Health Team

Spice Up Dinner With Healthy Recipes

Posted July 23, 2007

— Eating out can often ruin a diet, so home cooking is a great way to eat healthier and lose weight. That's true only if you learn the tricks to make healthy meals tasty and filling.

Supper Thyme USA, located behind Brier Creek shopping center in Raleigh, is one of a growing number of businesses that help families assemble meals in an hour or two that will last a whole week.

"It adds to the convenience of making dinner but gives them the ingredients that they may not normally try at home," Supper Thyme USA owner Lisa Dooley said.

Many of those ingredients make the dishes qualify as what Dooley calls an "extreme fitness meal" -- under 10 grams of fat, less than 325 calories per serving and usually low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

A meatball stew she makes uses a variety of herbs, spices, red wine and minced garlic for flavor, and has just a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Many canned soups, by contrast, are often high in sodium.

After five to 10 minutes of scooping and spooning ingredients into a freezer bag, it's sealed up and tagged with instructions for heating at home.

Red snapper Veracruz is also easy to make using Supper Thyme USA's recipe. The marinade includes diced green peppers, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, a dash of hot sauce, cilantro, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Everything is placed in an aluminum tin with red snapper fillets that can be frozen and cooked in an oven.

Like the stew, the dish is under 325 calories and has less than 10 grams of fat per serving.

Mediterranean chicken is another low-fat meal under 300 calories. It includes chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, a little parmesan cheese and pasta.

The recipes are proof that people don't have to miss flavor or leave the table hungry to eat healthy.


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  • CestLaVie Jul 25, 2007

    I like the idea of these types of businesses providing home-cooked meals that you can buy, take home & freeze, and then thaw & use later.

    But, because none of them are near where I live, I haven't had a chance to check them out as to PRICE for all this convenience & wholesomeness. I'm sure this can be a determining factor for many people. These establishments SEEM to be in glitzy, ritzy parts of the Triangle. I think there's one in the Clayton area; I may have to visit them soon though.

  • VoiceOfReason Jul 24, 2007

    With creativity and a little time learning, you can prepare fresh, healthy homemade meals at home for your family. I work full time, 8-5. Most days our family is at the table eating a fresh, low fat, meal with fresh veggies and protein by 6pm. We very seldom use prepacked, premade, frozen or freeze dried sides, entrees, etc. By cooking fresh you conrol the ingredients and you know what is going into your body.

  • Happy Hiker Jul 24, 2007

    I checked out the Supper Thyme website, and the "extreme fitness" menu items actually seem to have a lot less fat and sodium than I might have expected from the story (e.g. 1 gm of fat for the grilled tilapia!). So I'll withdraw my negative comments posted earlier. Now if they just had a location in Chapel Hill.....

  • Happy Hiker Jul 24, 2007

    This is a commendable effort, but I'm a little dubious about the "extreme fitness" claim. A quarter teaspoon of salt has 590 mg of sodium; better than the 800 or 900 in a typical canned soup, but still quite a bit. And 10 grams of fat isn't what I'd call extreme fitness: if you check the "lean" or "healthy" prepared dinners in your freezer, they seem to come in at around 5 or 7 grams of fat.

  • pawpurrs Jul 23, 2007

    I definitely recommend this place! I've been there once and will be going back again soon. One of the best things that I liked was that there was something on the menu for everyone in the family... and you can customize the recipe to your taste (add in more vegetables, less spice etc...) It is much better than Dream Dinners (quality of food better, recipes are delicious, more extensive selection). It's well worth it because all you have to do is pop the dinner in the oven or on the grill when you get home from work. No prep time required because you already did it! (plus you get to mess up their kitchen and not yours!) Great place!