Healthy Snacks


I want to talk about snacks and give you some low-calorie options for when hunger strikes in-between meals. It’s a good idea to have a snack to keep your metabolism going and the ones listed here, are only about 150 calories each! So, whether you’re watching your weight or just need a little something to hold you over ’til lunch or dinner, these are all guilt-free and pretty tasty.

  • 1 oz. healthy nuts (47 pistachios or 24 almonds or peanuts)
  • 2 whole-grain crackers with 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup baby carrots with 1/2 cup hummus
  • 6 oz. nonfat yogurt with 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups popcorn (popped in 2 tsp canola oil)
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple with 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fresh fruit with 1 part-skim string cheese
  • 1 cup whole-grain cereal (such as Cheerios) with 1/2 cup skim or 1% milk & 1/2 cup slice strawberries
  • English muffin pizza: 1/2 whole-grain English muffin with 1 tbsp tomato sauce & 1/2 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese (add green pepper and onion slices on top if you’d like)
  • 1 apple with 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal with sliced almonds (about 5) and 1/2 cup skim or 1% milk
  • 1 oz. low-fat cheese with 3 whole-wheat crackers
  • 1/2 small whole-wheat tortilla with 2 slices turkey (or tofurkey), 1 slice tomato and 1 small slice avocado
  • 12 whole-grain corn chips and 1/2 cup salsa
  • Fruit smoothie: 1 cup skim or 1% milk blended with 3/4 cup berries

Nectarines Poached in Lavender-Honey Syrup


Are you aware of the difference between nectarines and peaches? If not, here’s a little intel on them: Nectarines can be used in the same way as peaches, and may be considered as substitutes for peaches. The only difference between peaches and nectarines is the lack of fuzz on the nectarine skin. Nectarines tend to be smaller and more aromatic than peaches and have more red color on the fruit surface. Fresh peaches provide respectable amounts of the antioxidant vitamins A and C, in addition to potassium and fiber. Nectarines provide twice the vitamin A, slightly more vitamin C, and much more potassium than peaches.

With that being said, this dessert is amazingly tasty and one you should try!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp dried lavender buds
  • 6 nectarines, halved & pitted (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 6 cups vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt
  • Fresh lavender sprigs (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Stir in lavender buds.
  3. Add nectarines. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until nectarines are just tender (do not overcook).
  4. Remove nectarines from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid in pan. Bring liquid to a boil, and cook until reduced to 3 cups (about 10 minutes). Cool slightly.
  5. Serve syrup with nectarines and yogurt.
  6. Garnish with fresh lavender, if desired.
Source: Cooking Light

Banana French Toast


If you like bananas, then you’ll love this recipe that’s just a slight variation from the traditional French Toast, as it contains bananas and cream in the batter.

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of bread (I prefer whole grain or wheat)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs (or 1 egg, 1 egg white)
  • 1/8 cup whipping cream (or milk)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Put eggs, 1/2 banana, cream and a dash of cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix using hand mixer (or blender) until smooth.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium-low with cooking spray.
  4. Soak each piece of bread in egg mixture just long enough to make sure it’s saturated.
  5. Transfer to skillet and cook until lightly browned on each side.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with other 1/2 banana, cut into slices, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and syrup.

Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa


A fresh fruit salsa is a lovely accompaniment to grilled fish in the summer; try it also with striped bass or arctic char. The season’s juiciest peaches pair with fiery habanero pepper for a sweet-spicy flavor. Leave the peaches unpeeled for more color and texture.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

Salsa

  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped, peeled yellow peaches (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 cup thinly slice green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Fish

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 (6 oz) skinless halibut filets
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. To prepare salsa, combine first 9 ingredients; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  3. To prepare fish, combine 2 tbsp juice, oil, paprika and 2 minced garlic cloves in a large shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk, Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  4. Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each or until desired degree of doneness.
  5. Serve fish with salsa.

Crazy For Cranberries


Here’s a simply amazing recipe for cranberry sauce that you can whip up in no time for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup white, 1/2 cup brown)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 cups cranberries (1 12 oz pkg)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring water, orange juice and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Add cranberries and return to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
  4. Add spices and stir well.
  5. Remove from heat and cool completely at room temperature.
  6.  Chill in the refrigerator. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Simply Sorbet


So, do you all know the difference between sorbet and sherbet? Sherbet contains milk or another fat, making it similar to ice cream. With that being said, obviously sorbet is great for people who are lactose-intolerant. And with just a small number of ingredients, it is truly a breeze to make.  My recipe below is for strawberry sorbet, but feel free to use your favorite fruit instead.

Recipe courtesty of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar (you can use less if you like)
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)

Directions

  1. Stir water and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over high heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Boil 5 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree strawberries in food processor or blender until smooth.
  4. Add strawberry puree and orange & lemon juices to sugar syrup, stir to blend.
  5.  Cover and freeze in an airtight container(s).

To soften sorbet, place in fridge for 15 minutes.

Taking this to a higher level of dessert awesomeness, you can use your sorbet to make a pie. Here’s how: spread slightly softened sorbet into a cookie-crumb or graham cracker crust, then freeze until firm. Top with a thin layer of whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or add some fresh berries.