No Gimmicks Weight Loss Community Group

No Gimmicks is a group for those who are losing or looking to lose weight the healthy way through exercise and cutting calories. We are all about making a lifestyle change instead of "dieting."

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Comfort Foods

While I like summers and grilling - I LOVE fall and oven meals...they are my comfort foods. Meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, mac & cheese, tuna casserole...I could on and on!

My question - how do you make these foods slimmer but still tasty!



I read a lot of recipes on line and in cookbooks. It seems like there is a "light" way to make just about anything. Cooking Light is a terrific resource for slimmer recipes, so I would definitely search their recipes for slim versions of your favorites. In the meatloaf department, turkey meatloaf can be quite a slim dish and there are lots of tasty recipes for it. I'll see if I can dig out some recipes and post them on this thread.

Here is a turkey meatloaf recipe I have used and enjoyed.

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/8 inch dice
3/4 pounds mushrooms, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon ketchup
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey

Preheat over to 400F. Cook onion and garlic in oil until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and 3 Tablespoons ketchup, then transfer vegetables to a large bowl and cool. Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in eggs, then add to vegetables. Add turkey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to vegetable mixture and mix well with your hands. (Mixture will be very moist.) Form into a 9 by 5 inch oval loaf in a lightly oiled 13 by 9 by 2 inch metal baking pan and brush meatloaf evenly with remaining 2 Tablespoons ketchup. Bake in middle of oven until thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 170F, 50 to 55 minutes. Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.

I would make this with nonfat milk and egg whites. You can see that the recipe reduces the amount of meat by upping the amount of vegetables. You could use that idea with a beef-based recipe, too. Or you could use half turkey and half lean ground beef.

Oh thanks for the recipe...I am for sure going to try this.

Here's a recipe I found for skinny scalloped potatoes. It is from a cookbook called "So Fat, Low Fat, No Fat," by Betty Rohde, who lost 60 pounds and in the process figured out how to make skinny versions of all of her favorite home cookin' foods and then wrote a cookbook about it. I highly recommend her book - it is probably available on ebay or Abe's Books, maybe Amazon, I got it in a used bookstore. It is worth buying to read the introduction, the helpful hints, what she calls the ABCs to cutting fats, and her tips for working women (which of course would be great for busy men who cook, too). It's a cookbook written by a home cook, not some gourmet chef or some celebrity, who loves good old American home cooked food and didn't want to give up good tasting food when she was struggling to lose weight. Anyway, here is her recipe for scalloped potatoes. It has one of her tricks, which is to mix nonfat dry milk powder with nonfat milk to get the taste and texture of cream or whole milk, without the calories:

1/4 cup nonfat milk powder
2 cups skim milk
2 Tablespoons light margarine
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 pounds potatoes, pared and cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 4 potatoes)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
3/4 cups shredded fat free Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

Coat a 12 X 8 inch casserole with vegetable oil cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Dissolve the milk powder in the skim milk and set aside. Melt the margarine in a heavy pan; add the flour and stir well. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute; it will be lumpy. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until thickened. Add the salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in the prepared baking dish; add half each of the potatoes, onions, and cheese, and spread with a layer of sauce. Repeat except for cheese. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

Serves 10. Has 2.9 grams of fat per 1 cup serving.

I just noticed that Rohde has two other scalloped potatoes recipes in her book. Here's number 2. Her note says, "The buttermilk bakes into a remarkably cheesy tasting sauce."

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 Tablespoons Butter Buds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups skim buttermilk (check the label; buy the 1 gram of fat per cup)
Pinch of paprika

Preheat the oven to 350. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the potatoes in the flour mixture and place them in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. In a small skillet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, saute the onion for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Spoon the onion over the potatoes and pour buttermilk over top. Sprinkle paprika over potatoes and bake uncovered for 1 to 11/4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.

Serves 4. Has less than 3 grams of fat.

Here is number 3:

1 package scalloped potato mix
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
11/2 cup boiling water
11/4 cup skim milk

Combine the dried potatoes, sauce mix, onions, and seasoning. Stir in the boiling water and milk; mix well. Turn into a casserole and bake at 375 to 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 6. One gram of fat per serving.
Group FoundersmileLisa

Thank you so much for sharing these recipes!

Maybe a lil late, but check out Lisa Lillen's Hungry Girl series... There are some AMAZING recipes in her books, also on her website as well..
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