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Ten Ways to add BIG Flavor for 10 Calories or less

Ten Ways to Get Big Flavor for 10 Calories or less

About the time I started to get really into cooking was right about the time I was talked into doing some runway modeling. At 5 foot 7 and 120 pounds, I was know as the "short chubby model," which was equal parts laughably ridiculous and self-esteem crushing. I only did a few runway shows before I realized that this was not a world I wanted to be a part of.

Jackie Dodd headshot

During those brief months of trying to fit into an unrealistic idea of what I was supposed to look like, the only thing of value that I walked away with was a few tricks to cooking healthy. I was never willing or able to starve myself to attain the coveted double zero dress size, I always wanted food that was full of flavor, even if I was cutting back on calories. Even now, several years  and about a dozen pounds later, I need to eat. Healthy or un-healthy, my food has to taste good.

Lucky for us, there are a lot of ways to add big flavor that don’t add calories. Even if you aren’t trying to walk a cat walk, (and I would not recommend it, to be honest, it sucks), we all have times when eating healthy is more important to us. But flavor should always be on the top of the list.

Ten Ways to Get Big Flavor for 10 Calories or less

  1. Lime juice–10 calories. Perfect to balance out a spicy dish.
  2. Chipotle– 2 calories per serving. Huge smokey, spicy flavor for just two calories!
  3. Garlic– 2 calories. Roasted, minced or dried, it adds a warm bold flavor to any savory dish.
  4. Chicken broth– 2 calories. Use this instead of water to make quinoa or brown rice for bigger flavor
  5. Balsamic vinegar– 10 calories. Great on salads for a fraction of the calories of creamy dressing.
  6. Hot sauce– 1-10 calories. Nothing will kick up the flavor of boring white meats like Franks Red Hot!
  7. Mustard– 3 calories. A little goes a long way to give a bold flavor to chicken or pork.
  8. Fresh herbs– 1 calorie. Gives you a bright, fresh flavor that makes dishes more satisfying, plus added health benefits!
  9. Grill pan– 0 calories or less. This is my go-to! Removes fat from meat and gives you a nice grilled char! I use one similar to this grill pan (affiliate link).
  10.  Smoked paprika– 1 calorie. I use this all the time. It’s warm and satisfying, my favorite spice to add to anything savory! Use it with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt and pepper for an easy, healthy, homemade spice rub!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo: 125 Calories

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo 125 Calories

I eat a lot of food.

A lot of high calorie food and beer that can leave me feeling like I want to take a nap in some kale. I tend to pendulum swing between wanting really bad for me food and really good for me food but I want it all to taste good.

So I’ve developed a fixation with produce. And how to manipulate it into tasting like that other side of the coin that leads me down a path far away from my skinny jeans.

So here you have my version of a pasta dish, made up mostly of vegetables, and a hefty serving weighs in at only 125 calories.

In fact, if you ate the entire batch it would only be 500 calories.

And you would be very full.

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo 125 Calories2

Pumpkin Ale Muffins with Graham Cracker Streusel Topping

Ingredients

    For The Muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin ale
  • 2 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • For the Topping:
  • 5 standard sized graham cracker sheets
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbs melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl sort together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin ale, eggs, vanilla extract, melted butter and canola oil.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray.
  6. Scoop the batter into the well of a muffin tin to about 2/3 full.
  7. In a food processor, add the graham crackers and process until reduced to just crumbs.
  8. Add the flour, brown sugar and salt, pulse to combine.
  9. Add the melted butter and process until well combines.
  10. Scoop about 1-2 tbs graham cracker mixture on top of the muffin batter.
  11. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until top spring back when lightly touched.

Notes

Optional add in's (stir in the batter just before pouring into the muffin tins): 2/3 cup raisins, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, 2/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries, 1/2 cup chopped pecans

https://domesticfits.com/spaghetti-squash-alfredo-125-calories/

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo 125 Calories3

Skinny Baked Potato Soup 210 Calories

 

Raise your hand if you ate way to much this weekend.

I finally found pie pumpkins in my city wide search and participated in hours of pumpkin glutton. Those posts will be up later, but I needed a bit of a pumpkin detox before jumping back in for more. I have no plans to stop my fall pumpkin worship, but I needed a break.

I am also preparing for October Unprocessed. Have you taken the challenge? I signed up. Andrew of Eating Rules has asked if we could all go just one month without eating processed foods. I did it last year and found that it was both easier and more challenging that I had thought. What is processed food? That’s quite the debate, but it gets you thinking. It was, more than anything, a great reminder to read every single label on every single package I buy. Why am I buying a jam with ingredients I don’t recognize when I can just buy the one with only two: Strawberries, sugar.

Why don’t I just buy my bread from the baker down the street, with his 4 ingredients rather than the  package from across the country with 17 ingredients?

More produce, less cans, no Doritos. You can do it.

There is no fixed answer to the question, "What is unprocessed?" but the simple answer is: do you have (or could you have) all of those ingredients in your kitchen and could a person reasonably make it themselves.

For instance, I have lots of friends who are home brewers and they make beer themselves. So that makes beer OK to have, it passes the Kitchen Test. If you could reasonably assume you COULD make it, it’s OK.

However, I have no idea how to pronounce half of the ingredients in Oreos, I don’t have those in my kitchen, I could not make that product, with those exact ingredients, so sorry, no Oreos for me. For more in depth answer to the questions, you can read this.

The best thing about this challenge, is that it gets us thinking. About what we eat, who we "vote for" with the dollars we spend, and what we are training our bodies to crave.

And if you can’t go a month with eating just real whole food, then why not? Why is that hard for you?

I encourage you sign up, even if you know you can’t be perfect. Can you do Unprocessed Wednesday Night Dinners? Sign up and give it a try. It will get you thinking about what you’re eating, and what you are feeding your family.

This soup recipe could even be debated (although it is not yet October). While some ingredients easily pass the kitchen test, it reminds you to read the labels on the brands of sour cream and cheese you buy. Some will only have three or four easily recognized ingredients while some brands will have several more. It’s just about being mindful of what you buy.

 

Beer Pretzel Bread Bowls & Oktoberfest

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup wheat beer
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 2 tbs coarse salt

Directions

    (Makes 4 bread bowls or 8 dinner rolls. Bread bowls are fairly small and only hold about a cup of soup each.)
  1. Add flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachement. Stir to combine.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, add the beer. Microwave for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until the beer reaches 110 degrees (if the beer is too hot, it will kill the yeast). Sprinkle the beer with the yeast and wait for it to foam (this is called proofing the yeast, if it doesn't foam the yeast is bad).
  3. Pour the beer into the bowl and stir at a low speed until well combined, turn the speed up to medium until the dough gathers around the hook and is smooth.
  4. Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, form into a ball and place in prepared bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm, dry area until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead on a light flowed surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Break into 4 equal pieces (you can also make 8 dinner roll size portions) form into balls. Cover balls with plastic wrap, allow to sit until doubled in size, about 20 mintes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375.
  7. Fill a large pot with water, making sure there is room for it bubble up without spilling over, but deep enough for the large dough balls. Bring water to a boil, add the baking soda. Cut an X into the top of each bread ball. Place gently in the baking soda water and cook, turning once, for about 30 seconds. Remove from water and place on a baking sheet covered with a Silpat, or sprayed with cooking spray, cut side up. Repeat for all bread balls.
  8. Brush liberally with melted butter, sprinkle with salt.
  9. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until a dark golden brown in color.
https://domesticfits.com/skinny-baked-potato-soup-210-calories/

 

 

Skinny Potato Skins: 62 Calories

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that these are as good as the real thing. Those potato skins loaded up with bacon, sour cream and cheese that are somewhere around 62 calories per bite. But these make a great lunch durring my "I am GOING to lose those final 3 pounds" week. And they reheat really well, so you can make a batch on Sunday, and reheat them through out the week for lunch. With a side of this salad.

I’ve run the numbers and have come up with 62 calories each potato half, but that completely depends on the size of your potato and the amount of flesh you scoop out of it.  

My Husband added fat free sour cream and shredded cheese. If you add a tbs of fat free sour cream and a tsp of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, it will about double the calories in the potato. But, if you like it more and that will make you eat less, it may be worth it. 

Also, this dish is:

Gluten Free

Vegan

Kosher for Passover

Skinny jeans friendly 

Skinny Potato Skins

4 large red potatoes

1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced, stem removed

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced, stem removed 

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

olive oil cooking spray

2 tbs Smart Balance Light, melted

1 1/2 tbs or Fajita Seasonings

(Or: 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder)

1/2 cup Pico De Gallo (or you fav salsa)

Preheat oven to 400. 

Pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and allow to cool until enough to handle. Cut in half and scoop out most of the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch of the walls in tact. You can save the potato middles for mashed potatoes or potato cakes.

Place thinly sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, and garlic on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with fajita seasoning (or the homemade blend) and toss to coat. 

Roast the vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes or until soft and the mushrooms have browned, tossing every 5-8 minutes with a heat safe spatula. 

Place the skins on a baking sheet and brush the insides with melted smart balance light, sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, allow to cool slightly. 

Fill each potato skin with fajita veggies and top with Pico De Gallo. 

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