Weighing Mixed Category Dishes

Ah, soul warming, scrumptious soup! As you assemble the vegetables, lovingly caramelize the aromatics, add herbs and spices to a delicious stock, add enhancements and maybe emulsify, it’s likely you’re thinking more about the final tastes than worrying about meal weights. For those on a structured food plan like BLE, it is useful to have a solid strategy for weighing mixed category dishes like soups, stews, casseroles, etc. Here are 5 strategies for weighing these types of dishes for the BLE food plan.

Many Bright Line Eaters simply don’t cook dishes that allow the food categories to get all mixed up (soups, stews, etc) and keep their food separate and simple. There is peace to be gained by doing this. Others, (myself included) are able to cook and eat mixed category dishes with minimal mental chatter. If you want to keep soups, stews, casseroles, and other such meals in your repertoire, here are some strategies that I use to make it work.

As always, do what brings you the most peace with your food.

Strategy #1: Weigh ingredients, divide soup into number of meals

This is what I do most of the time. I will make sure the right amounts of veggies, protein, fat, etc. are going into the soup, and then after broth and condiments I won’t worry about the weight anymore, and I’ll portion it into the number of meals I know it contains. For example, if I want to make 3 servings, I will measure out 18 oz of beans, 18 oz of cooked veggies, and 3 oz of coconut milk, make the soup, add the broth and condiments, and then just divide the finished soup equally among 3 large pyrex containers or quart sized jars. With this method I don’t care about the final weight of a serving of soup, because I know the ratios are right.

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Strategy #2: Eat your total meal weight

Eat the total weight of your meal instead of weighing each category separately. For example, if my food plan calls for 6 oz veggies, 6 oz beans, and 0.5 oz oil for lunch, I might weigh out 12.5 oz of veggie bean chili for my meal.

Strategy #3: Add a small, fixed amount to the raw weight

I often weigh my veggies before cooking a mixed-category dish and add 1 oz to the raw weight, because most veggies reduce roughly 1 oz when cooked. You may need to experiment with this for yourself. For example: If my meal calls for 14 oz of stir fry veggies, I weigh exactly 15 oz of veggies before cooking them and then let go of the amount after that. They will cook down to about 14 oz or close enough for my peace. This may not work for some who are very high on the susceptibility scale, but this works for me.

Strategy #4: Make too little and supplement to reach veggie weight

Another strategy is to err on the side of too little. Weigh the veggies after cooking and then add a veggie garnish to reach your veggie amount. I often supplement at the end with greens, peas, corn, kraut, or just raw veggies on the side.

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Strategy #5: Know your dry to cooked ratios.

For example, I know that 2-3/8 oz. of dry beans yields 6 oz. cooked beans. Keep a pad handy to record these ratios as you make various dishes. It will become secondhand in no time.

Hope that helps!

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  1. Victoria Dreyer

    Very helpful! Thanks Katie

    Vicki Dreyer


  2. Linda Guenther

    Thank you so much for posting this, Katie. I have had so much confusion on how to weigh and measure mixed dishes and have missed out on a variety of meals because I was unsure on how to measure. Keep posting, Katie! You are providing a valuable service to all of us!

  3. Thank you for this!!

  4. Sue Gatineau

    Very helpful, Katie! Love your recipesand ideas!

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Jeanne A Mclaughlin

    i really appreciate your follow-up! it’s the little things that can be a little confusing when you are just starting out!! the good news is i’m down 2 lbs from the first day!

  7. Hi Katie and thank you for the explanation. My question is, are we still allowed our fruit allowance if we have soup as our meal at lunch?

  8. Emine Weaire

    Thank you Katie THat was really really really helpful for me as I was staying away from soups since I started BLE some 565 days ago !!

    Much appreciate

    love Emine Weaire

  9. Victoria Doll-Polanco

    So clear and easy to follow! Thanks, Katie!

  10. Thank you so much. I have been making so many of your recipe’s.

  11. Thanks Katie for this excellent explanation. I have a WW soup that my husband and I both love and this will make it available to us now that I can count it! Marvelous!

  12. Thanks Katie. As always, very informative and helpful!

  13. Thank you

  14. Ty for this information. Even though we want to keep our food simple the fact that we can be creative and still stay within the bright lines, for me is amazing because it only strengthens my program. Also there is nothing more satisfying during the winter months than soup.
    Ty for your creativity.

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  21. Thanks tons for this info. Very helpful. I love stews and mixed meals.

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  25. This information was very helpful to me. I’m a recipe girl and really appreciate your recipes. Thanks.

  26. Just found your awesome website Katie. Have been on BLE for less than two weeks and really need the variety in recipes you provide. I would not be able to take this journey without your help. Thank you so very much!

  27. Super helpful thank you

  28. Donna Akerson

    Never ceases to amuse me that there is such a simple (and obvious) strategy when I have been complicating and creating work to be less accurate. Thanks Katie

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  32. Thank you. This is helpful.

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