Holidays can be tricky to navigate while also dieting. While it may seem intriguing to just "take a day off" of your diet, it's important to remember why you started it in the first place. Taking days off and eating whatever you so desire can make all the hard work put in for nothing. Often times we really underestimate just how many calories we end up consuming when we go out, especially when we've been restricting our diet. The average three-course meal at a restaurant will have you eating well over 1,700 calories!! This will leave you frustrated. It may even lead you to blaming your friends or significant other for convincing you to "take a day off". The last thing you want to do while dieting is to ruin any relationships you have- especially with your significant other.
To keep the added stress off and to keep your diet on point, skip the waits at the crowded restaurants and have a fancy night in! We created some healthy three-course meal recipes that will keep your partner happy (depenedent upon how great of a cook you are) and will keep your diet on track.
First Course: Appetizers
Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta
Serving size: 2 mushrooms (serves 2) Calories:259
Protein: 10g , Carbohydrates: 18.5g, Fat: 17.5g
4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small to medium sized vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Drizzle olive oil on grill pan to prevent mushrooms from sticking. Grill for about 5 minutes, each side.
In a bowl mix together the extra-virgin olive oil and garlic. Add the tomatoes, cheese, and basil and toss until mixed. Season the tomato salad, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Add the tomato salad to the grilled mushrooms, drizzle the top with balasmic vinegar.
BBQ CHICKEN SWEET POTATO SKINS
Serving Size: 2 Potato skins (Serves 2) Calories: 289
Protein: 21g, Carbohydrates: 35g, Fat: 7.5g
2 small sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons of barbeque sauce
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 red onion
1/3 cup shredded low fat mozzarella
Poach the chicken on the stove until cooked. Once cooked, shred the chicken and mix in the barbeque sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, pierce the potatoes a few times for ventilation. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for about 35-40 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into them.
In a skillet, heat pan over medium and add the olive oil. Once the pan is heated add in the red onion, cut or diced however you'd like. Cook the onions until slightly brown.
After the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut both potatoes in half (lengthwise). Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the potato, leaving just a thin layer of potato with the skin still attatched. Fill the inside of the potato with the shredded chicken and sauteed onions. Top each potato with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Place the potatoes back into the oven for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Second Course: Entrees
Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Pasta
Calories: 330 per serving (serves 2)
Protein: 19g, Carbohydrates: 33g, Fat: 17g
Seared Filet Mignon with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
Calories: 399 per serving (serves two)
Protein: 44g, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fat: 21g
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray the steak lightly all over with olive oil. Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper.
When the oven is ready, heat a skillet over high heat until the pan is very hot. When the skillet is hot, add the steaks and cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Sear the steaks until its brown all over. Place the steaks in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes, then check them with the meat thermometer inserted into the side of the steak. Remove when the steaks read 125° F for Medium Rare, or 130° F for medium.
In another skillet, heat on medium and add the olive oil in. Once the pan is heated add in the asparagus (tough bottoms cut off). Pan fry the asparagus until tender, add in the cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and lightly sautee them in the pan until lightly golden.
Final Course: Dessert
Protein Lava Cake
Calories: 357 (per cake) Recipe makes 2 cakes.
Protein: 23g, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fat: 21g
New York Style Protein Cheescake