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Health Team

Spice Up Dinner With Healthy Recipes

Posted July 23, 2007 3:31 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2007 9:29 p.m. EDT

— 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.