For those people who are trying to increase more protein in their diet, these recipes will be right for you. Let us stop ordering take outs. By cooking our own dinner we not only become more aware of what we’re putting in our bodies, we are able to control our salt intake. Cooking your own dinner also helps you save money. What could more awesome than shedding the pounds while have more cash in your pocket?
Tap your inner Master Chef and head to the kitchen cooking these recipes now. Be sure to post your pictures in the blog. If you have any modifications to these dishes, be sure to let other readers know and share the goodness.
Pan Seared Salmon with Braised Broccoli
If you haven’t cooked fish at all in your life you still cannot ruin this dish if you are going to give it a try for the first time. With our step-by-step guide, you can be assured this will turn out perfect the first time.
- 1 ¼ pounds wild Alaskan salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 heads broccoli (1-1½ pounds), trimmed
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ cup water
Season salmon with half the rosemary and ½ teaspoon salt at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour before cooking. This is very important so more flavor can penetrate into the salmon and you’ll have a much more flavorful, delicious dish.
Cut the broccoli into florets with 2-inch-long stalks. Use as much of the vegetable as you can.
To make it easier to digest, remove the tough outer layer of the stalk with a vegetable peeler. Cut the florets in half lengthwise. Be sure to have even sizes so florets cook more evenly.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add raisins, pine nuts and the remaining rosemary; toss to coat with oil. Careful with tossing. If you are not confident with your tossing abilities, just use your spatula.
Cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are fragrant and beginning to brown this is usually done in three to five minutes.
Add the broccoli, season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and toss to combine.
Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has almost evaporated about eight to ten minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Using non-stick cookware is important in weight loss because it helps you cut back on oil.
Add salmon, skinned side up, and cook until golden brown about three to five minutes. Gently turn the salmon over, remove the pan from the heat and let stand until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. This ensures that your fish will cook just right. To serve, divide the broccoli among 4 plates. Top with salmon and spoon raisins, pine nuts and any liquid remaining in the pan over the salmon.
Per serving: 311 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat); 5 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 144 mcg folate; 66 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,976 IU vitamin A; 77 mg vitamin C; 111 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 700 mg sodium; 961 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (128% daily value), Vitamin A (40% dv), Folate (36% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat
Easy and Quick Chicken Tikka Masala
Stock up on your spices because we’re very confident you are going to make this dish over and over again.
- 4 teaspoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. It’s best to mix these items in a small dish separately to really integrate the different flavors.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour. This will be used later for the sauce.)
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. We opted to use canola oil so it doesn’t “burn” quickly. Cook the chicken until browned usually one to two minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Cook these items while stirring often, until starting to brown. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated.
Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan.
Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, usually four to five minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Serving size: 1½ cups
Per serving: 318 calories; 14 g fat (5 g sat); 4 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 56 mcg folate; 85 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,029 IU vitamin A; 29 mg vitamin C; 109 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 585 mg sodium; 682 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (48% daily value), Vitamin A (21% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1½
Exchanges: ½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat
Simple Swedish Meatballs
One can never go wrong with meatballs. Don’t let the thought of preparing meatballs scare you because this is very easy, quick, and yummy.
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 8 ounces ground turkey breast
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon lingonberry or seedless raspberry jam
Combine onion, bread crumbs, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cardamom in a bowl. Add the ground turkey and pork; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using a scant 2 tablespoons for each, make about 20 meatballs.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally and reducing the heat if the pan gets too hot, until almost cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add mushrooms and flour to the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until their liquid has been released and evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in broth to the pan and scrape any brown flour sticking to the bottom to make sauce more flavorful, add the meatballs. Bring to a simmer and cook until the meatballs are just cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add sour cream, parsley, jam and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt to the sauce; gently stir until combined.
Make Ahead Tip: Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.
Serving size: 4 meatballs
Per serving: 255 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat); 2 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 46 mcg folate; 62 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 344 IU vitamin A; 8 mg vitamin C; 43 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 636 mg sodium; 631 mg potassium
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 fat
Check out other recipes we have published already.