Bob Harper’s favorite low-cal meals
(CNN) — For 14 seasons, Bob Harper has been the man behind many of the transformations on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”
His new book, “Skinny Meals: Everything You Need to Lose Weight — Fast!” is chock full of 100 new recipes, all under 350 calories. We asked Bob to share some of his favorites.
Will you take a look at that photo? Doesn’t it look like something you could serve for a brunch with pride and confidence? Well, go ahead! But don’t forget to make this just for yourself sometimes, too.
¼ cup plain 2% fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1 whole wheat English muffin, toasted
3+1 or 5+1 large eggs, scrambled
Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside so that it has a chance to come to room temperature while you are preparing the spinach and eggs.
In a steamer, steam the spinach for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just wilted. Drain any excess water. Set aside.
Top the toasted English muffin with the spinach and eggs; delicately spoon the sauce on top.
Nutrition information: 313 calories, 30g protein, 32g carbs, 8g fat, 6g fiber
“Instead of making a traditional Hollandaise sauce (a sinfully rich combination of egg yolks and melted butter that hurts my heart just thinking about it), I’ve lightened things up using Greek yogurt. I don’t think you’re going to miss ‘real’ Hollandaise. This is going to become your go-to sauce for life.”
Replace the fatty butter and sugary jam you used to pile on your toast with this abundance of natural flavors, good fats and protein, and you will have a well-balanced meal to kick-start your day! It’s low-calorie, high-protein and oh, so good.
Pinch of paprika
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 slice whole-wheat or Ezekiel bread, toasted
4 hard-boiled large egg whites, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons finely diced shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mash and mix the avocado, paprika and lemon juice. Spread on the toast.
In the same small bowl, mix together the egg whites, shallots, mustard, capers and pepper.
Pile the egg white mixture on top of the avocado-smeared toast and enjoy!
Nutrition information: 221 calories, 20g protein, 20g carbs, 8g fat, 6g fiber
“Like most busy people, I tend to automate my weekday breakfasts. I have one or two recipes that I repeat, saving the slightly more complicated preparations for weekends, when I have more time to cook. Avocado toast is one I just have to have several times a week! To save even more time in the morning, double the chopped egg white, caper, shallot and Dijon mixture the first day of the week you make this breakfast; it’ll keep in your refrigerator, and then all you have to do is pile it on your toast with the mashed avocado.”
Terrific tuna salad
Pairing the protein of tuna with the carbs of pasta and all these delicious briny add-ins makes a memorable and hearty lunchtime meal.
4 ounces canned tuna, drained
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
½ shallot, minced
1 tablespoon pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup cooked whole-wheat corkscrew pasta
¼ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped arugula
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, capers, shallot and olives.
Toss the pasta, tomatoes, arugula and spinach with the tuna mixture.
Nutrition information: 288 calories, 28g protein, 26g carbs, 10g fat, 5g fiber
“When shopping for canned ingredients, like tuna, be sure to purchase the low-sodium version. There’s no short supply of other salty flavors in this dish: Capers and olives both naturally add a little salty punch to every bite. For a little extra crunch, you could also dice up a tart apple and mix it into this lunch.”
Zucchini noodles with avocado cream sauce
Carb-free noodles, hooray! Thinly sliced zucchini will work in any recipe that calls for pasta. It pairs beautifully with any “skinny” sauce.
1 large zucchini
4 ounces roasted boneless, skinless chicken breast, warmed before plating
Avocado cream sauce:
1 cup arugula
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Slice the zucchini very thinly lengthwise. Then cut each piece into thirds lengthwise to resemble thick noodles. Steam the “noodles” for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are just cooked through.
Meanwhile, blend the avocado, arugula, basil, broth, lemon juice, garlic and Parmesan in a food processor or blender.
Toss the “noodles” with the sauce and the cubed chicken and serve.
Nutrition information: 258 calories, 27g protein, 19g carbs, 11g fat, 8g fiber
“If you have a mandoline, use that to slice the zucchini thinly (but watch your fingertips!). If not, use a sharp knife and cut precisely.”
Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce similar to pesto. You will often see it with more olive oil than herbs, but to make it skinny, Harper swapped the base and created a more herbaceous condiment.
Olive oil spray
1 cup sliced bell peppers
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, quartered
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
4 ounces lean round steak
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
½ garlic clove
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the skillet with olive oil spray and add the bell peppers and red onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and spinach. Heat through, stirring, until the spinach wilts. Remove the vegetables and set aside.
Place the steak in the hot skillet and cook for at least 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, combine the parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, lemon juice and broth in a food processor or blender and process until coarsely blended.
Cut the steak into strips and serve on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the chimichurri sauce over the steak.
Nutrition information: 262 calories, 29g protein, 20g carbs, 10g fat, 5g fiber
“Chimichurri isn’t only for Argentineans. It’s popular throughout South America. And chimichurri isn’t only for steak; you can use this as a marinade for any protein, as a sauce for lunch pasta, as a topping on eggs or as a dressing.”
By Ben Tinker, CNN
Editor’s note: Tune in to “Sanjay Gupta M.D.” at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday to see Bob Harper and Dr. Gupta lay out a foolproof road map for getting to your healthy weight.
™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.