It’s finally warming up here in northern Vermont and I was all excited about that—until I took off my winter clothes and had to admit to myself that months of hibernation had not been particularly kind to the old physique. That’s why I’m grateful to have a dinner plan for the week that will help me fit back into my shorts. This plan of five 500-calorie dinners helps you organize complete meals every night, including your main course recipe, side dishes, desserts and drinks—all for 500 calories!
—Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor
Buy the book now: EatingWell 500-Calorie Dinners
Although there are many variations of this Mexican chicken soup, spicy chipotle chiles are always part of the broth. Finish the menu with Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette? and Fast Strawberry Frozen Yogurt?.
• Caldo Tlalpeño
• Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette
• Fast Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
TOTAL: 466 calories
Crisp on the outside and buttery-tender on the inside, these sweet and spicy soy sauce-marinated pork tenderloin medallions make for a delicious, healthful and elegant entree. Serve with a couple sides: Steamed snow peas (½ cup) with a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce? and Wild Rice with Shiitakes & Toasted Almonds?. For dessert you get to have Orange Crisps with Citrus Fruit Salad.
• Grilled Pork
Tenderloin Marinated in Spicy Soy Sauce
• Steamed snow peas (½ cup) with a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce
• Wild Rice with Shiitakes & Toasted Almonds
• Orange Crisps with Citrus Fruit Salad
TOTAL: 491 calories
A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up to turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution. To go with it, make Simple Sautéed Spinach? and Quick Pickled Beets?. Top off the meal with a refreshing (and low-calorie) tangerine.
TOTAL: 444 calories
Stir-frying sears meat and vegetables beautifully. The cooking happens quickly, so it’s a good idea to measure out and prepare all the ingredients in the recipe before you fire up the wok. You’ll want to cook up some brown rice with a squeeze of lime? to serve with the stir-fry—get that started first. Have a salad of mixed greens with Buttermilk Dressing to round things out.
TOTAL: 469 calories
Lots of tangy lemon flavors this pasta dish. Don’t be put off by 16 cups of escarole; it cooks down to a fraction of that amount and is buttery-tender in this dish. Serve the linguine with fresh (practically calorie-free) mixed greens dressed with Champagne Vinaigrette? and savory Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme?. Treat yourself to an early taste of summer and finish up with fresh blueberries.
• Linguine with Escarole &
• Mixed greens (1½ cups) with 2 Tbsp. Champagne Vinaigrette
• Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme
• Blueberries (½ cup)
TOTAL: 499 calories