All Posts In Healthy Recipes

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

Spring Onion and Parmesan Whole-Wheat Scones

by in Healthy Recipes, June 6, 2016

The green onion is often sprinkled on dishes as a garnish — as an afterthought. But in these tender, buttery scones, spring onions shine. They add the freshness of herbs, but are not too delicate to stand up to hearty whole-wheat flour.

The terms “scallion,” “spring onion” and “green onion” are basically interchangeable for recipe use. However, if you find what are labeled “spring onions” at a farmers market, grab them. When locally grown and freshly harvested, spring onions have a flavor that is fresher and slightly sharper than that of those pencil-thin green onions available in produce sections year-round. Use only the fresh green leaves in these scones — and save the white parts of the spring onion for adding snappy crunch to sandwiches.

In terms of nutrition, all onions contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant. And phytochemicals in onions known as allyl sulfides may reduce the risk of some cancers and have been found to increase heart health. Read more

6 Ways to Never Tire of Grilled Chicken

by in Healthy Recipes, June 2, 2016

Summer’s celebratory tenor is best evinced by near-weekly cookout invitations. But as our social calendars fill out, so, too, could our hips. Nothing is more disruptive to a healthy eating regimen than encountering an ice cream sundae station or a heaping plate of barbecued spareribs weekend after weekend. Our solution? Lean, smoky, protein-packed grilled chicken. It’s easily our best bet when it comes to light summer dining. The only problem is that the humble grilled poultry tends to get, well … a little boring. In truth, it’s not the chicken’s fault. If your go-to preparation method involves throwing some chicken on the grill after a quick dunk in store-bought barbecue sauce, then it’s time to switch up your technique. All it takes is a flavorful sauce, glaze or rub to invigorate this simple dish. Here are six ideas to kick-start a season of healthy summer grilling.

Go Bold with Garnish
While traditional chicken cordon bleu is coated with eggs and breadcrumbs, and then fried, Bobby Flay grills the meat for a lighter dish that still gives you leeway to top it with salty prosciutto and melted Brie.

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Baked Chicken Fajita Naan Pizza

by in Healthy Recipes, June 1, 2016

Although I normally have a “game plan” when it comes to the specific meals I’ll be enjoying throughout the week, there are days when I come home from work and feel like going rogue. Whether or not you are a meal planner, having an arsenal of foolproof recipes you can effortlessly whip up in minutes is key to eating healthfully even on the busiest days. For me, flatbread pizza is one of them. It can be simple or elaborate, depending on what ingredients I have on hand, because running out to the grocery store is the last thing I want to do on a weeknight. Something tells me that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Starting with the crust, you can go minimal with just a drizzle of oil or some tomato sauce, pesto, BBQ sauce, hummus or whatever you’re craving at the moment. As for the toppings, the sky’s the limit. It’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while cleaning out the fridge at the same time. Read more

Fattoush Salad with Grilled Chicken

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, May 31, 2016

I’m a sucker for a pretty salad — like this Fattoush Salad with Grilled Chicken with a lemony, herb-flecked vinaigrette. Have you heard of fattoush before? If not, you’re in for a delicious treat!

The traditional fattoush salad, which originated in the Middle East, is a flavorful combination of fried or toasted pita bread mixed with fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables. Therein lies its versatility, as you can easily add your own spin of creativity with your favorite herbs, vegetables, bread and other healthy toppings.

Grilled chicken adds a boost of lean protein to my version, and for those of you like myself who can’t eat gluten, I’ve swapped the pita for gluten-free pizza crust. Mix in some crisp bell peppers and cucumbers tossed with arugula and fresh Italian parsley, and top it all off with creamy feta cheese and lemon-oregano vinaigrette for a delicious and nourishing one-bowl meal.

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Eddie Jackson’s Easy Summer Party Plan

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Grilling, May 30, 2016

Manning the grill at a summer party is a tough job: Flipping a bunch of burgers, shuffling space for veggies and (of course) running back to the kitchen because you forgot cheese can eat into your time with guests. To avoid this scenario, we suggest you take a page from Eddie Jackson’s grilling “playbook.” As a Food Network Star winner (not to mention former NFL player, food truck owner and personal trainer), Eddie aims to create recipes that are healthy and delicious — but he knows that ease is a key ingredient, too.

And Eddie’s grilling menu really is super-savvy. He chose a crowd-pleasing flank steak that can feed the whole party, roasted potatoes that don’t require much attention while they cook and a simple salad to round out the meal. Watch the entire thing come together in the video above, and you’ll instantly feel prepared to entertain friends all season long.

Of course, Eddie’s armed with “playbooks” for many other occasions, too — check out his healthy habits plan and game-day party menu for even more inspiration.

6 Veggie-Packed Sides for a Lighter Memorial Day Feast

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and if you’re planning a picnic or cookout, it’s time to divide and conquer. In other words, touch base with friends and family soon to make sure you don’t end up with multiple renditions of coleslaw and potato salad crowding your spread. Sure, they’re classics, but mayonnaise-heavy dishes never seem to hold their shape in the heat — and they make for some pretty soggy leftovers the next day. If you’re delegated to bringing a side, you can ensure your dish stays fresh outdoors by deviating from tradition in favor of these lightly dressed salads packed with in-season produce.

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella
This hearty panzanella is great alongside smoky grilled chicken. Check your pantry and freezer for the necessary ingredients before heading to the store; you may already have everything that you need, like frozen artichokes, black olives and whole-wheat bread. Toss it all together with some fresh tomato and basil from your garden.

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