We all know that to lose weight we need to reduce the amount of calories we eat and increase our level of activity (cue thoughts of lettuce & celery and exercise). However, this is sometimes easier said than done, especially in the cooler months when we crave the usual comfort foods like fish and chips and a full English breakfast on a weekend.

What we need to do is to permanently change our eating habits by making healthier choices with the foods we love and adapt the ingredients to make each meal healthier & make them low calorie.

Eating just 300 – 500 calories less per day than you normally eat could lead to between one and two pounds weight loss each week.

The recipes below include some of my favourites, all with a twist – they are all under 400 calories per serving but still have that familiar taste. They’re my low calorie guilty pleasures! 😉

Non Diet Full English – 175 calories per portion (Serves 4)

  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 8 slices of lean bacon, cooked until almost crisp
  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cupcake tin. Flatten the bread with a rolling pin and cut into 8 x 4” rounds. Place in the baking tin making sure the bread comes up the edges to form a cup. Lay one slice of bacon in each, letting it hang over the edges and then crack 1 egg into each, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until the egg whites are set. Serve two per person with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.

Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce – 375 calories per serving (Serves 2)

  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 white fish fillets about 140g each
  • Grated zest and juice of a lemon
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 2 heaped tsp Fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Toss the chips in the oil and spread over a baking sheet in an even layer.
Bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 40 minutes until browned and crisp.
Make the tartar sauce by mixing the yoghurt, capers, parsley and lemon juice together, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the fish in a shallow dish, brush lightly with oil,  sprinkle with salt and pepper then pour half the lemon juice over it and bake for 12-15 minutes alongside the potatoes.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Citrus Turkey Steaks – 310 calories per serving (Serves 4)

  • 4 turkey breast steaks, approx 300g each
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oranges (juice of 2) and two peeled and cut into segments
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wild or long grain rice
  • Broccoli

Method:

Coat the turkey in cornflour and fry in the hot oil for 4 minutes, turning once, until browned.
Transfer to a warm plate.
Add the orange juice, ginger and honey to the pan and mix in the remaining cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and add to the pan.
Stir until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy.
Add the orange segments and then return the turkey to the pan.
Heat through thoroughly and serve with the cooked rice and broccoli.

Mushroom Risotto – Super Healthy Vegetarian Option – 302 calories per portion

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
  • 100g quinoa
  • 175g risotto rice
  • 1 Litre chicken stock
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Rocket

Method:

Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden. Stir in the quinoa.
Add a ladle of the stock and stir until absorbed. Add the rice and gradually add all the stock, a bit at a time, until it has been absorbed and the rice and quinoa are cooked.
Serve with grated parmesan and rocket leaves.

Fettuccine Alfredo – 371 calories per serving (Serves 6)

  • 1 pound spinach fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups fat free crème fraiche
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt, Pepper and ground nutmeg

Method:

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.
Melt the butter and garlic in a medium saucepan and cook gently over a low heat for approx 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and add the crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce – toss to coat and serve.

And there you have it…a selection of scrumptious recipes that are all low calorie. Enjoy! 🙂