Googling