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!

 

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

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

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

This healthy, vegetarian twist on the classic chicken parmesan will have you fueling up with lighter fare! Eggplant is a hearty vegetable that will fill you up with fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Add sauce and cheese you and you will be eating a decadent Italian dish that tastes fresh, whole and hearty, without overdoing it on carbs or saturated fat.

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Ingredients (serves4):

1 eggplant (approximately 2 lbs.)

12 oz low sodium tomato sauce

4 oz shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp olive oil

nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

1. Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch-thick slices (or as desired). Remove skin from eggplant at this step if you choose (or you can leave the skin on to reap extra nutrients!)

2. Spray nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray on medium or large, non-stick pan and add olive oil. Warm over medium heat.

3. Add eggplant slices and cook until browned (about 5-7 minutes on each side). While eggplant is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Remove eggplant slices from pan once cooked and place on plate covered with paper towel to drain excess oil. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Layer eggplant with sauce and cheese on top and repeat as necessary, depending on size of casserole dish.

5. Bake in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 211, Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 7 g, Sugars 9 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 230 mg, Sodium 237 mg

Spice Up Your Dinner – Dig Into These Shrimp Fajitas!

Shrimp and Black Bean Fajitas

Craving Mexican food? Have no fear! These tasty shrimp fajitas are spicy, full of flavor and under 500 calories! Packed with protein and fiber, these fajitas will fill you up with good nutrition to fuel your body right! Serve with homemade guacamole and a skinny margarita for a truly indulgent fiesta!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

2 multigrain tortillas (try to find one that is under 100 calories and has at least 5g of fiber)

1/2 lb. raw shrimp (8 oz) *fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and pat dry before use)

1/4 C canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 onionIMG_0589

1 red bell pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp chipotle

1 Tbsp reduced fat shredded cheese

Directions:IMG_0588

1. Combine shrimp and 1.5 Tbsp olive oil in medium sized bowl with 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp chipotle. Set aside.

2. Heat one large skillet with remaining olive oil (1.5 Tbsp) over medium heat. Slice onion and add to heated skillet.

3. Wash red bell pepper and remove seeds. Slice lengthwise and add strips to skillet with onion. Add remaining spices (1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder). Cook until onion is translucent and soft and pepper is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Mix occasionally.

4. Heat medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp. Cook approximately 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp is no longer translucent. Once cooked, combine shrimp in large skillet with onion and pepper. Transfer contents of skillet into large serving bowl.

5. Heat tortillas in microwave until warm, approximately 45 seconds.

6. Heat black beans in microwave until warm, approximately 1 minute.

7. Create your fajita! Serve one tortilla with approximately half of the fajita contents. Eat any contents that do not fit in the tortilla with a fork, or make a second tortilla!

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The Goods: What’s Inside?

IMG_0597Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

*one serving is one tortilla and half of the ingredients listed above. 

Calories 453, Fat 27 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 180 mg, Carbohydrates 24 g, Fiber 8 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 31 g, Sodium 424 mg, Calcium 307 mg

 

 

Add Your Own Guacamole With This Simple Recipe!

Ingredients (serves 6):

2 avocados, soft

1/4 red onion

1/2 medium sized tomato

1/2 lime

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/2 jalepeno pepper, cut lengthwaise

Directions:

1. Cut each avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove large pit from each avocado. Remove inside of avocado with spoon and place in large bowl. Discard skin of avocado.

2. Mash avocado until soft and slightly chunky  (I like to use a potato masher)

3. Dice red onion. Add to bowl with avocado.

4. Dice tomato. Add to bowl.

5. Remove seeds and wash jalepeno pepper. Mince pepper and add to bowl. Mix all ingredients together.

6. Add salt and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over guacamole. Mix and chill until cold (approximately 20 minutes or longer). Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0605

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 114, Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 7 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugar 1 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 55 mg, Calcium 11 mg 

Fishing Around For A New Dinner Idea? Try This Fresh Catch!

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

*note: feel free to substitute with any other whitefish (cod, tilapia, sea bass, etc.)

Fuel up with this healthy fish dish – filled with protein and parmesan crusted goodness! Whole wheat breadcrumbs add more fiber than traditional breadcrumbs, while also offering a satisfying crunch! Halibut, sea bass and other similar fish offer a ton of protein for few calories, which helps to keep you feeling full  -nothing fishy about this healthy dish! Serve with a veggie side dish, such as oven roasted asparagus, to round out the meal and fuel up with fiber, protein and healthy fats!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

1 lb (16 oz) halibut (or other whitefish)

1/4 C whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp olive oil

IMG_0561Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place fish in casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over fish.

3. Combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika in small bowl. Cover fish with seasoned breadcrumbs.

4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over fish.

5. Bake in oven until cooked through – about 25-30 minutes. Fish should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and should be flakey. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per ServingIMG_0563

Calories 186 calories, Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 38 mg, Carbohydrates 4 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugar 0 g, Protein 26 g, Sodium 105 mg, Calcium 82 mg

Slimmed-Down Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Craving pasta? No problem! This recipe uses lean ground beef (95% fat free) and whole wheat pasta, so you can fuel up without filling out! I slimmed down this classic and pumped it up with some extra nutrition, including a hefty serving of fiber and protein, with only a modest amount of fat. Another secret? Use whole-wheat breadcrumbs to hold the meatballs together, instead of the refined stuff. Make this dish even healthier by using unseasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs and adding your own spices and herbs (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parsley, etc.). Remember the fundamental values of nutrition: moderation, balance and variety. Enjoy this favorite as part of a balanced diet and keep fueling your body with whole, real, nutritious foods!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz (1 lb.) lean ground beef (95% lean, 5% fat)

8 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti

2 C tomato sauce (look for a low sodium brand, or make your own!)

1/3 C whole wheat breadcrumbs, seasoned (note: if using unseasoned, season them up yourself with whichever spices and herbs you’d like)

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 large egg, scrambled, raw

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or you can use another oil, such as canola oil)

IMG_0538Directions:

1. Pour oil into large skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Boil water in large pot over high heat.

3. Combine ground beef, scrambled egg, breadcrumbs, spices (garlic powder, ground black pepper), parsley, and parmesan cheese in large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix ingredients well. Form small meatballs and place in skillet. (note: this recipe should yield approximately 20-25 meatballs)

4. Add pasta to rapidly boiling water and cook approximately 7-10 minutes. Continue to turn the meatballs in the skillet so they brown.

5. Drain water from pasta in colander. Place pasta back in pot (with no water) and add sauce. Warm over low-medium heat. Remove meatballs from skillet once cooked (they should be brown in color throughout) and place on paper towel over a plate to drain excess oil. Add meatballs to pasta, mix and warm another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. 

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0541

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 488 calories, Fat 23 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 42 g, Sodium 617 mg, Calcium 130 mg

*note: the sodium content is analyzed using seasoned breadcrumbs and a tomato sauce that is not low-sodium. 

Don’t Be Chicken To Make This Staple More Exciting!

Chicken with Spinach and Goat Cheese Topping

This dish is a cinch to make and tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours! Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and the vegetables top this dish off with a ton of nutrients! Spinach offers folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and many other vitamins and minerals to fuel your body right! Tomatoes not only add color to this dish – the pigment that supplies the red color also gives your body a healthy dose of vitamin A! Goat cheese offers a creamy, satiating feeling to this dish, plus delivers calcium! Don’t let chicken seem like the boring dinner – spice things up and enjoy this dressed up staple!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (approximately 4 oz each)

3 C spinach, raw

1 small onion

1.5 C cherry tomatoes

1.5 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

dash salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions:IMG_0521

*Note: This recipe uses a skillet to cook the chicken. If you would like, you can also bake the chicken in an oven. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over chicken and add spice rub. Bake at 350 degrees (F), until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees (F). Then proceed to step #4.

1. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to medium skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Rub chicken with spices (cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder)

3. Cook chicken in skillet until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees (F). You will need to flip the chicken when the sides begin turning white.

IMG_05204. Add remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to a different medium skillet. Warm over medium heat. Chop onion and add to skillet, stirring occasionally. Cook approximately 5-7 minutes.

5. Chop tomatoes in halves or quarters and add tomatoes to skillet with onions. Cook another 5 minutes.

6. Add spinach to skillet and allow to wilt, approximately 3 minutes. Add goat cheese and cook 1 minute.

7. Remove chicken from skillet. Place on plate over paper towel to allow excess oil to drain. Transfer to plate. Pour contents of skillet (spinach, onions, tomatoes, goat cheese) over chicken. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0522

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 358 calories, Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Carbohydrate 13 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 33 g, Sodium 278 mg, Calcium 113 mg. 

A Pasta Dish With Pumped Up Nutrition

Craving pasta? Have no fear! This pasta dish will fill you up without weighing you down! The whole wheat pasta offers fiber and nutrients that aren’t naturally present in refined, white pasta. This will help to pump up the nutrition of this dish and may keep you fuller, longer. Also, this pasta dish isn’t loaded with fat – instead, it contains a ton of veggies, with a modest amount of healthy fat (mostly monounsaturated fat from the olive oil). The fat aids in the absorption of vitamins A and K, both present in this dish from hefty amounts of tomatoes and spinach! The best part about this dish? It can be ready in about 25 minutes! Easy dinners just got a whole lot healthier!

Ingredients (serves 6):

6 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti or angel hair

3 C spinach, raw

1.5 C grape tomatoes

1 container (3.5 oz) low-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 large cloves garlic

1 small onion

8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Boil water in large pot for pasta.

2. While pasta is boiling, chop onion, and tomatoes and mince garlic. Tomatoes should be cut into quarters.

3. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in medium skillet and heat over medium heat.

4. Place onion in skillet and heat approximately 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir occasionally.

5. Add garlic to skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. If the water is boiling at this point (it most likely will be) then add pasta. If you’d like, break pasta in half before adding to water. Stir pasta occasionally.

7. Add tomatoes to skillet. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and black pepper. Allow spinach to wilt (about 2-3 minutes).

8. When pasta is done cooking (approximately 7-9 minutes), drain. Place remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil in pot and lower to low-medium heat.

9. Add pasta to large pot with olive oil and mix ingredients. Add veggie mixture from skillet to pasta and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes.

10. Add feta cheese and stir. Heat approximately 2 minutes. Divide into 6 portions and serve.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 319 calories, Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 4 g, Sugars 3 g, Protein 8 g, Sodium 248 mg, Calcium 83 mg

Very Veggie Burrito

there is a ton of nutrition inside this vegetarian burrito!

Enjoy this veggie burrito and get a hearty dose of fiber, protein, and a ton of vitamins including vitamin C, and beta-carotene (a precursor form of vitamin A that can be converted by your body). This easy-to-make dinner is filling, completely vegetarian and delicious! Enjoy with a few friends or eat 1/4 of the contents (for one serving) and save the rest for a meal later in the week. Craving more protein? Add in some tofu! However, rice and beans do offer all essential amino acids, when combined, meaning that this meal offers a complete protein – sans meat!

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 whole wheat tortillas (approximately 6″ in diameter)

2 C brown rice (cooked)

2 C black beans (if using canned, rinse and drain prior to using)

1 small onion

1 red bell pepper

2 oz reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil


Directions:

1. If using dried black beans, soak overnight according to package directions. If using canned beans, skip this step.

2. Cook rice according to package directions.

3. While rice is cooking, chop onion and bell pepper. If using canned beans, rinse and drain beans. If using pre-soaked dried beans, remove from fridge and drain.

4. Pour olive oil in medium skillet and warm on medium-heat.

5. Add onion, pepper and spices (chili powder, cumin, ground black pepper). Allow to cook 8-10 minutes, until onion and pepper is tender. Stir occasionally.

6. Once rice is done cooking, add rice and beans to skillet. Allow to cook approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7. Warm tortillas in microwave (approximately 15-30 seconds).

8. Remove burrito contents from heat. Divide contents between 4 tortillas (or eat 1/4 now and save the rest for leftovers!)

9. Sprinkle cheese (about .5 oz) on top on each burrito, while opened.

10. Wrap burrito by folding in opposite sides. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

now just wrap it up!


Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 burrito):

Calories 390 cals, Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol  8 mg, Carbohydrates 59 g, Fiber 18 g, Sugar 2 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 368 mg, Calcium 283 mg