To make some of the higher calorie dishes lighter, you can easily substitute the fresh ingredients in the dish to lower calorie options or just use less of them in the portion, if you prefer.
Generally, the elements of the dishes that push up the calorie count are the carbs like rice, potatoes and breads and also the dairy elements, like cream and cheese.
For dishes that are served with rice:
- Swap to brown rice
- Swap to cauliflower rice
- Put potatoes in the dish, if it’s a stew or curry, and forego the rice or bread.
For dishes that are served with potatoes (e.g. wedges):
- Swap the potatoes for courgette, parsnip or carrot wedges and roast these instead.
For dishes with chicken thigh fillets:
- Swap to chicken breast fillets, which are leaner, or try turkey. Or reduce the portion of chicken to help bring down the calorie count.
- Use light or low-fat or light options of coconut milk, creme fraiche, cream, yoghurt and mayonnaise etc.
- Use less oil, or use a light spray oil so you don’t need as much to coat a pan. Also try to to use good quality non-stick pans, which will help you to use less oil.
Alternatively, you can increase the amount of veg and potentially the meat you use by a little bit and then you should be able to get 3-4 portions out of the dish you’ve made rather than just 2, thereby reducing the calorie intake per portion.