All Posts In Healthy Recipes

Cauliflower Piccata

by in Healthy Recipes, October 23, 2016

For this piccata recipe, roasted cauliflower steaks are cooked in a delicious sauce of butter, wine, parsley, lemons and capers. To me, the pairing of bright lemon and briny capers is almost magical; spooning it over tender cauliflower finished with a generous serving of parsley is an easy way to maximize vegetable intake.

This cauliflower piccata is a vegetarian showstopper, a beautiful main dish perfect for holidays yet easy enough to enjoy for weeknight dinners. To create cauliflower “steaks,” remove the outer leaves and the bottom portion of the stem. Then slice the cauliflower into 1-inch-thick slabs. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may have only three to four steaks per head. For a main dish, serve the cauliflower steaks with egg noodles or roasted potatoes — and extra piccata sauce. Read more

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice

by in Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, October 22, 2016

Buried beneath the deluge of lattes, limited-edition snack foods and baked goods, the spice blend known as “pumpkin spice” has a nutritious foundation. And while it’s wise — for the sake of your waistline — to back off on the pumpkin spice Frappuccinos, ‘tis the season to take advantage of the health benefits of this ever-popular fall flavor combination.

Health Benefits
Different pumpkin spice blends may have variations, but the core blend usually includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Here are the health benefits of each.

Rich in cell-protecting antioxidants and unmistakable warmth, cinnamon is the star ingredient of pumpkin spice. There is also some research to support that cinnamon may help diabetics better control blood sugar.

Another warm fall spice, nutmeg boasts small amounts of fiber, numerous B vitamins and minerals. Read more

5 Turkey Chilis That Put Beef Out to Pasture

by in Healthy Recipes, October 20, 2016

Whether you spend the next few weekends hitting your local campground to take in the fall foliage or sitting on the couch curled up under a blanket, one thing is for sure: You’re going to want a bowl of warm chili to wrap your hands around. Loaded with fragrant spices, tender beans and protein, chili is exactly the type of dish you want to have on hand in your freezer throughout the season.

But let’s not forget that part of what makes chili so comforting is the toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, maybe even some diced avocado. By the time you finish adorning your bowl with all the desired fixings, you could be looking at half a day’s worth of calories — or worse. That’s where lean ground turkey comes in. If your favorite chili involves beef, here are a few things to consider: A 4-ounce serving contains roughly 127 calories with 27 grams of protein, compared to 199 calories and 23 grams of protein found in 90/10 lean ground beef. Need some inspiration to switch up your chili routine? These are a few of our favorite turkey-based recipes from the chefs at Food Network.

Indian Summer Turkey Chili
If you plan on doing any tailgating this fall, Rachael Ray’s big-batch turkey chili is just the thing you’ll want to spoon out of your thermos. Large bell peppers brighten up the mixture with their mild sweetness. Stir in a bit of your favorite barbecue sauce for a touch of sweet heat.

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Brussels Sprouts, 3 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, October 19, 2016

This trio of healthy Brussels sprouts recipes is delicious enough to convert even those who feel dubious about this vitamin C-packed cruciferous veggie. Here, the leafy sprouts get their moment in the spotlight first as the star ingredient in a delicately crunchy raw salad, then tossed into a peppery pasta carbonara and finally topped onto a shiitake-sesame rice bowl and drizzled with a smoky tahini dressing.

Brussels Sprouts Carbonara (pictured above)
Serves 4

8 ounces quinoa spaghetti
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed
8 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecorino, optional

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; drain, reserving some of the bacon fat. Using the same skillet, cook the garlic and Brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and season with plenty of pepper. Add the drained pasta, bacon, Brussels sprouts and some of the reserved bacon fat, if using; toss to combine. Serve with the cheese, if using.

Per serving: Calories 285.5; Fat 6.3 g (Saturated 1.8 g); Cholesterol 98 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Carbohydrate 48.2 g; Fiber 4.8 g; Sugars 1.6 g; Protein 10.1 g Read more

Lightened-Up Family Pizza Night

by in Cooking for Kids, Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, October 12, 2016

Who says pizza can’t be a healthy meal? Although a store-bought slice of cheese clocks in at about 400 calories, you can make a healthy pizza-centric meal that is loaded with vegetables, dairy and whole grains. These easy tips can help you make to-die-for pizza — that your whole family will love — each week.

Choose a Night
Theme nights are fun, make planning meals easier and get kids excited to eat. Sample theme nights include Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday. If you schedule pizza night for Friday, it’s a way to help reduce food waste, as most anything, like leftovers or extra vegetables, can be a healthy pizza topper. Scheduling also gives you time to stock your fridge with pizza essentials such as dough and cheese, or whatever else you choose to be on your pizza. Once you choose the night, then you have a few more decisions on how you’re going to build the pizza. Have your kids chime in on how they would like to make it more of a family affair.

This is the perfect opportunity to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommendations to make half your daily grains whole. You can make your own 100 percent whole-wheat pizza dough, purchase whole-grain pizza dough from your market or ask your local pizza maker for an order of whole-wheat dough. You can also whip up dough made from legumes, like chickpeas, or that’s gluten-free. Other out-of-the box dough options include whole-wheat naan bread, whole-wheat English muffins or whole-grain tortillas. Read more

Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Shrimp

by in Healthy Recipes, October 9, 2016

There’s no denying it: Fall is officially here. Even though temperatures are still warm where I live, there is a definite change of season in the grocery store. I almost stopped in my tracks last week as I headed into the produce section and found giant displays of apples, pumpkins and squash of every color.

Not that I’m complaining. While I will always have a soft spot for colorful berries and heirloom tomatoes, there’s something extremely comforting about fall produce. These spaghetti squash bowls are the perfect way to welcome fall. Spaghetti-like squash strands, roasted broccoli, coconut shrimp and an addictive peanut sauce make for a lighter version of Thai takeout.

Once the vegetables are in the oven, this meal comes together rather quickly. To maximize prep time, I recommend making the peanut sauce beforehand, then marinating the shrimp while the broccoli is cooking. Just before the vegetables are set to be done, saute the shrimp, assemble and serve. You can serve these bowls as described, or use the hollowed-out spaghetti squash as a literal bowl. (Simply fill the cooked squash boat with roasted broccoli and shrimp, then drizzle on peanut sauce.) Either way, you’ll be rewarded with an unexpected and delicious way to enjoy spaghetti squash. Read more

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

by in Healthy Recipes, October 8, 2016

These waffles are brimming with pumpkin flavor, making them perfect for upcoming fall weekends. It’s also a great recipe to have on hand when you find yourself with extra pumpkin puree.

To keep these waffles on the nourishing side, I subbed in a half-cup of whole-wheat flour and cut down on the typical amounts of oil and sugar, which makes them slightly sweet, but still packed with pumpkin flavor. Since pumpkin puree can often weigh down baked goods, I also call for separating the eggs: beating the whites until stiff peaks form, then folding them into the prepared batter. This extra step creates light, crispy waffles, so while it may be tempting to skip it, don’t.

For a weekday timesaver, make a double or triple batch of these waffles, then freeze the extras for quick reheating during the week. Trust me, nothing says good morning on a crisp fall day like these pumpkin spice waffles. Chopped pecans and a drizzle of pure maple syrup are the perfect topping, but truth be told, I’ve been known to devour them plain, straight from the waffle iron. Read more

6 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin in Healthy Fall Meals

by in Healthy Recipes, October 6, 2016

If you’re daunted by the idea of cooking with fresh pumpkin, we can’t blame you. Splitting, gutting and skinning a whole gourd with nothing more than a carving knife and a large spoon to scoop out the seeds is a time-consuming process — and completely unnecessary when you have pure pumpkin puree on hand. Luckily, one-half cup of unsweetened canned pumpkin contains roughly 50 calories per serving, which means it’s a great way to add creaminess to your favorite foods for very little additional fat or sugar. Better yet, it’s a quick and convenient method for imbuing each bite of pie, quick bread or pasta sauce with comforting fall flavor. Here are five easy ways to work rich pumpkin puree into your favorite dishes, from classic pumpkin pie to cheesy pumpkin biscuits.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
This creamy cheesecake is packed with pumpkin pie flavor but with a fraction of the fat as the original; it’s made with reduced-fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt.

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5-Ingredient Chicken Sausage with Braised Red Cabbage

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, October 5, 2016

While attending culinary school years ago, I learned how to make classic braised red cabbage with a lengthy ingredient list, including some foods the average cook doesn’t tend to keep on hand. But that doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on the comfort and deliciousness of braised red cabbage on any night of the week. A little sweet, a little briny, this fall-inspired dish will warm your tummy. The leftovers are even tasty when enjoyed cold when you’re super-hungry and in a hurry.

Red cabbage is a low-cal, low-carb vegetable, and an excellent source of vitamin C.

When selecting chicken sausage, look for “natural” varieties, which are widely available in stores now in different flavors, like apple. My favorite type of chicken sausage for this recipe is savory herb. I like to round out the meal with quinoa pilaf or garlic toast. Read more

Grapes for Dinner: Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Onions

by in Healthy Recipes, October 4, 2016

This time of year, dozens of clusters of green and purple grapes take over the outside wall of my garage. I pop them into my kids’ lunches every day for weeks at a time and serve them again as an after-school snack. They also make an easy appetizer, set out in a pretty bowl with a hunk of good cheese. Inevitably, though, my family’s ability to eat endless amounts of raw grapes starts to wane. Before I know it, the fruit is spilling out of my refrigerator and I’m racking my brain to find new uses for it.

Most recipes for grapes — jellies, jams and desserts — call for combining them with a lot of sugar. These uses also often dispense with the skins, which provide healthy fiber. Besides containing fiber, grapes are an excellent source of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which are associated with a reduced risk for developing several types of cancers.

To retain all that healthy goodness, it was time to think beyond dessert. That’s when I came upon the idea of roasting grapes to make savory compote. Bonus: That would help me sneak grapes into dinner too.

Roasting grapes at high heat intensifies both their flavor and sweetness. For balance, I mix them with a little balsamic vinegar, some red onion and a few sprigs of rosemary — an herb that grows just a few feet away from my wall of grapes. After they cook for 20 minutes in the oven, I’ve got a delicious topping for any type of meat. In this recipe, I’ve paired the compote with sauteed boneless, skinless chicken, which is low in saturated fat and an excellent source of protein, but this compote would also be a good match for pork tenderloin or chicken sausage. Leftover roasted grapes are tasty spooned onto rye crackers spread with goat cheese or ricotta cheese — lunch for the adult set. Read more