Easy Meal Makeovers

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Tired of the same old, same old for breakfast dish just by adding a few ingredients.

1 packet plain instant oatmeal (or lower-sugar instant oatmeal such as Quaker Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar)

2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk (or use fat-free half-and-half)

1 tablespoon of toasted pecan pieces (or substitute walnuts or any nut)

1 tablespoon chopped dried cranberries (or substitute dried cherries or any dried fruit)

  • Empty packet into microwave-safe bowl. Add low-fat milk and stir. Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes and stir.
  • Sprinkle cranberries and toasted pecans over the top

Yield: 1 serving

Per serving: 269 calories, 10 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 8.8 g fat, 1.5 g cholesterol, 8.3 g fiber, 53 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 20%.

Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 veggie burger without added fat OR 1 light breast

1 cup shelled frozen edamame

1/2 cup chopped carrots

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

  • Add all of the ingredients except the green onions to a slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on HIGH, cover, and let simmer for around 2 hours. If you would rather use the stove, add the ingredients to a medium saucepan, bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and simmer for about an hour.
  • Ladle soup into individual bowls and sprinkle green onions over the top.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 280 calories, 18 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 8.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 440 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%.

French-Style Ham & Cheese Sandwich

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 sandwich and burger moderate fat meat

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced (red or white onion can be substituted)

2 teaspoons light pancake syrup (optional)

4 slices of your bread of choice (sourdough, French, whole grain, or even a white or wheat flour tortilla)

3 ounces thinly sliced extra lean ham (honey ham, maple, or other flavor)

2 tablespoons whipped light cream cheese (light cream cheese can be substituted)

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, firmly packed

  • Add olive oil to medium nonstick frying pan and begin to heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté, stirring often, until onion is nicely browned and caramelized (about 4 minutes). Drizzle pancake syrup (if desired) over the top and stir into the onions. Set aside to cool.
  • Toast bread slices, if desired. Top two of the slices with the ham slices and spread the caramelized onions over the ham. Then spread a tablespoon of the cream cheese over the remaining two slices. Sprinkle shredded Gruyere cheese evenly over the top of the cream cheese.
  • Place all four slices until the toaster oven broiler (or regular broiler) and broil, watching carefully, until the Gruyere cheese is starting to bubble (about 3-4 minutes). Place the slices with the cheese over the slices with the ham and onions. Cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve!

Yield: 2 servings

Per serving (using whole wheat bread): 377 calories, 25 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 15.5 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 997 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 37%.