What a great time of the year to make Pumpkin Bread. My family loves this loaf so much that I have to make more than one loaf if I want to get any - lol. This recipe makes 2 loaves. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. of Morton’s Light salt
1 tsp. of baking soda
½ tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of ground nutmeg
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter (3/4 cup) softened
1 cup of Stevia
2 large eggs
1 15-oz can of 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and set the rack in the middle position. Spray 2 bread pans with Pam spray. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined.
In a large bowl beat the softened butter and Stevia on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each egg. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes and then beat in the pumpkin. It is fine if it looks grainy. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly and bake for 65-75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Fantastic!
The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months by wrapping it well in tin foil after it has fully cooled and placing it in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
If you are looking to eat less animal-sourced foods, tofu is a great option. It can be prepared simply and added to a stir-fry or salad. If you have not tried tofu because you’ve heard it was bland, here are two recipes that prove otherwise.
Drain a 16 oz package of SUPER FIRM tofu and cut into 8 thick slabs and blot dry. Pour ¼ cup of cornstarch on a plate and press the large sides into the corn starch so that they are lightly covered. Spray a frying pan with vegetable spray and add 2 TBs of avocado oil. Brown each side for about 8-10 minutes. The tofu will be crunchy and delicious. Wonderful to add to a salad. 4 oz contains 15 grams of filling protein for only 173 calories.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable spray. Open a container of SUPER FIRM or EXTRA FIRM tofu and drain it. Cut it up into bite size pieces and line them up on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes then flip them over and bake another 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Add to a sauce, a veggie stir-fry, or a salad. A serving of tofu has only 15 mg. of sodium and no sugar.
Try one of these quick and easy recipes today and see how delicious tofu can be.
These peanut butter protein balls are so easy to make, and two of them makes the perfect pre- or post-workout snack. Two balls have 174 calories and 4 grams of protein. This recipe makes 35 balls. My family loves them!
2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup of Teddie’s No Salt Added Creamy peanut butter or you could use almond or cashew butter
½ cup of honey
¼ cup of mini chocolate chips
¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (I skip this because I don’t like coconut, but feel free to substitute raisins or a chopped nut like walnuts.)
Combine the oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and optional coconut in a medium bowl. Stir well. Using a 1-tablespoon measure, like a very small ice-cream scoop, drop the balls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Next, roll each scoop into a ball and place in a glass container. (If you are gluten-free use oats that are labeled “gluten-free).
Store in a covered glass container in the fridge for 5 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Delicious! Enjoy, Lisa!
It is sad but true, the summer is coming to end. Before you know it, it will be time to dust off the slow cooker and make hearty meals. Here’s a recipe that is super easy to make and delicious. My grandson loves it over brown rice. Make this as your first sliding-into-fall dinner – it will take the edge off post-summer blues.
1 ½ lbs. of chicken breast
16 oz. of crushed pineapple in juice, not drained
1 TB of chopped garlic
½ tsp. of ground ginger
1/8 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of pepper
½ cup of finely chopped onion
¾ cup of lower sodium teriyaki sauce
In your slow cooker combine the pineapple, garlic, ginger and ¼ cup of water. Mix well.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the cooker. Evenly top with onion.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low 7-8 hours. (I have found the chicken is more tender cooked longer on low.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the contents of the slow cooker to a large bowl and shred the chicken with 2 forks, add the teriyaki, and mix well. If it needs a little more liquid you can add some of the leftover from the cooker. Serve over brown rice with a green salad or veggie. Delicious! Enjoy, Lisa!
This is an easy and delicious recipe that serves 6. Each 1 ¼ cup serving has only 247 calories and less than 500 mg. of sodium and 19.5 grams of filling protein.
1 ½ cups uncooked penne pasta (I use Barilla Protein Plus)
10 oz. of 93% ground beef or turkey (I use turkey)
2 TBs of low-sodium taco seasoning or a bit more depending on personal preference
1 cup of chopped bell pepper (I like red peppers)
1 cup of chopped onion
½ cup of frozen corn
¾ cup of low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp. of salt
½ cup of shredded Mexican 4-Cheese Blend
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spray an 8X8 baking dish with vegetable spray. Cook pasta al dente per package directions. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Spray a large skillet with vegetable spray and brown the ground turkey or beef over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 TB of taco seasoning over the meat. Cook and crumble until the meat is fully cooked. Add pepper, onion, and corn. Cook and stir until the veggies have partially softened and the corn has thawed, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the ricotta cheese stirring as you go. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of pasta and add the crushed tomatoes, salt, ¼ cup of shredded Mexican cheese, and remaining TB of taco seasoning. Mix well and transfer to the baking pan. Smooth out the surface and top with the remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Bake until the entire dish is hot, and cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.
This yummy entrée is great with a big salad. My family loves it and I hope yours does too. _ Enjoy, Lisa!
Here's an easy recipe that my family loves. I have made this recipe with haddock and cod, but I’m certain it would be good for salmon, too.
1 ½ lbs. of cod, haddock, or another fish that would bake well.
1 TB of fresh lime juice
1 TB of Kraft Avocado or Hellman’s Light mayo
1/8 tsp. of onion powder
1/8 tsp. of black pepper
½ cup of plain breadcrumbs
1 ½ TBs of Land ‘O Lakes light butter
2 TBs of chopped parsley (I leave off)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the fish in an 11 X 7-inch glass baking dish that’s been coated with cooking spray. Combine the lime juice, mayo, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Spread this mixture over the fish, sprinkle w/ breadcrumbs and drizzle with butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle w/parsley if you want. Makes 4, 5 oz. servings. Serve with a baked sweet potato and a green salad. Yum! Enjoy, Lisa!
My nephew, who owns a catering business, sent me this delicious summer recipe he created. I made it this weekend and it is delicious!
2 peeled and diced kiwis
1 cup of organic raspberries (I always wash organic fruit in a veggie wash.)
2 cups of diced organic strawberries
1 cup of organic blueberries
1 TB of white sugar and 1 TB of brown sugar
3 TB of a strawberry preserve
Combine all the ingredients and allow to chill for at least 15 minutes. Serve with pita chips or whatever chips you like. Yum. Enjoy, Lisa!
My husband is not a big vegetable guy, but he loves these sprouts. This recipe has very few ingredients, it's so easy to make, and these sprouts are delicious. You can double or triple the recipe if you are serving more than 2 people, or if you want leftovers.
8 oz. of Brussel sprouts
1 TB of finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 TB of breadcrumbs (I like whole wheat)
1 TB + 2 tsps. of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut off the bottom of each Brussel sprout. Then cut the sprout in half with a sharp knife. Toss all the Brussels into a small bowl along with any leaves that fell off.
Drizzle in 1 TB of olive oil, and then sprinkle on the cheese and breadcrumbs. Mix well to coat the sprouts.
Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and spray it with vegetable spray. Then drizzle the remaining 2 tsps. of olive oil on the baking sheet and place the Brussels on the sheet, cut side down. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees for at least 22 minutes. Bake them longer if you like them crispy. Turn over half-way through cooking.
If you are avoiding cheese, you can skip it and they are still very good.
Bon Appetit! _Lisa
As the weather warms up, delicious healthy salads are more appealing. Take this yummy shrimp and corn salad for example. This recipe serves 8 and it's a cinch to prepare.
4 cups of frozen corn
½ tsp. of chili powder
1 tsp. of cumin
2 cups of chopped tomatoes
12 oz. of ready-to-eat small shrimp
1 cup of finely chopped red onion
1 cup of finely chopped red and/or yellow bell pepper
¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup of fresh squeeze lime juice
1 TB of chopped garlic
1 tsp. of salt
½ TB of black pepper
¼ cup of seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper (I do not add this.)
Bring a large pan sprayed with Pam or another vegetable spray to medium-high heat. Add corn, chili powder, and ½ tsp. of cumin. Cook and stir until blackened, about 7 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, including the ½ tsp. of cumin. Mix well and fold in blackened corn. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Or eat it hot. Either way it is delicious. Enjoy! _Lisa
I sometimes find that salmon could be a bit fishy. However, rest assured, this recipe is not only out of this world, but there is also no fishy taste about it!
6 oz filets of Wild salmon, one per person
Pesto, i.e., Barilla Creamy Genovese pesto
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fat-free Feda cheese
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
Place tin foil on a baking sheet. Spray with vegetable spray and then drizzle lightly with olive oil
Place the salmon with the skin side down and brush lightly with pesto. (Pesto is high in calories and sodium so you don’t need much.)
Cover the fish with fat-free Feda cheese. Again, the feta is high in sodium so don’t use a ton.
Bake for 25 mins. in a 400-degree oven.
Serve with a green salad or vegetable and a baked sweet potato. So good!
My daughter-in-law is a great cook. So, when she shared this recipe with me, I knew it would be delicious, and it was. We love it. I'm sure you will, too.
1 TB of olive oil
1 medium diced onion
2 ribs of celery (I skipped because my husband does not like celery and the flavor was still great.)
2 large carrots, diced or 16 baby carrots
4 cloves of garlic, minced or 2 tsps of jarred minced garlic
6 cups of no salt or low sodium vegetable stock
2, 14.5 oz cans of petite no salt added diced tomatoes
¾ cup of dry lentils, rinsed and drained
¾ cup of pearl barley
½ tsp. of dried rosemary or thyme ( I used thyme)
½ tsp. of dried oregano
¼ tsp. of ground black pepper
Spray the bottom of a large soup bowl with cooking spray and add the olive oil. Heat over medium heat.
Add the diced onion, celery, carrots and garlic.
Stir, cover and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes (undrained), lentils, barley, thyme, oregano and black pepper
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 55 minutes.
Cool a little before serving.
Makes 6 servings and is fabulous with whole wheat rolls and a green salad. Enjoy! _Lisa
Your family will bark for these delicious, simple, low-calorie treats. My mouth waters just looking at them. A perfect choice for holiday treats, especially when many desserts around this time of year are loaded with sugar and high in calories. These are only 34 calories per piece, with only .8 grams of saturated fat and 2 grams of added sugar. They also contains 2 grams of protein. Here’s how to make them:
3 cups of full-fat plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup of pure maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 ½ cups of washed and sliced organic strawberries
¼ cup of mini chocolate chips
Start with a 10 x 15 backing sheet. Line it with parchment paper. Stir the yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Scatter the sliced strawberries on top and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Freeze the mixture until it’s firm. Or, to make ahead, freeze airtight between sheets of parchment for up to 1 month. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Break or cut into 32 pieces.
There you have it! I told you, simple and easy. Enjoy your bark! Shouting “Woof, Woof” while eating this wonderful dessert is optional. __Lisa
Don’t you just love your slow cooker? I do, and so does my family. Here’s a fabulous hot chicken dish that really hits the spot on a cold winter's evening. Best of all, it’s easy to make.
1 ½ lbs. of raw skinless chicken breast with the visible fat removed
One 1-oz. package of ranch dressing/dip seasoning mix
1 cup of no salt-added chicken broth
1 cup of chopped onion
1 TB of chopped garlic
2 TBS of cornstarch
½ cup of reduced fat cream cheese (I used ½ a package of Philadelphia cream cheese w/ 1/3 less fat)
2 TBs of grated Parmesan
After cutting the visible fat off the chicken, place it in the slow cooker. Season with the packet of ranch seasoning. Add chicken broth, onion, and garlic.
Cover and cook for 7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Shred the chicken with 2 forks.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 TBs of water. Add to the slow cooker along with the cream cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cream cheese is fully absorbed. Serves 6.
My family loves this dish over brown rice with a side of steamed green beans and a salad You can also serve it over zucchini noodles, riced cauliflower, or a grain like farro. It’s even delicious over a whole wheat bun. Bon Appetit! Lisa.
It’s apple-picking season in Maine. It's so much fun. But what to do with all those apples? Here's a recipe that will turn those apples into a dessert everyone will love. This recipe can be made in no time and is easy on your waistline!
4 medium-size tart apples peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup of sugar
1 TB of all-purpose flour
2 tsps. of lemon juice (freshly squeezed is optimal)
¼ tsp. of cinnamon
2/3 cup of old-fashioned oats
½ cup of packed brown sugar
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
½ tsp. of cinnamon
3 TB of butter
Toss the apples with the sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Spray a microwave-safe 9-inch glass deep-dish pie plate with Pam. Spread the apple filling evenly in the plate.
In a separate bowl, mix the first 4 topping ingredients and then cut in the butter until crumbly. Spread the topping over the filling. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on high about 5-7 minutes until the apples are tender. Makes 6 servings.
Fall is the perfect time to make Turkey Pumpkin Chili for lunch or dinner. I made this delicious recipe last weekend. Then I froze 5 more servings in glass bowls to have for lunches during the chilly months. I hope you'll try this recipe. Let me know if you do and what you think of it.
1 large, yellow onion diced small, about 2 cups
1 medium bell pepper diced (I used a yellow organic pepper and washed it well)
¾ tsp. of garlic powder
1/3 lbs. of 93 % lean ground turkey
One 15-ounce can of low sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes no salt added with the liquid
One 14-ounce can of pumpkin puree
¼ cup of tomato paste, no salt added
1 cup of low-sodium or no sodium chicken broth
2 TBs of chili powder
1 TB of cocoa powder
1 TB of pumpkin pie spice or 1 ½ tsps. of cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
2 ½ tsps. of ground cumin
½ tsp. of ground pepper
1 tsp. of kosher salt (see my Sept. blog on why I prefer Kosher salt)
4 cups of baby organic spinach leaves already washed (optional)
Liberally coat the bottom of a large pot (like the kind you’d use to cook spaghetti) with Pam spray and warm it over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic powder and stir together until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey. Use a spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks. Continue cooking about 6-7 minutes until fully cooked. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin puree, chicken broth, chili powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, cumin, black pepper, salt, and an optional ½ tsp. of cayenne powder. Stir well. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Right before serving, add the optional spinach and mix throughout. Top with either 0% fat Greek yogurt, low-fat sour cream, salsa, reduced fat cheddar cheese, or avocado slices. Makes six 1 ½ cup servings and freezes well.
Grilling season is not over yet, and these delicious black bean burgers can be grilled or baked in an oven. Everyone will love them, vegetarians and carnivores alike!
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2, 15 oz. cans of reduced sodium black beans rinsed and drained
2 TBs of chopped garlic (more if you like)
4 TBs of fresh cilantro leaves (dried are fine too)
4 tsps. of fresh parsley (dried is fine too)
½ tsp. of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup of bread crumbs (I use Progresso plain to reduce the sodium)
Morton’s Lite salt, and pepper
In a food processor, or Vitamix, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add rinsed and drained black beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until combined. Shape into patties. If the mixture is too soft, add more bread crumbs until it is firm enough to make patties.
You can grill these outside, or bake them at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for about 30-40 minutes. Mist the tops of the patties with olive oil. They can also be cooked and then frozen for a quick dinner later on.
I enjoy them on a 100% whole wheat bun topped with guacamole and a side salad. Enjoy!
Would you love to bring a big, healthy salad to your next barbecue or potluck that's easy to make and people rave about? Here's the recipe for one my favorites that everyone complements me on.
Large container of organic Spring mix
½ cup of finely chopped red onion
1 large can of mandarin oranges in their own juice, drained
½ cup of walnut pieces
½ cup of golden (yellow) raisins
8-12 oz. of reduced fat Feta cheese (depending on how much cheese you desire)
Dressing – Add reduced calorie Red Raspberry Walnut vinaigrette (enough to cover the salad but not soak it!) This salad serves 6 to 8 people depending on how much you want each person to enjoy.
Let me know how you like it. _Lisa
Here is a very easy vinaigrette recipe that friends and family will love. It also lasts for weeks in your fridge Great to put on a salad that you serve with the chicken nacho casserole recipe you’ll find below, or one of my soups! Let me know how you like it, Lisa!
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup of olive oil
1 tsp. of Morton’s Lite salt
½ tsp. of ground pepper
These yummy frittatas can be made ahead of time and frozen. Then I just pop them in the microwave for a delicious breakfast, snack, or lunch. My vegetarian daughter brings 4 of them with a Greek yogurt for a school lunch!
½ cup of skim milk
1 cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp. of salt and pepper
You can add whatever veggies you like but I add the following veggies chopped quite finely:
¼ cup of chopped red pepper
¼ cup of chopped green pepper
¼ cup of chopped tomato
¼ cup of chopped onion
If you want to add meat you could try chopped turkey pepperoni or ham.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat by hand eggs, milk, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add cheese, veggies, and mix well. Use ¼ cup measuring cup to pour into heavily sprayed muffin cups. (I spray with Pam and if you don’t spray enough, the frittatas will stick.) Bake 20 minutes and cool for 5 minutes on a rack.
2 frittatas have about 165 calories and 12 grams of protein. Enjoy! Lisa.