Hot meals that won’t break your calorie bank

As the weather cools and our stomachs ache for something warm, eating smarter is especially important. Aim for foods that fill you up without breaking your calorie bank. Here are two recipes to get you started.

Minestrone Surprise

(Recipe adopted from

Soups have the ability to keep us warm and to trick our bodies into thinking that we’ve eaten more than we were supposed to. Loaded with vegetables that provide exceptional vitamins rich in  A, K and C, this hot meal will be sure to make the effort worthwhile. With only 106 calories per serving, feel free to go back for seconds.

Prep and Cook Time: prep time: 20 minutes; cooking time 45 minutes


  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 6 medium sized cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (to yield about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces (to yield about 1 cup)
  • 1-½ cups finely chopped kale
  • ½ cup diced portabello mushrooms, black gills cut out and discarded
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBS dried Italian herbs
  • 1 15 oz can navy beans, drained
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare ingredients by chopping and measuring.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
  3. Add broth and rest of ingredients except beans and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low and continue cooking, uncovered for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add beans, cook for another couple minutes, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 6

Butternut Squash and Fried Sage Pasta

Recipe adopted from

Serotonin loss in the winter due to less light has usually gotten us scramming for quick-fix carbs to hit the spot. Defeat cravings before they happen and load up on whole grains and  first-rate butternut squash to properly satisfy you. It may seem like 373 calories is a lot for a serving, but the 10 g of fiber and 11 g of protein will be sure to tie you over til your next meal.

Serves 4


  • 8 oz whole-wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lb), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Cook penne as directed on package. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry sage, turning once, until crisp on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Add squash, 3/4 cup water, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash softens, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot and add squash mixture; stir over low heat, adding some reserved cooking water if necessary, until pasta is coated, about 1 minute. Serve, garnished with cheese and sage.

Have your cake and eat it too!

Amanda Holst


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