What’s the hardest part of eating dairy free?
It seems to me that all dairy free substitutes are filled with sugar, sodium and are SO high in calories.
Well, dairy free products are made to have a similar taste to dairy but end up failing health wise. I usually find they don’t taste great (personal opinion) and are a waste of calories.
Now, I must say. I am not someone who believes in strict calorie counting but I do think it can be good to watch calories, sometimes.
These days, it’s difficult to assess what is healthy and what is not by just looking at calories. There are so many ingredients now used in foods to lower their calorie count but are so unhealthy.
For example, diet coke. It is zero calories but the amount of aspartame in the drink is so unhealthy for you. Your body also later turns all that sugar into fat. Which, makes it seem like you would have been better off with a high-calorie drink in the first place.
Whenever I begin eating healthy I do always try to watch how many calories I’m consuming. Not counting my calories, but see on average how many I’m consuming a day. This has helped me realize some of my negative eating habits.
As a past emotional binge eater, I used to have approximately 4-5 tablespoons of peanut butter whenever I was getting a craving. I thought by consuming these tablespoons of peanut butter I was helping myself from binging and that it would prevent me from having a huge meal.
Unfortunately, little did I know that there are almost 100 calories in one tablespoon of peanut butter. So after let’s say five tablespoons of peanut butter, I had consumed almost 500 calories.
Now looking back, I should have just let myself have a little treat which, would have ended up being maybe 200 calories. Or, I could have gone and had a wrap or salad or sandwich or whatever it is that I wanted and it would have helped cut my craving.
A full meal is approximately 500 calories and there I was thinking I was helping myself from binging by having tablespoons of peanut butter.
This is why it can be important to watch how many calories you’re consuming especially if you’re interested in losing weight. Unfortunately, like I said, calorie counting can be difficult. Just because something is low in calorie, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.
But, don’t stress too much about calories because they aren’t overly important. They are, on the other hand, a good way to see how much you are eating. Especially if you tend to binge when you’re tired, angry, sad, mad etc..
Why focus on 350 calorie dinners?
The reasoning behind 350 calorie dinners was more to do with the portions of food and what foods you’re eating, instead of actual calories.
As a Canadian myself, my meal sizes tend to be bigger than my head. Us westernized people over eat, a lot.
By reducing the number of calories in a meal, I naturally turn to healthy foods.
Well, they are naturally low in calorie and therefore, increase my veggie intake.
With a 350 calorie meal in mind, I gravitate towards veggie filled meals that have fewer carbs. This usually helps me feel better after a meal and not like I just ate everything in the fridge.
Again, the idea behind a 350 calorie dinner isn’t to focus on the number of calories you’re eating but to focus on how much and what you are eating. Many people who focus on calories tend to eat a lot less food in general but it is almost always unhealthy.
Many people who focus on calories tend to eat a lot less food in general but it is almost always unhealthy. There are many meals that are on average 300-400 calories but have no vegetables, are filled with carbs, sugars, and sodium. It isn’t good for the body and therefore is not a healthy ‘diet plan’.
You would be much better off eating two full zucchini’s that naturally are low in calorie than, eating an oat bar that is the size of my thumb (filled with sugar and 100 apparent calories).
Here are 5 delicious dairy-free recipes that are 350 healthy calories.
Spinach Quinoa Chicken
Servings: 1 Prep time: 10 min Cooking time: 20 min Total time: 30 min
- 1 clove garlic (1 teaspoon)
- 1/2 cup dry spinach
- Half a medium-sized chicken breast (Size of your fist)
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1/4 cup mushroom
- 1/4 cup red pepper
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 1/2 Tsp coconut oil
- Pre heat oven to 400 F.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice on chicken breast.
- In a pan, add 1 tsp coconut oil and sautee veggies. After a couple minutes, mix in chili flakes.
- In another pan mix together garlic and spinach with a 1/2 Tsp coconut oil. This will be placed over the chicken.
- Cook quinoa for 20 minutes. Please check here on how I cook my quinoa.
- I cooked a cup of uncooked quinoa so I would have more for the rest of the week. I highly recommend doing this as it helps the quinoa stay fluffy and there is extra for another day
- Once cooked, mix veggies and 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa together
- When chicken is done, place spinach on top.
The best part about this meal is that it is fully gluten and dairy free. The quinoa is a great protein that helps you feel completely full so you won’t be left starving later on.
Quinoa itself is a complete protein source, iron, magnesium, and fiber. It is great to have at night especially because people tend to crave carbs later on during the day. So, it fills you up and cuts your cravings.
Tin Foil Salmon Asparagus
Servings: 1 Prep time: 6 h 20 min Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 6 h 45 min
- 4 Asparagus
- half a medium Zucchini
- 1 Small Salmon
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon sriracha
- 1 Tablespoon of tamari sauce
- 1/2 Tsp olive oil (to put in pan)
* 6 hours before cooking salmon, place seasoning ingredients in a ziplock bag and leave in the fridge.
- Pre heat oven to 375 F.
- Get a large piece of aluminum paper and put 1/2 Tsp olive oil so veggies don’t stick.
- Cut zucchini and asparagus and place on the bottom.
- Put thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper on veggies.
- Place seasoned salmon on top of veggies and close tin foil together.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes in the oven.
Coconut Mushroom Chicken
Servings: 1 Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 15 min Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- half medium chicken breast (fist size)
- 1/8 cup coconut milk canned
- 1 teaspoon diced garlic
- 2 tablespoons squeezed fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco
- 1/2 cup cooked white jasmine rice
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon green onion
- 1 med – large mushroom sliced
- I cooked my white rice in a special white rice cooker. It took me about 10 minutes to fully cook.
- I chopped the chicken and cooked it in a separate pan again with 1/2 Tsp of coconut oil.
- I put 1/2 Tsp of coconut oil in a pan and sauteed my mushroom, green onion, tomatoes, and garlic together.
- When both the chicken and the veggies were done, I poured them into the same pan.
- I then added the tamari, sriracha, coconut milk, Tabasco sauce and freshly squeezed lime juice together.
- I let simmer for about 2 minutes then poured the content onto my rice.
The key here is to let the coconut milk heat up without letting any evaporate.
Rice Noodle Curry
- 100 grams of rice noodles
- 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 Tsp Tabasco sauce
- half squeezed lime
- 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 2 asparagus
- 1/4 cup red peppers
- small chicken breast
- half med. zucchini
- 1/4 cup spinach
- In a pot, boil hot water to cook rice noodles.
- In a medium pan, put 1/2 Tsp coconut oil and cook all veggies (not including spinach).
- I cut my chicken up into small pieces and put 1/4 cup water into a pan and cooked it that way. (You can always use oil but water is a healthier method)
- Once the chicken is done cooking. In the same pan, add curry paste, freshly squeezed lime, tamari sauce and Tabasco.
- Add veggies to the same pan along with the rice noodles.
- At the end, add spinach into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until spinach is cooked. Should take a maximum of 2 minutes.
Basa Fillet Salad
Servings: 1 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 20 minutes
- large Basa fillet
- half med zucchini
- 3 asparagus
- 5 black olives
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/8 cup sliced red onion
- 1/8 cup red pepper
- 1/4 cup green beans
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- (half squeezed lemon on fish, with salt and pepper)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil,
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic,
- Pinch of parsley spice
- 1 Tbspoon freshly squeezed lemon
- I cooked my zucchini and asparagus with some coconut oil in a pan.
- I added all my leafy greens and veggies together in a bowl.
- Added the chia seeds on top of the veggies.
- I then placed the fish on top of my salad and added the cooked veggies over top.
- I cut my black olives in 4 and sprinkled them over my veggies.
This is probably one of the easiest of the dinners and is packed with healthy veggies.
I hope you enjoy these recipes. Please let me know how you liked them down below!0
Missing chef Annie cooking for me!
and im missing cooking for you