“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Once a week, I am going to start sharing a tip, trick, or some interesting information about meal planning. I believe meal planning is critical to any long term and effective healthy living or weight loss goals. For me it was the single thing that finally made permanent weight loss achievable. The quote stood true, when I failed to plan, I failed, and I don’t want that to happen to others.
Additionally, I believe that meal planning is a skill that takes time to master and we can all use some help! When I first started meal planning it took up countless hours pouring over recipes, calculating nutritional info and/or points, and creating elaborate calendars. It was painful. Anything I can do to ease that pain for someone else is a win-win in my book.
Finally, I hope by sharing meal planning strategies, it will help you find a system that works for you. Whether it’s using our meal plans, scratching one into your weekly planner, or creating your own meal planning system – I hope this feature inspires you to start planning at least a few meals every week. It will save you time, money, and it truly will help you reach your weight loss and healthy living goals. So with that, on to this week’s tip!
Meal Planning Made Easy: Zero PointsPlus®, Low Calorie Veggies
One of the questions I get most often about meal plans and side dishes is about veggies! Everyone wants to include a veggie side dish in their meals but many people find it difficult to add that side without adding lots of calories and fat. Consider these cooking methods and tricks to create delicious veggie side dishes without adding unneeded calories and fat.
- Saute in Vegetable Broth and Herbs: Instead of reaching for oil when cooking veggies, use vegetable broth instead. You can use 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a medium hot skillet and then add your veggies. Cook until tender crisp and then stir in your favorite fresh or dried herbs. Lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning, and Cajun seasoning are some of my favorites to pack in the flavor.
- Roasted Vegetable with Cooking Spray: Instead of dousing your veggies in oil to roast them, just use cooking spray instead. Season everything with salt, pepper, and your favorite spice blend and then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender. You can also toss the finished roasted vegetables with some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to add some extra calorie free flavor.
- Start with Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic add great flavor to veggies but cooking them in oil can add extra fat that you may be trying to avoid. You can use 2-3 tablespoons of water or broth instead to cook the garlic and onions.
- What are your favorite low calorie ways to prepare low calorie vegetables?
Love the idea of meal planning but don’t want to do all the work? Since I know that many people simply don’t have the time to create their own healthy meal plans, we provide delicious and healthy meal plans at Slender Kitchen.
Here are some highlights from this week’s healthy meal plans:
- Slow Cooker Chicken in Chili Verde
- Summer Whole Wheat Caprese Pasta with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
- Grilled Sirloin Steak and Potatoes
- Asian Quinoa Stir-fry with Vegetables
- Summer Caprese Salad with Chicken Sausage (low carb plan)
- Lemon Paprika Thighs
- Dill Salmon Burgers
- BBQ Black Bean Burgers (vegetarian plan)
- Banana Quinoa Muffins
- Low Carb Raspberry Coconut Muffins (low carb plan)
- Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops
- & more
Each healthy weekly meal plan comes full of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans come in regular, vegetarian, and low carb options. All feature complete nutritional information, Weight Watchers PointsPlus®, and categorized shopping lists! There are also two bonus fallback recipes weekly and the option for either a complete meal plan or a Dinner Only plan. All that for less the cost of one cup of coffee per month with the yearly plan.