Give me some tasty easy-to-make diet recipies

So, I’m on a diet. Or I should be, though you wouldn’t know it from the last week or so. Anyhow, I need to loose weight, probably a pound or three a week would be great, since I’m shipping out for Basic with the Air Force some time this summer vague hand wavy gesture.

It’s not that I can’t find healthy things to eat in the house. Lots of canned veggies, fresh carrots and potatos, etc, even some of those frozen healthy freezer meal things. Basically, the problem is that much of it often isn’t all that tasty (although I can usually make the potatos taste pretty good).

So, any recommendations on foods that are tasty (or maybe “taste-full” is a better word), hopefully filling, and conductive to loosing weight? If it helps, I like spicy food more than sweets in general, especially Chinese and Tex-Mex.

Someone with more nutritional smarts than me should pop in soon, but I think canned vegetables are generally high in salt, and low in flavour/vitamins. I’ve always preferred frozen over canned, if I can’t have fresh.

Spaghetti squash: Cut in quarters, remove centre. Microwave on high, covered, until softened. Pull out strands with a fork (the ‘rind’ will stay behind), and season with some real bacon bits and green onions and a sprinkle of herbs/garlic/parmesan. YUMMY!

Here are some of my favorites

Quinoa Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

1 cup quinoa, washed/drained (use brown rice if you can’t find quinoa)
1 lsweet potato, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic (I used more)
1 14 oz can of tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained
1 can green chiles
2 tbs minced cilantro
Some low fat cheese
Whole wheat, low fat tortillas

Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water. When done, set aside.

While the quinoa is simmering, I cut up the sweet potatoes into small pieces (dice sized) and spray a cookie sheet with PAM. I bake the potatoes for around 20 minutes (shaking often) until they are soft and getting crispy. (if I don’t have time, I nuke them for 5 minutes!)

Saute onion, garlic. Stir in tomato (crushed, with juice), black beans, chiles, cilantro. Add quinoa, potatoes. Season with salt and pepper (I added some red pepper flakes, because i like spicy). Stir and heat through.

Put in tortillas, add some cheese so it sticks together, grill on both sides. Top with lots of salsa. Made enough for 4 nights! (I just grilled a new one each night). Last time I made it, I added some spinach leaves to mine, it was pretty good.
Curried Vegetables

1 sweet potato, cut into small cubes
2 tbs olive oil
Carrots - I cut baby carrots in half, use about a cup
1 onion - cut into big wedges
Garlic - I use a freakish amount, whatever works for you
2 14oz cans of tomatoes, crushed with juice
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 heaping tablespoons curry powder
1 cup veggie broth
juice of one lime
salt, pepper
Veggies of choice - I’ve used green beans, broccoli, wilted spinach, parsnips (whatever floats your boat)
Brown rice

This dish isn’t hard to make, just lots of chopping. I like to call it “every 15 minute curry” because you have to add something every 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Cut up potatoes into small, dice-sized pieces. Coat a deep metal baking pan with PAM and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the potatoes (of course, it’s better with MORE oil, so let your health choices be your conscience). Stick in the oven for 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are baking, cut up carrots and onion. After 15 minutes, take the potatoes out and give them a good shake. Scootch the potatoes to the edge of the pan and put the garlic, carrots, onion and chickpeas (and any veggie you are using you think will take a little longer to cook, like green beans) into the middle of the pan. Drizzle some more olive oil and stick it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Dump the tomatoes into a large bowl, crush them up and add the two heaping tablespoons of curry powder (of course, if you don’t loooove curry like I do, use a little less).

Start the rice. I usually make 1 cup rice/2 cups water for 2 people.

Take the veggie mixture out of the oven, shake things up a bit. Arrange the broccoli around the rim of the pan (and any other veggies you have left that you think will cook in 15 minutes) and dump the tomato mixture all over everything (particularly the broccoli because it really soaks it up and gets DELISH). Stick in oven for YES 15 minutes.

Make broth.

After 15 minutes remove curried vegetables from oven and transfer them to a huge serving bowl.

Put the metal baking pan on the burner, add the broth and the lime juice and salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce the broth by half, stirring vigorously.

When the broth has reduced by half, pour over veggies. Serve them over rice!

Makes plenty for 2 people for 2 nights. One of my all time favorite things to cook (so easy, just lots of chopping).

Charcooked Vegetables with Spicy Sidekick Dressing

Note: I don’t usually eat meat, but I guess this would be a great recipe to add a grilled chicken breast to

Grilled Veggies

1 red pepper
1 orange (or yellow pepper)
2 zucchini
4 corncobs
1 eggplant
olive oil

Spicy Sidekick Dressing

1 tbs olive oil
crushed garlic (I use a lot)
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small green chile, seeded and finely chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 inches of cucumber, finely chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs lime or lemon juice (I usually use a little more)


To make the dressing, heat the oil in a saucepan or skillet. Add the garlic and onion and saute gently until softened, around 3 minutes. Add the celery, chile and tomatoes, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Add the cucumber, tomato paste and lemon/lime juice and simmer for 8-10 minutes until thick and pulpy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Cut the veggies into thick slices and brush with a little olive oil. Cook the vegetables on the grill for about 5-8 minutes, sprinkling them with salt, pepper and fresh herbs as they cook, turning once (under the broiler in the oven is okay too).

This dish is delicious served over brown rice with lime wedges to squeeze.

Spinach Chickpea Leek Soup

This is SO good and so fast and easy to make - makes plenty for several days. Great to make on a Sunday and eat all week.

1 tbs olive oil
2 leeks, sliced thinly (circles)
1 zuchini, chopped
minced garlic (I use tons)
2 14 oz cans tomatoes
small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 3/4 cup veg broth
1 14 oz can chickpeas (gabanzo beans) drained
block of frozen spinach (thawed, drained)
1 tbs oregano
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh parm cheese for topping

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan, add leeks and zucchini and cook briskly for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, vegetable broth, chickpeas and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Shred the spinach finely, add to the soup and boil for 2 minutes. Season to taste. (the longer it cooks on the stove, the better it is). Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (if desired).

Red bean and corn pitas

1 tbs olive oil
small onion, chopped
garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 14 oz can tomatoes, undrained
1 cup corn
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
salt, pepper
whole wheat pita pockets

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan, add the onion, garlic and pepper, saute gently for 10 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne.

Mash in the tomatoes with their juice, cover and cook for 10 minutes, then add the corn and the kidney beans. Cook gently for a few minutes until hot. Season to taste with salt/pepper.

Warm the pita pockets in oven or microwave. Cut them in half lengthwise, gently open each half and fill with the red bean mixture and serve at once.

Also good with other vegetables and 2% sharp cheddar.

Spicy tomato sauce with fresh basil and veggie crumbles

3 cans 14 oz tom
1 can 12 oz tom paste
1 onion, diced
garlic (I use TONS)
1 tbs olive oil
Sun dried tomatoes
Fresh Basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Whatever else I feel like - black olives, mushrooms, carrots, zuch
1 package MorningStar Farm Crumbles (ground turkey would be good)
Red Pepper Flakes
Splash of red cooking wine
whole wheat/spinach pasta

Saute onion/garlic for 5 minutes until translucent. Add veggie crumbles, dried oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Brown the veggie crumbles - stirring often.

While the veggie crumbles are browning, put 2 cans tomatoes (with juice), tom paste, fresh basil and half the sun dried tomatoes into a food processor - blend until smooth.

Put the tomato mixture over the crumbles and stir.

Put the last can of tomatoes into the food processorand pulse until the tomatoes are chunky. Throw these in with the rest.

Add the rest of the sun dried tomatoes and any other additional veggies. Add a splash of red cooking wine. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat pasta.
Tonight, I am making home made pizza. I bought a Boboli whole wheat crust and some jarred pasta sauce (picked one with a lower calorie/fat content). I’m going to add spinach leaves, fresh basil, mushrooms, onions, black olives, sun dried tomato and fat free feta for toppings. It will last two nights!

Good luck with your weight loss efforts. I know that liking to cook definitely helped me - I lost 70 lbs and have kept it off for almost 2 years.

Hee, see, for me, liking to cook is COUNTERproductive for loosing weight, cause I learned how to cook from my dad, which usually means large quantities of food. I simply don’t know HOW to make spaghetti for less than four people. Of course, my dad, unlike me, is not planning to join the Air Force, so he doesn’t suffer from the drawbacks of this like I do.

Thanks for the recipies, some of those (the quesadillas and the spaghetti sauce especially) sound very good. I make my own spaghetti sauce too, but I never considered browning the onions with the garlic (nor did I ever give serious thought to using any fresh or dried tomatos, mostly as a budgetary concern). Mostly when I make it, it’s a big can of whole tomatos, a can of tomato sauce, some tomato paste, onions, garlic, and whatever other loose veggies I have on hand.

[nitpick] Why oh why has the whole planet added another ‘o’ to ‘lose’ in the past two years? [/nitpick]

Obviously I’m trying to loose the weight as in “To cut loose”, I want the extra pounds to just drop free, preferably attatching to one of those super-skinny guys who are 30 or 40 pounds away from the overweight mark for the Air Force. :stuck_out_tongue:

How’s your spice cabinet looking?

A huge part of making things taste good is adding spices. Since you LIKE spice, you’re in a good spot.

Ground turkey + your favorite spices = yummy burgers, chili meat, taco meat or meatloaf
Frozen veggies + your favorite spices = yummy veggies
tofu marinated in your favorite flavors + grill = yummy toufu meat
light cottage cheese + your favorite spices = savory, light and filling
frozen stir fry veggies + light soy sauce & oil + your favorite spices = yummy stir fry
brown rice + frozen mixed veggies + skinless chicken breast + spices = chicken & rice

Spices can take you anywhere!

Don’t forget lowfat cheeses, eggs, and frozen spinach - quiches, fritattas, lasagnas…

mmmmm…oh, yeah and they also make cookbooks on these topics :slight_smile:


Potaje means any dish that mixes carbs (pasta, potato, rice) with beans. Since you want to lose some “soft weight” but not much, things like “rice with black beans” (gallo pinto) or “mac with lentils” would be handy. Normally you’d add a little bit (a little bit, not a portion) of bacon, sausage, chorizo… No sauce. The pasta and rice should be “al dente” (potatoes should be cooked through); not only is this Just The Right Way, it actually means that you’ll need some more time before your blood sugar gets low enough to get hungry again. And it’s a whole meal in a single dish, all you’re missing is the veggies but just get a piece of fruit for dessert and you’re set.

Ramen Stir-Fry
1 lb. meat (I like to use chicken tenders) or tofu
1-2 tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil
2 (3 oz.) packages flavored ramen noodles (use the low-fat variety - if your regular grocery store doesn’t have them, places like Whole Foods will. They aren’t as cheap as the high-fat variety, but they are lots better for you and still pretty darn cheap)
1 (12 to 16 oz.) package stir-fry vegetables (thaw first if you buy frozen - I use fresh broccoli slaw, plus you can substitute any fresh vegs you like or happen to have on hand. Personally I like snap peas, green beans, water chestnuts, shredded carrots and zucchini and half a package of broccoli slaw)
½ onion
2 cloves garlic
Soy sauce, to taste

Meat should be cut into strips or bite-size chunks.

Add the oil, the onion, garlic and meat or tofu to a skillet and cook until the meat/tofu is light golden brown on the outside.

While that’s going on, take a medium saucepan, fill with water and put it on to boil. Once it’s boiling, put the ramen noodles in (reserve the flavor packets) and cook them until they break apart – 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse them.

Add the vegs to the skillet with the meat or tofu and add the ramen flavor packets. Cook and stir until the vegs are just tender and then add the noodles.

This will make 3-4 servings.