The Mediterranean Diet made headlines recently; a study by the New England Journal of Medicine claims that this way of eating may help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. The Mediterranean diet encourages replacing high-fat meats with fish and plant proteins like nuts and legumes. Whole grains, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, using herbs and spices in lieu of salt to flavor recipes, the elimination of processed foods, plus plenty of exercise are also called for.
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Casseroles are perfect when temps dips below freezing, and they’re convenient too — everything’s all in one dish. Whether you like them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, warm up to any of these lighter casseroles — each has 500 calories or less.
Weekends are a good time to whip up a breakfast casserole. An egg dish or a French toast bake will help start your day off right.
- Broccoli, Mushroom and Cheese Breakfast Strata
- Cheddar, Ham and Egg Casserole
- Peach French Toast Bake
- Blueberry Almond French Toast Bake
Think you’re too busy to make dinner a healthy dinner at home? Think again. These recipes are all ready in under 20 minutes; they’re simple enough to throw together on a busy weeknight, but fancy enough to serve to company.
20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Hummus-Yogurt Sauce: This speedy shrimp dish gets you whole grains, protein, vegetables and fruit all ready to go in 5 minutes. Pro tip: Prep the couscous while the shrimp broils.
Pasta Puttanesca: While the whole-wheat spaghetti is boiling, put together a quick tomato sauce and get this classic Italian-style pasta dish on the table in less time than it takes to watch the evening news.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Lemon, Basil and Salmon: Giada makes a complete meal — whole-wheat pasta with salmon and spinach — in just a few minutes by multi-tasking in the kitchen: the salmon cooks while the pasta is boiling.
1. Roasted Sweet Potato with Salsa (92 calories)- Top half a medium baked skin-on sweet potato (51 calories) with 1/4 cup salsa (21 calories) and 2 teaspoons sour cream (20 calories).
2. Graprefruit Brulee (90 calories)- Sprinkle 1/2 a medium grapefruit (60 calories) with 2 teaspoons of turbinado sugar (30 calories) and broil until golden. (above, from Food Network Magazine)
When fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, turn to canned as a healthy alternative. Check out these 12 ways to incorporate canned tomatoes into recipes.
Canned tomatoes are low in calories and brimming with fiber, iron, and vitamins B6 and C. They’re also an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and macular degeneration (an eye disease that occurs in older folks).
When purchasing canned tomatoes, look for “no added salt” versions—you can always add salt at the end if the dish needs it. For those worried about BPA, companies like Eden Foods sell BPA-free canned tomatoes.
Using no-salt added crushed tomatoes keeps sodium at bay in this lightened version of an Italian classic.
Recipe: Lightened Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan (above)
Tyler uses canned stewed tomatoes to make the delicious filling in his chicken enchiladas.
Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas
Let’s not make dessert complicated this Valentine’s Day. For the easiest, tastiest dessert, all you need are three ingredients and three steps: cinnamon crackers, bananas and chocolate; then melt, roll and freeze! These are ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, and if you don’t they’re certainly easy to find at any grocery store. The dairy-free chocolate-covered bananas are made extra-special with a crunchy coating of crushed cinnamon crackers. If you have kids, invite them to help out in the kitchen by peeling bananas or crushing the crackers. With such a tasty and simple recipe, this might just become a year round dessert staple.
Whip up a deliciously romantic menu for your Valentine’s date. These dishes will surely set the mood; pick a few of your favorites and serve them by candlelight.
- Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
- Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese
- You and Me Chicken Pot Pies
- Champagne Risotto
Instead of curling up with a pint of ice cream while watching a romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day, try a lower fat ice cream-alternative instead. This special sundae recipe uses low-fat ricotta cheese to lessen up the calories, while maintaining a creamy taste. Top your “sundae” with crunchy add-ins like KIND Healthy Grains Clusters along with a sprinkle of dried fruit and coconut flakes for a fun, crispy texture. (Save any extra granola and fruit for snacks later on during the week with milk or on top of yogurt.) A sprinkle of dairy-free chocolate makes this sundae gleefully indulgent. So go ahead, dig in all you want.
Are you planning on cooking a romantic dessert for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day or want to spread the baked goods love to your friends and family? Here are some yummy, gluten-free desserts from a few amazingly talented bloggers and bakers. These desserts use some surprising ingredients like quinoa and buckwheat flour to make these sinfully sweet treats healthy for those who avoid gluten. You don’t have to be a master baker to create a mouthwatering dessert either — some of these recipes are just as simple as a delicious spin on pancakes! From fudge to cakes and even s’mores, these desserts will make everyone fall head over heels for gluten-free treats!
Valentine’s Day Round Up: 29 Gluten-Free Recipes
- Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Butter Icing by Jeanne Sauvage of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking
- Raw Vegan Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Mousse Crepes by Tess Masters of Healthy Blender Recipes
- Gluten-Free Eclairs by Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery
- Devil’s Food Cupcakes from the Gluten-Free Mommy
- Allergy -Free Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats by Cybele Pascal of The Allergy-Friendly Cook Read more
The perfect Valentine’s Day pair is chocolate and nuts. This homemade chocolate bark is super simple to make. Just combine dairy-free chocolate chips and your favorite nut: hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts — whatever you like. Chocolate Love Bark is also kid-friendly; ask kids to help you choose the nuts and sprinkle them onto the melted chocolate. This dessert is perfect for bringing to a Valentine’s Day party or for gifting; it keeps well wrapped up in plastic wrap or in a container.