If you are planning a romantic dinner this week but still want to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight, all is not lost! If you’re planning on dinner out, choose mindfully, or at least accept a three-course meal and wine is going to blow your calorie budget for the day!

Below is an example of a meal in an Italian restaurant and how many calories it contains. Then we’ve put together an amazing three-course meal including booze that you can have at home so you don’t feel like you’re missing out, all for under 1000 calories!

Let’s say you’re going to an Italian restaurant with your loved one. You might choose, since it’s a treat:

  • Starter: Calamari – 635 calories
  • Main course: Pepperoni Pizza -1261 calories
  • Dessert: Tiramisu -242 calories
  • Drink: : Large glass of white wine – 228

Add that up and you’ve got a massive 2363 calories – more than most of us need in a day. Even swapping pizza for Niçoise salad and calamari for tomato and mozzarella salad still brings you to 1490 calories.

So here’s a menu and recipes for a special meal that you can make at home – still absolutely delicious, but even with a double gin and slimline tonic, only adds up to around 946 calories.


Starter – Smoked Salmon with Salad (140 calories)


Serves: 2


  • Fresh smoked salmon (6 oz)
  • Salad leaves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • mixer herbs (to taste)



  1. Serve 3oz of fresh smoked salmon per person, with a handful of salad leaves
  2. For the dressing mix 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar with 2 tbs lemon juice, salt, pepper and mixed herbs to season.



Main Course – Steak with Sweet Potato Fries & Baked Onion Rings (527 calories)


Serves: 2


For the sweet potato fries

  • 400g/14oz sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into thin chips
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a small pinch cayenne pepper, chilli powder or crushed dried chilli seeds – depending on what you have available
  • 2 tsp vegetable oi
  • salt and pepper

For the onion rings

  • 6 large rings of brown onion
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten until foamy
  • 3 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
  • pinch smoked paprika, to taste

For the steak

  • 2 x 140g/5oz fillet steaks
  • 1 tsp oil

To serve

  • 50g/1¾oz salad leaves (such as rocket or watercress)



  1. For the fries, preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Put a large baking tray in the oven to warm. Cut a piece of baking paper ready to line the tray later.
  2. In a large bowl or food bag, toss the sweet potatoes with the spices, oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Remove the baking tray from the oven and line with the baking paper. Add the fries in one layer, with space between them (if you crowd them together they’ll be soggy). Bake for 15 minutes, opening the oven door after 5 minutes to allow any steam to escape.
  4. Meanwhile, make the onion rings. Put the onion rings in a food bag and add the flour. Shake to coat. Put the beaten egg white in a bowl and mix the breadcrumbs and paprika in another bowl. One by one, dip the onions in the egg white and then into the breadcrumbs (taking care to coat them well). Transfer to a baking tray and bake in one layer at the same temperature as the fries for 15-20 minutes.
  5. When the fries have been cooking for 15 minutes, turn them over and shake them around the tin to help them cook evenly. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, put a non-stick frying pan or griddle over a high heat. Rub the oil over the steaks and season with salt and pepper. Once the pan is very hot, add the steaks and cook on both sides for approximately 3 minutes, for medium. The exact time depends on the thickness of your steaks – refer to the video to see how to cook it to your liking. Rest for 5 minutes on warmed serving plates before serving.
  7. Arrange the salad leaves, fries and onion rings alongside the steaks. Serve immediately.


Recipe originally from BBC Food



Dessert – Makeover Chocolate Mousse (167 calories)


Serves: 2


  • 40g 70% dark chocolate
  • ½ tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp coffee granules
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg whites
  • ½ tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 25g full-fat Greek yogurt
  • handful raspberries



  1. Chop the chocolate very finely and put it into a large bowl that will fit over a pan of simmering water. Mix the cocoa, coffee and vanilla with 1 tbsp cold water, and pour over the chocolate. Place the bowl over the gently simmering water, give it all a stir, then remove from the heat. Leave with the bowl of chocolate still over the water, stirring occasionally to check when melted.
  2. Stir the melted chocolate, it will be quite thick. Stir in 1 tbsp boiling water and the chocolate will immediately thin down and become silky smooth. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the egg white to fairly soft peaks, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy. Beat the yogurt into the cooled chocolate. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mix using a large metal spoon, then very gently fold in the rest of the whites until they are evenly mixed in – being careful not to over-mix or you will lose the volume of the mousse. Spoon into 2 small cups or (125-150ml) ramekins and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  4. Place each mousse on a saucer or small plate. Top with a few raspberries, then dust with a little cocoa powder. Will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.


Recipe originally from BBC Good Food



Then pour yourself a gin and slimline tonic (114 calories for a double measure) & enjoy!

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