low calorie dinners

Diet Meals

Instead of the usual food diary format I’ve been using, I wanted to just share a few of the meals I’ve been having while working on losing this weight. My breakfasts and snacks don’t change a whole lot–I have a rotation of a few different meals and that’s about it. But lunches and dinners are where I am trying to focus on changing things up.

I’m doing my best to avoid the old standby of frozen lunches. Here are a few of the meals I’ve had lately that have worked well.


#1 – Miso soup with pad thai rice noodles and green onions, and applesauce. I used a little less than half of a serving of the rice noodles. Calories: 146


#2 – Leftover baked chicken, cottage cheese and string cheese. Calories: 271

#3 – Cashew Carrot Ginger soup with sugar snap peas and 2 large sesame crackers on the side. Calories: 205

#4 – Leftover baked chicken with guacamole and cucumber, orange and yellow peppers. Calories: 242

#5 – Cashew Carrot Ginger soup with Sweet Kale Chopped Salad. Calories: 240

#6 – Sweet Kale Chopped Salad with cottage cheese and applesauce. Calories: 290 


#1 – Baked chicken breast, steamed broccoli, baby red potatoes sauteed with garlic and onions. Calories: 337


#2 – Salad! A variety of lettuce with sunflower seeds, chopped carrot and celery, avocado, a few Craisins, sugar snap peas, leftover baked chicken and Trader Joe’s Spicy Asian Peanut dressing. A glass of wine with dinner. The Peanut Dressing was fantastic! Calories: 534


#3 – Fish tacos. I baked tilapia and used an Ancient Grains Wrap (100 Calories). Put in some lettuce, avocado, green onion, Peach Mango Salsa, Sour Cream, black olives and a little hot sauce. Also had some tortilla chips while dinner was baking. Calories: 566


#4 – Taco salad: lettuce, spinach, lean ground turkey, salsa, black beans, black olives, avocado and sour cream on top. Had some tortilla chips on the side. It’s a good hot summer day meal. Calories: 548


#5 – Another salad. In this heat it’s the best meal. This time we did steak salads. Greens, blue cheese, Craisins and flank steak on top. I weighed out the steak to 4 ounces. Calories: 454

#6 – We wanted to take Bella to the dog park and then hang out and have a picnic so I packed us sandwiches. Mine was a ham and cheese sandwich on a sandwich thin with mustard, half a Laughing Cow spread, mustard, spinach and then rice crackers on the side with pickles and olives and snap peas. Calories: 491

#7 – My stomach wasn’t feeling fantastic so I had kind of a bland meal that actually turned out delicious. I made some Uncle Ben’s Garden Vegetable rice with peas and carrots in it, mixed in leftover ground turkey and I had a cup of Miso Broth on the side. Calories: 328

#8 – We had a date night at an old favorite — Good and Evil Wraps! Love this place. They had a new wrap that I tried, the Rip City Wrap. It had steak, bacon, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a delicious Cajun sauce in a spinach wrap.



This thing was so delicious! It was large, maybe slightly too big, but it was a gym night and I was starving and I ate the whole thing. I had to estimate the calories. Calories: Around 800-850

#9 – I made some red lentils, added some Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce to it, topped it with baked tilapia and had steamed snap peas. Calories: 577



Currently I am stalled and not losing like I was when I first started this. I know I gained a bit on vacation (around 3 pounds, so basically everything I lost pre-vacation). I am down 1 pound but that’s it. Stalling sucks. I am hoping I can change something up soon to see another jump start in my weight loss.

Meals and Moves

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Here is a peek into a few day’s worth of dinners. Some of the meals were new experiments, some were “throw whatever we have in the fridge on the plate” and some were the old stand-bys supplemented with veggie garden goodies. I’ve also included calorie counts for the dinners. Unfortunately, our kale is now gone. It was infested by aphids (it took me forever to figure out what they were) and I yanked them out. The rest of our garden is still going strong. I can’t wait for my tomatoes to be ready.

The Meals


Michael blackened some boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the grill outside and then chopped them into small pieces. I made a salad with lettuce from the garden topped with black olives, black beans and jalapenos. The dinner was fantastic and so easy to make.

I like doing these faux “Mexican salads” because I can skip the tortillas and gooey cheese and save hundreds of calories. Don’t get me wrong though: it will fill you up. I wish the photo had turned out better to really show off this salad. Calories: about 800.


Salmon! I have about three favorite salmon recipes that I rotate between. This time I did the baked lemon and dill salmon. I had fresh lemon handy so I used that along with lemon pepper seasoning, salt, pepper, dill and butter.

Michael sauteed some fresh zucchini up to go with dinner. Calories: around 500.


A repeat of this amazing BBQ sauce! We grilled up BBQ chicken thighs with white corn on the cob. I had some raw broccoli as a veggie on the side.  It was nice sitting outside on the deck in the balmy 85 degree evening just relaxing.

Everything seems to taste better when it’s grilled outside. Estimated calories: 600.


So….lazy night for me. I biked home from work and Michael was out with a friend playing golf. I had zero desire to make something difficult for dinner so grilled cheese sandwich it was!

I made a salad to go with my sandwich. Total calories: about 500.


Remember that amazing dinner I made recently–the Sweet Chili Lime Tofu? Well, I made it again but with shrimp. I defrosted two servings of shrimp and then let it marinade in the sauce. I make a salad with veggies from the garden, poured an amazing glass of Pinot Grigio from Marchesi vineyard, and made some basmati rice.

The wine was a nice cool, crisp, peachy white wine that balanced out the much hotter-this-time-dinner! I had a serving and a half of the basmati rice, which turned out to be the perfect amount after biking to and from work that day. Shrimp is really low in calories but I find that when I pair it with something like rice, it does the trick. I also added chopped, sauteed onions that were cooked with the shrimp in the marinade.

Loved. loved, loved this dinner. It will be making an appearance many times in the rotation. Next time: I’m trying chicken. Total Calories: 781 (including a few tortilla chips I might have been munching on while I cooked….).


Homemade pizza night! We had some friends over for dinner and drinks so we made our pizzas for them. We’re still using the Bobby Flay recipe but this time Michael grilled the pizzas outside. They turned out great. The toppings were mozzarella, fresh basil, rosemary and oregano from the garden, pepperoni and black olives.

My friend Erika made the dessert. She brought some fresh fruit and then made a healthier s’mores. She took two ripe bananas, mashed them up in a bowl and mixed in 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter and then spread it between graham crackers like a s’mores. Then she froze them for 3 hours or so. They are fantastic and my new favorite summer dessert!

Make this dessert! It’s so good. Total calories for dinner: about 1000 for the pizza and wine.

The Moves

Now for the moves! While I’m trying to get my weekly mileage up on the bike, the other things kind of fall by the wayside. I usually swim 2 days a week but that’s down to one or none. I figured I can head back to the pool when the weather is bad. The weight lifting has also been reduced.

This is a pretty standard week for me with two rest days. Each week seems to be a little different depending on what I am doing.

QUESTION: Do you have some notable meals and moves to share?