Both these 500 calorie menus look so rich, taste so good you’d think they had been prepared for people who never give a thought to dieting. But the calorie count in each menu for one person is 500.

Reference: 500 Calorie Diet – Journal Med Sci

Menu 1

Dinner seems to be the meal when even the most dedicated dieters are tempted to cheat a little, especially when serving hearty food to other members of the family who couldn’t care less about diet.

This menu gives a delicious meal to satisfy everyone without exceeding the low-calorie count.

1. Savory Tomato Veal

One and a half pounds stewing veal (cut into cubes), 1 tablespoon butter, 1 green pepper, 12 small whole onions, ¼ cup chopped parsley, 1 bay leaf, juice and grated rind of half a lemon, 1lb peeled quartered tomatoes, ½ cup water, salt, and freshly ground pepper; 1lb sliced green beans, cooked rice.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add meat, and brown well on all sides. Reduce heat; add onions, parsley, bay leaf, half the tomatoes, the lemon rind and juice, and water. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and simmer about ¾ hour. Then add the chopped pepper and remaining tomato; cook further 20 minutes, or until meat is tender. Garnish with the cooked green beans. Serve with plain boiled rice, allowing ½ cup of rice (100 calories) per serving.

Serves 6.

2. Tangy Orange Dessert

Six medium-sized oranges, orange sauce.

Peel oranges, removing pith and membranes, slice into rounds and place in serving dish. Reserve 1 or 2 pieces of peel, cut these into strips. Blanch strips, drain thoroughly. Scatter over orange slices, and pour over the prepared sauce. Serve well chilled.

Serves 6.

Orange Sauce: Quarter cup lemon juice, 1 cup orange juice, 2 teaspoons liquid sweetening solution, 1 dessertspoon cornflour, little cold water.

Combine fruit juices and sweetening the solution in a small saucepan. Mix cornflour to paste with a little cold water, add to fruit juices and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cook 2 or 3 minutes, cool.

Menu 2

Although totaling only 500 calories, the menu will make a hearty, tasty meal for all the family. It’s achieved by carefully combining individually low-calorie foods.

The clear consomme can be served hot or icy-cold; the creole burgers make a hearty main dish when served with a special sauce and crisp green salad with a low-calorie dressing; and who would think that cheesecake for dessert could be part of a 500 calorie menu?

1. Consomme

Use canned, cube, or package consomme. Allow 1 cup (8oz) per serving. Season the consomme to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve hot. Or chill in the refrigerator and serve icy-cold.

If desired, add a small spoonful of finely chopped parsley, chives, cucumber, or celery to each cup or add a squeeze of lemon juice. Lots of extra flavors, no extra calories.

Serves 1.

2. Creole Burgers

One and a half pounds minced steak, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, creole sauce.

Combine meat, seasonings, and parsley; mix well. Form into 6 large patties, place under the heated grill. Cook until done to taste, turning once. Serve immediately, topping each patty with a serving of creole sauce.

Serves 6.

Creole Sauce: Half cup chopped onion, ½ cup chopped green pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 (1lb) can tomatoes (undrained), 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, 1 bay leaf, pinch powdered cloves.

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, place on heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf, check seasoning before serving.

Each serving, 1st – 3rd cup.

3. Green Salad

One medium-sized lettuce, salt, and freshly ground pepper, low-calorie dressing.

Tear lettuce into small pieces, put into a salad bowl. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Just before serving, pour over the low-calorie dressing.

Serves 6.

Low-calorie Salad Dressing: Two eggs, ½ cup reconstituted non-fat powdered milk, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, 2 or 3 drops chili sauce, ¼ cup cider vinegar.

Beat eggs slightly in the top half of double boiler, add milk, paprika, dry mustard, and sauce. Place over simmering water, gradually add the cider vinegar. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, cool.

Serving, 1 tablespoon.

4. Cheesecake Chiffon

Three-quarters cup breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon butter, ¾ cup skim milk (reconstituted), 2 egg yolks (slightly beaten), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon gelatin, 1½ cups sieved cottage cheese, 2 teaspoons liquid sweetening solution, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ½ cup skim milk powder or crystals, ½ cup iced water, extra tablespoon lemon juice, extra teaspoon liquid sweetening solution, 2 egg-whites.

Toast crumbs in a moderate oven until golden brown (5 to 10 minutes). Stir in butter, mix well. Reserve 1 tablespoon crumbs, press the remainder into the bottom of 9 inches square tin.

Combine skim milk, egg yolks, salt, and gelatin in top of a double saucepan. Stir over boiling water until gelatin is dissolved and mixture slightly thickened. Cool, then stir in cottage cheese, 2 teaspoons sweetening solution, lemon juice and rind, and vanilla; mix well.

Combine dry skim milk powder, water, extra lemon juice, and extra sweetening solution; beat until very thick. Beat egg-whites stiffly, fold into mixture. Then fold into the prepared custard. Spoon into the tin, sprinkle with reserved crumbs; chill until set.

Serves 12.

Note: The remainder of cheesecake, foil-wrapped and refrigerated, will keep for several days. Indeed, it seems to improve with keeping; the flavors have time to blend well, and the delicious lemony tang is accentuated.

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