Spring Rolls and Brownies: Dinner date for under 300 calories

Monday (7/5/2016) was our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Technically we met in May, but July 5 was the day we made it “official.” Whenever we have holidays or big date events (think Valentine’s Day, birthdays, etc) we like to make dinner rather than eating out. We like doing this because we enjoy doing activities together and attempting to make new things; not to mention the crazy amount of calories you save over restaurant food. 

We split the responsibility and then surprise each other with the course. The goal is to have fun and adventurous food while staying within our meal plan. Often we take meals from Pinterest and then adapt them with lighter calorie ingredients. Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes we go a bit willy-nilly: tonight was Asian inspired spring rolls and banana brownies!

The spring rolls are not deep fried and the brownies include no eggs nor added sugar. Click here to watch how to make each on our Facebook page, @PHHealthyLife. Get to cooking and enjoy a dinner date at home for under 300 calories!

Dinner: Shrimp Spring Rolls

I was in charge of the dinner and Hayley made dessert. After a bit of time trying to find something that looked complicated but was actually easy to make, I settled on shrimp and avocado spring rolls. I never knew what spring rolls looked like outside of roll form, so I had a little trouble finding them in the store. It turns out they’re hard plastic-looking discs. Who knew?!

rice_paper

To make the spring rolls, begin by laying out all your ingredients on the counter. We used shrimp, avocado, peppers, and lettuce. But the list of ingredients are endless, it just depends on what you are feeling. Slice your stuffings into thin sections to increase the chance of a clean roll. I just stuffed everything I wanted in them and rolled them up after soaking them in water for about ten seconds.

Soak the wrappers in warm water until they are pliable. I used a round cake pan so each wrapper could be placed flat into the water. Put the stuffings along the lower 2/3 of the wrapper. If you start directly in the center you will not get a round log, but rather a rectangular pocket. Once your stuffings are in place, start slowly rolling away from your body. Tuck the ends in (like how Chipotle rolls the burrito) as you go. Repeat until you have enough for your meal. You don’t bake or deep fry these, so make sure all your meat products are cooked before you assemble the spring roll.

Overall they ended up being around 68 calories, although each was different depending on what ingredients I put inside.

Spring Roll
Ingredient Amount Calories
Rice paper 1 paper 33
Shrimp 0.5 oz 8
Pepper (green) 1.0 oz 7
Cilantro A few leaves 1
Avocado 0.2 oz 8
Classic garden salad 2.0 oz 10

Note: Try to keep the completed rolls as dry as possible until you are ready to eat. I put teriyaki sauce in some of them and it made the rice paper fall apart. Stick to dipping sauces.

Dessert: Chocolate Chip Banana Brownies

IMG_0175

Bananas are so cheap and packed with nutrients like B6, potassium, and fiber. Not only are they a great snack food, but they make an excellent baking ingredient. They contain a lot of sugars (but natural sugars!) and moisture that help make dense and delicious treats. 

Banana Brownies    
Ingredient Amount Calories
Almond Flour 1/4 Cup 160
White Flour 1 Cup 125
Baking Powder 1 tsp 0*
Salt Pinch 0*
Stevia 2 tsp 0*
Sweetened Applesauce 1 Cup 100
Nonfat Milk 2 tbsp 11
Vanilla extract 2 tsp 0*
Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet Toll House 3 tbsp 250
Mashed Banana 1 110
 Total Calories*- Do have some calories   756
 Calories per 1/8   94.5

For complete instructions click here, but to summarize, you combine all ingredients and bake 350 for 20-25 minutes.

The original recipe comes from www.amyshealthybaking.com. This blog has amazing recipes that are healthy, but I tweak them slightly. 

The original recipe called for yogurt and oil– I found that the texture and flavor were fine without those ingredients and saved 100+ calories. 

The Review

The spring rolls were very chewy, but I liked them. Definitely do not put teriyaki sauce in them because your roll will disintegrate and stick to the plate. The texture of the wrapper is crazy– so brace yourself. 

The brownies were awesome. Just don’t put them in the freezer or the texture will become crystalline. Hayley made them without yogurt the second time and I liked that; it is a denser texture. Make them for your significant other tonight!

I want to make the spring rolls again– and I have already made the brownies with a leftover banana. They go SO FAST! The spring rolls may not have been pretty, but with practice I think that we can make them perfect(ly). I am really excited to try a dessert version of the spring roll with fruit and cool whip! For the calories, I was satisfied with each. Also, Preston bought me Zootopia… so the night was complete.

 

Xoxo,                                              Stay consistent out there,

Hayley                                           -Preston

 

 

 

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