They’re so full of flavor, nobody would guess the low-calorie count in these delicious recipes – for savory and sweet dishes.

1. Chilli Pork Salad

  • 2 x 250g (8oz) pork fillets
  • 30g (1oz) butter or substitute
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ teaspoon chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cabbage
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 onions
  • ½ cup of water

Heat butter in a pan over high heat, add fillets, brown well. Put in a baking dish. Combine cornflour, water, chili sauce, brown sugar, tomato paste, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Put in a saucepan, stir over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, pour over fillets, bake uncovered in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Halve peppers, remove seeds, cut into 2.5cm (1in) cubes. Heat oil in the pan, add peppers and peeled and quartered onions, cook 1 minute, add sliced cabbage, cook further 1 minute. Add water, simmer covered 2 minutes. Arrange vegetables on a large serving plate, arrange sliced pork down the center, brush remaining sauce over the meat.

Serves 4. Approx 450 calories per serve.

2. Fish With Vegetables

  • 500g (1lb) fish fillets
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 teaspoon grated green ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, extra
  • SAUCE
    • ½ cup of water
    • 1 chicken stock cube
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cornflour

Peel carrot, cut into thin slices; cut celery into 1cm x 4cm lengths. Skin and bone fillets, cut across into 4cm (1½in) pieces. Combine fillets with ginger, dry sherry, salt and sugar, mix well, stand 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add fillets, stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until just cooked, remove from pan. Heat remaining oil in the pan, add carrot, celery and extra salt, cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sauce ingredients, stir until sauce boils and thickens, add fish, mix gently.

Serves 4. Approx 200 calories per serve.

3. Chicken Shashliks

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 15g (½oz) butter or substitute
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon grated green ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • ⅔ cup of water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Remove chicken meat from bones, giving 6 individual pieces; remove the skin. Cut meat into 2.5cm (1in) pieces. Peel onions, cut into quarters, separate onion layers. Remove seeds from the pepper, cut 1 into 2.5cm (1in) pieces. Thread chicken, onion and red pepper on skewers.

Heat butter in the pan, add ginger and crushed garlic, stir over gentle heat 1 minute. Add combined sugar, water, lemon juice, crumbled stock cube, salt, pepper, cornflour and soy sauce, stir over heat until sauce boils and thickens. Place shasliks under the heated grill, brush with sauce. Cook shashliks, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with sauce. Serve the remaining sauce separately.

Serves 4. Approx 300 calories per serve.

Note: If serving with hot rice, allow ½ cup cooked rice per person. Add 1 tablespoon chopped parsley. Allow an extra 100 calories per serve for rice.

4. Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 500g (1lb) medium-sized mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 90g (3oz) ham
  • 2 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 30g (1oz) butter or substitute
  • 30g (1oz) cottage cheese
  • salt, pepper

Remove stems from mushrooms, chop stems finely. Peel onion, chop finely. Heat 15g (½oz) of the butter in a pan, add mushroom stems and onion, fry gently until the mixture combines. Add finely chopped ham, breadcrumbs, basil, oregano and mustard, mix well, cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan.

Heat remaining butter in the pan, add mushrooms, fry until light golden brown, tossing constantly, remove from pan. Fill ham mixture into the cavity of mushrooms. Mound filling in the center. Put stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish, sprinkle with sieved cottage cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven until cheese is golden brown (about 10 minutes).

Serves 4. Approx 200 calories per serve.

5. Chicken With Lemon Sauce

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1½ tablespoons oil
  • 1cm (½in) piece green ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • pepper
  • Lemon sauce
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ¾ cup chicken stock
    • 2 teaspoons cornflour
    • 2 shallots

Remove skin from chicken breasts. With a sharp knife, gently remove chicken meat from each half of each breast, giving 6 pieces. Cut each piece across twice to give 3 pieces each. Combine chicken pieces with grated ginger, salt, sugar, dry sherry, water and pepper, mix well, stand 30 minutes.

Add the egg white to chicken, mix well; coat each piece lightly with flour. Heat oil in the pan, gently fry chicken until golden brown. Place chicken on a serving plate, keep warm. Combine all ingredients for the sauce, except shallots, in a small saucepan, stir until sauce boils and thickens. Add chopped shallots, cook for a further minute. Serve with Chinese vegetables.

Serves 4. Approx 300 calories per serve.

6. Chinese Vegetables

  • 250g (8oz) broccoli
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • salt

Cut broccoli into thick pieces, parboil in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, drain. Slice celery diagonally, peel and slice onion. Heat oil in a pan, add vegetables, salt; cook 3 minutes, stir well.

Serves 4. Approx 70 calories per serve.

7. Ginger Pears

  • 1 cup low-calorie dry ginger ale
  • 2 slices green ginger
  • 4 medium pears

Peel skin thinly from pears; cut pears into quarters; remove cores. Place pears, ginger ale and sliced ginger in a saucepan, bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered until pears are tender. Remove pears and ginger from the saucepan, continue cooking sauce over high heat until liquid is slightly reduced. Pour sauce over pears.

Serves 4. Approx 85 calories per serve.

8. Mangoes With Tropical Ice

  • 285ml bottle low-calorie dry ginger ale
  • 425g can unsweetened mango slices
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ⅓ cup of orange juice

Drain mangoes, reserve ½ cup juice. Combine sugar and water in a pan, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then boil for 3 minutes. Combine dry ginger ale, reserved syrup, orange juice and sugar syrup, strain, pour into freezer tray, freeze. Put mango slices into serving dishes; flake ice with a fork, spoon over mango slices.

Serves 2. Approx 100 calories per serve.

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