Smoothie Season

With this insanely nice weather, I’ve been craving ice cream and cold treats. However, ice cream can be loaded with added sugar and fat and is not a low-calorie snack. Instead, I’ve been making my own smoothies every morning with plain, 0% fat, Greek yogurt and fresh and frozen fruit. Not only this is a super-quick (it literally takes less than 3 minutes to prepare!) breakfast or snack, but it’s great on-the-go in a thermos. Also, this is an ideal breakfast to make the night before – just store in a covered glass in the fridge and give it a stir in the morning. After making these smoothies, you won’t even be thinking about ice cream, anymore!

Berry Yummy Smoothie

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage – it tastes creamier than many others)

1/2 C frozen berries (I like to use a frozen berry medley of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender (I am in love with my Magic Bullet – perfect for whipping up smoothies quickly and such little clean up!). Pulse until finely chopped. This creates more liquid so that the smoothie blends well.

2. Add yogurt, berries and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 96 calories, Fat 0 g fat, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 35 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 110 mg

Ready to blend!

Ready to blend!

Gone Bananas For Mango Smoothie

Ingredients (serves 1):IMG_0954

3 oz. 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt

1/2 C frozen mango chunks

1 small banana (or cut a large banana in half and save the other half in the fridge)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender and pulse until finely chopped.

2. Add yogurt, mango, banana (in small chunks – I usually break my banana into quarters) and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 204 calories, Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 44 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 94 mg

Interested in other smoothie ideas?

Instead of the banana in the mango smoothie (above), I’ve used 1/4 C fresh pineapple chunks – and it tastes amazing! Other fun  smoothie ideas? strawberry kiwi, banana berry, or, for a more filling option, banana-peanut butter! I’ll post some other great smoothie recipes as the warm weather continues and feel free to post your favorites!

 

 

 

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Simply Baked Salmon

Simply Baked Salmon

As the weather gets warmer, I love buying fresh fish and making it myself. Fish is a light alternative to other animal proteins and offers a ton of nutrients for relatively few calories. Specifically, salmon offers up a hearty serving of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. This simple salmon dish is easy to make and great for beginners. Also, it’s super healthy and serves up a delicious plate of nutrients that you can feel good about eating!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

6 oz salmon fillet (*Note: Try to find wild salmon if you can!)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

dash cayenne pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray and place salmon fillet in dish.

2. Drizzle olive oil over salmon. Add lemon juice and spices. If needed, take a knife to gently rub spices and marinade over salmon evenly.

3. Bake salmon in oven for 20-25 minutes, until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish should flake easily with a fork. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 398 calories, Total Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 107 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 259 mg, Calcium 28 mg

I ate my baked salmon with quinoa and mixed veggies!

I ate my baked salmon with quinoa and mixed veggies!

 

A Different Way To Relax – Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad 

Kale has a ton of nutrients, including vitamins E, K, A and C. However, when eaten raw, it can be bitter and the nutrients are less available for your body due its tough cell walls. When eating raw kale, it is always best to “massage” the kale with an acidic marinade, which begins the breakdown process and also counteracts its bitter flavor. For this kale salad, I massaged the kale with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and added avocado, tomato, cucumber and some salt and pepper. Simple, presentable and delicious!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

4 C raw kale, chopped (*Note: remove large stem from middle)

1/2 avocado

1 C cucumbers, sliced

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

juice from 1 fresh lemon

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash salt (to taste)

dash ground black pepper (to taste)

kale - ready to be "massaged"!

kale – ready to be “massaged”!

Directions:

1. Wash kale and pat dry. Add kale to large bowl.

2. Squeeze lemon juice directly over kale (watch out for seeds!) and add olive oil. Gently massage kale with dressing for 2-3 minutes, until kale begins to wilt and turns dark green. Kale should be soft when finished.

3. Slice avocado into small cubes. Add avocado, tomatoes and cucumber slices to salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 228 calories, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 23 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 142 mg, Calcium 200 mg

Guilt-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, you just want a cookie. My favorite kind is peanut butter, but I prefer to bake my own, since I know this treat can actually be surprisingly guilt-free if made the right way. Using natural peanut butter and only a handful of ingredients, these cookies take no time to bake and are actually made with ingredients you can feel good about eating (minus the sugar – but they’re still cookies)! Who says you can’t have your cookie and eat it, too?!

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Ingredients (yield 20 cookies)

1 C natural peanut butter (*best when refrigerated – make sure it is stirred so all of the oil is not sitting at the top)

1 C sugarIMG_0902

1 lage egg, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 C semisweet chocolate morsels

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now give it a stir!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract to a medium-sized bowl. Stir well until all ingredients are combined. The batter should be mouse-like.

3. Fold the semisweet chocolate morsels into the batter.

4. Spray baking sheet (or tin foil) with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray.

5. Take small spoonfuls of batter and roll each spoonful into a ball before placing on baking sheet. Balls should be approximately 1 inch in diameter. Leave approximately 1-2 inches between balls on baking sheet.

6. Flatten each ball into a small circle with a fork – I like to make a decorative pattern with mine by either leaving the lines from the fork tongs or criss-crossing them back and forth (as shown).

7. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet, as these cookies fall apart easily if handled too much while warm. Enjoy!

Almost done!

Almost done!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 

*1 serving is 1 cookie

Calories 140 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 9 mg, Carbohydrates 14 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 46 mg, Calcium 2 mg

Ready to bake in the oven - just a few minutes until peanut butter-y goodness!

Ready to bake in the oven – just a few minutes until peanut butter-y goodness!

 

 

Baked Halibut with Pineapple Salsa

Baked Halibut with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa will spice up any plain fish dish – and add a hearty serving of fruits and veggies! This fresh, homemade salsa offers lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, along with the heat of a jalapeno pepper and the sweetness of pineapple. Although I used halibut in this recipe, any white fish will do. I’ve made this before using sea bass and prefer the less oily texture of the halibut with the salsa. My main suggestion? Try to opt for a wild-caught fish!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

12 oz wild-caught Halibut (or any other white fish of your choice), divided into two, 6-oz portions

1 tsp olive oil

4 roma tomatoes

1 C cubed pineapple

1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed if you don’t want the salsa very spicy)

1/2 small red onion

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, stems removed (about 5 sprigs)

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

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Fresh pineapple salsa!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Place halibut in casserole dish and drizzle olive oil over fish, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over each fish fillet. Set aside.

3. Dice tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and pineapple. Combine in bowl.

4. Rinse cilantro leaves and pat dry. Finely chop cilantro and add to salsa. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Combine well and set aside.

5. Bake fish in oven until flakey and opaque, approximately 25 minutes. The internal temperature of the fish should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Remove fish from oven and top each fillet with salsa. Make sure to save some salsa on the side to scoop up with veggies and/or tortilla chips! Enjoy!

 

 

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

*1 serving is 1 6 oz fillet with half of the salsa

Calories 340 calories, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 70 mg, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 48 g, Calcium 138 mg, Sodium 206 mg

Baked halibut - ready to top with the pineapple salsa!

Baked halibut – ready to top with the pineapple salsa!

 

 

Shredded Balsamic Sprouts

Shredded Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Okay, I promise after this I will post something about a food that is not in the cruciferous veggie family – but why not try one more recipe involving a member of this nutritious family?! These shredded sprouts take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are a sweet and tangy way to enjoy this vegetable. Also, onions, with their sulfur-containing compounds, boast some impressive health benefits as well and, paired with the sprouts and the balsamic, make for a tasty side dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Ingredients (serves 4)

3 C shredded Brussels sprouts (you can look for bags of shredded sprouts at your grocery store – I like Trader Joe’s! Or, if you prefer, you can cut your own sprouts!)

1/2 large yellow onion

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1/8 C water

1/8 tsp garlic powder

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

ready to add the balsamic vinegar, water and spices!

Directions:

1. Warm olive oil over medium heat in large saucepan.

2. Chop onion. Add onion to olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add shredded Brussels sprouts to onion and olive oil. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add water, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper to Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes, until liquid has mostly been absorbed.

5. Remove from saucepan – if there is a large amount of excess liquid then drain. Enjoy hot, or cold the next day!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 91 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 60 mg, Calcium 31 mg