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Strawberry Salsa – and a Tip to Get Less Sugar

Being registered dietitians, personal trainers and weight loss experts, one of our favorite things about the summer months is how the changes that accompany the season contribute to weight loss success. Of course, we all have no choice but to walk around with less clothing on—and that alone helps with the motivation factor…

Strawberry Salsa

But one of the best things about summer and how it aids weight loss is all of the fresh fruits (and veggies) that contribute to our efforts! How? They prevent us from overeating sugar! Sure, they’re low in calories, high in water (for energy) and fiber (so they help to fill us up and prevent overeating) and keep us lean.

But the real key is that fresh fruits are a healthy way to provide the brain with energy so you don’t crave a quick pick-me up (think sugar!) They provide sweet satisfaction for the taste buds and satisfy the body and brain—and when we have our clients include fruit in their meal plans they don’t crave sugar as they once did! It’s awesome and so rewarding! (So this means that any time that you get a sweet tooth craving, first try to conquer it with a piece of your favorite fruit—or in a recipe like this salsa below :).)

One of our favorite fruits is strawberries! So delish, low in calories and packed with phytonutrients, they also are an excellent source of Vitamin C, so they make the perfect sweet treat!

Here are a few more sweet treat recipes that we created which have helped our clients to shed pounds: (They eat them and eat less sugar! Give them a try!)

Strawberry Lime Sherbet

Skinny Homemade Strawberry – Mint “Ice Cream”

Strawberry Banana Breakfast Cookies

Vanilla Pine-ana Strawberry Smoothie

 

So why wait, dig in to these yummy red goodies right now with this simple strawberry salsa!

Strawberry Salsa

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients

2 cups kiwi – peeled and diced

3 cups fresh strawberries, diced

1 tbsp lime juice

1 green onion, chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 pinch salt

 

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Serve over your favorite fish or chicken, as a side dish or with pita chips and Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 97 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 2 g protein

 

Strawberry Salsa
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups kiwi – peeled and diced
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, dice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Serve over your favorite fish or chicken, as a side dish or with pita chips and Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 97 Fat: 1 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 24 g Sugar: 14 g Sodium: 4 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Homemade Strawberry Fro-Yo

As registered dietitians and personal trainers you may think that since we eat a healthy diet, exercise and love veggies that we automatically must just not like sweets. Ha! If only!

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

 The truth is we love chocolate and frozen desserts. In fact, we joke about being single-handedly (or double 😉 ) responsible for putting a frozen yogurt shop out of business when we were in high school and our friend worked at the shop and hooked us up with free frozen yogurt. We practically lived there!

Thankfully, since those days, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and get in the very comfort of our own home! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream , Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream and this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream? Well those just whet our appetite to make more!

And now that it’s officially summer, we’ve whipped up this yummy and healthier choice for dessert and your sweet tooth! It’s lower in fat than ice cream and healthier with low-fat Greek yogurt– and fruit for added sweetness instead of using lots of sugar.

 

Curious what gets weightloss hopefuls into trouble when they go for fro-yo? Toppings and portion sizes. So remember this:

1) If you want a topping, go for fruit OR if you really want a candy topping, get 1 teaspoon on the side. Then dip your fro-yo into that so you can control the portion topping.

2) To control the portion at the make your own yogurt bars, if you have trouble eyeballing the portion, consider filling a portion onto the lid instead and then scooping it into the yogurt container—this will help to keep you portion in check.

We’ve a homemade version for you to try!

 

Homemade Strawberry FroYo

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients

16 oz low-fat plain Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

 

Directions

  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Pour Mixture into ice cream maker or blender and churn or blend until all ingredients are mixed evenly and mixture is smooth. If not using an ice cream maker, place mixture in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer for two to four hours and then serve.
  3. If using an ice cream maker, serve immediately and Enjoy!!

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker and don’t want to wait the 2-4 hours to make this a frozen dessert, you can simply drink the delish smoothie! 🙂

 

Nutrition Facts: 122 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 43 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 12 g protein

 

Homemade Strawberry Fro-Yo
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 16 oz low-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Pour Mixture into ice cream maker or blender and churn or blend until all ingredients are mixed evenly and mixture is smooth. If not using an ice cream maker, place mixture in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer for two to four hours and then serve.
  3. If using an ice cream maker, serve immediately and Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 122 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 19 g Sugar: 14 g Sodium: 43 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 12 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We’re not gonna lie, when we heard today was National Oatmeal Cookie Day (um, could there be a more fun holiday?! We think not—oh unless it’s for peanut butter, chocolate, frozen yogurt…or for a few other of our faves –oy! :)), we couldn’t help but smile. You know we, like you and most of our clients, love a good dessert after dinner every now and then—and we’re all about making one that’s easy, quick, healthy and delicious—and definitely waist-line friendly. After all, what fun would it be if later we had to feel guilty about eating it?

 

But no worries, we were up for the challenge and we promise—your taste buds, waistline and clock will all give this recipe the double thumbs up! We used a few of your favorite quickie ingredients with oats as our inspiration. Remember our 5 Minute Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and our Wild Blueberry Cookies?  So in honor of National Oatmeal Cookie Day, please welcome these yummy chewsters… Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This tastes like an indulgent dessert—so hard to believe we didn’t add any sugar and we used all healthy ingredients. Add some Greek Yogurt and turn this “cookie” into a healthy, satiating breakfast or snack.

Serves: (1 large or 4 smaller cookies)

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons raisins

1 very ripe banana, mashed

1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

3 Tbsp. rolled oats

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp cinnamon (we often add even more as we’re big cinnamon fans)

 

Directions:

  1. Place raisins in a small bowl with water to allow the raisins to plump.
  2. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine banana, almond milk, and peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cinnamon and remove raisins from water and mix them in.
  4. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  5. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  6. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through.*If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.

If making one big cookie, may want to place plate in fridge or freezer to help “congeal” for a minute after cooking.

*If using oven: Place 2-1/2 Tbsp of mixture on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven when cooked completely through.

 

Nutrition Facts: 87 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 2 g protein

 

Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (we often add even more as we’re big cinnamon fans)
Instructions
  1. Place raisins in a small bowl with water to allow the raisins to plump.
  2. If using an oven rather than microwave, preheat to 375°F.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine banana, almond milk, and peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly combined. Stir in cinnamon and remove raisins from water and mix them in.
  4. If using microwave: For one large cookie, simply spread mixture in bowl and microwave on high for 4-1/2 minutes. If you are making four cookies you can spray a plate, 4 small bowls or 4 ramekins. (The ramekins are nice to keep the cookies contained and perfectly round.)
  5. Scoop out about 2-1/2 tablespoons each, and flatten on the plate or in ramekin. Repeat for each ramekin.
  6. Place the four ramekins or the one plate in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the strength of your microwave cooking time may vary. Simply use a toothpick or a fork and poke cookie the whole way through. *If wetness comes off on fork or toothpick, continue to put back in microwave in 30 second increments until cooked.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 87 Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 15 g Sugar: 7 g Sodium: 10 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Skinny Mac & Cheese

If you crave pasta but don’t crave what it does to your waistline, then have no fear, lightened-up comfort food is here! This mac & cheese uses whole wheat pasta to boost nutrients and fiber and skim or low fat milk and cheese to slash calories.  Psst… check out our lightened up variation on the traditional mac ‘n cheese–  our Creamy Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese!

Southern Mac & Cheese

Skinny Mac & Cheese

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients

 

8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups)

1 3/4 cups skim or 1% milk, divided

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup shredded extra-sharp low-fat Cheddar cheese

1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup milk, flour, salt and pepper until mixed thoroughly. Over medium heat, heat the remaining 1-1/2 cup milk in a broiler safe pan. Once simmering, add the flour mixture. Reduce to medium-low heat and constantly whisk for about 1-2 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, cream cheese and vinegar until the cheese is melted. Stir the pasta into the sauce until the pasta is evenly coated.
  3. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler on high.
  4. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, oil and sprinkle over pasta. Broil until browned, approximately 1 -3 minutes.       Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 160 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 329 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 12 g protein

 

Skinny Mac & Cheese
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups)
  • 1¾ cups skim or 1% milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp low-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup milk, flour, salt and pepper until mixed thoroughly. Over medium heat, heat the remaining 1-1/2 cup milk in a broiler safe pan. Once simmering, add the flour mixture. Reduce to medium-low heat and constantly whisk for about 1-2 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, cream cheese and vinegar until the cheese is melted. Stir the pasta into the sauce until the pasta is evenly coated.
  3. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler on high.
  4. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, oil and sprinkle over pasta. Broil until browned, approximately 1 -3 minutes. Enjoy!!.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 160 Fat: 7 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 13 g Sugar: 3 g Sodium: 329 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 12 g Cholesterol: 18 mg

 

Cajun Chicken

As you probably know, we completed our nutrition education in the South (Atlanta for Tammy, North Carolina for Lyssie) and have such a soft spot in our hearts for the land below the Mason Dixon line. 😉 Nothing like a little southern hospitality and charm to make us smile! And we gotta say that we are dying to get to the New Orleans (for so many reasons!) since despite having have spent time living in the South, we never made it there! One reason we’re excited to make that trip is that we love spicy food and we wanna give our tongues a taste of good ole’ New Orleans heat, so we’ve whipped up this delish Cajun Chicken recipe in anticipation of our arrival later this year on vacay! We hope you like it as much as we do! 🙂

And if you’re a fan of Cajun flavors, you may like our Cajun & Kale Popcorn! Or if you’re just looking for more ways to make chicken that’s not humdrum, try our Peruvian Style Chicken , our Rosemary Chicken or our Yogurt Paprika Chicken!

 Cajun Chicken

 

Cajun_chicken_collage_writing

Cajun Chicken

This recipe is delish as it is, but some may want to add the sauce for an extra zing!

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 large lemon

1/2 tbsp hot sauce

1/8 tbsp salt

1 tbsp fresh cracked pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

 

1/4 cup Greek yogurt (optional)

Hot sauce to taste (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to broil. Rinse off the chicken breasts and pat them dry.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients and then rub on chicken breasts evenly on both sides.
  3. Add the hot sauce and the juice of lemon into baking pan and stir together. Set the chicken in the baking pan and flip over to moisten on both sides. Place the pan in the oven and broil for 7 minutes, flip over and broil an additional 7 minutes on the other side.
  4. For sauce, if using: In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt and hot sauce to your desired heat.  Drizzle over chicken.
  5. Serve with a side salad, steamed veggies and a whole grain like a half cup of quinoa! Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 119 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 294 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 20 g protein

Cajun Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large lemon
  • ½ tbsp hot sauce
  • ⅛ tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil. Rinse off the chicken breasts and pat them dry.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients and then rub on chicken breasts evenly on both sides..
  3. Add the hot sauce and the juice of lemon into baking pan and stir together. Set the chicken in the baking pan and flip over to moisten on both sides. Place the pan in the oven and broil for 7 minutes, flip over and broil an additional 7 minutes on the other side.
  4. In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt and hot sauce to your desired heat. Drizzle over chicken.
  5. Serve with a side salad, steamed veggies and a whole grain like a half cup of quinoa! Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 119 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 6 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 294 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 20 g Cholesterol: 49 mg

 

Yogurt Paprika Chicken

By now you probably know that we love flavorful food that tantalizes our taste buds, but also is healthy and packed with nutrients.  And our clients always tell us that they are fans of chicken but that they get tired of plain ‘ole grilled chicken.  That’s why we created these lil’ numbers like our Cajun Chicken, Peruvian Style Chicken, our Rosemary Chicken and our Balsamic Glazed Chicken Salad with Raspberry Chia Vinaigrette. And now this delight! 😉  Dig in and let us know what ya think!  We hope you love it like we do!

Yogurt_Paprika_Chicken_collage_writing-1

This week we’re bringing back our Culinary Corner….Hello, paprika!

Paprika is a sweet red pepper that gets its’ deep red color from carotenoids. So it’s a powerhouse when it comes to eye health thanks to its’ lutein and zeaxanthin which prevents the suns’ harmful rays from damaging your eyes. Packed with vitamin A it also helps with night vision. Plus, it’s a good source of iron and vitamin E. Vitamin E is a superstar when it comes to mopping up damaging free radicals from our bodies.

So if you want to get a little paprika in your life, try this delicious chicken!

 

Yogurt-Paprika Chicken

Yogurt Paprika Chicken

SERVES: 4

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately one lemon)

Salt to taste

2 pounds skinless chicken breasts  (note: you can use thighs and drumsticks as pictured, but the dish will be higher in calories and saturated fat)

2 lemons (for drizzling over cooked chicken)

 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix yogurt, ginger, paprika, cumin, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Toss chicken breasts in spice mixture coating all sides evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Take chicken out of refrigerator and place in a roasting pan. Scoop out remaining yogurt mixture from bowl and cover tops of chicken (this helps to give the chicken extra flavor and keep it extra moist during cooking). Roast chicken for about 30 minutes, until chicken is completely cooked through and is no longer pink.
  3. Finish cooking chicken 6 inches under broiler until outside begins to darken, about 3-5 minutes. Slice lemons and serve at side of chicken to be squeezed over it.

 

NUTRITION FACTS: Chicken Breasts: 58 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 6 g protein

Thighs and Drumsticks: 84 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 17 mg cholesterol, 34 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 10 g protein

Yogurt Paprika Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately one lemon)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (note: you can use thighs and drumsticks as pictured, but the dish will be higher in calories and saturated fat)
  • 2 lemons (for drizzling over cooked chicken)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix yogurt, ginger, paprika, cumin, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Toss chicken breasts in spice mixture coating all sides evenly., Cover and place in refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Take chicken out of refrigerator and place in a roasting pan. Scoop out remaining yogurt mixture from bowl and cover tops of chicken (this helps to give the chicken extra flavor and keep it extra moist during cooking. Roast chicken for about 30 minutes, until chicken is completely cooked through and is no longer pink.
  3. Finish cooking chicken 6 inches under broiler until outside begins to darken, about 3-5 minutes. Slice lemons and serve at side of chicken to be squeezed over it.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 58 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 6 g Sugar: 0 g Sodium: 50 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 6 g Cholesterol: 3 mg