Slim Down Your Memorial Day Weekend BBQ!

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the unofficial start of summer, although the food offered at many barbecues isn’t exactly light summer fare. My blue cheese burger with caramelized onions and baked sweet potato fries will give you that summertime barbecue feeling (and fullness)  – without all of the calories and fat!

Blue Cheese Burger With Caramelized Onions 

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz ground sirloin (look for lean or extra lean)

1 large egg, scrambled

2 medium onions, chopped

4 oz blue cheese crumbles

4 whole wheat rolls

1 Tbsp oil (canola or olive oil work well)

Directions:

1. Warm up a grill, griddle or a pan (I like these best on the grill).

2. Combine egg, ground beef and a small handful of blue cheese crumbles (should be about 1/4 of the blue cheese). Form four patties with your hands and set aside.

3. Warm oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally.

4. Place burger patties on grill and cook until cooked through (about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium doneness, although grill time may vary).

5. Add rolls to grill for 1 minute. Remove rolls and place one patty on each roll, along with blue cheese and onions. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 burger):

Calories 438 calories, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 37 g, Sodium 616 mg, Calcium 200 mg

Baked Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

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Ingredients (serves 4):

3 medium (~5″ long) sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp oil (canola oil works well)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray.

3. Slice each sweet potato in half, lengthwise, then cut into fry-shaped strips

4. Transfer fries to casserole dish, toss with oil and spices and bake in oven for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Once fries are softened, broil for about 2-3 minutes, until browned. Serve and enjoy!

the Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 136 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 69 mg, Calcium 37 mg

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Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice!

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Oatmeal with Walnuts

This autumn-y oatmeal has been my go-to this month for a quick breakfast before running out the door. I use instant oatmeal (although I am sure it would be tasty using overnight oats, as well) and pumpkin butter for this quick morning meal. Also, just a fun fact: pumpkin butter is not actually butter at all – it is pureed pumpkin, oftentimes mixed with honey and some lemon juice and typically has less than 35 calories per 1 Tbsp serving. That is a lot of flavor for minimal calories! Plus, pumpkin supplies beta carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A.  This pumpkin-y bowl full of cinnamon spice and heart-healthy walnuts is a seasonal way to start your day off right with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a tasty spoonful of beta carotene-rich pumpkin!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1 packet instant oatmeal (*I like Trader Joe’s Oats and Flax or Bob’s Red Mill brand)

*Note: If you are interested in a heartier breakfast and looking for a way to increase calcium intake, you can prepare the oatmeal with milk in place of water! 

1/2 oz unsalted walnut halves (about 7 walnut halves)

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin butter (*Try to look for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar – I like Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

2. Add pumpkin butter and cinnamon and stir into oatmeal. Top with walnuts and enjoy!

(This may be the easiest recipe I have ever posted!)

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 231 calories, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol o mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 100 mg, Calcium 159 mg

Ever Wonder How The French Stay So Thin? They Eat This!

French Toast with Strawberries, Cinnamon and Maple Syrup

Okay, maybe not. But this slimmed down French toast is pumped up with extra nutrition and skimps on fat, so you can enjoy this childhood favorite. This recipe uses whole wheat toast and one egg with one egg white, so you can fuel up with fiber and protein. Also, some studies suggest that eating cinnamon with bread may help to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent a spike in blood sugar. Plus, it’s delicious!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 slices whole wheat bread (I like Vermont Bread Company Soft Whole Wheat)

1 large egg, 1 large egg white

Splash of skim milk (about 1 Tbsp)

4 medium strawberries

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp butter

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1 Tbsp maple syrup

dash ground black pepper

dash salt

almost ready to flip!

almost ready to flip!

Directions:

1. Spray medium sized pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and warm over medium heat.

2. Crack 1 egg into bowl. Crack second egg and separate the egg white by transferring the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the egg shell, allowing the egg white to fall into the bowl below. Discard shells and one remaining yolk (*note: you can also buy a carton of egg whites and use the equivalent of 1 large egg).

3. Add splash of milk (about 1 Tbsp) to eggs. Add salt and pepper and scramble well with fork.

4. Soak each piece of bread in the egg mixture (coating well) and transfer to pan.

5. Cook bread about 7-10 minutes on each side, until French toast becomes golden brown and egg is cooked thoroughly. Transfer to plate. Top with butter, cinnamon, strawberries and maple syrup. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 300, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 196 mg, Carbohydrates 42 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 729 mg, Calcium 114 mg