All Posts In Healthy Recipes

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

Greek Pizza with Pourable Crust

by in Healthy Recipes, October 1, 2016

Yes, you really can make and bake homemade pizza crust in less than 30 minutes! The trick is whipping up a pourable crust: Eggs, milk and salt combine with a cup of flour to produce a mix that can be poured right into a rimmed baking dish. Leavening is provided by the two protein-rich eggs. The final baked crust is chewy and satisfying.

For this pizza, I was going for a Greek theme, so I went for toppings like roasted eggplant and bell peppers; my cheese of choice was feta, and I grabbed a can of artichokes from the pantry. For a bit more flavor from Greece, I added mint and lemon as fresh toppings. (You’ll love the way a few squirts of acidic lemon juice brighten up the hearty flavors of fall all season long.)

While eggplant is often thought of as a summer vegetable, I love it when the weather gets cooler too. Its sturdy structure melts into stews and baked pastas, providing almost-creamy texture; plus, it beefs up the nutrition of nourishing autumn dishes with fiber, copper, folate, magnesium and potassium. Eggplant also contains flavonoids (antioxidants), which may fight against viruses and damaging bacteria. So it could be smart to add eggplant to your menus right as cold-and-flu season gets going.

Whatever you add to your pizza, just don’t ever try tossing this crust into the air before baking it! Read more

All the Ways to Eat Cauliflower

by in Healthy Recipes, September 29, 2016

Many people claim they don’t enjoy the taste of cauliflower — that it’s too bland or too crumbly, especially when served raw. If you’ve only encountered the firm white bundles as a component on a crudite platter, we can’t argue with you there. Maybe you’ve tried it boiled; sadly, this does nothing to enhance the flavor either. But roasted, pureed or worked through a ricer? The cream-white florets take on a whole new identity. Thanks to their mild taste, they’re an excellent canvas for all varieties of sauces and spices. Now that cauliflower is abundant at the farmers market, there’s even more incentive to use this nutritional powerhouse as the base for hearty fall meals. Here are a few of our healthiest ideas.

Roast It
Even meat eaters will flock to the table for a taste of these roasted cauliflower bundles. The Dijon mustard rub concentrates in flavor as it roasts, resulting in a heady dose of umami. In order to really lock in the flavor, prep and brush your cauliflower ahead of time, then let it sit at room temperature until you’re ready to cook.

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Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, Vegan, September 28, 2016

Fall is in the air! And what better way to celebrate than with a slice of healthy and delicious Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake?

Start by choosing your favorite variety of in-season fresh apples. I’m partial to “sweet-with-a-hint-of-tang” Honeycrisp apples, but it’s always fun to see what new varieties are popping up in grocery stores, farmers markets and CSA boxes this time of year.

In addition to naturally sweet apples, other nourishing ingredients in this Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake include Omega-3-rich walnuts, along with a duo of fiber-rich flours: whole-grain buckwheat and brown rice. Cinnamon takes the flavor up a notch, and with no eggs or dairy, this cake is perfect for anyone following a vegan diet.

Even better? It’s totally acceptable to pair a slice of this Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Skillet Cake with some protein-rich Greek yogurt and happily declare “Breakfast is served!” Read more

Easy Weeknight Bibimbap

by in Healthy Recipes, September 26, 2016

Bibimbap, the flavorful and vibrant Korean rice bowl meal, gets its alluring sweet-and-sour flavor from a sauce called gochujang. The vinegary, mildly spicy sauce can now be found on many grocery store shelves, where it is positioned to become the new hot-sauce darling. (Look out, Sriracha!)

(Note: If your market does not yet carry gochujang, you can make a tasty substitute by combining 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic paste and 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar.)

To make bibimbap, you don’t need a lot of time — but you do need lots of small bowls! It is beautifully served as a composition of the separate ingredients, which are balanced to lend an assortment of flavors and textures, from grassy to sweet and chewy to crisp. The runny yolk on top, when pierced, serves as a rich sauce that unites the entire dish.

Bibimbap is healthful, satisfying and beautiful — a triple dinner winner. Read more

6 Lighter Ways to Cook and Bake with Apples

by in Healthy Recipes, September 22, 2016

Ready your wicker baskets: It’s apple-picking season. If you’re planning a trip to your local orchard, you’re probably already dreaming about the wonderfully sweet, tart and spicy dishes you can make once you get your apples home. Maybe they’re destined for a rustic galette — or maybe you’ll bake them whole with a medley of warming spices. Of course, the butter and brown sugar used in many apple dishes are just as craveable as the fruit itself. But even if you’re using the new season as an opportunity to get back into good eating habits, you don’t have to miss out on this fun autumn pastime. With a few simple modifications, you can make your favorite apple dishes a healthy staple rather than a once-in-a-while indulgence. From firm and tart Granny Smiths to sweet and tender McIntoshes, here are six lighter ways to use your freshly picked apples this fall.

Baked Apples with Oatmeal and Yogurt
When it comes to baking apples whole, Bobby Flay opts for sweet Galas, which he dresses up with fragrant spices and light brown sugar. Top each one with high-fiber oatmeal, low-fat Greek yogurt and a drizzle of apple cider reduction.

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