A Few Favorite Fast, Healthy and Low-Cal Meals

Fast and Healthy Quesadilla

Fast and Healthy Quesadilla

While I love eating out, it’s a calorie minefield and requires more time then I often have.  So, I need a repertoire of super easy, fast, low-calorie meals that will keep me going and keep hunger at bay for at least 3-4 hours.

Two of my “go-to” meals are Easy Pasta with Tomatoes and Onions and Fast and Healthy Quesadilla.  Both dishes take under 15 minutes to prepare and are east enough for the cooking impaired.  Bonus, both are less than 400 calories, contain more protein than most protein bars and contain a decent amount of fiber to fill you up and keep you going. 

<h1>Easy Pasta with Tomatoes and Onions</h1> 

-1 c. whole wheat penne or spaghetti
-2 fresh tomatoes (3 if you use campari tomatoes), chopped
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
-1 Tbsp minced or chopped garlic

Fill a medium size pot with water and bring to a boil. While waiting for your water to boil, dice your onion and chop your tomatoes.
When water comes to a boil, add whole wheat pasta. If you are using penne, boil for 9 minutes. If you are using spaghetti, boil for 8 minutes. Drain pasta once time has elapsed.
Once you add the pasta to cook, spray a medium skillet with any brand cooking spray (I use PAM) and heat over medium heat. Add onions to skillet and cook 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic to skillet and cook until pasta is finished cooking.
Add drained pasta to skillet. Add parmesan cheese to skillet and stir parmesan cheese, pasta and tomato, garlic and onion mixture together.
Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.
Serves 1. Nutritional value is approximately: Calories: 380, Fat: 5.7 grams, Protein: 16.7 grams, Fiber: 9.6 grams.

<h1>Fast and Healthy Quesadilla</h1>

1 burrito size tortilla (I use Trader Joe’s Organic whole wheat and corn tortillas)
2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Spicy Black Bean Dip (or an equivalent bean dip)
1/3 cup shredded Mexican Cheese
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper cut into strips (I used green, but red or yellow would work too)
Cooking Spray
Optional: Tomatoes, chopped and/or salsa

Spray bottoms of small and medium skillet with cooking spray and place both on medium heat.
Dice onion and slice bell pepper and add to small skillet. Saute until onions are brown (cook longer if you do not want crunchy bell peppers).
Add tortilla to medium skillet and spread black bean dip on tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top of black bean dip. Cook until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy (about 4 minutes). Add bell peppers and onions to tortilla, cheese and black beans and remove from skillet. If you like, add tomatoes and/or salsa (I was out of both when I made this). Fold tortilla in half. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 1. Without tomatoes and/or salsa, nutritional value is approximately: Calories: 287, Fat: 11.1 grams, Protein: 12.8 grams, Fiber 7 grams.