Fresh Low-Cal Meal Plan
Snap out of the winter doldrums and embrace the dawning of spring with a new slew of fresh, seasonal and waist-whittling meal ideas.
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Using herbs, spices and color-rich foods awakens the senses, and utilizing flavors from other cultures introduces combinations of tastes that are new and exciting to your palate. The recipes in this two-week meal plan span the globe –with the Cajun flavors of New Orleans, the blend of golden yellow and red spices from Moroccan cuisine, the sesame infusion of the Middle East and the strong and pungent flavors of Italian spices.
As always, we offer a daily and weekly balance of fats, carbohydrates and protein. And, with daily caloric totals ranging between 1,500 and 1,800 calories, you’ll be able to easily follow our light and nutritious outline of five daily mini-meals. Just remember that you may need to adjust the portions slightly, depending on your specific needs.
Take a peek in your pantry for the seasonings outlined in our two weeks of grocery lists. Stocking up on herbs and spices is a good investment – they’ll make a flavorful addition to your cooking repertoire for pennies a serving. But don’t be afraid to experiment with what you have on hand, using our recipes and meal ideas as guidelines to customize to your own life, budget and kitchen inventory. Many studies have shown that herbs and spices can offer health benefits in the way of free-radical-fighting antioxidants. So, let the synergy of taste surround your meals and your health may benefit, too!
Your Guide to Herb Pairing
Find out which herbs and spices to buddy up and which to keep apart in your cooking.
Added to most dishes after or near the end of cooking
Flavor: Lemony citrus notes, lively, fresh, bright
Works well with: Asian, Mexican, Caribbean, Latin American and Indian cuisine; chile powder, cumin, ginger, allspice, wasabi, sesame, Thai basil, mint
Doesn’t work well
with: Italian, German, Spanish or Mediterranean fare; rosemary, tarragon, sage, marjoram
Flavor: Clove notes, spicy, pungent, earthy
Works well with: Caribbean, Latin American, French, Creole and Cajun cuisine; allspice, curry, fennel, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, rosemary, parsley, saffron, marjoram, basil
Doesn’t work well with: Asian recipes; cilantro, mint, Thai basil
Very strong when served raw; best when cooked
Flavor: Slightly bitter, earthy, pungent
Works well with: Garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives
Doesn’t work well with: Asian, Indian, Caribbean and Latin American recipes; cilantro, Thai basil, mint, lavender
Best if used raw or barely cooked; add at last moments of cooking or to garnish
Flavor: Licorice, slightly sweet
Works well with: Garlic powder; as part of a French Fine Herb Blend when mixed with chervil, chives, parsley
Doesn’t work well with: Asian, Caribbean and Latin American cuisine; rosemary, cilantro, mint
Flavor intensifies over time; use sparingly
Flavor: Tangy, fresh, bright, lemony
Works well with: Mustard seed and powder, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, parsley, cilantro, chives
Doesn’t work well with: Asian, Indian, Caribbean, Mexican and Latin American fare; curry, rosemary, sage, thyme
Flavor: Pine, warm, woodsy, slightly citrus
Works well with: Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sage, parsley
well with: Asian, Caribbean and Latin American recipes; curry, salsas, coconut, dill, cilantro, mint
Download the Shopping List & Meal Plan here.