Healthy Low-Cal Dinner Options

In just a few minutes, you can prepare a delicious, low calorie, nutritious and flavorful meal for your entire family.  Dr. Terry Simpson, known as the Weight Loss Doctor, shares his secret to a low-cal, healthy and quick meal.

One of my favorite kitchen tools is the Wok. It is easy to use, versatile and inexpensive. If you don’t have one, purchase a simple Wok, non electric, that you can use on the stove top. My Wok was just $12 at Tuesday Morning.

Here is what you will need for this recipe:
1 1/2 lb of Broccoli
1 lb of cut beef (flank steak, sirloin, whatever the grocery store has cut for stir fry)
Soy sauce
Minced garlic (comes in a jar – great stuff)
Stir Fry sauce (lots of varieties out there)
Vegetable oil

First- take your steak out and put it in a shallow pan and cover it with soy sauce and some vegetable oil (3 parts soy sauce, 1 part oil) – some people prefer to toss in a teaspoon of corn starch to bind it all together. Add some pepper to taste. This is just a marinade that will put some nice flavor in the beef. You can even do this the night before. Put all those ingredients together and store in the refrigerator – the longer that you marinade the beef, the more tender it becomes, but don’t marinade for longer than a day.

Cooking vegetables in a Wok is easy. For this recipe, you’ll need broccoli. Like most vegetables, broccoli has few calories — about 27 calories for 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli.

Put about 1 1/2 inches of water in the Wok and cover it. You won’t find a Wok cover – so use any pan cover you have. Crank up the heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli.

In 3 minutes your broccoli is ready — easier than using a steamer because it’s faster, and tastes fresh.

I then toss the broccoli into a colander and leave it there. Dry it with a quick wipe of a towel – don’t get burned! Your Wok is now hot, so add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the Wok (ok, here is confession number one: I don’t measure much) – just be sure to coat the bottom.

Add the minced garlic and stir. Once you can smell it (in about half a minute), you are ready to add your beef.

Take the marinated beef and toss it in the wok. The Wok has a large surface area – and you want each strip of beef to have contact with the Wok. In 30 seconds the beef will be done on that side, and then flip them with a kitchen tool, like a wooden spoon or even a large metal one. Stir the beef so it gets done on all sides, this will take one or two minutes.

Now, pour in the stir-fry sauce and simmer for 30 seconds. Put the broccoli back in and stir it so the sauce coats everything. You are ready to serve! (Recipe serves 4 people).

Calorie Count — 200 calories for the beef, 27 calories for the broccoli, 10 calories for the stir fry sauce, and maybe 5 calories for the oil. Dinner for less than 300 calories and done in five minutes!

You can get more complicated with your sauces and your beef marinade. So try this first, and as you get to where you want to do more I suggest you buy a copy of my friend Jaden Hair’s Cookbook – The Steamy Kitchen

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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Latest Comments

  1. Stacia Gaines says:

    Dear Terry,

    Sounds good. I live in China so I can get everything, I’m sure. What ingredients are in this packet of beef/broccoli sauce? No short cuts for me here! I’ll have to make it.


    Stacia Gaines
    Friend of the Grosshans (and April)

  2. Rebel With a Fork says:

    I was just getting ready to make dinner! I do make beef and broccoli, I just don’t use packaged ingredients – so it takes me more like 20 minutes.

    Healthier cooking is much simpler than people think, and it tastes so much better.

    We’re having Spanish Omlets with a big tossed salad tonight. We have lots of delicious homegrown tomatoes to enjoy.

  3. Zoey Jordan says:

    I tried this with my new wok – I don’t cook very often, but this looked so simple, I had to give it a try.
    I’ve been trying to get my daughter to eat more veggies, and since broccoli was on her “acceptable” list, I figured we’d give it a go. This meal could not have been any easier! Turned out great, and because the broccoli wasn’t soggy, I got my 8 year old to eat, with no funny faces and no complaints. Prep time and clean up were a breeze. Thanks for sharing! Super easy even after working a full day!

  4. Weight Loss Challenge Meal Plan for Week One | AZ LapBand Blog
    [...] Is always a late day for me , so I will want something quick and easy. Thursday will be Wok night, beef and broccoli  stir fry. I may even add some more veggies in there. This recipe is quick and easy – it takes almost [...]

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