All Posts In Healthy Recipes

Dips, Lightened Up

by in Healthy Recipes, January 18, 2013

hot crab dip
Creamy blue cheese, artichoke and other cheesy dips can sabotage your waistline long before the main course even begins. Lighten up these bad boys with a few quick tricks—they’ll still taste fantastic.

Nutrition Facts
Folks LOVE to take their veggies, pita, and chips for a dip—actually, let’s call it a plunge. Creamy dips aren’t the only culprit out there but those are the ones highest in artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. Here are the nutrition facts for ¼ cup of commercially-prepared popular dips. (Keep in mind that many folks down 2 to 4 times that amount in one sitting.)

  • Blue Cheese: 220 calories, 24 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 500 milligrams sodium, 0 grams sugar
  • Artichoke: 200 calories, 16 grams total Fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 360 milligrams sodium, 2 grams sugar
  • Ranch: 240 calories, 24 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 740 milligrams sodium, 4 grams sugar
  • Onion: 120 calories, 9 grams total fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 420 milligrams sodium, 2 grams sugar

Other dips like hummus and guacamole aren’t shy in calories either, but at least there’s more healthy fat in them. Here are the average numbers you’ll see on ¼ cup of popular commercial varieties:

  • Hummus: 140 calories, 12 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 260 milligrams sodium, 0 grams sugar
  • Guacamole: 120 calories, 10 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 180 milligrams sodium, 0 grams sugar

Commercial varieties of dips typically add a bunch of additives and preservatives, which is one of the biggest reasons we suggest making your own.

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12 Healthy Lemon Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, January 12, 2013

lemon cookies
This citrus fruit is extremely versatile and can be used to flavor recipes both sweet and savory. Pucker up for these 12 lemony dishes.

Nutrition Lowdown
For the burst of flavor lemons provide, the calories are pretty minimal at a mere 12 for the juice of one. Lemons are also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing over one third of your daily dose. It’ll also give you a splash of folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium and potassium.

Waffles
Lemon juice isn’t the only way to add flavor to dishes. These waffles use grated lemon zest for an extra special burst of flavor.

Recipe: Lemon and Walnut Waffles

Bruschetta
Dazzle guests with this easy appetizer made with a few simple ingredients: toasted bread, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and olive oil.

Recipe: Lemon-Parsley Bruschetta

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Spice of the Month: Paprika

by in Healthy Recipes, January 11, 2013

paprika
It’s got an amazing flavor and vibrant color – give this spice some love.

Paprika Basics
Paprika is made from grinding the dried pods of sweet red peppers. The various types demonstrate different flavor profiles – some are sweet and mild, others are deeper with more heat. The majority of these spices originate from Spain and Hungary, but paprika is also produced domestically in California.

Nutrition Info
One teaspoon of paprika contains 6 calories and a pretty staggering dose of vitamin A – 21-perecent of the daily recommendation! You’ll also find small amounts of minerals like iron, copper and zinc.

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5 Ingredients: Green Tea Smoothie

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, January 5, 2013

green tea smoothie
To celebrate National Hot Tea Month we thought we’d highlight some of the more unique things you can do with brewed tea.  Steep a pot of green tea and save the leftovers for this amazing smoothie. Perfect for breakfast or post-workout, tea perks up this refreshing smoothie, adding flavor and antioxidants for virtually no additional calories.

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Top Healthy Recipes of 2012

by in Healthy Recipes, January 2, 2013

chicken
The numbers are in for the top recipes of 2012 and the results reveal that chicken continues to be a winning lean protein choice — with fish not far behind — plus a few comfort food favorites made the list, like macaroni and cheese and breakfast burritos. What will the new year bring? Can we expect to see more kale and chard on our plates alongside the chicken?

10. Apple Muffins: Ellie Krieger replaces butter with applesauce in these muffins which doesn’t just make them more nutritious, it also makes them extra moist.

9. Fish Tacos With Chipotle Cream: Pile marinated fish, cabbage, corn and chipotle-spiked yogurt sauce into corn tortillas for an instant fiesta.

8. Herbed Quinoa: Giada DeLaurentiis dresses this quick-cooking, protein-packed grain with a simple herb-and-lemon vinaigrette for a super simple, pairs-with-anything side dish.

7. Three-Cheese Macaroni: This comfort food classic is made with muenster, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, plus steamed cauliflower for an extra serving of veggies.

6. Chicken Saltimbocca (above): Giada’s stuffed chicken sounds decadent, but the calories in this classic Italian chicken dish are kept low by using small amounts of boldly-flavored ingredients like prosciutto and Parmesan cheese.

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Easy Red Pepper Dip

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, December 31, 2012

red pepper dip
The New Year is almost here and we’re all excited about what 2013 will bring. But when it comes to that last string of holiday parties, do you know what food you are going to bring to the table? It has to complement your New Year’s resolution and be tasty enough to enjoy. Here’s your solution: savory red pepper dip made with your skinny jeans and taste buds in mind.

Not only does this power dip contain one of my favorite vegetables, red bell peppers, but it is also soaring with fiber and vitamins. In this recipe, cashews and chickpeas add a subtle crunch and boost of nutrients to your plate.

What some people believe makes a red pepper dip, or any other dip for that matter, taste delicious is added cheese or butter;  but there is no need for these empty calories. One of my healthy holiday secrets is to replace butter with healthier oils, and in this case, olive oil. Lean on your friend, the dutiful food processor, to whip these ingredients together and make a smooth dip you can serve as an appetizer with gluten-free crackers or as condiment for your main dish such as fish tacos, burritos or chicken. You’ll quickly see how this simple recipe is one of the easiest health switches you can make.  Believe me, you’ll want to whip up a batch of dip each week to store in your fridge and serve with breakfast eggs instead of ketchup, lunchtime sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and afternoon snacks such as crudités.

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Turkey and Hummus-Wrapped Pears

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, December 30, 2012

turkey and hummus wrapped pears
It’s almost 2013 — make this the year you try new and exciting gluten-free recipes. Why not play on your flavor palate by combining fresh and delicious ingredients? One of my favorites is organic sliced turkey, hummus and pears: it’s not exactly the most common of food combinations but when wrapped together, it can be one of the tastiest!

Pears and hummus are both common go-to gluten-free foods. If you’re gluten-free or have Celiac disease, it’s important to purchase gluten-free turkey, such as Applegate Farms and gluten-free hummus such as Sabra to ensure you are making a safe and healthy gluten-free meal you can enjoy. Also included in this recipe is one of my favorite fruits, pears, which are deliciously sweet and nutritious, not to mention they are a rich source of essential vitamins and dietary fiber. Still not convinced? If you’re worried the subtle flavors of turkey and hummus may make for a bland meal, you are surely in for a treat. The addition of chili powder (one of my favorite gluten-free condiments), ground pepper and orange zest will add the satisfying tang you are looking for.

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Artichoke-Cashew Spread

by in Healthy Recipes, December 28, 2012

artichoke dip
If you have a big crowd heading over for a New Year’s Eve bash and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to tasty finger foods to serve, here is one simple, healthy answer: artichoke dip. With a little help from your  food processor, this dip is guaranteed to be as easy to make as it is crowd-pleasing.

One thing is for sure: artichoke dip is always a hit, whether it’s at a restaurant or a family gathering. But what’s typically served is less than ideal for your waistline: the dip is usually loaded with cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Think it’s impossible to get this tasty appetizer without the added greasy ingredients? Not true. Let this recipe surprise you. By the time you turn off your food processor for a taste, you’ll wish you never wasted so many crackers on old artichoke dip recipes.

This year, take advantage of the nutritional benefits of artichokes – which are already low in calories and fat – and create a healthy, scrumptious dip that won’t compromise your healthy diet. Instead of all the heavy cheeses and mayo, add feel-good ingredients like cashews and lemon juice and let extra-virgin olive oil take the place of butter.

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Why We Love Chestnuts

by in Healthy Recipes, December 25, 2012

chestnut
Roasting chestnuts over an open fire may seem cliché, but it’s one of the best ways to enjoy this sweet nut.

Chestnuts 101
Chestnuts have a dark outer shell that ranges in color from light brown to blackish. The outer skin is pretty thin and easy to cut with a knife. The nut inside is covered with a bitter inner skin called a pellicle, which should be peeled before eaten.

Fresh chestnuts are available from September through February. Most are imported from around the world from countries like Italy, China, Spain and Korea.

Watch how chestnuts go from field to plate in this FoodNetwork.com video.

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20 Delicious, Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, December 21, 2012

gluten-free cookies

Gluten-free or not, the holidays are just not the same without a assortment of colorful cookies. So I’ve rounded up recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, who develop recipes I trust. I’ve included my new Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Buttery Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing recipe, a feat for me (and my family and friends) considering my royal icing anxiety. (Read my story and get detailed pictures of thick and thin royal icing textures on my blog.)

All of the cookies are gluten-free, and some are also dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free. I hope there’s a cookie in here for just about everyone in your life—especially you.

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