DNX FOOD Recipes My 14 favourite low-calorie dinners

My 14 favourite low-calorie dinners

My 14 favourite low-calorie dinners post thumbnail image

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull! Here are 14 of my favourite low calorie dinners, all clocking in at 500 calories or less. Nutritious, delicious, interesting and satisfying – no skimping on portion sizes!

January in brief!

January is getting away from me, with a “I’m taking a break!” declaration being somewhat disrupted with work related projects that have come to fruition that need attention. 2024 is looking to be an exciting year! Patience has never been my greatest virtue so I exaggerate not when I say that I am busting to tell you what I’m working on right now but I will get in trouble if I do.😂

So, I’ll probably be a little quieter with new recipes for the remainder on January as I try to catch up on life matters. Tax! Find a home! Weeding!

But I wanted to check in and I thought I’d leave you with some of my personal favourite “healthy” recipes (New Years’ resolution and all that). What “healthy” actual means is debatable but for me, it’s recipes that are lower in calories, lower in fat, nutritious and balanced which usually also means lower carb. But, still delicious – of course. And filling. Anybody can cut calories with tiny portions. But it’s miserable.

My 10 14 favourite low-calorie meals

The order is not indicative of preference! I love them all – though you’ll be able to tell which ones I have an extra soft spot for. 😅

1. Fish tacos

410 calories for THREE tacos! Lime chipotle marinated fish pan-seared, flaked into chunks then stuffed into tortillas with lightly pickled red cabbage and my pink taco sauce. You will not missed deep fried! (But when you do, Baja Fish Tacos are in my cookbook.😇)

Fish tacos
Recipe here

2. Hot and sour soup

I could eat this soup every single day.* It’s 100% me – big, bold, spicy flavours! Tofu, shiitake mushrooms, shredded chicken in a slightly thickened spicy-sour soup. 216 calories for a big bowl!

Close up of Chinese spoon scooping up Hot and Sour Soup from bowl

* I say this a few times in this recipe list. 😅 I mean it!

Recipe here

3. Moroccan stuffed eggplant

Oven-roasted eggplant halves topped with Moroccan spiced lamb or beef. 450 calories for two eggplant halves. BIG flavours, very satisfying!

Moroccan stuffed eggplant - spiced beef or lamb - fresh out of the oven
Recipe here

4. Slow-cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

Throw everything into a slow cooker and come home to a hearty soup filled with Mexican flavours that happens to be healthy! 352 calories for a big, cosy bowl.

Mexican Chicken Soup in a bowl, ready to be eaten
Recipe here

5. Crunchy Chinese chicken noodle salad

Asian slaw with shredded chicken and crunchy noodles tossed in a fabulous Asian dressing. 100% munch-worthy and lunch-worthy! Great meal-prep – just keep the noodles and dressing separate (chopped veg and chicken will last for days in the fridge).

Overhead photo of 2 black bowls with Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Dressing, ready to be eaten
Recipe here

6. Indian Eggplant Curry (brinjal)

Not for the faint-hearted!!! A very intense flavoured curry sauce with roasted rather than deep-fried eggplant pieces, this is a low-calorie hidden gem with just 250 calories per serving. Serve over basmati rice (200 calories for 1 cup) or cauliflower rice for a super low-cal option at just 35 calories per serving.

PS We also make this on a large scale at RecipeTin Meals (400 servings!)

Close up of bowl of Indian Eggplant Curry
Recipe here

7. Pan fried seasoned fish

When it comes to protein, white fish is my go-to when I’m making an effort to “be healthier” because generally speaking, fish is better for you than red meats. Higher protein, lower saturated fat and the oilier fish (like salmon) is high in omega-3 (“good fat”). While I’m a sucker for lemon butter sauce, fish seasoning is my go-to for a lower fat option – ~265 calories for a 180g / 6 oz white fish fillet like flathead, barramundi.

Serve with a big pile of roasted asparagus with parmesan and lemon (84 calories) or a big Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta (166 calories) to round out your meal.

Freshly cooked flathead seasoned with homemade spice mix for fish

8. Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cynics – please trust me. I would never, ever, EVER share a recipe unless I truly thought it was delicious! This will honestly surprise you. It is TASTY! 288 calories for a meal-size portion.

Close up of Cauliflower Fried Rice in a bowl, ready to be eaten
Recipe here

9. Sweet potato soup

Clocking in at 337 calories, creamy, dreamy, sweet, savoury – and simple to make! It’s a home run.

Recipe here

10. Sizzling ginger fish

A steamed fish to get excited about!! Simplified fillet version of the famous Cantonese Steamed Ginger Scallion Whole Fish. 343 calories per serving. Serve over cauliflower rice (35 calories) for a low-carb side to soak up the tasty sauce and a side of Chinese Broccoli with oyster sauce (91 calories), Bok Choy in Ginger Sauce (81 calories) or for something more substantial, try the Spicy Asian Zucchini (143 calories per serving – this is so substantial I’ve had it as a meal on numerous occasions).

Pouring hot oil over Sizzling ginger fish
Recipe here

11. AWESOME vegetarian San Choy Bau (Chinese lettuce wraps)

I do not use the word “awesome” in a recipe name lightly!! I’m on the wrong side of 20 for that. 😅 My secret? Crumbled tofu. Cooks up and soaks flavour like mince! You can barely tell it’s tofu.

Close up of Vegetarian lettuce wraps - san choy bow
Recipe here

12. Vegetable tagine

A big pot of Moroccan spiced stewy vegetables with chickpeas! And it’s even vegan. Yay vegans! 200 calories for a meal-size portion without couscous, though you could have a little less and serve it over couscous (253 calories per serving).

Vegetable Tagine ready to be served
Recipe here

13. Ratatouille – French vegetable stew

Summery stunner bursting with Mediterranean flavours! 158 calories per serving – so you can totally afford to add a hunk of crusty bread for mopping. (PS There’s also a baked version in my cookbook).

Ratatouille in a bowl with a side of crusty bread
Recipe here

14. Ceviche

I could eat ceviche every. Single. Day! 333 calories for a meal size portion. Serve with crispy baked corn tortillas (60 calories per tortilla) – spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, cut into corn-chip size triangles. Bake at 200°C/375°F (180°C fan) for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden and crisp (keep an eye on them after the 10 minute mark).

Close up of mound of Ceviche on a plate
Recipe here

There you go! 14 of my (current) favourite low-calorie meals – did you notice everything is under 500 calories including sides? I hope you got inspired with some new ideas!

For more healthy recipe ideas – a surprising number of them actually – have a browse through my Low Calorie recipe collection. (Then you can spend all your calorie savings on cake! 😈)

What about you? What are some of your favourite ways to eat lean? – Nagi x

Life of Dozer

The Butt Bark.

Captured by Kevin Case, Unleashed Northern Beaches.

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