300-calorie dinners to whittle your middle

Published on October 07 2009 - 2:32 PM
300-calorie dinners to whittle your middle

My husband, Dan, has been charged with a mission: he has to lose 15 pounds in three months or the doctor ups his blood pressure medication. (Get a 28-day meal plan of delicious diet recipes for a skinnier you.)

Dan’s trying hard to lose weight: he’s exercising more, cutting down his portion sizes and drinking less beer. We’re also skipping easy but calorie-loaded takeout in favor of cooking more low-cal dinners at home. Here are 4 easy delicious dinners we’ve recently made that are 300 calories or less:

Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce—Sliced almonds add a delectable, almost-like-fried-chicken crunch to the breading for these tender pieces of pork. We slice the pork thinly to keep the cooking time quick. The resulting pork “fingers” are great dipped in this surprisingly simple, delicious honey, soy and mustard sauce.

Catfish & Potato Hash—Hash isn’t just for corned beef. It’s also great made with catfish—or other flaky white fish. Any ham adds flavor to the hash, but we think a higher-quality smoked ham will give you the biggest flavor-bang for your buck. Serve with a poached egg on top and a green salad.

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque—This satisfying vegetarian sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry—Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.

A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.