Lowfat recipes needed!

So I’ve got a gallbladder that wants to come out and play. Until it can do so, I really REALLY need to avoid fat in my diet. But I don’t want to bore myself too horribly.

Any suggestions for different stuff to make? Some variety from basic chicken would be gratefully received.

Can you give us a little more direction here? What kinds of things do you normally make? What will the “avoid fat” restriction keep you from enjoying? (For example, I couldn’t care less if I never had fried chicken again. But no more Ben and Jerry’s pistachio ice cream? WAAAAH!)

I’ll often make something like chicken soup from scratch. Or boneless chicken breasts tossed in a baking pan with a bottleful of teriyaki sauce and baked.

I make a lot of stuff like spaghetti sauce. Had even just made a lot of lasagna sauce (though that’s in the freezer until I can eat the assembled lasagna… no way in hell am I making lasagna when I can’t eat the results!)

I don’t generally cook a lot of beef except ground beef and I do go for the 93% lean for that. Hopefully that’s “light” enough!

I don’t like to stir fry mainly because I’m lazy and hate cutting all the veggies but I’ve got some free time over the next couple of weeks so I may go back to doing that. Though of course even stir fry has some added fat, but I can’t avoid it completely, just minimize it.

Will probably dig out an old lentil soup recipe (from Diet for a Small Planet). We haven’t made it in years, as my daughter hates legumes of any sort, but she can fix herself a sandwich.

Anyway - I’ve never worried too much about the fat content of dinners, beyond purchasing lower-fat meats and avoiding fixing stuff like deep-fried cheese sticks (my excess fat intake is usually from munchies). So anything that occurs to anyone, please toss out - I’m mostly looking for inspiration and ideas. If I can’t have holiday munchies, the least I can do is make the meals themselves interesting. And I definitely need to bump up the protein - have felt so wretched the last few days that I’ve been living on canned soup and that’s light, protein-wise.

What is really nice, if you like spinach, and beans, and sort of mexicanish flavored foods:

fresh spinach, canned black or pinto beans, drained and washed, salsa of the heat you like, an egg, and lowfat cheddar cheese

take the disposable foil muffin cups, the sturdy self supporting ones, and line up as many on a cookie sheet as you need. Dollop an amount of beans mixed with salsa to taste in the bottom, make a nest out of a few spinach leaves with the vein removed, crack an egg into the nest, top with a spoonful of salsa and a large pinch of cheese. Bake until the egg is cooked and the cheese melty. It is also good for lacto ovo vegetarians =)

Many vegetables are nicely low fat, if you like veggies =) one of my favorite odd combination is lima beans and a little lemon juice. To me they just go together nicely.

An excellent gallbladder breakfast is oatmeal made with skim milk or water, a handfull of blueberries (fresh or frozen) or raisins, and brown sugar. Almost completely fat free and you get the artery-scouring power of oats.

A good holiday meat dish is either chicken breasts or a turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker with orange marmalade and cranberry sauce. A jar of the cranberry sauce and a cup of the marmalade is what I usually use, but I don’t think the proportions are a big deal. Serve this over rice with a green veggie.

There are spray-on salad dressings that are 10 calories for 10 sprays. Salad dressing is one of the biggest sources of fat in most women’s diets, so don’t be fooled by salad=virtue.

I’ll also do a low-fat pasta primavera with just veggies, parmesan cheese, and a little (like a teaspoon) olive oil.

You may find you tolerate fat better at breakfast and lunch than at dinner. Gallbladders seem to act up in the evening for some reason. Hope all goes well with your surgery.

I’ve posted this before, but I love it so much!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 tbs olive oil
1-1/2 lb chicken breasts, chunked into bite size pieces
2 medium zucchinis, diced
2 medium yellow squash, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell or poblano pepper, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp chili powder or ancho chili powder
salt and pepper
1 can corn (or 1 cup frozen)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (adjust to level of heat wanted)
3-4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

In a big soup pot, brown the chicken in the oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini, squash, onions, peppers, and garlic. Stir and cook about five minutes. Add seasonings. Add corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotles, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about twenty minutes.

Garnish with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or chopped cilantro.

Good luck with your surgery! Had mine out last yeaar with no problems at all.

Can you eat soy, do you enjoy tofu, and do you like spicy foods? If so, a lower fat ma pao-inspired dish could work, but of course you’ll need to check the nutritional info on the tofu. Lots of protein for sure!

Mix black bean paste, red chili sauce, minced/grated garlic and ginger, soy sauce, and just the tiniest bit of sesame oil, and stir fry this paste with a few ounces of crumbled ground beef* until browned. Then carefully add cubed tofu (one package is enough to feed a family of four adults with leftovers) and stir to coat. Heat through. If your tofu isn’t moist enough, you might need to add a little stock to ensure the tofu is coated. You might also want to add more ginger or chili paste. I like to strew over some chopped green onion if I’m feeling fancy.

The vegetable and starch components of the dish are up to you: this is really good with buckwheat noodles, but I haven’t yet figured out the right vegetable pairing. Usually I have stir-fried baby bok choy with this, but that’s because it’s way easy. You just quarter it lengthwise (in sixth if it’s really big), rinse out the sand, and cook it in the wok trying to keep the leafs up and the bottoms down on the bottom of the pan. Just a little soy sauce on that and you’re good.

*When I say a few ounces, I do mean just a few- I usually use around 4 ounces when cooking for 4 people. The beef is a sauce ingredient rather than a main protein. Pork can be substituted, maybe also ground turkey or bison or venison. You could go vegan and use TVP or seitan crumbles instead of meat, but I think you’d need to add more liquid then.

Lots of great ideas, thanks. The mention of oatmeal… well, I hate oatmeal but once (per a suggestion here) I tried doing steel-cut oats in a rice cooker and I really enjoyed them. I didn’t love using the rice cooker though for some reason, but a small crock-pot would work per Alton Brown. Giant (grocery) is open tomorrow and they have a small Crock-pot for sale so guess what I’m going to get myself for Christmas tomorrow. Yummm.

Ma po tofu: I love spicy, don’t eat much tofu but the way you describe sounds pretty delish. Especially with the bit of beef as flavoring. I’d think a package of premade hamburger patties (the leanest sort) would work well - portion one out, wrap and freeze the rest…

Tortilla soup - I haven’t had that in ages. Hard to find the good stuff in restaurants on the East Cost.

I do eat low-fat salad dressings when I eat salad at all. and I go for vinaigrette vs the creamy stuff too, so I think less sticks. I’m guessing that I shouldn’t avoid fat completely so as a part of an otherwise healthy meal it would work.

Yes, my gallstones acted up solely in the evenings… hours after any sort of meal that one would think would affect things. Including one day where dinner was a can of Progresso chicken/barley soup with pretty much zero fat. What’s going on with that??? :confused::mad::p.