For a calorie and health conscious person, every morsel counts. So, when you are deciding upon a menu that just involves two people, friends or family, make an extra effort to keep it healthy and low cal. Low calorie snacks should not exceed more than 40 calories, whereas, meals and main courses not more than 120 calories. Although, it is difficult to cook with an exact measure, one can work around it by limiting the quantity of the servings.
Broccoli with Onions and Pine Nuts
- Broccoli florets, 4 cups
- Onion (chopped), 1 cup
- Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp.
- Balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp.
- Pine nuts, 3 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Roast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Steam the broccoli and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and salt to it, and cook until soft and golden brown. In a large salad bowl, toss the broccoli, pine nuts, onion, vinegar, and pepper together. Serve immediately.
Country Italian Soup
- Vegetable stock, 2 cups
- Medium-sized carrot, 1
- Celery, 1 stick
- Small leek, 1
- Courgettes, 1
- Garlic cloves (chopped), 2
- Tomatoes (chopped), 3 tbsp.
- Fresh basil leaves, 5
- Dried spaghetti, ¼ oz.
In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable stock over medium heat, add in the sliced carrots, celery, leek, courgettes, and garlic. Once the soup comes to a boil, break the spaghetti into small pieces, and add it to the soup along with the basil leaves. Pour the soup into bowls, and serve hot.
Lemon and Dill Chicken
- Skinless chicken breasts, 2
- Chicken broth, ½ cup
- Fresh dill (chopped), 1 tbsp.
- Onion (finely chopped), 2 tbsp.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp.
- Flour, 1 tsp.
- Garlic clove (chopped), 1
- Lemon juice, 1 tsp.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Heat ½ teaspoon of the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the chicken to it. Sear both sides until well-browned. Transfer it to a foil, and place the foil on a plate. In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil, add the onion and garlic to it, and cook for a minute. Mix the flour with the lemon juice, chicken broth, and dill. Add the whisked broth to the pan, reduce the heat, and continue stirring until slightly thickened. Add the chicken to this thickened sauce, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, and season with it salt and pepper before serving.
Pasta with Peppers and Capers
- Red pepper (crushed), to taste
- Red peppers (roasted), 8 oz. jar
- Feta cheese (crumbled), 2 tbsp.
- Garlic cloves (chopped), 2
- Whole-wheat spaghetti, 4 oz.
- Capers (drained and rinsed), 1 tbsp.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just tender. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, add the garlic and crushed red pepper to it. Stir and cook until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the roasted red peppers and capers to it; stir well. Reserve a couple of spoons of the pasta-cooking water. Add the drained pasta to the pan. Heat the pan again, add the reserved pasta-cooking water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for a minute. Transfer in a serving bowl and garnish the dish with crumbled feta cheese. Serve hot.
Green Grapes with Cheese and Honey
- Low calorie cheese (crumbled), 1 oz.
- Fresh green grapes, 1 cup
- Basil leaves (finely chopped), 2-3
- Honey, 1 tsp.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, ½ tsp.
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cut the grapes half lengthwise, and transfer them to a large dessert bowl. In a small bowl, add the crumbled cheese, oil, and honey. Sprinkle it all over the grapes and garnish with basil.
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