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Old 11-02-2005, 11:02 AM   #1
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Default What's for dinner tonight?

I'm one of the few people here that don't eat fish. I'm a real picky eater. I was born and raised in Canada so I like sauce on everything!

This is a list of my regular suppers before I started dieting again... help

1/ meatloaf
2/ chicken w/ spanish rice and cheese
3/ ritz cracker chicken casserole
4/ brats w/ mashed potatoes
5/ spicey beef
6/ hamburgers
7/ chicken strips
8/ chicken fried steak
9/ steak
10/ homemade pizza
11/ pasta
12/ homemade mac n' cheese
13/ cashew chicken
14/ grilled cheese & soup
15/ country chicken casserole
16/ kraft dinner w/ beef
17/creamy chicken enchildas
18/ Baked Linguine with Meat Sauce
19/ Beef Noodle Shepherds Pie
20/ hot dogs
21/ lasagna
22/ tater tot bake
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:34 AM   #2
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mmm I want recipes for #'s 3, 13, 15, 17, and 22!! Seriously though, you could probably make healthier versions of some of those recipes if you wanted!!

One of my favorite healthy recipes is Beans and Rice, which I'm having tonight. it's high in salt and carbs, but it's filling and I don't care! I use pinto or October beans and yellow rice- then I top it with ketchup! mmm... ok maybe it's not so healthy after all! lol
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:35 AM   #3
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Oh and I don't eat fish either. Blech.
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:41 AM   #4
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Well, another one here that eats no fish

I suggest more meals like Mandy has suggested:

Beans and Rice and Veggies!

Lentil soup with lots of veggies, a big salad and a side of steamed veggies works for me, for example.

Basically, I go with many combinations fo the following:

1) Beans or lentils
2) Steamed veggies
3) A big raw salad

and it's so healthy and filling too.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:23 PM   #5
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OMG - Dana those recipes are straight out of the midwestern cookbook if I ever saw it. That totally cracks me up.

Ok, for dinner #10 (Homemade Pizza), substitute crust for those whole wheat pitas for each member. The kids will love this. Then, they can top their own pizza AND it takes less time to cook. For you, it's a single serving and you can eat the whole thing without a problem. Be sure to include veggies as part of your toppings and include a salad.

#14 - Grilled Cheese & Soup - try trading it out for soup and salad. Experiment with some gourmet salads to go with your soup. I like BLT salad (a little crumbled bacon, a low-fat shredded cheese and diced tomato - sometimes I substitue bacon with low-fat salami or pepperoni) or a hot spinach salad (cook turkey bacon until it is crisp, remove from pan, crumble, add onion to pan and cook, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar and a couple packets of splenda, bring to a boil - toss in spinach, remove from pan - don't over cook, it's real fast here - , add crumbled bacon and hard-boiled eggs). Hmmm... I really don't eat bacon that often!
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:39 PM   #6
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Hey - you can definitely make healthier versions of some of those recipes. I'm a vegetarian (mostly) and hate fish too, so mostly I eat some variation on beans/rice/lentils/field peas/pasta sorts of things, with the odd bit of Morningstar Farms thrown in when I'm lazy, but I looove to cook and looove to watch cooking shows, even when they make things I can't. Some ideas:

1/ meatloaf. Find a recipe that uses ground chicken and/or turkey with frozen chopped spinach in lieu of some of the breadcrumbs to keep it moist. Google for some recipes and/or check foodnetwork. I know I've seen healthier meatloaf on Calorie Commando and/or maybe Rachel Ray

2/ chicken w/ spanish rice and cheese. Use boneless skinless chicken breast. Make the rice with brown basmati rice. Skip the cheese or use a small amount of lower fat cheese. Add fat free yogurt or sour cream for creaminess and/or indulgence.

3/ ritz cracker chicken casserole. I adore cassaroles, but they really require a lot of fat to be delicious. No more cassaroles! I do have a recipe for a lower calorie version of Bisquik's Impossible Vegetable Pies that I break out when I need a cassarole fix.

4/ brats w/ mashed potatoes. Boca makes really tasty soy facsimiles of brats. Try those?

5/ spicey beef. Use ground chicken/turkey?

6/ hamburgers. Ground chicken/turkey burgers? Rayray has had lots of these, lately. Spanakopita burgers with feta and spinach and ground chicken/turkey, etc. Thanks like that.

7/ chicken strips. Make your own with boneless/skinless chicken breast strips and a lower calorie shake-and-bake type coating, baked in the oven? Scrape 1/2 the coating off before you eat and pair with a couple of veggies?

8/ chicken fried steak. Uhhhh. Skip this!

9/ steak. Smaller portion, nice lean cut, pair with some great veggies!

10/ homemade pizza. Lower the fat in your crust and/or use some wheat flour in place of white. Add more veggies and use lower fat cheese, and less of it. Skip pepperoni and sausage! Alternatively: make it with some great, big authentic middle eastern pitas instead of making the crust. Rinse and repeat with veggies and low fat cheese. Try something with tons of flavor like feta, goat cheese crumbles, or whatever instead of mozzerella.

11/ pasta. get whole wheat/whole wheat blend pasta and watch portions. No bread on pasta night!

12/ homemade mac n' cheese. hmmm. skip this!

13/ cashew chicken. boneless/skinless chicken breast, brown basmati rice and a lower fat sauce. toss in some cashews for flavor but be careful with portions.

14/ grilled cheese & soup. make a good, hearty soup like some sort of lentil soup. (I really like (sorry - again) Rachel Ray's chorizo + kale soup, made with soy chorizo) and eat 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich with it. Get 2% singles and use light, whole wheat bread. Get most of your calories and nutritionf rom the soup.

15/ country chicken casserole. Skip this! Maybe make a nice turkey and/or vegetarian chili instead, for yummy winter comfort food.

16/ kraft dinner w/ beef. I don't know what this is, but make it with chicken?

17/creamy chicken enchildas. Use a tomato based sauce instead of a creamy sauce.

18/ Baked Linguine with Meat Sauce. Whole wheat/whole wheat blend pasta + meat sauce made with ground chicken/turkey. Or, use boca/morningstar farms soy crumbles! Or try an eggplant lasagne, with eggplant slices in lieu of pasta, your favorite sauce, and cottage cheese mixed with your ricotta and a sprinkling of lower calorie light mozzerella.

19/ Beef Noodle Shepherds Pie. It's fall! bake some butternut squash, roast some brussel sprouts, and roast a turkey breast. Mmm.

20/ hot dogs. Soy or low-fat hot dogs, with wheat buns, pickles and veggies in lieu of chips.

21/ lasagna. Just find a healthier recipe. Buy some whole wheat lasagne noodles and mix in with your regular, half and half, until the regular are gone. Cut the ricotta with frozen chopped spinach to help keep it moist when you're using less of it. Use a marinara sauce instead of meat and add extra veggies - like mushrooms and eggplant - for meatiness.

22/ tater tot bake. No tater tots! Man, do I love tater tots. Anyway: Make black bean and sweet potato burritos, instead. Chop some some sweet potatoes into bite size pieces and cook in the microwave until they are tender. (10 minutes, maybe?) Meanwhile, sautee some onion and garlic on the stove. Add a can of black beans (drained) and then add the sweet potatoes, with a tablespoon of good peanut butter, maybe less. Season with cumin, cayenne, and chili powder but good and mash up the sweet potatoes until it's all creamy, like refried beans. Serve in whole wheat tortillas with your favorite salsa and cilantro: no need for cheese. Insanely good.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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For a lot of my meat dishes I try to use buffalo/bison in them. We get 12 pounds a month and it has like 120 calories a serving and very low fat.

For your grilled cheese and soup, you could toast your bread in the toaster, slap your cheese on it and microwave it for about 10 seconds. If you still need the butter taste for your sandwich spray a couple of sprays of butter spray on it.

My dinners are my last problem area of my eating right now. What I do though (since we have hamburger helper most nights) is measure out 1 serving of it and know that I'm having between 300 and 400 calories with just it. I then fill the rest of my plate up with veggies and end the evening with a serving of fruit. It has been very filling for me.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:05 PM   #8
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The suggestions you have gotten are great...

Buffalo? I didn't know it was low in fat! I won't be eating it anytime soon though...even if I am in Oklahoma too.

I really just eat whatever I ate before for dinner but measure it and weight it and read up on the points. I can eat anything on your list but I guess you have to decide to you want a dime size serving for dinner or a whole bunch of something.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:12 PM   #9
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oh and to add if I have to eat a small portion I usually add a big plate full of salad to start.
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:28 PM   #10
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I have a Susan Powter recipe for meatloaf that involves a lot of finely chopped vegetables, and I think it's great. I can give it to you, if you want.

Chicken with spanish rice and cheese - my alternative to this (which is adapted from an idea I saw here on 3FC) is to marinade chicken in lime juice and a little hot sauce, then cook it in a crock pot with salsa on it. I take the chicken breasts out and mix the leftover salsa with brown rice. It's delicious!
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:57 PM   #11
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Phantastica, I know the offer was to Charbar. But do you think you could either post the recipe here or pm it to me as well. I'd love to try it too. Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:09 PM   #12
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You've been given some great alternatives. I agree that everything on your list could be adapted for a healthier lifestyle with very little impact on the overall flavor. I still eat almost the exact same foods as when I started but I've altered the way they are cooked and eat less of them. Even if you don't update your recipes there is a lot to be said for moderation. Typically, I'll change a recipe or cooking method so that I can eat more but even if I follow my traditional recipe the overall calorie levels aren't bad as long as I eat a TRUE serving (of course, I have to measure and weigh every time because my eyes have never adjusted to recognize a normal amount of food).


1/ meatloaf - I used to make meatloaf with ground chuck but switched to extra lean ground beef (140 calories for 4 ounces). Since there is less fat in the beef I don't need as many breadcrumbs which also save a few calories.

2/ chicken w/ spanish rice and cheese - Switch to fajitas made with skinless chicken breasts and loads of peppers and onions. Serve spanish rice on the side with a .25 oz cheese (I use regular, extra sharp cheddar because a little of a stronger cheese goes further flavor-wise than milder reduced cheeses).

3/ ritz cracker chicken casserole - if this is a cream soup based recipe switched to the 98% fat free version and half the amout of cracker topping.

4/ brats w/ mashed potatoes - We don't do brats but we have smoked sausage that we through on the grill. I've tried the turkey sausage and didn't care for it so I stick with the regular version and just measure my portion carefully. You can make the mashed potatoes with chicken broth. Usually, though I make mine the usual way and switch to the evaporated SKIM milk and use less margarine. Throwing in a little chopped garlic stretches the flavor as well. Again, though, these have to measured carefully. Sometimes I just make mashed potaotes for everyone else and I'll have a small (2-3 oz) baked potato instead.

5/ spicey beef
6/ hamburgers - Again, I use extra lean ground beef and use only 4 ounces per patty. I use plenty of Dale's or Worstershire to keep them moist. Light wheat buns (Bunny is the brand we get but Holsom are good too) are only 80 calories. Skip the mayo and cheese and you are good to go.

7/ chicken strips - These are easy enough to make yourself and bake in the oven. To save money, I but split chicken breasts and prepare them myself. I always save the tenders together to make strips for lunch or dinner sometime. Dip them in egg whites that have been mixed with water to thin them, sprinkle with bread crumbs and spritz with a little olive oil and then bake them at 450.

8/ chicken fried steak - This is another one that I didn't change much from the original recipe. I switched to leaner steak (I used tip steak last time and it was good) and pound it thinner than usual. There is just no getting around the frying though. So, this is a very occasional treat that I eat very little of when we have it. Actually, now something fried like that upsets my stomach but I still love the taste!

9/ steak - Again, lean cuts, remove as much visible fat as possible and weigh your portions.

10/ homemade pizza - We make homemade pizza almost once a week. I use half wheat flour and used only a quarter of the whole recipe for my crust and I think it is only 375 calories. I press it into a 13x9 pan and have a pretty good sized pizza all to myself. I top it with lots and lots of veggies, about 2 teaspoons of romano cheese and half an ounce to an ouce of mozzarella (just depend on where I am with my calories for the day). I swear I don't even miss the cheese (although, I don't remember if I missed it the first couple of times I didn't have it)!

11/ pasta - It is all about portion control. 1/2 cup cooked pasta is usually plenty for me now. But I'll eat a whole cup every now and then (depends on what else we are having). I have a recipe that I altered from one of the Oprah cookbooks. It is sooo easy. Just garlic cooked in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, diced tomatoes, and basil tossed with angel hair. I add a little chicken breast (I buy the pre-cooked Italian seasoned) and a tablespoon of pinenuts and a little parmesan. Perfect with a big salad and a little garlic bread.

12/ homemade mac n' cheese - I've always eaten really gooey macaroni with lots of cheese. But I found a recipe that has a base of reduced calorie sour cream, skim evaporated milk, and egg (I use whites only sometimes). It only calls for 3/4 cups of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan. And, it only has a drizzle of about 1/2 a tablespoon of margarine over the top. I was really skeptical of this recipe at first but it is really good. I like it better than my old recipe and actually have family and friends ask that I bring it when we have potlucks so it isn't just me.

13/ cashew chicken - sorry, can't help you here.

14/ grilled cheese & soup - As long as the soup is a chock full of veggies and not cooked with a lot of fat, this is still a great, diet friendly meal. I still make my grilled cheese sandwiches the same way I always did but I only put about a 1/4 teaspoon of soft margarine on each slice of bread. It is just enough to keep the flavor without too many calories.

15/ country chicken casserole - I'm not familiar with this recipe

16/ kraft dinner w/ beef - reduce the amount of margarine and use skim milk to make the kraft dinner and use extra lean beef.

17/creamy chicken enchildas - use the fat free soups here too or switch to a tomato based sauce with a little reduced calorie sour cream stirred in for creaminess.
18/ Baked Linguine with Meat Sauce - Use less cheese, extra lean ground beef, and measure your portions. Also, using miniature meatballs instead of meat sauce gives you the same flavor but have better management of meat protions. Better yet try it without the meat.

19/ Beef Noodle Shepherds Pie - can't help here

20/ hot dogs - I LOVE healthy choice hot dogs (only 70 calories!). They are great on the grill. I use a light wheat hot dog bun. With a total of only 150 calories I can usually have two!

21/ lasagna - Use less cheese and meat, eat a smaller portion. Or if you want to try a good veggie version I'll be glad to PM it to you. It is kind of long but is really, really easy and only has 135 calories per serving. It is made with zuchinni, yellow pepper, and red onion roasted in balsalmic vinegar with rosemary, a spinach/fat free ricotta mixture and very little parmesan, mozzarella cheese. I promise it is awesome! And it freezes well too.

22/ tater tot bake - Can you reduce the number of tater tots that you use and a little less cheese? I don't remember what all is in this (my kids didn't like it so I've only made it once).
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:04 PM   #13
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wow - you ladies are awesome!! There are a lot of great ideas here. I don't ever want to say no to a food - I think I am going to have to adapt some recipes. Mostly, it's going to about portion.. AND adding vegetables to my plate to round things out. ie. my home made mac n' cheese has been passed down. BUT inside of a plate full (which is probably about 4 cups!) maybe some chicken, veggies, and 1 cup of mac n' cheese. (it really is awesome!) I need to learn balance.

When I've dieted in the past I've just stayed away from bad foods. It's okay for me to eat them.. just not so much!

Dawnyal.. I should try the venison.. I know it's very healthy!

I am changing to sharp cheddar - seems like it's more bang for the buck.

I wish l liked beans - but they aren't my cup of tea.

Jessica - I'm mid west all the way! I didn't even mention how we make deep fried cheese curds!! Sinful!
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:00 PM   #14
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Arrow Meatloaf Recipe

This recipe is from "C'Mon America, Let's Eat!" by Susan Powter.

Ingredients:
cooking spray
lb lean ground beef (10% fat)
1 cup chopped onion (I finely chop mine)
1 cup chopped carrots (I finely chop mine)
1 cup chopped celery (I finely chop mine)
2 tsp chopped garlic
3 egg whites
cup bread crumbs
cup ketchup
cup beef bouillon
1 tsp basil
tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
tsp pepper
1 cup finely chopped potatoes
cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onion, carrots, and celery in a nonstick pan with a little cooking spray until soft. Set aside until cool. Add all other ingredients to chopped meat.

Form mixture into a loaf about 4 inches high and place on lightly oiled baking pan (use light oil spray). Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve with your favorite sauce or gravy.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 6 oz
Servings per Recipe: 6
Calories: 155
Total Fat: 4.89 g
Saturated Fat: 1.86
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:13 AM   #15
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I really am finding that a combination of smaller portions and some tweaking of recipes is very helpful in keeping on track AND liking what I eat!

In fact, my biggest surprise this time around is that I really love the food I'm eating. In the past I've made so many substitutions for what I really liked that I felt deprived.

For example, my comfort food is Kraft Mac & Cheese -- I like the White Cheddar version, personally. I always made it with 1 tbsp butter rather than the 4!! the box said AND... this is the sad part... I ATE THE WHOLE THING (gads, the things I admit here ). Topped out at about 900 calories.

Now I measure out portions and cook only part of it at a time. As of now, I do 1/2 the box, but I can envision a day when either a) I don't need to eat it much anymore and/or b) I eat only 1/3 of the box!

Anyone else with any big confessions???
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