Low Calorie, But Healthy, Filling, and Tasty

Tasty to some, at any rate.

Hot Cereals

Note: gluten-free oats do exist, if you can find a brand that’s aware of the possible cross-contamination between wheat and oats, and has a separate facility for oats.

On/Off Rice Cooker or Quick-Cooking Intelligent Rice Cooker

This can be made in the morning, and takes anywhere from 25 minutes to 15 minutes.

Per serving:

Rolled oats: 1/2 cup to 1 cup water.
Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal: 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup water.
Creamy Buckwheat Cereal: 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup water.

Timed Intelligent Rice Cooker

Steel-cut oats need to be soaked for a while, overnight being ideal, so a rice cooker with a timing feature (just about every smart rice cooker has one) is almost necessary.

NOTE: Use the porridge setting, the normal setting will result in too-sticky oatmeal and possible explosion.

Per serving:

1/4 cup steel-cut oats to 3/4 cup of water.

Things to Add

I like to add one tablespoon of oat bran before the cooking for everything but the steel-cut oats. This increases fiber by 1 gram.

After the cooking, I add 1/8 cup of the following: craisins (quite good, and lowest calorie count of these options), currants, raisins (normal or gold), dates (oat-covered pieces or chopped). Fresh fruit can be added instead, of course. Let the oatmeal steam a bit longer with the fruit.

I always use 1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar to sweeten the cereal as well afterward.

Cold Cereal, aka Muesli

I quite like muesli, which come in all sorts of mixes, and even gluten-free mixes can be obtained.

This is quite a quick breakfast, which I use when I need to go to work early and don’t have time for, well, anything:

1 cup of orange juice (or other fruit juice) to 1/2 cup of muesli. Let muesli soak (it can take quite a lot of soaking, even hours of it, and it won’t become mush—unlike a lot of commercial cereals on the market).

You can use milk (cow or the soy, white, or almond replacements; non-flavored yet sweetened works best) instead of the juice; I personally prefer the juice version.

I’ve found that sweetened and somewhat acidic homemade applesauce also does the trick in a similar manner.

Food Replacements

These are the easiest for me.

Replace Rice with Quinoa

Especially if you can find a brand of quinoa that you don’t have rinse before cooking (Bob’s Red Mill, for instance). The taste is sweet, a bit like sesame seeds, and has a bit of a crunch while still being a soft grain when cooked.

Quinoa is cooked in a rice cooker, using 1 part quinoa to 2 cup of water to create four servings. And these are quite expansive servings, with a bit over half the calories of rice.

Replace Ground Meat with TVP

One of the most awesome replacements, and it starts off as dry granules that you’ll have to reconstitute in hot water or broth—unless you add extra liquid to an existing dish and toss them in that way.

TVP reconstitutes at a 1:1 ration between it and water (preferably broth), and takes on flavor very well. After reconstitution, it can be skillet-browned, or put into soups and casseroles, just like you’d use real ground beef.

Today’s recipe, for a kind of baked pasta in a rice cooker, I handled TVP in this way:

1. 2 cups of water; add another half/cup for the TVP.
2. 2.5 tsp of beef broth powder.
3. pour in 1/2 cup of TVP
4. 1 cup of pasta sauce
5. 1 tsp olive oil
4. pour in 2 cups pasta (I use rice psta).
5. stir once with wooden spoon

Hit cook. The end. Makes 4 servings, all below 300 calories.

TVP is quite wonderful, adding extra calories and texture otherwise missing. And you on’t hve to drain meat.

Nutitional Yeast

Not the same as the yeast that makes bead rise. This is yeast you can eat, and it is indeed a slightly cheesy taste. I think of it as a flaky parmesan. Or perhaps a cracker in the store, shredded finely into flakes.

I’m eager to see where the nutritional yeast experiments in The Uncheez Cookbook go!

2 thoughts on “Low Calorie, But Healthy, Filling, and Tasty

    • Hm. I think the Ambien was getting to me at that point. I remember that part being much more coherent.

      It is fixed now. ^.^

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