Saturday, March 28, 2009

Morning breakfast wrap

Rise and shine with this quick, sweet and tasty wrap that is filled with the goodness of fruit, fiber and protein.

1 whole wheat tortilla (lower carb, high fiber variety recommended)
1/4 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ banana cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 tablespoon chopped nuts

In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Spread on the tortilla and top with banana slices. Sprinkle with nuts, roll up and enjoy!

Makes 1 serving
Serving size: 1 wrap Calories 220 Protein 34 g Carb 34 g Sugar 18 g Fiber 10 g Fat 6.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 245 mg


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Corn Soup

This mild, velvety soup has both sweet and savory flavors and can be whipped up in a flash.


4 cups sliced mushrooms
Two 14 ounce cans cream style corn
one 14 ounce can chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup chopped green onion.
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (or ground ginger)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic or 1-2 cloves chopped
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)


Spray a medium sized pot with ICB or olive oil sprayer (if neither are available use a teaspoon of olive oil) and add mushroom, green onion, crushed garlic and ginger. Sauté until slightly soft- about 5-7 minutes. Add the broth and creamed corn and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes until hot.


If you re watching sodium you can use low sodium broth

Makes 6 cups, six servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 140 protein 3 g Carb 31 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 8 g Fat 2 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 690 mg


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Snappy Stuffed Peppers

I put a healthy twist on an old family favorite when developing this recipe- these peppers are chock full of veggies, spices and lean protein, making them considerably lower in fat and high in fiber with plenty of flavor. Use multicolored peppers for a colorful display.

4 bell peppers (green, red, yellow or orange)
½ pound ground turkey
¾ cup white onion chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
7 ounces (1/2 a can) of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed garlic or 2 cloves chopped
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen, thawed)
½ cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)
½ cup shredded low fat shredded cheese (optional, for topping *use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joe's if you are on a gluten-free diet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops of the peppers off, hollow out, removing seeds and set aside.

Cook the peppers until just before soft, such that they are still firm/keep their shape. This can be done by either placing them in a pot of boiling water or microwaving them in a 4 quart pyrex dish filled with a half inch of water for four minutes. Drain and set cooked peppers aside.

Spray a medium sized pan with ICB or olive oil sprayer (if neither are available use a teaspoon of olive oil), add the turkey meat and brown for a five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, paprika and cumin, mix well and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5- 8 minutes. Once the mixture is mostly cooked and the turkey is well browned, fold in the corn, rice, salt and cilantro and cook for another minute or two.

Divide and add the mixture to the four cooked peppers and place them in a baking dish (I used the 4 quart pyrex). Cover the dish with the lid or aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake for another few minutes, until slightly melted.


Not a ground turkey fan? You can use lean ground beef instead.

If you want to make the dish vegetarian replace the meat with black, pinto or kidney beans, or textured soy protein crumbles

Other vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, shredded carrots can be added in place of mushrooms

Watching carbs? Leave out the rice and corn and add more veggies and you can cut the carbs in half.

If you are watching sodium omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt and use low sodium canned tomatoes

Makes 4 stuffed peppers, four servings

Serving size: 1 stuffed pepper

Calories 220 Protein 16 g Carb 28 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 8 g Fat 6 g saturated fat 1.5 g Sodium 280 mg


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eggplant Bruschetta

This bruschetta makes a great appetizer or is a nice healthy accompaniment to a meal. It is at least one serving of vegetables and is high in fiber yet is super low in calories, fat and sodium.


1 eggplant, cut vertically into ¼ inch slices (about 8 rounds)
1 ½ cups chopped tomato
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon crushed garlic or ½-1 clove chopped
(optional garnishes: a few sprinkles of pine nuts, goat cheese or parmesan cheese, as well as salt to taste, *use a gluten-free cheese brand such as Trader Joe's if you are on a gluten-free diet)


Grill the eggplant either on the barbeque or on a nonstick pan on high heat, warming the sliced rounds about 5-7 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, mix the chopped tomato, basil, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Once the eggplant is done, let cool for 5-10 minutes, pat dry any moisture and top with the tomato mixture, dividing it between the 8 grilled slices. Eat immediately at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to serve chilled.


To decrease the fat, skip the oil and substitute 1 tablespoon of balsamic or rice vinegar

If eggplant is not your thing, you can use grilled zucchini or yellow squash sliced lengthwise instead.

Makes eight servings

Serving size: 1 round Calories 35 Protein 1 g Carb 5 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 2 g Fat 1.5 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 0 mg

With vinegar instead of oil:
Serving size: 1 round Calories 25 Protein 1 g Carb 6 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 3 g Fat 0 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 0 mg


Saturday, March 14, 2009

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Post # 3


BAD(ish) –Plain English Muffin

Although they are reasonable in terms of calories, most ranging varieties ranging from 130-150, they are made from refined, white flour which is devoid of whole grains and fiber, with the majority having 0-2 grams fiber at most. They are like the iceberg lettuce of English muffins.

BETTER- Whole Grain English Muffin

For the same amount of calories as plain English muffin, these have the goodness of whole grains which contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed-these parts are the bran, germ and the endosperm. In contrast to refined grains that are processed or “broken down”, leaving the whole grain intact means it has more fiber, protein, minerals (like magnesium, and selenium) as well as vitamins (like Vitamin E, B6 and niacin). Most whole grain English muffins are good sources of fiber with 3-6 grams each, depending on the variety. (A few have a only 2 grams, so try to choose a brand that has at least 3, which is not hard to find!). Whole grain English muffins tend to be a bit higher in protein as well, averaging 6 grams or more vs. 2-5 grams in plain English muffins. Some brands even make whole grain varieties with flavors such as cinnamon raisin. For a sweet treat, try them in my Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding recipe.

BEST- Low Calorie/Light, Extra Fiber English Muffins

For only 100-110 calories, these have plenty of whole grains, are loaded with fiber at 8 grams per serving and most have a fair amount of protein as well, ranging from 4-8 grams depending on the brand. These also have the goodness of whole grains discussed above, that have plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals for energy all of which are protective against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Not to mention these are great for weight control because the calories are low but the fiber helps to fill you up. Use them in place of bagels, to cut calories, for sandwiches/mini pizzas, top them with egg whites/egg substitute and low fat cheese for a healthy Mc Muffin or try my Apple Cinnamon Whole Grain Bread Pudding recipe for a great, low calorie dessert.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

White Bean and Artichoke Spread

A mild and creamy spread, this is great for dipping veggies and pita chips in or used in sandwiches and wraps. It’s packed with fiber and protein yet has not an ounce of fat.

One 14 ounce can of white kidney beans, rinsed well
6 tablespoons of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural if you are on a gluten-free diet)
2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup chopped cooked artichokes (precooked canned/in the jar work best, rinse well, about 4 hearts will do)
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic or 1 clove diced
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Add half the rinsed beans and 3 tablespoons broth to a blender and blend for 1 minute, then add the rest of beans and the other 3 tablespoons of broth to the blender and blend for another minute. Put the rest of the ingredients- Greek yogurt, artichokes, garlic and salt in and blend for another few minutes until a smooth thick mixture is reached.

Makes 1+ 2/3 cups, six servings

Serving size 1/3 cup Calories 97 Protein 7 g Carb 17 g Sugar 1 g fiber 7g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 230 mg


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Curried Carrot Soup

This is a simple soup with few ingredients yet its taste is by no means ordinary. I’ve had people that don’t even like carrots try it and rave about it. It’s makes a nice beginning to an ethnic themed meal- try it with the Quick Spiced Indian Lentils and Vegetables Recipe.


7 cups washed, peeled and sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped white onion
Two 14 ounce cans of chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1/2 cup light coconut milk (I get mine at Trader Joes)
2 teaspoons curry
ICB spray or olive oil using olive oil sprayer (if both n/a use a teaspoon of olive oil)
dash of salt and pepper, nonfat yogurt/sour cream (optional)


Put the carrots in a large Pyrex dish filled with and inch of water and steam in the microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until very tender. If you don’t have a Pyrex, other options are to boil them in a pot, or even better, try using two Glad® Simply Cooking™ Microwave Steaming Bags, 3.5 cups of carrots in each bag, no water, microwaving on high for 4 minutes each bag. If you are boiling or steaming the carrots in water, drain the liquid after cooking.

While the carrots are steaming, place the onions in a small pan sprayed with ICB or olive oil sprayer (or drizzle with a teaspoon of oil) and sauté on high heat until just before browned. Place the cooked carrots and onions in a large pot and pour in the two cans of broth. Add the two teaspoons of curry powder and heat until just before boiling (5 minutes or so). Remove from heat and carefully transfer the soup into a blender. If you have a smaller blender only add one fourth to half of the mixture at a time (you can put the other half in the dish until ready to blend).

A note about blending hot liquids: in order to be safe, it is recommended when you blend hot liquids that you never fill the jar more than half full, that you put the lid on and then cover it with a dry towel and hold it down by hand. Or instead, cover with the top, but leave out the center plastic covering, place a kitchen towel on top which will allow air to escape more gently Also, use as slow a speed as possible. NEVER blend hot liquids fully covered and at high-initial're just inviting burns as the hot liquid quickly blends, heats up the air above it, and causes an explosion through the blender top

Blend on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until a smooth consistency is reached. Put the blended mixture back in the saucepan, add the coconut milk and warm on low heat stirring frequently (to prevent the thick soup from spattering) for about 5-10 minutes.


To reduce sodium content, use low sodium chicken broth

Makes 7 cups, seven servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 73 Protein 1.7 g Carbs 13.6 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 6 g Fat 1.7g Sat 1 g
Sodium 383 mg


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ridiculously Easy Bread Puddings: Part 2

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding

This second recipe is also a nice way to use up extra English muffins and makes a nice comforting warm dessert a cool winter night. Serve with a dollop of light whipped cream or a spoonful of vanilla frozen yogurt for a real treat!


4 cinnamon raisin English muffins (such as Oroweat), cut into ½ inch cubes (about 4.5 cups)
1 ¾ cups skim milk
¼ cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters®)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup pecan bits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray and put in the English muffins. In a separate bowl whisk the milk, egg substitute, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon all together and pour over the bread cubes. Use a spatula to pat down the bread cubes a bit to make sure they are well covered with the liquid and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes for it to be well absorbed. Then place the dish in the oven and bake for 25- 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes eight servings

Serving size: 1/8 of the dish Calories 134 Protein 4 g Carb 22 g Fiber 2.2 g Sugars 10 g Fat 3 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 129 mg


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