Pizza Baked Potato:
- What You Need: Baked potato, low-fat and low-sodium pasta sauce, steamed vegetables, nonfat cheese, & nonfat sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- What You Do: Split a baked potato in half and fill it with 1/2 cup of pasta sauce. Add steamed vegetables and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Top with cheese and sour cream.
- What You Need: Low-fat flour tortillas, canned low-sodium vegetarian chili, nonfat grated cheese, salsa, nonfat sour cream, & assorted raw vegetables.
- What You Do: Fill 2 small, low-fat, warm flour tortillas with chili. Top with grated cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Serve with raw vegetables on the side.
Slimmed Down Mac & Cheese:
- What You Need: Boxed macaroni with cheese mix & frozen vegetable assortment.
- What You Do: Cook macaroni in the microwave with 1/4 cup water and 2 cups of mixed vegetables for 10 to 12 minutes, pausing to stir the mixture every 4 minutes. Add 1/2 of the packaged cheese mix and stir well. Save the other half of the mix for another time.
Layered Taco Salad:
- What You Need: Baked tortilla chips, beans, chili powder, lettuce, & salsa.
- What You Do: Drain and rinse the beans, then heat them up and mix with the chili powder. Layer salad in a bowl in the following order: baked tortilla chips, bean mix, lettuce, salsa.
Chili Rice and Salad:
- What You Need: Canned low-sodium, low-fat vegetarian chili, instant brown rice, shredded lettuce, nonfat cheese, nonfat sour cream, & salsa.
- What You Do: Cook instant brown rice and heat chili. Serve chili over the rice, topping with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and salsa.
- What You Need: Whole grain pita, vegetables, shredded lettuce, beans, & nonfat salad dressing.
- What You Do: Toss fresh salad vegetables, lettuce, and beans in a tablespoon of nonfat dressing and stuff in the pita.
- What You Need: Pasta, low-fat, low-sodium pasta sauce, & fresh or frozen veggie mix.
- What You Do: Cook the vegetables in the pasta sauce (for a single serving, use 1 cup of veggies and 1/2 cup sauce). Toss with cooked pasta, serve hot.
“Home-made” Soup and Salad:
- What You Need: Low-fat, low-sodium soup, frozen vegetables, lettuce, fresh vegetables, & nonfat dressing.
- What You Do: Add 1/2 cup of frozen veggies to each cup of soup. Try minestrone with extra assorted vegetables, chicken noodle soup with corn, split pea soup with extra peas and carrots, etc. Serve with a tossed salad (combine fresh vegetables and dressing).
Roasted Pita Pizzas:
- What You Need: Whole wheat pita, low-fat, low-sodium pasta sauce, fresh vegetables, & nonfat grated cheese.
- What You Do: Fill the pita with sauce and vegetables and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Top with nonfat cheese and return to oven for 1 minute more.
Frozen Entree and Fresh Salad:
- What You Need: Frozen vegetarian entree (should have less than 500 calories, no more than 500 mg of sodium, and less than 8 grams fat per serving -- try Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones or Healthy Choice), salad in a bag mix, vegetables, & nonfat salad dressing.
- What You Do: Cook entree according to package instructions. Toss salad in a bag mix together with dressing and serve alongside entree.
Vegetarian Burger and Slaw:
- What You Need: Low-fat, low-sodium veggie burger, whole grain bun, shredded cabbage, low-fat, low-sodium coleslaw dressing, & assorted raw vegetables.
- What You Do: Toss cabbage and coleslaw dressing together. Cook burger on griddle until heated through and crispy, then serve on a whole grain bun, topped with slaw and raw vegetables.
Speedy Stir Fry:
- What You Need: Instant brown rice, low-fat, low-sodium chicken noodle soup, frozen stir fry veggie mix, & light soy sauce.
- What You Do: Cook brown rice according to package directions. Heat frozen vegetable mx with chicken noodle soup and a dash of light soy sauce. Serve over rice.
Check the Nutrition Facts Label on all soups and sauces, ensuring that fat is lower than 2 g per serving and sodium is lower than 500 mg per serving...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.