7 Dinner Meal Options

Many of you have been asking me to share my menu or 30 day plan.  Because we all may have different goals of what we are cutting out of our eating regimen, it's difficult to post my meals as my focus is low lean meats, high fruits & veggies but others may be fine with incorporating meat into their plan. So what I'll be doing is sharing a variety of meal options that should help us all regardless of our individual goals.  These are healthy meal options but can be modified to fit your preference.

7 Days of Fat-Melting Meals

Meet your new nutrition secret weapons: nuts, eggs, salmon, low-fat dairy, peanut butter, avocado, spinach, berries, whole grains, and dark chocolate. Each of these foods works in a different way to zap fat and make you sleeker, says Neva Cochran, RD, a nutrition consultant based in Dallas. The high protein content of nuts and eggs helps curb hunger and boost your calorie burn, meaning you'll eat less (and lose weight). "The calcium in dairy products trims your waist by increasing the activity of enzymes that break down fat cells. It also reduces levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes your body to hang on to belly flab," Cochran explains. Whole grains, leafy greens, and berries are loaded with filling fiber, which has been proven to reduce your calorie intake. The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in peanut butter, avocados, olive oil, and salmon prevent abdominal fat from accumulating in the first place, research shows. And dark chocolate? "Indulging in a little bit every day keeps cravings under control, which helps you stick to a healthy diet," Cochran says. Get the ab-flattening benefits of these foods starting today.

7 Dinner Recipes

Maple Salmon with Greens, Edamame, and Walnuts

Makes: 4 servings

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary
4 5-ounce fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
1 6-ounce package fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, salt, and pepper. For dressing, in a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup mixture and the olive oil; set aside.
2. For glaze, heat the remaining maple syrup mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until syrupy. Remove from heat; stir in rosemary.
3. Preheat broiler. Place fish on the greased, unheated rack of a broiler pan and brush with half the glaze. Broil 6 to 7 inches from heat for 5 minutes. Turn fish over; brush with remaining glaze. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine spinach, edamame, pepper strips, and nuts. Drizzle spinach mixture with dressing; toss to coat. Spoon salad onto plates; top with fish.

Nutrition facts per serving: 460 calories, 33g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 28 g fat (5g saturated), 3g fiber

Baked Veggie Omelet

Makes: 6 servings

Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups bite-size bell pepper strips, sliced mushrooms, and thinly sliced zucchini
1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
10 egg whites
5 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Tomato sauce, warmed (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 15-x-10-x-1-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add vegetables, onion, and dried basil. Cook and stir 5 to 8 minutes. Add pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Remove from heat; stir in tomato sauce; keep warm.
3. In a medium bowl beat egg whites, eggs, water, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with a whisk until combined but not frothy. Pour eggs into the baking pan. Bake, uncovered, 7 minutes, or until eggs have just set.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.
5. Cut the baked eggs into six 5-inch squares. Using a spatula, lift each square from the pan and invert onto a plate. Divide warm vegetable mixture among omelets; top with cheese. Fold omelets diagonally in half, forming triangles. If desired, drizzle with additional tomato sauce.

Nutrition facts per serving: 170 calories, 14g protein, 7g carbohydrate, 10g fat (4g saturated), 2g fiber

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Warm Citrus Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

4 medium skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 14-1/2-ounce can chicken broth
2 1/2 cups strawberries
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons salad oil
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups torn spinach, watercress and/or other greens
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Sprinkle the chicken-breast halves lightly with salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth into a large saucepan; add chicken. Bring broth to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove chicken from broth with a slotted spoon and cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine 1/2 cup of the strawberries, the orange juice, salad oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Thinly slice chicken breasts. In a large bowl, toss together salad greens, remaining strawberries, and chicken.
4. To serve, drizzle warm dressing over salad. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Nutrition facts per serving: 287 calories, 31g protein, 12g carbohydrate, 14g fat (2g saturated), 7g fiber

Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta and Vegetables

Makes: 4 servings

8 ounces dried whole wheat or whole-grain penne pasta
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any oil or salt.
2. Add broccoli florets and asparagus or green beans during the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.
3. In a large serving bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
4. Add cooked pasta and vegetables to ricotta mixture. Add chopped tomatoes. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with grated cheese; serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: 361 calories, 16g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 9g fat (2g saturated), 7g fiber

Southwestern Black Bean Cakes with Guacamole

Makes: 4 servings

1/2 medium avocado, seeded and peeled
1 tablespoon lime juice
Ground black pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg, beaten
1 small plum tomato, chopped

1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl. Stir in lime juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
2. Place torn bread in a food processor. Cover and process until bread turns into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
3. Place cilantro and garlic in the food processor. Cover and process until finely chopped. Add the beans, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cumin. Cover and process until beans are coarsely chopped and mixture begins to pull away from the side of the bowl or container.
4. Add mixture to bread crumbs. Add egg, combine, and shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.
5. Lightly grease the rack of a grill pan. Place patties on the rack. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until patties are heated through, turning once.
6. To serve, top patties with guacamole and tomato.

Nutrition facts per serving: 178 calories, 11g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1g saturated), 9g fiber

Thai Chicken-Broccoli Wraps

Makes: 6 servings

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken-breast strips
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups packaged broccoli slaw
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 10-inch whole wheat tortillas, warmed

1. Sprinkle chicken strips with garlic salt and pepper. Coat a skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add broccoli and 1/4 teaspoon of the ground ginger to skillet. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
2. In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, 2 tablespoons water, soy sauce, minced garlic, and the remaining ginger. Heat over low heat until smooth, whisking constantly.
3. To assemble, spread tortillas with peanut sauce. Top with chicken strips and vegetable mixture. Roll up each tortilla, securing with a toothpick. Cut in half; serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: 191 calories, 18g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber

Greek Quinoa and Avocados

Makes: 4 servings

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Spinach leaves
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, tomatoes, spinach, and onion.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt. Mix with quinoa.
4. Place spinach on plates with avocado slices and quinoa. Sprinkle with feta.

Nutrition facts per serving: 332 calories, 7g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 24g fat (5g saturated), 8g fiber

<source: Fitness Mag>