*Special thanks to Shadow Mountain, I was provided a copy of 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites for review, however as always all opinions are 100% my own.
If you’ve been around Tried and Tasty for a bit, you’ve seen the health transformation not only I have taken but also my recipes have taken as well. Over the last couple of years I’ve really changed the way I’ve eaten (for the most part, always a work in progress), what ingredients I’ll cook with, what types of foods I’m passionate about, and what I like to share. While a dessert or two will be sprinkled in throughout I for the most part provide quick, easy, healthy & delicious recipes for you to enjoy. This is for two reasons. One, I feel like it’s important to be a resource for others to eat a healthy diet without having to feel like it’s unattainable. But really for myself I need to have health conscious recipes at my fingertips for my own personal goals.
I’ve followed Our Best Bites for years and years. When I read Sara’s weight loss story I was beyond inspired. You mean to tell me you can have a food blog AND lose or maintain a healthy weight? My own weight loss transformation happened in 2013. That year was pivotal for me. If there’s one thing I learned it’s that you can’t depend on diets or fads. It takes hard work, determination, courage, and perseverance. It’s not going to be easy but it will certainly be worth it. I was stoked to review and test out OBB newest cookbook 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites and have been cooking my way throughout!
The tag lines for the cookbook are ‘Tasty Choices for healthy families’ and ‘Calorie Options for every appetite’. That drew me in immediately in addition to the pizza on the cover (that reminded me of my Veggie Lovers Pizza). Sara and Kate have covered everything from snacks to entrees and even desserts. All of which are 400 calories or less! That’s absolutely perfect for me as I try to keep my meals (when being ultra dedicated to counting my calories) to between 350-400 each. There are over 65 very easy-to-follow-recipes that:
- Use common pantry ingredients
- include tips to make shopping and cooking a breeze
- provide nutritional information to make healthy choices easier
- are customizable so you can fix healthy dishes that your family will love, while still maintaining your calorie goals
The girls have got tips on how to use the book, including their philosophy on weight loss. There are gluten-free options as well as low-carb. They even discuss their take on white vs. wheat. Each recipe has a photo, most have add-on options and/or alternatives, some have ‘rollover ingredients’ (which I personally think is BRILLIANT), authors notes, shopping tips and even cooking tips! One of my favorite sections is the Salad Bar where they break down each component:
- Proteins (weight after cooking)
- Crunchy Toppings
- Beans and Grains
- Condiments for Dressings
The attention to detail speaks to my heart! While most people generally feel like all salads are healthy the calories can quickly add up. With the easily outlined chart of the quantity, calories, fats, carbs, sugars, fibers, and proteins of each ingredient you can really make the most our of your salad and know exactly what you are getting yourself into without being knee-deep in calories. If you ask me, this is one of the most invaluable parts of the cookbook!
Now that I’ve given you the nitty gritty lowdown on why I feel like every home needs 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites lets get to the good stuff shall we? There are countless fantastic recipes in this book. Coming from someone who has counted calories and knows how daunting and time consuming it can be, it’s a breath of fresh air to have the work taken out of it for a LOT of recipes to add to your collection. Breakfast, snack, and dinnertime doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to be bland. It can be wonderfully tasty and delightfully simple. In our busy world time is money and I love that these recipes keep that in mind. I’ve already had this Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza a couple of times and I can see making it over and over again. I was able to use the green bell pepper, yellow summer squash and zucchini right from our garden. Nothing better than fresh ingredients!
Steve and I are HUGE fans of Indian food so when I saw that Naan -style flatbread was the first ingredient I knew I would love this recipe. Plus it uses a grill. Hello! I love grilled recipes (I’ve got the shrimp marinating as we speak for the Grilled Honey-Lime Shrimp in the book). While the girls used a pesto and ricotta base for their pizza I used what I had on hand. That’s the beauty of recipes – you can swap in what you’ve got to avoid a trip to the grocery store for one or two ingredients. *If* we were growing basil in our garden you better believe I would have made a pesto. Next year my darlings. Next year. Not only do I love the simplicity of this recipe, I also love the few amount of dishes that it makes! All I needed was a cutting board, my favorite knife, vegetable grill pan (which I HIGHLY recommend!) and pizza cutter! Easy peasy right? There’s still a little bit of summer left to soak up – so if you make nothing else, make this grilled pizza! You won’t regret it! Pick up the cookbook for all the great recipes and so much more!
Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza
Soft, Indian-style flatbreads make the perfect base for these savory grilled vegetables and melted cheese. Pair this Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza with a nice salad or fruit dish for a light dinner, or cut into small servings for a great party appetizer.
- 2 store-bought Naan-style flatbreads about 8-9 ounces total
- Nonstick coconut oil cooking spray can also use canola or olive oil
- 1 small to medium zucchini sliced in 1/8 inch slices
- 1 small to medium yellow squash sliced in 1/8 inch slices
- 1 medium green bell pepper sliced in 1/8 inch slices
- 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium tomato sliced in 1/8 inch slices
- 1/2 c. pizza sauce
- 2/3 c. shredded mozzarella
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven or outdoor grill to 400 degrees.
Place flatbreads on a baking sheet and bake for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from oven or grill.
Heat a vegetable grill pan to medium heat. Lightly spray one side of vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When grill pan is hot, place vegetables oil-side-down, on grill pan and cook 3-5 minutes or until slightly softened. Flip vegetables and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.
Spread pizza sauce and sprinkle cheese on flatbreads. Layer with vegetables. Return to oven or grill and bake 5-7 minutes, until edges appear toasted and cheese is melted.
Remove from oven or grill. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites