Tips and ideas for lower calorie meals

1. Serve one simple lowfat main dish with a salad. The main dish can be a stirfry, vegetable soup, stew, baked potato, chili or pasta dish.
2. Serve smaller entrees on small dishes - like the size of a salad plate. Consider buying some brightly colored small plates for evening dinners. We picked up a variety of colored dishes that are salad plate sized at a clearance sale. They’re fun because everyone gets a different color.
3. Use the large plate for the salad.
4. Serve salad for dessert. If you want to eat real dessert, go out for it and share - don’t keep it around the house.
5. Keep all items low in fat. Flavor dishes with fresh herbs, black pepper and fresh-squeezed lemon or lime.

BBQ Chicken Plate
2 chicken breast halves with ribs, skinless
2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
3 cups cooked brown rice
Tossed salad:
1 bag ready-to-serve dark green lettuce mix
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup diced mild chili pepper
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 grated carrot
Black pepper and vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Top each chicken breast with a tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Bake until done (done when no longer pink in center), about 45-50 minutes. Cut each breast in half.
2. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions and cook in rice cooker or on stove.
3. Prepare salad, dividing ingredients between 4 dinner plates or serve in one large bowl.
4. Serve chicken and rice on small salad plate. Serve salad on large dinner plate. Allow everyone to top with vinegar and pepper before eating.
Serves 4. Each serving (15 oz): 318 calories, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 165 mg sodium, 42 mg cholesterol, 51 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 21 g protein.

Penne, Shrimp Salad
2 cups penne pasta, dry
3 cups low-sodium pasta  sauce
2 tablespoons fresh-shredded
Parmesan cheese
Tossed salad:
1 bag ready-to-serve butter  lettuce mix
1 cup thawed cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
2 grated carrots
1 cup diced tomato
1 wedged lemon
Black pepper and vinegar
Fruit Platter:
4 cups of assorted fresh fruits in season, cubed

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander. Heat sauce in the same pan and add pasta - stir and reheat. Serve on 4 small plates topped with cheese.
2. Prepare salad on 4 large plates by arranging lettuce, shrimp and veggies. Serve with lemon, pepper and vinegar to the side.
3. Serve fruit platter on table, family style.
Serves 4. Each serving (21 ounces): 380 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 434 mg sodium, 59 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fiber, 21 g protein.

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