Fall food beings the transition from light summery foods to the more comforting foods of soup, chili, casseroles and stew. Some fall dishes can get heavy, especially with holiday meals and family gatherings. You can make healthy dishes and food choices during the fall and enjoy all the great fall vegetables available. Stick with lean meats, white meat poultry and fish to make an endless variety of fall food that’s under 300 calories.
1. Fall Vegetables
Vegetables are a good base for any meal and the more veggies you use, the more flavor and less fat needed in a dish. The best way to cook vegetables of any variety is to steam them. This means you can avoid cooking them in fat and retain more of the nutrients and vitamins found in them. Here are some of the most popular and easy to find fall vegetables:
- Brussels sprouts
2. Risotto and Light Dishes
Though risotto is generally viewed as a high-fat, rich dish, you can make risottos with ingredients that keep the fat down and the comfort in. There are a number of varieties you can make, including green bean and mushroom risotto. To lighten a risotto up a bit, use low-sodium vegetable stock and opt for half and half instead of heavy cream.
Stews are a great fall food with a one-pot concept that makes for easy cooking and easy clean up. You can make as much or as little as you need and leftovers are often just as good, if not better, the next day. Load up your stew with lots of veggies and lean meats for a low calorie, hearty meal. Consider using low-sodium stock and trade beef for fish for a new flavor.
Chili is hearty and offers low calories with lots of nutrients. Tomatoes offer antioxidants and lycopene, while beans offer fiber and protein. If you add lean meat, ground chicken or turkey you have a complete meal in a short period of time. Chili is easy to make in a crock pot, so you can toss it together in the morning and have a warm meal waiting for you when your family gathers around the table.
Soup is another comfort food that often comes with fall’s cooler temperatures and rain. Soups are generally low-calorie and offer a wide variety of flavors. You can stock your soup full of veggies for nutrients and vitamins. Add some lean meat for protein and iron. Soup is also expandable and makes great leftovers. A couple of great fall soups include beef and cabbage soup, and white bean and squash soup.
With a variety of fall food choices to explore with, you can easily stay under 300 calories. Foods with less fat and more spices will please your palate without leaving you unsatisfied and craving high fat foods later in the day. Consider lean meats to round out your dish to make it a full meal.