Losing a certain amount of weight and keeping that weight off is never about starving yourself, but rather about learning to eat smarter. Certain combinations of foods help both satiate and provide required nutrition whilst not supplying too many calories. If you manage to find such a balance in your meals, you will not only get to eat delicious and nutritious food, but also lose weight and reach and maintain a stable weight. This being said, here are 3 of my favorite healthy diet recipes to lose weight.
Vegetarian/Vegan chickpeas and tomato pasta
- Servings: 2
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
- Total calories (estimated): 754 kcal total
- Calories per serving: 377 kcal
- 150 g precooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained (96 kcal)
- 2 tablespoons plain tomato paste (50 kcal)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (248 kcal)
- 100 g dry spaghetti or other types of pasta (360 kcal)
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: other spices and condiments
In a larger pot, bring water to a boil then salt generously and boil 100 g of dry spaghetti or other types of pasta according to the instructions on the package. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat for 2 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and fry for 2-4 minutes on low heat. Add the drained chickpeas to the pan, stir to coat them with the tomato sauce and heat for up to 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the drained pasta, stir to help coat it with sauce and remove from heat.
Light tomato soup
- Servings: 4
- Prep time: 15-20 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Total calories (estimated): 485.5 kcal for 2 cups tomatoes or 550.5 kcal for 4 cups tomatoes
- Calories per serving: 120-140 kcal per serving
- 6 medium-large tomatoes or 15-20 cherry tomatoes (depending on size), peeled or unpeeled (65 kcal/2 cups or 360 g)
- half a large onion or 1 small onion (28 kcal)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (248 kcal)
- 40 g of risoni or orzo (356 kcal/100 g, 142.4 kcal/40 g)
- salt, pepper to taste
- optional: 2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed), bay leaves
- optional: basil, chives or fresh parsley to use as topping
Heat a deep pot over low heat for 2 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half an onion, chopped finely. Optional: add 2-3 dried bay leaves or 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic to the onion. Fry until golden over low heat while stirring continuously which should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes – you can choose between regular red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, orange tomatoes, blue tomatoes, purple tomatoes and black tomatoes.
If you are using larger tomatoes, chop them to your liking and remove the tougher core near the stem end. If you are using very small cherry tomatoes, cut in half; if you are using slightly larger cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters. Cover with 1-1.2 liters of water and turn the heat high. Once the water starts boiling, cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are somewhat cooked, but not completely – the idea is for the tomatoes to retain some of their freshness even though cooked. In the last 10-12 minutes, add 30 g of risoni pasta, also known as orzo (which takes 10-12 minutes to cook). Once done, season the soup with salt and pepper. Optional: add onion powder, garlic powder, basil or any spice of your liking.
Note: I like my tomatoes with peel which adds extra flavor since the soup is already quite simple, with very few ingredients, but feel free to do what you like.
Note: I also prefer slightly more acidic tomato varieties, but ripe so the sweetness balances out the acidity.
Note: You can add the crushed garlic cloves at the beginning, with the onion, or at the end, or use garlic powder or even onion powder for extra flavor. You can opt for red garlic and red onion to color coordinate with the red tomatoes.
Milk rice pudding
- Servings: 2
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 30-40 minutes (considered for white rice)
- Total calories (estimated): 342 kcal
- Calories per serving: 171 kcal (without toppings such as cocoa, honey, jam or marmalade)
- 60 g white rice (360 kcal/100 g raw, 216 kcal/60 g cooked)
- 150 ml 1.5% milk (44 kcal/100 ml, 66 kcal/150 ml)
- 15 g sugar (60 kcal)
- Nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla bean, cocoa powder etc.
- Optional: 2 tablespoons of jam, marmalade or 1 tablespoon of raw honey or fruit (e.g. half an apple, grated, a few berries) or 2 cubes grated dark chocolate
Add 60 g of white rice to a pot and 2 times or 2.5 times the amount of water – you can measure the water in the same cup or measuring unit. Place the pot over medium-low heat and leave to boil uncovered. Do not stir the rice, do not do anything to it! When the rice looks like it has absorbed most of the water, gently spoon 2-3 grains from the top and taste them to check if the rice is cooked or needs more water. At this point, the grains of rice should be cooked, but firm, retaining their shape. But if it still needs a couple of minutes, it will cook while incorporating the milk.
Remove the pot from the stove. Add the milk all at once and incorporate it in the rice with a wooden spoon. Place the rice over medium-low heat again and cook until the milk is absorbed about 75%, while stirring continuously. At this point stirring is necessary to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to activate the starches amylopectin and amylose in the rice which is what will make it sticky and essentially create the pudding.
Remove from the stove even though it looks somewhat liquid and stir in the sugar, vanilla bean or vanilla extract, orange zest, nutmeg or any flavors you may like. Transfer to two bowl or plates and leave to cool down and bind into a pudding. Optional: top with cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg or 2 tablespoons of a light jam or marmalade or 1 tablespoon of your favorite raw honey, whether it’s orange blossom honey or hawthorn honey or some other variety.
Milk rice pudding is a traditional dessert, appreciated in cultures around the world. While apparently a simple dessert, made with few ingredients, it’s not always very easy to make. Technique is everything when it comes to this classic dessert and it may take you a couple of tries to get the right consistency considering all the different types of rice which absorb water differently. You can also use brown rice, red rice or black rice.
This post was updated on Sunday / January 3rd, 2021 at 11:56 PM