Instead of ordering a greasy pie, make this healthy dish. Start by prepping toppings such as crushed garlic cloves, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes. (Slice, drizzle with olive oil, and roast ‘em at 425 degrees until they start to brown.) Then, spread a dollop of marinara sauce or pesto on a piece of naan or other flatbread and pile on the vegetables. Add some calcium-rich mozzarella cheese for a bit of gooeyness. Stick it back in the oven until the bread starts to crisp, then toss on a few mixed greens and freshly ground black pepper. Trust us: you won’t miss delivery.
2. Homemade Hummus
Impress your lady with this simple alternative to store-bought dip. To make the classic Mediterranean spread, blend two cloves of garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, a can of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tahini, and salt and pepper to taste. The little legumes are packed with protein and fiber, which keep you feeling full. (Plus, they help lower your LDL cholesterol.) For even more flavor, add pine nuts or sun-dried tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Spoon it up with whole-grain pita chips or sliced veggies.
3. Garlic Grits
Southern-style grub doesn’t have to be fatty if you get your fix with some healthy, garlicky grits. Prepare the quick-cooking variety according to package directions, then add in some roasted garlic, scallions, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. (Memo to tastebud daredevils: chopped jalapenos add some serious spice.) Bonus: these grits can serve as a savory breakfast (add crushed bacon) or dinner (toss with shrimp or serve alongside chicken or pork).
4. Easy Pasta
<p>Forget about spaghetti and meatballs: <em>pasta aglio, olio, e peperoncino</em> is a lighter take on the dinner standby. This classic Italian dish is easy to make: just sauté garlic cloves in olive oil and toss with chili flakes. Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta, and garnish with some fresh parsley or parmesan cheese. (And of course, to up the nutrition, you can add any lean protein or vegetables of your choosing.)</p>
5. Quick Stir-Fry
No need to get sodium-loaded Chinese takeout—you can recreate your favorite dish at home with a fraction of the fat. Minced garlic pumps up the flavor of veggies and lean protein in a stir-fry. Sauté it with broccoli, julienned carrots, baby corn, snow peas or green beans, onions, water chestnuts, and diced chicken breast or lean beef in a low-sodium soy sauce, then serve over brown rice.