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Dinner Menu Ideas?

I need ideas for a dinner that my family will love and that won't kill my lower calorie resolve. Simple, too.

Fri. Mar 30, 2:54am

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meat loaf made with turkey burger is good.

spaghetti is always easy. spelt pasta is good its fount at health foodstores.

eggplant lasagna can make it with low fat turkery burger .

a roast is heathy carrots potatoes onions cabbage

beans and cornbread.

hearty soup with cornbread

mixed veggies and pork chops.

the ideas are endless.

cream of mushroom chicken use a lowfat cream of mushroom.

a huge salad with a small steak

good luck

Friday, March 30, 2007, 4:10 AM

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Thanks for your suggestions. Lots of good ideas, but, I need more. I live in an area (outside the US) where many of the things you mention are not available.
Never seen turkey burger. Corn meal / corn bread not available. I can get pork chops and chicken and hamburger, but the same old stuff is getting old. Any new twists with simple ingredients?

Any new twists for a plain salad? Low fat and fat free salad dressings are also unheard of around here.

Friday, March 30, 2007, 4:24 AM

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do you have access to olive oil and vinegar(red-wine, champagne or white wine vinegar, sherry etc?

I make a lot of my own salad dressings-it's pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it, and then salads don't taste so boring anymore! Using olive oil isn't really low-fat obviously but it is definitely healthy, and you will use less than you would with a creamy dressing because there is a lot of flavor in a vinagrette (and it easily covers everything in the salad!)

mix together a little more oil than vinegar (either a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio), and whisk in some dijon mustard or egg yolk to emulsify (can definitely skip this part), add minced garlic or shallots, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, dill etc (any herbs you have on hand!) and voila you are good to go!. Cooking the garlic/shallots in and oil for just a minute first will release more of their flavor (unless you have time to let it sit and marinate for an hour or two).

other tips-lemon juice/honey work great added to a red wine vinegar and oil.
good standby-balsamic vinegar/olive oil, salt and pepper-easiest to make, most versatile.

I often make a big salad w/ lots of veggies, some nuts or cheese tossed in and have it w/ some hearty bread-yummy!

Friday, March 30, 2007, 1:06 PM

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mmmm that sounds delish.

to the OP you could do stir frys...

roasted chicken with a glaze with a mash or salad.

pork chops with stuffing

brocoli and cheese casserole made with chicke stuffing brocoli and cheese layed with cream of musroom or any kind of cream soup. just make sure the salt content is not too high.

a cheap pizza get a thing of garlic bread and add your own toppings.

steak cut in pieces with onions green peppers sauted and simmerd in sauce than put on buns with cheese. make sure the cheese is lowfat or hard cheeses not processed slices.

stuffed peppers. hambuger rice couple of raw eggs seasoned with some seasonings and stffed into green peppers and covered in sauce. can do the same with cabbage pigs in the blanket mom called them.

shrimp with veggies tossed over rice.

salmon cakes.. tina patties.

goulash.. brown hamburger onion green peppers and throw in tomatoe sauce and seasonings throw over pasta and top with a lil low fat cheese.

spanish rice rice browned with hambuger onion and green peppers add tomatoe sauce and water cover and let simmer till cooked. than make some fajitas . torilla lil bit of chicken breast onions peppers. some seasonings and roll them up and have with the rice.

just some other ideas that popped in My head.. all things hould be easy to get a hold of, but try to incorporate as much fresh fruit and veg in between too.

Friday, March 30, 2007, 1:28 PM

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Salad dressing doesn't need to be low-fat if you use it right.

Don't dump a half cup of it all over the salad. Put a small amount to the side, and lay the tines of your fork in it before picking up each bite of greens. You get flavor in every mouthful without using much of the dressing.

Friday, March 30, 2007, 6:44 PM

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I've found a great trick for using less salad dressing - I put on the amount I think I should have and that will satisfy me (I'm not a pour it on sort of person, but I like it all over my salad) - usually far less than the 2TBSP serving size - and then I cut my salad. The act of cutting it up spreads the dressing around to the entire salad. It also solves the problem of trying to stuff a huge lettuce leaf into your mouth. :-)

Saturday, March 31, 2007, 12:28 AM

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Cooking Light magazine has lots of great recipes! If you don't currently receive the magazine, you can still access some recipes on their website.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 5:00 AM

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OP - Thanks for all the ideas so far. Any more would be welcome, but, I have got a few new ideas or options that will work for me from your suggestions. Thanks so much.

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 5:10 AM

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anytime if I can think of anymore easy dishes I will jot them down here for you

Sunday, April 01, 2007, 7:20 AM

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Where are you? I'm just curious. What's local and fresh? Do they have a local market? A butcher might be able to grind up chicken for you. I have a vita-mix and it will grind meat, I dont' know if other blenders will.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007, 6:50 AM

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OP - I'm in Eastern Europe relatively close to Chernobyl - if you're young enough for that to mean anything to you.

Locally there is a lot of fish, but, much of it is contaminated - whether from Chernobyl or other, I'm not sure, but I don't buy local fish and my language skills are not adequate for me to be sure if it's imported or from where, so, I just avoid it. Beef has an oddly sweet taste, although we recently discovered som decent hamburger. Pork is good. Chicken is adequate. Lettuce is available part of the time. Potatoes are a staple in the locals' diets. Rice is available, but surprisingly, I don't see much brown rice - only the bleached sort. Peppers are usually available but quality varies greatly from week to week. onions are usually available and mushrooms and cabbage are common. Fresh tomatoes are usually available, but usually on the ripe side.
Apples are usually available in one variety or another, but taste and quality is not something you can count on. Bananas are available most of the time, but they go bad very quickly. (I buy on the green side on Saturday and if we haven't eaten them by Monday, they're already getting mushy!) Other fruits and veggies can be good when available - but, it's hit and miss.
Tomato sauce is also a challenge here. I'm still looking for one that tastes normal to me. It usually has the same oddly sweet taste that the beef has. (Scary!) Parmesan cheese costs about $5 an ounce.
Cream soups are not available as a pre-packaged item. I can make my own now however. I have not seen cornstarch locally. Splenda is available in the stores, though -- go figure!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007, 5:55 AM

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