Delicious 500 calorie dinners to help you lose weight

By: Jessie Price  |  Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I’ve never been able to diet. I can’t do it because I enjoy eating too much. (And since I’m a food editor, it is a hazard of the job!) Plus I never want to feel like I’m depriving myself. But like most people, I have a few extra pounds around my middle that I can’t wait to trim.
My answer: delicious 500-calorie dinners. Why 500? Most people can lose weight eating 1,500 calories a day. So if you keep your calories to 1,000 for the rest of the day, you can have 500 for dinner. (Check out this example of how much food you can eat for 1,500 calories. It’s actually pretty generous.)
To jumpstart my weight loss, I’m going to take our 500-Calorie Dinner Challenge. Here’s the idea: I’ll cook a delicious 500 calorie dinner five nights a week for five weeks. I’m going to make my dinners from our new cookbook, 500 Calorie Dinners, which has over 150 recipes, each with mix and match options of what to serve it with, including dessert (in case you need something sweet) or even wine or beer. Whatever you choose, the menu works out to about 500 calories.
It’s amazing how well you can eat for 500 calories. Here’s what I’ve got planned for the first week:
Japanese Cucumber Salad 46 calories
Toasted Quinoa with Scallops & Snow Peas 326 calories
White wine (5-ounce glass) 116 calories
TOTAL: 488 calories
Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers 300 calories
Zesty Dill Potato Salad 123 calories
Steamed broccoli tossed with lemon pepper (1 cup) 44 calories
TOTAL: 467 calories
Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel Salad 257 calories
Quinoa with chopped fresh tarragon (1/2 cup) 111 calories
Banana Pudding Pops 82 calories
TOTAL: 450 calories
Spinach Salad with Japanese Ginger Dressing 135 calories
Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl 258 calories
Nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt (1/2 cup) 95 calories
TOTAL: 488 calories
Baja Butternut Squash Soup 60 calories
Southwestern Tofu Scramble 202 calories
Warm corn tortillas (two 6-inch) 140 calories
Chilled Snap Peas with Creamy Tarragon Dressing 61 calories
TOTAL: 463 calories