Healthful dinner

For a couple months I have been counting my calories. Even though it's really been a lot of work, the pounds are coming off (oh yeah, with a little bit of exercise)! Dinner is the most challenging meal because by that time of the day I don't have many calories to work with. Typically, I end up with 300 - 400 calories. I did a quick Google search for some low calorie dinners and surprisingly found a lot of options. All of the recipes I've tried have been good, but my favorite so far is below!

Hot Chile Grilled Cheese (415 calories)

4 poblano peppers
1 can (14oz) pinto beans, preferably low-sodium
3 Tbs prepared salsa - I used an apple salsa
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
2 Tbs low-fat plain yogurt
3 scallions, sliced
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
8 slices sourdough bread
  • Place peppers in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Microwave on high until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle.
  • In a medium bowl, mash the beans with a fork until they begin to form a paste.
  • Add in salsa and salt.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine cheese, yogurt, scallions, and cilantro
  • When the peppers are cool enough to handle, slice each one in half lengthwise and remove the stem and seeds.
  • Heat a panini maker to high. - We used a George Foreman grill
  • Spread 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on each of 4 slices of bread.
  • Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture.
  • Place 2 pepper halves over the cheese. Cover with the remaining slices of bread.
  • Grill the sandwiches in the panini maker until golden brown and heated through, about 4 minutes.
  • Cut in half and serve immediately.
Like with most "diet foods" I didn't expect much flavor from this dish. However, it was delicious and filling! I loved the bean and salsa mixture and have been making more all weekend to spread on the leftover sourdough to make an open face egg sandwich.

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