All Posts In Healthy Recipes

Mango Turmeric Lassi Ice Pops

by in Healthy Recipes, June 26, 2016

It’s that time of year: The weather is getting warmer. The grills are being uncovered. The pools are being cleaned. And the ice pop molds are being dusted off.

Last year when I made my roasted peaches-and-cream ice pops, I raved about how my purchase of ice pop molds was a total game changer. This year I’ll spare you the soapbox, but I have to tell you how much I love this new ice-pop recipe.

I’m on a mango turmeric kick right now. I just made mango turmeric overnight oats, and I was on a mission to find another recipe to combine these two powerful flavors. Mango is sweet and juicy and beautifully contrasts with turmeric’s bitter, peppery flavor. Plus, they both impart a gorgeous, vibrant orange-yellow color that makes your food just pop!

And then there are the nutrition benefits of this win-win combo. Both mango and turmeric are high in antioxidants; specifically, mango is packed with antioxidant vitamins A and C. And that’s not all. Mangos contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals — talk about a superfruit!

Cool down this summer with this refreshing recipe for Mango Turmeric Lassi Ice Pops. Making ice pops at home is super quick and easy and allows you full control over the ingredients to make sure your family and friends are getting a nutritious treat. Read more

Smoky Two-Potato Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, June 25, 2016

Old-fashioned potato salad this is not. What it is is cool, creamy and way more colorful than the old standby — and it still goes great alongside burgers, brats and corn on the cob.

And it’s got a kick of spice, which, surprisingly, is exactly what you want in the hot summer. It’s no coincidence that the hot peppers that grow in hot and sunny climates are craved by people who live there. Hot, piquant flavors actually help cool the body and are healthy for lots of reasons:

  • Eating spicy foods helps produce endorphins in the brain; these “good mood” hormones help you feel more relaxed and, well, happy!
  • The heat of peppers is caused by a group of antioxidant phytochemicals — mainly capsaicin, which has powerful inflammation reducers.
  • Capsaicin also seems to help curb appetite and may help you feel fuller sooner.

Canned chipotle peppers are simply jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and stewed in a savory tomato sauce. So both the peppers and the sauce lend deep unami flavor from the cooked tomatoes along with smoke and bold heat. That’s why a recipe like this — which calls for only for 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper and 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce — can still pack a big flavor punch. (For ideas on what to do with leftover chipotles, see this tip.)

To cool the spicy heat on the tongue, this recipe includes creamy yogurt and nutrient-rich white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and spice are an especially addictive combo — and a touch of honey is added to bring out the potatoes’ sweetness so it’s more of a match for the bold chipotle spice.

No, it’s not your grandmother’s potato salad, but it will still have friends coming back for seconds. Read more

Our Definitive Healthy-Burger List

by in Healthy Recipes, June 23, 2016

Try as we might to limit our caloric intake during the warm-weather months, there’s no getting around it: Summer feels incomplete if you don’t have a hearty burger in hand from time to time. But what if we told you there was a burger that is just as satisfying as the one you’ve had at your favorite barbecue or fast-food joint but won’t sabotage your summer health goals? Luckily, there is. Not just one, in fact, but 10 — in various permutations of smoky, grilled perfection. You aren’t dreaming. From savory beef and poultry burgers to hearty fish and vegetable patties, here’s a rundown of our favorites that cater to various tastes, dietary restrictions and nutritional goals.

Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers
If you think you need to skip beef entirely in order to reduce calories, think again. Food Network Kitchen’s Juicy Grilled Cheeseburgers take the guilt out of this summertime staple and weigh in at just under 400 calories per serving — roughly half of what you could expect from most fast-food options.

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Korean Bulgogi and Mushroom Tacos

by in Healthy Recipes, June 19, 2016

Bulgogi is one of the most-iconic Korean dishes, and being Korean, I can say that I’ve eaten my fair share (and then some) of this delicious marinated-meat dish. While it’s normally prepared with thinly sliced sirloin and rib eye, I used lean ground beef in this recipe. It’s an excellent option when you are pressed for time, as it eliminates the need for slicing the beef and decreases the marinade time. The marinade not only tenderizes the meat but also imparts the perfect combination of sweet and savory to the flavor profile.

Double or triple the bulgogi recipe and you can enjoy it throughout the week by adding it to salads, grain bowls, pizza, burritos, quesadillas and much more. You can also freeze whatever you don’t cook (with the marinade and all) in individual, freezer-safe Ziploc bags.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate more nutrients into my ground beef dishes while cutting back on calories, fat and sodium is replacing some of the meat with mushrooms. Simply chop the mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and you won’t even notice the difference. Mushrooms are an excellent source of important nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, potassium and selenium. They’re also the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle, and I love that they’re non-fortified. Read more

Apricots with Honey-Ginger Ricotta and Pistachios

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, June 17, 2016

Is there anything better than an apricot, peach or nectarine freshly plucked from the tree? Those sweet juices dribbling down your chin as you nosh on a delicious piece (or two or three …) of sun-ripened summer fruit? Perhaps not.

But, then again, maybe I can convince you to try these Apricots with Honey-Ginger Ricotta and Pistachio Nuts, for a healthy yet luscious summer dessert. Rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, to help keep your skin healthy and get your glow on, fresh apricots are one of Mother Nature’s favorite summer treats.

There’s no denying their fresh-picked appeal, but this elegantly easy recipe featuring apricot halves stuffed with honey ginger ricotta and topped off with crunchy pistachio nuts will impress your friends and family when served as a simple summer dessert. Or, do what I did, and keep them all for yourself! Read more

8 Zucchini Recipes That Won’t Squash Your Summer Health Goals

by in Healthy Recipes, June 16, 2016

The thing we love most about zucchini is that it refuses to be labeled. In a culinary context, this firm summer squash is treated as a vegetable, often prepared as a savory main or side dish. But botanically, zucchini is classified as a fruit — and more specifically as a type of berry — which perhaps explains why you’ll find this fiber-packed jack-of-all-trades in sweet breads and pastries too. Few other vegetables can boast the same level of versatility. Luckily, the prime season is long — it begins in June and peaks in late August, so be sure to fit in several trips to the farmers market before summer is over. Whether it’s lightly seasoned and grilled until smoky or grated into fine shreds to be hidden in baked goods, there’s no meal this light summer squash can’t conquer. See for yourself with these 8 in-season zucchini recipes for casserole, zucchini bread and more.

Skillet Eggs with Squash
Break out your skillet for this crowd-pleasing one-pot dish, where baked eggs sit atop grated summer squash and zucchini, with a healthy dose of spicy pepper Jack cheese, nutmeg and scallions.

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Lightened-Up Inside-Out Bacon Cheddar Burger

by in Grilling, Healthy Recipes, June 16, 2016

Ah, the juicy burgers of summer cookouts! They taste so good — but are so often huge fat and calorie bombs. The sad truth is that most homemade burgers have well over 800 calories. But it is possible to pack all that savory meaty flavor, oozing melting cheese, and yes, even bacon into a big, satisfying burger without blowing your dietary allotment for the entire day.

A typical homemade 6-ounce burger alone can easily pack 450 calories — and the bun, cheese and bacon will add another 400. And that’s without any sauce or mayo.

So we reconstructed the burger to pack in all that great decadent flavor with about half the calories and saturated fat.

Lightened-up burger tips:

  • Use 93% lean ground beef. This is the optimal point, at which the meat won’t dry out but is reasonably lean.
  • Swap regular mayo for a canola-based version to save 50 calories and 6 grams of fat per tablespoon.
  • Toss reduced-fat cheese with chopped bacon to get more smoky bacon flavor in every bite.
  • Think small when it comes to the bun: A smaller bun not only equals fewer calories but also makes your burger seem that much bigger!

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5-Ingredient Strawberry and Black Quinoa Salad

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, June 15, 2016

No doubt you’re familiar with white quinoa, which has become a healthy pantry staple in recent years. But you might be pleasantly surprised by the fun, pop-y texture and striking color of the black variety. Black quinoa also has an earthier taste, and works well in cold salads, since rather than clumping together, each seed of black quinoa can boldly hold its own. Even more important, black quinoa contains more than twice as much iron as white quinoa.

While quinoa is fine and dandy cooked in water, if you have some broth on hand, by all means cook the quinoa in broth for added flavor. And if the bottom of the rotisserie-chicken container has gathered juices, toss those in, too. This liquid gold equates to added depth of flavor in the finished dish.

Strawberries are gorgeous, sweet, juicy and fragrant during their peak season of summer, baring their fully red “shoulders” all the way up to the leaves — an indicator of truly ripe and delicious strawberries. The berries’ flavor is more pronounced at room temperature, so don’t be afraid to let them sit on the counter for a bit before you mix them into the salad. Read more

7 Summer Slaws That Put the Store-Bought Stuff to Shame

by in Healthy Recipes, June 9, 2016

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from season after season of summer grilling, it’s that you should never underestimate the power of a good slaw to transform your meal. Crisp and cool, with a subtle vinegar kick, a fresh slaw can add great texture and flavor depth to almost any summer dish — tacos, burgers, and, most of all, pulled pork. On the other hand, if your slaw isn’t up to par, it can really drag a dish down. Pre-packaged coleslaw from the deli counter at your local grocery store may be convenient, but more often than not, you’re getting some wilted green cabbage swimming in a tub of watered-down mayonnaise and sugar. Next time you’re planning a picnic or cookout, try one of these healthy homemade slaws. We guarantee you’ll never go back to store-bought.

Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
Melissa d’Arabian combines purple cabbage with sweet, aromatic fennel and chopped bacon to create a crunchy and colorful summer slaw with just 1 gram of sugar per serving.

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Superfood Energy Balls

by in Healthy Recipes, Vegan, June 8, 2016

For an energy-packed treat, try these Superfood Energy Balls made with protein-rich nuts and seeds, naturally sweetened dates, and a little almond butter to bind them together. With only eight ingredients and 10 minutes of prep, you can have a portable, healthy snack option in just minutes! Ever since I realized how easy it was to DIY snacks like these, I’ve been doing so with gusto. I love knowing exactly what’s going into my snacks, and saving money in the process is a bonus.

These energy balls are a spinoff of my superfood granola bars, brought to you in bite-size form. They’re the perfect summer snack to tuck into your bag whenever you need a little fuel, whether that’s on an outdoor hike or simply lounging by the pool. The secret to these moist, hearty balls is the use of dates instead of other sweeteners. For this recipe I prefer Medjool dates, which are usually found in the fruit, dried fruit or bulk section of your grocery store. If your dates aren’t soft, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes before using. The pit should be easy to pop out; dates that are too hard can make these balls difficult to form. As a special ingredient, I’ve included a bit of maca powder, which is known to help increase stamina and energy levels, and is similar in taste to chocolate. If you can’t find maca at your grocery store, feel free to substitute unsweetened cocoa powder. Read more

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