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The Healthy Cooking Thread!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
With so many of us interested both in weight loss and in cooking, I thought I'd start a thread that combines both those ideas!
We can all share our ideas for healthy, low-fat, high-nutrient meals. Fancy things, things that are easy to make, meals for one or two, or meals for a crowd!

Here's my first contribution to the thread!

Polenta-Chili "Pies"
You'll Need:
A Skillet or Griddle
A Soup/Sauce Pan
Olive Oil Spray/PAM Cooking Spray
A Can of your favorite low fat or fat free veggie chili or turkey chili
A tube of refrigerated low-fat polenta (Can be found in the produce section of many grocery stores nowadays, or at a health food/gourmet grocer such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)
Some LF shredded cheese
Some LF sour cream

Slice up the tube of polenta into 1/2 inch rounds--one tube of polenta has about four servings in it, so to feed two people, slice up half the tube. Heat some olive oil spray in a skillet and "fry" the slices of polenta til they are golden-brown and crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes on med-hi heat, flipping them over occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the can of chili til its heated thru.
In two small bowls, layer the polenta pieces on the bottom, then top with a cup of chili in each bowl. Top the chili with a dollop of lf sour cream, some lf shredded cheese, hot sauce if you'd like.
Served with a simple green salad, this makes a very hearty, super quick, and extra tasty healthy meal!!!
This is what I had for dinner tonight!

Now, time for your meals!
post #2 of 16
Well, I made this the other day and it was so yummy I ended up making it the next day for lunch. My roommate was upset that there was none left.

Ingredients: (measurements are approximate; serves two people)

1 cup pasta ~ I use mostaccioli
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast ~ I cut mine into cubes but you can cut it the way you want.
1 small jar mushrooms ~ I used a jar because my supermarket doesn't have fresh mushrooms
1-2t Italian seasoning
sun-ripened tomatoes
Parmesan cheese ~ I used Kraft because it has next to nothing in regards to fat & calories and is delicious
smart butter

Cook pasta; cook chicken.
drain pasta; coat with seasoning. I added butter to pasta first so it'd coat better.
toss in chicken, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
add cheese.

I added a lot of "cheese." You could add pretty much any kind of peppers, but I don't like peppers. I made wheat garlic bread with it. You could make a salad too. I didn't because my roommate won't eat salad.

It's really, really easy to make.
post #3 of 16
Tonight is soft tacos ! I make them with ground turkey breast, 40% less sodium taco mix, lowfat or fatfree cheese and whole wheat tortillas.
post #4 of 16
I dont have any recipes to contribute as I dont cook and I suck at it...but here are few tips that really work for reducing weight.

Dont make yourself suffer by not eating your favourites cakes and pies but control the intake. Have it in small proportions and never over-eat. Also while making pasta, avoid the cheese sauce and use the tomato sauce with whole wheat pastas.
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
Tonight is soft tacos ! I make them with ground turkey breast, 40% less sodium taco mix, lowfat or fatfree cheese and whole wheat tortillas.
Oh those sound just delish!! YUM!
post #6 of 16
This is a super easy microwave recipe I found on the net ages ago

Cheesy Noodle Bake
6 servings

1/2 c onions, chopped
1/3 c fat-free milk
1 tbsp unbleached flour
1 1/2 c fat-free cottage cheese
1 tsp salt
3 c No Yolks egg noodle substitute, cooked
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
3/4 c low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Cover and microwave onions in a 2-quart glass dish until tender. Blend in flour, salt, mustard, black pepper, and milk. Mix well. Microwave, uncovered, for one minute, or until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in cottage cheese, noodles, and parsley. Cover and microwave for six minutes, or until hot. Stir in cheese. Microwave, uncovered until cheese has melted, three minutes.

Nutritional Analysis per serving
(6 servings total)
Calories 128
Total Fat 1 g%
CFF 8 %
Cholesterol 8 mg
Protein 15 g
Sodium 666 mg
Carbohydrates 15.6 g
Fiber 1.6 g
post #7 of 16
Seems to me that many of us on this list don't enjoy healthy cooking. I don't see many replies. I know I'll be taking advantage of these recipes! Good idea for a thread!
post #8 of 16
I love to cook and have lots of recipes, however, my way of eating healthier (for me) isn't low fat or low cal.

If anyone wants healthy recipes for a balanced carb way of eating, let me know and I'll start posting!
post #9 of 16
I'm a vegetarian, and of all the vegetarian variations I've come up with, this is my all-time favorite thing. It's not that low in calories, but it has much less fat and cholesterol than a non-vegetarian version would, and it's loaded with healthy proteins. I call it...

Carol's Mexican Goop

About four cups of chopped sweet onions
1/4 cup of olive oil
Four cans of Bush's vegetarian chili beans
Two cans of Hunt's tomato sauce
Two packets of French's "Chili-O" seasoning mix
Heinz Ketchup (don't laugh!)

In a huge pot, swirl the olive oil around to coat the sides a few inches up. Chop the onions and stir them into the oil until they're coated. Put the lid on and turn on the very lowest heat possible. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes, until the onions go limp and translucent.

Stir in one can of tomato sauce PLUS about half of the second can, then add the four cans of beans. Raise the heat a little bit and stir continuously to get everything warmed through. Then reduce the heat again and use a potato masher to crush the beans. Don't completely pulverize them -- just mash them until very few are left undamaged. :-)

Put the lid back on and let the whole thing simmer on the lowest heat, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour.

Add the Chili-O mix and about a cup of ketchup, and stir constantly at a slightly higher heat for at least fifteen minutes. The goop should be fairly thick and a little more red than brown.

Now get a saltine cracker and dip it in for a taste. The flavor should be a nice balance of tangy/spicy vs. slightly onion-sweet. If the flavor is a little dull, add more ketchup and a dash of cayenne pepper. If it's TOO spicy, add another can of beans.

You can freeze this in batches, thaw them as needed, and serve it several ways:

- If you spoon some into a taco shell and add cheddar cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream, you've got a vegetarian taco.

- If you dab some on tostadas, sprinkle on a little cheddar cheese, and run it under the broiler, you've got vegetarian frijole nachos.

- If you put some in a bowl and stir in a bit of water to thin it out, you can throw some crackers or cornbread in and call it vegetarian chili.

- And if you just slop some on a plate next to a pile of white rice, you've got some nice simple Mexican-style comfort food.

No self-respecting Mexican chef would have anything to do with this recipe, I'm sure, because of the ketchup... but hey, it's GOOD! What else matters? :-)
post #10 of 16
Hey, Pat and/or Alix -- I'd love to hear about your balanced-carb recipes! Post away! :-)
post #11 of 16
This is my version of a favorite recipe - suitable for a low carb meal (one wedge makes a great breakfast) or as a hearty sidedish for a meal with more protein and a carb.

Spinach Cheese Casserole
Thaw and squeeze out liquid from a lb. of frozen, chopped spinach
saute in extra virgin olive oil w/one minced clove of garlic, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. I don't use salt often when cooking, if you do, now is the time to add some

Next, beat 3 eggs, mix in a blend of two shredded cheeses (we like cheddar and monterary jack or sometimes, just do cheddar alone), and one container of whole milk cottage cheese, or whole milk ricotta.
Add the sauteed spinach and mix all well. Put mixture into a 13x9 baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Variations include also seasoning with Chipotle Chili Powder, layering cheddar cheese atop to form a lightly browned crust.
post #12 of 16
Spinach Cheese Casserole
Ooooh I have made this before! It tastes great.
post #13 of 16
Here is another of my favourites

Chicken and Asparagus with Creamy Dijon Sauce

1 pound chicken cutlets
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon

1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and add them to the pan in a single layer. Sauté the chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, place the asparagus in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave the asparagus on high until it is just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Lower the heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

4. Add the wine to the pan, turn the heat to medium and reduce the wine until it is almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken broth and reduce it by half. Whisk in the mustard, sour cream and half of the tarragon and stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

5. Add the chicken and asparagus to the sauce to heat them for a minute or two. Transfer the chicken and asparagus to a platter, sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and serve. Serving Size: 4 ounces of chicken with asparagus and sauce

Number of Servings: 4
Per Serving

Calories 273
Carbohydrate 14 g
Fat 8 g
Fiber 3 g
Protein 32 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 569 mg
post #14 of 16
How about a Thanksgiving Treat?

Butternut Squash Souffle
I've skinnied this one down myself, and have really enjoyed the latest results. It's still going through some minor adjustments, but it's right about perfect. For Authenticity, I've included the not very healthy at all version as well.

The "Real" Thing
2c Mashed Cooked Butternut Squash
1c Heavy Cream/ Half & Half
3/4c. White Sugar
3/4c. Brown Sugar
3 Large Grade A Eggs
3T All-Purpose Flour
2T Pumpkin Pie Spice
1T Vanilla
1T Almond Extract
3T Melted Butter

Mix all the ingredients until just combined, pour into a buttered dish and cook @350 ~1hr.

Faking It 'Til I Make It!
2c Mashed Cooked Butternut Squash
1c Lite Sour Cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
(though I will be trying this with 1/4 cup splenda brown sugar)
3 Large Grade A Egg Whites, Beaten into Peaks
1 Large Grade A Egg Yolk
3T All-Purpose Flour
2T Pumpkin Pie Spice
1T Vanilla
1T Almond Extract
3T Melted Margarine

Mix all ingredients except egg whites to combine. Fold in whites. Dish into sprayed corning ware or into ramekins and bake at 350.

It serves 8 at 4 WW points (200 Calories,5.8 grams of fat, 1.4 grams fiber)
Or in the ramekins (4 oz. ramekins) it serves 12 at 3 WW Points (133 calories, 3.875 Grams of fat, 1 Gram of fiber)

It's not super healthy, but it's certainly moreso than the original, and fine as a thanksgiving side dish or dessert (I don't eat yams, so there's that.)
post #15 of 16
I have one!! You can use low fat cream cheese for it... I LOVE this stuff... gonna make some tonight. It's good warm or cold. Got it from Kraft's website... i don't have pine nuts. but it's excellent without them.

* * *

Linguine with Cream Cheese

Recipe Rating:

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Makes: 8 servings

Nutrition Information
Kraft Kitchens Tips
Ratings and comments
You may also enjoy

2 lb. tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 pkg. (9 oz. each) DI GIORNO Linguine, uncooked
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

TOSS tomatoes with cream cheese, oil, basil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper; cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
COOK pasta as directed on package; drain. Place in large bowl.
ADD tomato mixture and pine nuts; toss lightly.
post #16 of 16
Here's a chili I make that my roommate says is the greatest chili he's ever had. I don't really like it that much, but it's okay. I'm not really a chili person. This recipe makes a lot, but I put the rest in the fridge because most people like chili warmed up. If I'm making it for other people, I make it a day ahead of time.

Also, it has sugar in it and when I made it the first time and tasted it, I thought it was too sweet. I kept adding more cayenne to it until I didn't taste the sugar anymore. My friend said he's had "5-alarm" chili before, and mine was 4-alarm. I couldn't even eat it and I love spicy. So, don't let the sugar throw you off. It tastes better when the measurements are followed.


1T extra virgin olive oil
1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded
1 1/3 cups chopped red & yellow peppers (sometimes I leave these out because I don't like them)
6t chili powder
1 1/2t paprika
1/4t garlic powder
3/4t ground cayenne
1/2 cup splenda granular
3T balsamic vinegar
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes (I purree my own tomatoes so there's no added salt or preservatives)
1 (19oz.) can black beans, undrained
2 (19oz.) cans red beans, undrained
1 (19oz.) can cannellini beans, undrained
1 (10oz.) package frozen whole kernal corn

In a large stock pot, saute jalapeno and bell peppers over med. heat for 5-8 mins.

Add other ingredient and bring to boil. Cover and simmer on low for 20 mins.

Fun and easy to make!
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