Category Archives: Healthy

Filling Low-Calorie Cabbage Soup

When reading about cabbage soup, people claim anything from an age-old folk remedy for curing the common cold, to burning fat.  I don’t know if these stories are true, but hey if it tastes good and has the possibility of keeping me slim or getting rid of a stuffy nose, what do I have to loose?  I do know that it is a very low calorie, filling soup.  I like to eat it for dinner, because I feel full and satisfied without worrying about going to bed with my stomach having to digest a heavy meal. 

Most people think being a good cook is complicated, but when it comes to soup recipes, there is nothing more simple.  This is a very easy recipe for cabbage soup.  And soup recipes are so flexible when it comes to their ingredients.  You may add vegetables you have on hand in the refrigerator, or delete ingredients you don’t like in a recipe, without effecting the taste.  So go ahead and awaken your inner cook and let her run.   Soup is a good place to start experimenting.  Happy Souping!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (32 ounce) containers of chicken broth
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In large stockpot heat olive oil over medium heat.  Stir in onion and garlic.  Saute until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add chicken broth to stockpot and bring to boil.  Stir in cabbage and simmer until cabbage wilts, approximately 8 minutes.

3.  Add in diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper (if desired).  Return to boil and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.

Easy Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

In the spirit of fall, I wanted to continue with a pumpkin theme.  I was so excited about my prior blog on Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites, I wanted to make another pumpkin breakfast treat.  Well, inspired from a pumpkin bread recipe I found hiding in my mass of recipe books, I decided to convert it into a healthy muffin recipe.  This is my version of a lower fat pumpkin muffin.  I used extra pumpkin puree and applesauce, instead of oil, and whole wheat flour for added nutrition.  They tasted wonderful, with a soft, spice filled center.  Also, these muffins were a cinch to make.  Minimal mixing, chopping, or prep required.  One muffin pan, two mixing bowls and a whisk is all you will need.  You don’t even need a mixer, your own hand will do the trick.  An example that delicious muffins don’t have to be unhealthy or difficult to make.  So, go ahead enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/8 cup quick oats to sprinkle on muffin tops if desired

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Soak measured raisins in hot water for 10 minutes to plump, then drain.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.  Whisk together until combined.

3.  In a separate bowl mix eggs, pumpkin and applesauce until smooth.

4.  Add pumpkin mixture to the bowl with dry ingredients.  Stir thoroughly until batter is smooth.  Fold in raisins and walnuts.


5.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes  or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.

 

6.  Allow to cool on wire rack.  

Happy Fall and Pumpkin Muffin Eating!!! 

Cauliflower Poppers

I am usually a fan of vegetables in their raw form, but this recipe for cauliflower poppers could change my mind.  These could be used as a side dish or a delicious guilt-free snack, combining great texture and spice.  Cauliflower is my favorite  go to low-carb alternative.  I use cauliflower for making healthy mashed potatoes and now these poppers could be a substitute for chips or fries at any gathering.   I made this as a side dish for a football Sunday BBQ.  Nothing beats a beautiful Colorado afternoon (Go Broncos!), the air filled with the smell of ribs grilling on the BBQ.  As, I ate the messy ribs, licking my fingers clean, the cauliflower was a perfect fit.  This meal needed no spoons or forks, it was a full on finger food extravaganza.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized head uncooked cauliflower
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Wash cauliflower and cut florets into bite-sized pieces.  Place in medium sized bowl.

3.  Place cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and black pepper in small bowl.  Mix well.

4.  Sprinkle spice mix onto cauliflower.  Toss well to coat.

5.  Spread cauliflower onto prepared cookie sheet in single layer.
6.  Bake cauliflower for 10-12 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached.   Stir mixture halfway through cooking time.

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

Tis the season for pumpkin.   I was inspired to make this recipe when on the search for a quick healthy post workout snack.   They remind me of some of my favorite energy bars, but a smaller version.  I like the concept of the bites, so when you need a quick energy boost you can just pop one in your mouth and your not committed to eating an entire bar.  They are very easy to make, packed with protein and super delicious.  You can also easily adapt this recipe by adding different ingredients to cater to your own taste.  Try adding chocolate chips,
chia seeds or cinnamon chips.  Cheers, here’s to fall.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

1.  Combine dates, agave nectar, pumpkin puree, flax seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until thoroughly combined.

2.  Placed date mixture into large mixing bowl.  Stir in oats, coconut, and pepitas until combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3.  After an hour, use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape mixture into desired size for energy bites.  I made mine about 1″ in diameter.

**Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Storing them in the refrigerator helps the bites to keep their shape.

Adapted from: gimmesomeoven

Zucchini Linguine

So, as summer is coming to a close and fall is around the corner, I thought I would give you one more summer vegetable recipe.  Because after this, it tis the season for pumpkin and spice.  Fall, a beautiful time of year, crisp morning air, the changing of the leaves and everything pumpkin.  Ah.. I can smell the nutmeg in the air.  Okay, okay sorry for the tangent, I’ll get back to the recipe.  I love pasta, but hate how I feel guilty afterwards.  Usually, they are filled with heavy meats and cream sauces, like alfredo.  This recipe however; is a wonderful blend of linguine and fresh vegetables, using a small amount of cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt to get you a light tasty sauce.  Plus, using shredded zucchini in the mixture gives you more volume in the pasta without using as much actual pasta.  Voila, a yummy, not so bad for you pasta dish.  Enjoy and start getting excited for fall recipes, soups and more.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 zucchini cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 yellow squash cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:

1.  Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions.  Keep pasta al dente, drain and set aside.

2.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Saute garlic in skillet until starts to turn slightly brown 1-2 minutes.  Stir in grated zucchini, saute for another 2 minutes.

3.  Add rest of zucchini and yellow squash.  Cook for another 4 minutes. Then remove from heat.
4.  Add cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and basil to zucchini/squash mixture.  Mix well.
5.  Add pasta to skillet with zucchini mixture and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add red pepper flakes if desired.  Mix well and serve.

To mix this recipe up a bit, you could always use whole wheat past, spaghetti noodles or different vegetables, like tomato.  Give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed.  Let me know what combinations you tried and worked well.

Avocado and Cilantro Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t love a good deviled egg?  But after realizing a typical deviled egg is packed with not so thigh slimming saturated fat, you begin to think, “are they really worth it?”  Well, discover this recipe for avocado, cilantro deviled eggs.  I know looking at the picture your thinking, a little Dr. Seuss is in store, maybe green eggs and ham?   Nevertheless,  these green eggs are delicious.

This recipe contains no mayonnaise;  therefore eliminating the “bad” fat part of the recipe.  Considering the health benefits of avocados, including vitamins and monounsaturated fats (decreased cholesterol, lower risk for heart disease and decreased risk of breast cancer) using them in this recipe makes this a healthy protein rich side dish.  Plus, it is always good to give a new twist on an old recipe.

Also, on a side note, because of the natural browning process of avocados, I suggest making them up right before serving or taking them to a party.  However; if your not afraid of a brown deviled egg, feel free to eat them as leftovers, I did.  They still tasted just as good.  If your wondering how to make easy hard boiled eggs here is how I make them  How to: Hard-Boil an Egg.

Yield:  12 deviled eggs

Ingredients:
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • A few dashes of Cholula sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • extra cilantro for garnish


Directions
:

1.  Cut eggs in half lengthwise.  Carefully scoop out yolks and put into medium mixing bowl.  Place remaining egg white halves on plate and put into fridge.

2.  Cut avocado in half and remove pit.  Scoop out flesh of avocado from both halves and place in bowl with egg yolks.  Using a fork mash egg yolks and avocado until creamy.

3.  Add onion, cilantro, lime juice, Cholula, salt and desired pepper to avocado mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

4.  Retrieve eggs halves from the fridge.  Using small spoon, scoop avocado, yolk mixture into egg halves.  Garnish with an extra cilantro leaf if desired.

5.  Serve immediately, before avocado begins to brown.

Adapted from: Rookie Cookie

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

Tis the season for pumpkin.   I was inspired to make this recipe when on the search for a quick healthy post workout snack.   They remind me of some of my favorite energy bars, but a smaller version.  I like the concept of the bites, so when you need a quick energy boost you can just pop one in your mouth and your not committed to eating an entire bar.  They are very easy to make, packed with protein and super delicious.  You can also easily adapt this recipe by adding different ingredients to cater to your own taste.  Try adding chocolate chips, chia seeds or cinnamon chips.  Cheers, here’s to fall.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

Directions:

1.  Combine dates, agave nectar, pumpkin puree, flax seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until thoroughly combined.

2.  Placed date mixture into large mixing bowl.  Stir in oats, coconut, and pepitas until combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3.  After an hour, use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape mixture into desired size for energy bites.  I made mine about 1″ in diameter.

**Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Storing them in the refrigerator helps the bites to keep their shape.

 Adapted from: gimmesomeoven
 

Blueberry Chobani Muffin For One


With all the rage of Greek yogurt right now,  it’s no wonder I came a across a muffin recipe including this delicious stuff.  This recipe makes enough for just one muffin,  so there’s no risk of having a dozen muffins sitting around tempting you to eat, “just one more.”  Another perk of this recipe, using chia seeds adds healthy Omega-3 oils and being that they are a complete protein, when added to the  nutritional benefit of Greek yogurt, you have a low fat, high protein muffin.  Awesome!  It is finally okay to eat muffins again.   You should know this is a dense protein rich muffin and is filling enough to use as a meal.   I actually had this muffin with a banana for breakfast and felt satisfied for hours.  Try it out, get creative using different types of Greek yogurt and make your own special muffin.

Yield: 1 muffin

  • 4 Tbsp Chobani Blueberry nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp liquid egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of stevia
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  (Batter will be very thick).
  3. Place cupcake liner into muffin pan.  Pour batter into cupcake liner.
  4. Place tin into preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick poked into center of muffin comes out clean.
  5. Allow muffin to cool for 5 minutes.  Eat warm out of the oven or save for later 

Adapted from:  RFFMBT

Veggie Toast

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We are in the thick of the intense horrible summer heat here in Phoenix.  Temperatures hitting 110° are becoming an everyday occurrence.  So, in an attempt to come up with something cool to eat for dinner where baking wouldn’t be involved, here is my creation.  This veggie toast is a mixture of fresh vegetables, cheeses and delicious bread.   The fun thing about this recipe is you can add almost any vegetable to the mixture and it would be wonderful.   So, here is a starting place for a recipe and get creative, adding your own veggies and twists.  I would love to hear back from you if you came up with a great addition to this recipe.  I did serve this with a bowl of tomato soup, to make it more filling.  It was a perfect combination for that simple summer dinner.  Enjoy.

Yield:  2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices fresh multi grain bread
  • 4 thin asparagus spears
  • low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tomato thinly sliced
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shelled edamame (I used                           pre-shelled organic frozen ones)
  • 1 small avocado thinly sliced
  • shaved Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup baby arugula
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Directions:

1.  Lightly toast multi grain bread and set aside to
completely cool.

2.  Cut asparagus tips off about 2 inches from the top.  Cook asparagus tips in boiling water for 1 minute and then place in an bowl of ice water  for exactly 2 minutes.  Remove from ice water and place on paper towel to dry.
3.  Spread desired amount of ricotta cheese onto each piece of toasted bread.
4.  Place 2 tomato slices, 3 slices of radish, 1 tablespoon edemame and 1 slice of avocado onto each piece of bread.  Sprinkle each piece with a generous grinding of pepper.

5.  Slice asparagus tips lengthwise and place onto bread, dividing evenly.  Place desired amount of shaved Parmesan onto each slice and top w/half of arugula.

6.  Lastly, drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar onto each serving. 

Almost Guiltless Zucchini Bread

When thinking about what I wanted to make for my blog today, I was craving something in the bread group.  I decided on zucchini bread, after all it’s combining bread with vegetables.  It has to be better for you than say, sugar cookies, right?  Does that mean carrot cake may also be good for you?  Hmmm…I’ll have to ponder that one.  After looking through a few recipes I came up with a hybrid that I think works well, when wanting to make this classic recipe less fattening.  So, I used whole wheat flour, some egg whites, more spices and a bit less nuts in attempts to make this a bit healthier.  Also, this bread has to be one of the easiest recipes, literally you combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ones in another, then mix them together and cook in loaf pans.  Super easy and super good.  Hope everyone enjoys this one.  I know I did, 2 pieces later.  Oops!  I think when I said “healthier”, I didn’t mean MORE!  Oh, well.

Yields: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups 100% stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup egg whites or egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (approx 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (approx 3 small/med sized zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350° and spray 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, set aside.

Spoon flour into measuring cup, leveling with a knife.  Place flour into medium mixing bowl.  Next add baking powder,  cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.  Mix well with spatula and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine egg whites, canola oil, lemon zest, vanilla, egg and sugar.  Mix well.  Then add zucchini and stir mixture until combined. 
Add flour mixture into egg mixture and mix until JUST combined, then lightly stir in walnuts.
Divide combined batter between the 2 loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean.  Keeping bread in pans, allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

 *If using larger loaf pans, make sure to cut down on your baking time, so as not to dry out your bread.