Dieters still want comfort foodsjust not the calories that come with them. A handheld blender lets you whip up thick soups and hearty stews with minimal ingredients (and very little cleanup). I like to blend zucchini, butternut squash, or broccoli with either chicken broth or skim milk for a quick soup dinner. Or, use the immersion blender to make dressings and marinades, like in this recipe for Grapefruit-Avocado Salad.
I'm sure you've heard of the Small Plate Movement. I use one of these guys every single day to portion out trail mix, nuts, chips, ice creamyou name it!
Sprinkling a dish with grated Parmesan is a great way to get a lot of flavorbut not a lot of fat. Skip the jarred variety, and splurge on a small wedge of fresh cheese for a more intense taste.
Do you have a hard time visualizing proper serving sizes? Here's an easy way to cheat: Use ice-cream scoopers to serve up sides like rice. I also like to use one to portion ground turkey meat into burgers.
These are another great way to keep portions in checkand you shouldn't limit these tins to just muffins. I like to whip up individual frittatas, quiche, stuffing, or souffles.
Parchment paper and aluminum foil
Chances are you already have a roll of each lying around, so put them to good use. I fill a parchment pouch with fish and a few veggies, then pop it in the oven or on the grill. And I use aluminum foil to make flavorful roasted veggies. Not only does it make for easy cleanup, but also using this method lets you cook with less oil, so you wind up saving calories.
Most of my favorite dips call for at least a cup of mayonnaise, but any good dieter knows that's one big fat trap. Instead I opt to add a tablespoon or two of mayo, then I supplement the rest with mustard. You wind up with a tangier dish that's better for your figure.