Low Calorie Vegetarian Recipes

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

It only takes a few healthy ingredients to prepare a healthy vegetarian recipe for your diet plan....


One of our favorite low calorie vegetarian recipes is to stuff eggroll wrappers OR wonton wrappers with chopped veggies that have been sauteed in a pan using butter flavored cooking spray OR the olive oil based cooking sprays.

Although cooking sprays as well as butter-type sprays found in the dairy section at the market often claim to contain to contain zero calories, that statement is based on the recommended serving amount.

If we view the nutrition label, we'll see that the first ingredient is generally a type of oil - usually soybean based. ALL oil contains calories. So the more that we use, the more calories that we're adding.

For example, if we use the butter-type sprays, while one shot may contain zero calories - a teaspoon or more is going to contain about the same number of calories as a serving of margarine. So use these products minimally.

As to eggrolls, the wonton wrappers can be sealed, then boiled or oven baked. A variety of sauces can be used for dipping - from Chinese sauces to Italian marinara sauce. Duck sauce is particularly good with wrappers filled with the following vegetarian mix: mushrooms of any variety, summer squash including zucchini and yellow straight-neck, and any variety of onions (purple, white, yellow, boiler).

Be sure to thoroughly drain vegetables before filling wrappers.

My husband and I have a fond memory of my mother related to 'duck sauce'. If you have never had duck sauce, it's a sweet and sour flavor combination. She was edging 80 years old and had tried the sauce in her entire life. As a little girl, our table was spread with common hearty foods that were easy on the budget as we didn't have much money. Beans, cornbread, meatloaf prepared with the cheap fatty beef, and hot dogs were common.

When we had a few extra bucks - we got to enjoy shrimp. But the most exotic 'foreign' flavors that we had were tacos, spaghetti and pizza. Until I was well into my adulthood, I had never enjoy anything close to Asian flavors other than steamed rice. I didn't even know what soy sauce was - or for that matter, oregano or cilantro.

Nonetheless, my husband and I were discussing Asian food with my mom and I told her that I really enjoyed duck sauce because it had such an unusual flavor. I suggested that she might like to try it too and she basically exploded with, "I'm not eating any sauce with ducks in it."

No matter how hard we tried, my husband and I could not convince her that the sauce didn't contain any form of ducks. Even when I brought a jar to show her the nutrition label at a later date, she just shook her head and refused to believe that the product was lacking duck - because indeed, it was named 'Duck Sauce'.

Let's switch the topic to Italian food. While most sauces contain meat, they can simply be omitted to create healthy, delicious vegetarian meals.

And then we can come full circle in relation to my story about my dear mother. When we were served those hearty beans and cornbread as kids - my brother and I, that instilled a love for good old country cooking - much of which contains beans as a backbone.

Other vegetarian meals that we often enjoyed in my childhood, more often than not with homemade cornbread, included turnips and turnip greens, rich vegetable soups created by my mother, and black-eyed peas.

My husband also has a fond vegetarian-based recipe that his sweet mother prepared for him when he was a small kid. She passed on before her time in a very tragic, sudden accident - so his memories of her span up to his eleven years of life. They were also very poor - but his mother was also very smart and resourceful.

One of his fondest memories of her was when she prepared 'Chu-mon-ka'. While he was too young to remember the recipe as he watched her cook, we've managed to reproduce it in our humble kitchen. Simply take a can of petite diced tomatoes and warm them on the stove top. Thicken with a bit of cornstarch and water so that the tomatoes thicken and make a smooth tomato gravy with chunks of the tomato still visible. Spoon over fresh white bread. A bit of basil can be added to enhance flavors as well as a good grind of cracked pepper.

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