Tag: Healthy Recipes

Building a Better Nacho

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Healthy Recipes, November 5, 2016

This Tex-Mex favorite can rack up the calories and fat rather quickly. Instead of ruining your healthy eating plan, use these tips to lighten up this popular appetizer.

Holy Nacho Calories!

Head to the Cheesecake Factory and order the Factory Nachos with Spicy Chicken and that’ll cost you 965 calories, 31 grams of saturated fat, 52 grams of carbs and 1,390 milligrams of sodium. At home, the numbers can be similar if you pile on chili, sour cream, guac and other calorie-laden toppers. Making your own allows you to control the ingredients and portions so you can enjoy the game while indulging in a lightened-up version.

The Base

With a plethora of chips hitting market shelves, you can now find better-for-you varieties that are made with whole grains and contain more fiber. Some chips to choose from include:

Remember, it’s still about portion size, so aim for 1 ounce (about 15 chips) per serving. Read more

Zucchini, Ricotta and Lemon Pizza

by in Healthy Recipes, September 3, 2016

My recipe for a simple summer evening: Invite friends over, uncork a bottle of rosé and make a few of these zucchini ricotta pizzas. With just a handful of ingredients, these end-of-summer pizzas are an elevated version of the typical tomato-and-cheese variety.

For ease, I opted for store-bought pizza dough, found in most deli departments. I’m thankful that I can find fresh dough at my local pizzeria down the block, but if you’re not so lucky, any prepared crust will do. Or make a batch of your own. If I know that pizza is going to be a regular on our menu, I’ll make a triple batch of dough and freeze the individual portions.

Lemon on a pizza might sound strange, but it pairs perfectly with thin strips of zucchini and creamy ricotta. The tart citrus juice cuts through the rich cheese and provides just a hint of bright flavor with every bite. I’m a sucker for chives and lemon together, so I use them both in the ricotta mixture and as a garnish. Though, this is a summer pizza, so any herb will do. If your garden is overflowing with basil or parsley, feel free to use either one instead. Read more

Creative No-Cook Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, August 22, 2016

Beat the heat and spend less time in the kitchen with these healthy and inspired no-cook dishes.

Layered Squash
Try this out-of-the-box summer squash recipe to wow guests, or enjoy it as a simple weeknight dinner.
Recipe to Try: Summer Squash Carpaccio (pictured above) Read more

How to Use All That End-of-Summer Produce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 21, 2016

At this point in the season you might feel like you’re drowning in fruits and veggies. Don’t let all that summer produce go to waste. Here are some delicious and healthy ways to hold on to the goodness a bit longer.

Baked Goods
Bake an abundance of produce into muffins, cakes, pies cobblers, crisps and even cookies. User-friendly options include seasonal berries, chopped stone fruit and shredded summer squash and carrots. Herbs, onions, spinach kale and other savory items can be incorporated into breads, biscuits and pizza crusts as well.
Recipe to Try: Blueberry Whole-Wheat Muffins

Salads and Slaws
Get some extra mileage out of cabbage, kale, beet greens, kohlrabi and broccoli (stems and all). Shred or spiralize them, then give them a quick toss in a flavorful dressing. You can pack a whole bunch of nutrition into a side salad like this.
Recipe to Try: Cabbage-Kohlrabi Slaw

Read more

Can’t Make It to Rio? This Lightened-Up Feijoada Is the Next-Best Thing

by in Healthy Recipes, August 9, 2016

OK, so you’re watching the Summer Olympics from your couch instead of live in Rio de Janeiro. Time to make a batch of feijoada — the Brazilian black-bean stew that’s considered the country’s national dish — invite some friends over and throw a summer games viewing party. Feijoada (“fay-jwah-duh”) is a comfort-food staple in Brazil that’s traditionally made with beans and lots of fatty meats. Our version cuts way back on the fat and calories, highlights the healthiest attributes of the dish (fiber- and protein-filled legumes and aromatic vegetables and herbs) and has just enough meat to lend the dish its signature smoky flavor. Read more

Mango Spring Rolls with Ginger-Peanut Sauce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 8, 2016

Celebrate mango season with these fresh spring rolls! I’m a big fan of spring rolls for a light, refreshing meal. Packed with whatever fruit or vegetable I can get my hands on, they are the perfect dish to make when you have a bunch of vegetable scraps lying around. As with most good recipes, once you get the hang of stuffing and wrapping these, you can customize them to whatever you have on hand. As long as the ingredients taste good together, they will taste great wrapped in a spring roll.

For easy assembly, you’ll want to have the filling chopped and ready to go ahead of time. Thin strips of vegetables are easier for stuffing and won’t poke through the delicate rice paper as heartier chunks might. Make sure to use a damp paper towel for lining the prepared rolls so they don’t dry out and crack. While these will keep in the fridge, they taste best when enjoyed right after making. To transition these rolls to a heartier meal, add in precooked shrimp, chicken or baked tofu. Enjoy any leftover filling and sauce like a salad. Read more

Tomatoes, 3 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, August 7, 2016

There’s nothing like a ripe tomato to get your summer juices flowing. Whether you grow your own in your garden or get seduced at the market, these recipes are perfect individually or even as a complete menu for a get-together on a hot summer night. Bonus: The recipes are not only satisfyingly refreshing, but also easy on the waistline.

Shrimp Scampi Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes (pictured above)
Entertaining? Just double this recipe for your next get-together.
Serves 4

1/4 cup finely crushed brown rice cereal
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 pound medium shrimp — peeled, deveined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons dry vermouth, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cereal, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and half of the chopped garlic.
Cut tops off tomatoes and reserve. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving the tomatoes intact, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, lemon zest, shrimp, olive oil, remaining chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and vermouth, if using.

Place the tomato cups in a baking dish and fill evenly with the rice mixture. Top generously with the crumb mixture and drizzle with olive oil; top with the tomato tops. Bake until the rice is cooked through, about 1 hour. Serve warm or chilled. Read more

Arugula Salad with Peaches, Sorghum, Almonds and Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette

by in Healthy Recipes, Vegan, July 17, 2016

This arugula and peach salad is like summer sunshine on a plate! Sweet, juicy peaches are the star of the show. Nutty tasting and fiber-rich whole-grain sorghum, nutrient-packed peppery arugula, and healthy fats from the flavorful Marcona almonds, plus a light drizzle of Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette, round out the cast of simple ingredients in this light, yet satisfying, seasonal salad.

If you’ve cooked the whole-grain sorghum ahead of time, this dish can be assembled in under 10 minutes, which means less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing on the beach — or wherever you like to chill in the summer. The recipe serves one, so treat yourself to a light and healthy summer lunch, or double, triple or quadruple the recipe and invite your best buds over to join you. Read more

Picnic Salads, Lightened Up

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Healthy Recipes, June 29, 2016

Side salads are the opportunity to add lots of veggies, fruits and whole grains to your barbecue fare. However, many traditional side salads are drowning in mayo or oily dressings. Below are quick tricks to lighten up your favorite picnic salads, along with recipes you can try.

Potato Salad

Pick up this classic summer side at your supermarket and each serving may contain more than 300 calories and 20 grams of fat. Many homemade versions call for at least one cup of mayo — with 920 calories and 80 grams per cup. And although potatoes are filled with potassium and other good-for-you nutrients, cooked spuds still contain 65 calories per half-cup.

To lighten:
• Swap out some of the potatoes for nonstarchy veggies like parsnips or cauliflower.
• Bulk up the salad with tomatoes, celery, peas, carrots and bell peppers for a variety of vitamins and nutrients.
• Sub in a flavorful vinaigrette or pesto sauce for some of the mayo.

Recipes to try:
Pesto Potato Salad
Sweet Potato Salad
Quinoa and Purple Potato Salad 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

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