Two Sisters Cook: A few recipes for calorie watchers

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

It’s the New Year, 2019, and the time of year we all make those resolutions that we’re sure we will be able to fulfill.

Losing weight and eating healthy is often at the top of the list.

Linda: When I’m watching the scale, I like to cook lower calorie meals, but I want them to be tasty. I don’t like to feel like I’m on a diet.

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Lucy: And there are some delicious recipes that are easy to prepare and suitable, even if weight loss isn’t your goal.

Linda: You often make a pork chop recipe that I know you’ve served to dinner guests. They would be surprised at the calorie count.

Lucy: It’s a crockpot recipe, so it can be cooking all day if you’re at work or busy running errands. It’s called Smothered Pork Chops.

I was a dinner guest when a friend served this. I asked her for the recipe, which states that one serving is only 230 calories.

Sometimes, I change it up a bit and add some potatoes. It does make a hearty meal.

Linda: I have a favorite shrimp dish that’s easy and just a little spicy, Creole Shrimp Saute.

I like to prep ahead of time so cooking at the last minute is fast and easy. I measure out the spices in a small bowl, plus I cut up the onion and peppers and keep them in the refrigerator until I’m ready to sauté. I buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined.

I don’t have a calorie count, but it’s basically shrimp and peppers, so I know that it’s acceptable for anyone aiming for weight loss.

Sometimes, I buy the Birds Eye frozen rice and add a half a cup to the plate when serving.

Lucy: I know we both have recipes for a lemony chicken. I think it has under 400 calories per serving. Let’s compare recipes and see which one we want to offer.

Linda: I think the only difference is that one recipe calls for green beans and the other calls for carrots. I think you could substitute other vegetables, like fresh asparagus or broccoli.

Again, I know if I have a busy day ahead of me, it helps to prep the day before. I trim the green beans, chop the mushrooms, slice the lemons and pound the chicken breasts thin and keep all in the fridge. I measure out the salt and pepper, the thyme and the flour, so it’s ready for me.

Lucy: It’s like prepping a recipe in a restaurant. Sometimes, assembling all the ingredients is what takes the longest time. Once that’s done, the cooking process actually is done quickly.

Linda: Lets offer our diet friendly recipes so our readers can get started on their healthy eating resolutions.


Servings: 4 (1 pork chop with ½ cup vegetables)

4 (1/4 pound) boneless center cut pork loin chops

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 can (10.5 ounce) reduced sodium, reduced fat, cream of mushroom soup

¼ cup water

4 carrots, chopped

¼ pounds fresh white mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned, about 2 minutes each side

Place the soup, water, carrots, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram and thyme in a 5-6 quart slow cooker; mix well. Place the pork on top of the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until the pork and vegetables are fork tender, 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

230 calories


Servings: 4

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste, as cayenne can be hot)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, rinsed and patted dry

4 teaspoons olive oil (divided)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large yellow pepper and 1 large orange pepper, coarsely chopped

1 large poblano pepper, cut into ½ inch dice 

1 lemon, quartered

In a small bowl, stir together spices, salt and pepper. Place shrimp in medium bowl, toss with half of spice mix; set aside.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium–high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat pan.

When hot, add onion and sauté about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add peppers and remaining spice mix.

Sauté until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Replace skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat pan. Add shrimp and place in single layer. Sauté 2 minutes and flip pieces over for another 2 minutes more to cook through.

Add reserved pepper mixture to the shrimp, tossing to heat through.

Serve with lemon quarters.


Servings: 4 (1 chicken breast with 1 cup vegetables)

12 ounces small red potatoes, halved

4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ¾ inch thickness

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

¼ cup whole milk

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups unsalted or low sodium chicken stock

8 ounces green beans (haricots verts or thin), trimmed

8 very thin lemon slices (from 1 lemon)

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until through, about 4 minutes each side. Remove from the skillet.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the potatoes (cut side down), mushrooms and thyme; cook stirring once until the potatoes and mushrooms are browned, about 3 minutes.

Combine the milk and flour in a small bowl with a whisk.

Add the flour mixture, stock, green beans, lemon slices and remaining salt and pepper to the skillet. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Add the chicken to the skillet; cover, reduce heat and simmer until green beans are tender crisp, about 3 minutes.

If desired, garnish with some parsley when serving.

370 calories