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Metabolism-Boosting Recipes: One-Dish Dinners

Balancing your meal is the secret to metabolism-boosting success. When you just have carbohydrate, like pasta with tomato sauce, without an added source of protein, your metabolism doesn’t have to work as hard to digest, your blood sugar levels spike, you aren’t as satisfied, and you’ll be craving another meal or snack soon after.

Angel Hair with Shrimp and Snow Peas or Sirloin Tacos combine all the components of a balanced meal and can be eaten on their own. Same with vegetarian options like the healthified Spinach Lasagna recipe.

Spinach Lasagna

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 pound part skim ricotta cheese

1-1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

3/4 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 large jar (24 ounces) low-sodium tomato sauce

1 package no boil, whole-wheat lasagna noodles

1 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, spinach, oregano, and pepper.

  3. Spray a lasagna pan and layer 1/3 of the tomato sauce, 1/2lasagna noodles, and about 1/2cheese mixture. Again, sauce, noodles, and cheese mixture. Last layer is the remaining tomato sauce and top with remaining mozzarella.

  4. Pour 1 cup of water around perimeter of pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until bubbly.

  6. Take out and pull back aluminum foil. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Per serving: Calories 355; Fat 15g; Saturated Fat 5g; Cholesterol 39mg; Sodium 450mg; Carbohydrate 40g; Dietary Fiber 7g; Protein 23g.

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts, Tomato, and Chickpeas

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 medium (about 4.5 pounds) spaghetti squash, halved

3 tablespoons olive oil

Dash of ground black pepper

1 cup crushed tomatoes, canned or jarred

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup cooked chickpeas

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cover an oven tray with aluminum foil.

  2. Scrape out seeds from squash. Season spaghetti squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ground black pepper. Put the squash face down on tray and roast for 30–40 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and scrape squash with fork.

  3. In skillet heat crushed tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and chickpeas.

  4. Toss spaghetti squash with crushed tomato sauce and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 354; Fat 15g; Saturated Fat 2g; Sodium 300mg; Carbohydrate 41.5g; Dietary Fiber 12.5g; Protein 14g.

Angel Hair with Shrimp and Snow Peas

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

5 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 cup snow peas

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place shrimp on a baking sheet. Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush over shrimps. Roast for 6–8 minutes.

  3. Place snow peas, cherry tomatoes and asparagus on separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes.

  4. Boil angel hair pasta in large pot and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and save about 1/2 cup of cooking water.

  5. Toss pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest and juice and 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water. Split among plates and distribute snow peas, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and shrimp evenly to each serving.

Per serving: Calories 526; Fat 14.7g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 295mg; Sodium 350mg; Carbohydrate 50g; Dietary Fiber 10g; Protein 35g.

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