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 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
These delicious tacos are company-worthy and so easy to make!
8 oz. of boneless chicken breast pounded to ½ inch thickness (I buy thin chicken breasts)
1/8 tsp. of salt and pepper with a dash more (use Morton’s Lite salt for more potassium and less sodium)
¼ cup of pineapple tidbits not drained, packed in their own juice
¼ cup of finely chopped red onion
2 TBs of fresh chopped cilantro (I skipped this because my husband dislikes it and they tasted fine without cilantro)
¼ cup of barbecue sauce (I use Stubbs because it has less sodium than most)
Four 6-inch corn tortillas
½ cup of shredded lettuce
Bring a large skillet sprayed with Pam to medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes per side until cooked through.
In a medium bowl combine pineapple with juice, onion, cilantro, and remaining dash of salt and pepper. Mix well.
Warm tortillas in the microwave, about 15 seconds.
Evenly distribute shredded lettuce among the centers of the 4 tortillas. Evenly top with BBQ chicken and the pineapple mixture.
The serving size is 2 tortillas so you can easily double this recipe to serve 4. Guacamole on the side makes a nice accompaniment to this light summer supper! Enjoy, __Lisa
I adapted this quick and easy recipe for basic white beans from the Nutrition Action newsletter. My vegetarian daughter loves them!
2 large carrots, finely chopped (or you can use the equivalent amount of baby carrots)
1 large onion, finely chopped (I actually pureed mine in my Vitamix)
3 TBs of extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBs of tomato paste 1 tsp. of dried oregano
2 cans of no salt added cannellini beans
½ tsp. of Morton’s Lite salt
¼ tsp. of ground pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the carrots and onions in the oil until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring often until the paste starts to darken, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and their liquid! Cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
I usually serve this over brown rice with an accompanying green salad. Farro or quinoa would be equally delectable! Enjoy, __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.
Here is the third of four healthy desserts. This week, it's chocolate bliss cookies. Who doesn't love chocolate cookies? Especially ones that are so delicious and easy to make. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as my family does.
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup of sugar, divided
3 large egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 TB of confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
In a small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt, and ¼ of the sugar.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer set at medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, ½ tablespoon at a time, until meringue is gloss and stiff peaks form. Fold in cocoa mixture and vanilla extract.
Drop a rounded teaspoonful of mixture onto a prepared baking sheets, about one inch apart. Bake 25 minutes for soft chewy cookies or 40 minutes for crisp ones. Dust cooled cookies with confectioner’s sugar.
Makes 24 cookies for 25 calories each and 1 gram of protein. Only 13 mg. of sodium per cookie and they are so good!
There, I told you it was easy, and very little to clean up. Let me know how you like them. ~Lisa
As promised, here is the second of four healthy desserts. This week, it's zucchini brownies. So easy to make. My husband does not like zucchini, but he loves these brownies so much. The thing is, he has no idea they are made with zucchini. Shhh…I’ll keep the secret if you will (LOL). I hope you enjoy them as much as he does.
1 cup of almond butter
1 ½ cups of grated zucchini
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of cinnamon
½ tsp. of nutmeg
½ tsp. of allspice
1 cup of dark chocolate chunks (preferably 65% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spray a 9 X 9 pan with Pam spray. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 16 nice sized healthy and delicious brownies.
There, I told you it was easy, and very little to clean up. Let me know how you like them. ~Lisa
For the next few weeks, I'll be posting dessert recipes. YEAH! But wait, they're not just any desserts, they are family favorites that are healthy.
This first week we're starting off with chocolate deliciousness - fudge brownie pudding cake. YUM! I hope you like it!
¾ cup of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of sugar
1/3 cup + 4 TBs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. of instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
2 tsps. of baking powder
¼ tsp. of baking soda
¼ tsp. of salt or Morton’s Lite Salt (has less sodium)
½ cup of 1 % milk
1 TB of unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ tsps. of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
1 2/3 cup of boiling water
Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pan with Pam spray.
Stir together the flour, sugar, 1/3 cup of cocoa, the espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir together until just blended and spoon evenly into the pan, spreading level.
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and the remaining 4 TBs of cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Gently pour the boiling water over the top; DO NOT STIR. Bake until the top of the pudding is set, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Feel free to top this delicious dessert with fresh, organic strawberries.
1/9 of the cake is 165 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and only 220 mg. of sodium. Enjoy! __Lisa
This is a family favorite. It's quick and easy to make. I hope you like it.
1 lb. of cooked, shredded, skinless chicken breast
1 TB of reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 15 oz. can of fat-free refried beans
1 cup of thawed, frozen corn
1 cup of salsa
½ cup of shredded, reduced-fat Mexican cheese
1/3 cup of low-fat sour cream
2 TBs of chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8 X 8 glass baking dish with Pam spray.
Place the chicken in the pan and sprinkle with 2 tsps. of taco seasoning and ½ cup of salsa.
In a medium bowl, mix the beans, corn, and 1 tsp. of taco seasoning. Spread over the chicken and top with salsa and cheese.
Bake until the dish is hot and bubbly about 20 minutes.
Serve, topped with the light sour cream and the chopped cilantro. Delicious with a green salad and a healthy grain or whole wheat roll. Enjoy! __Lisa
There’s nothing like a hot steamy bowl of chowder for dinner on a New England winter’s eve. Spicy Southwest Chicken Chowder is a family favorite that will warm you up. It’s easy to make and delicious, too. I hope you like it.
Two 14.5 oz. containers of no sodium added chicken broth (about 3.5 cups)
Two 15 oz. cans of no sodium added black beans
Two 14.75 oz. cans of low-sodium cream style corn
1 cup of chopped organic, red pepper (about 1 pepper)
1 cup of chopped onion (about 1 onion)
1 ¼ - 2 TBs of chopped canned chipotle peppers (I used 1 ¼ TBs and that was plenty of spice)
½ cup of plain soy milk or almond milk
½ tsp. of minced garlic
¼ tsp. of ground cumin
1 ½ lbs. of boneless chicken breast
½ tsp. each of salt and pepper
½ cup of instant potato flakes
¼ cup of low-fat sour cream
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
In a crock pot, combine broth, beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chipotle peppers, soy milk, garlic and cumin. Stir well!
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in the crock pot. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Then shred the chicken with 2 forks.
Stir in the potato flakes, sour cream, and cilantro. Makes about 10 hearty cups.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think. __Lisa!
I just had to post this recipe, simply because I have made these delicious chicken roll-ups numerous times and they are always a hit. If you are gluten-free or have gluten-free company coming, gluten-free breadcrumbs work just as well.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 slices of low-fat Swiss cheese
1 beaten egg
1 cup of low-sodium bread crumbs
3 TB of fresh or jarred parsley
1 clove of garlic
2 TBs of canola or avocado oil or 1 TB of oil and plenty of vegetable spray
14.5 oz. of no sodium added chicken broth
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pound the chicken breasts to about half-inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and the parsley. Place a slice of the low-fat Swiss cheese on each breast, roll up tightly. Dip the breast into the egg and then the breadcrumb mixture. (Hold the rolls closed. After dipping, you will see that they begin to stay together.)
In a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the oil. Add the roll-ups and brown quickly, just enough for the chicken to have a crisp outer coating. Remove the roll-ups and place on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.
Pour ½ of the chicken broth into a 10 X 13 glass baking dish. Add all 4 roll-ups and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, basting ½ through with the remaining chicken broth.
Serve with farro, quinoa, barley or rice and a green salad. Delicious!
Patti was my college roommate. We've been friends for over 40 years. I was invited to her house in Massachusetts two summers ago, and she served this absolutely delicious chicken dish, which she accompanied with rice and a green salad. I asked for the recipe and have served it many times since. It's always a crowd pleaser. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as we have!
4 skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow pepper
1 large green pepper
2 TB of paprika
1/8 tsp. of cayenne
1 TB of cumin
2 tsps. of salt
2 tsps. of pepper
2 TB of extra-virgin olive oil or a tiny bit more
Place your oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Mix the olive oil and seasonings in a big bowl to make a paste like consistency. Cut the veggies and the chicken into big chunks and toss into the paste and mix thoroughly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Arrange the chicken and the veggies in a shallow baking dish lined with foil. Bake at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are crispy. Serve with a green salad and a grain like rice or couscous. This recipe serves 4 and if you want to add additional veggies feel free just double the seasonings. Enjoy!
Here's a very quick and easy weeknight dinner, when you are short on time.
3 cans of no sodium added rinsed and drained black beans
1 tsp. of ground cumin
1 ½ cups of peach salsa (I have used pineapple salsa when I could not find peach but I prefer Newman’s Own Peach Salsa.)
36 oz. of low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
In a large bowl, mix the black beans, the cumin, the peach salsa, and the vegetable or chicken broth. Pour ½ of this mixture into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth and uniform. Pour into a large pot. Blend the other ½ and pour into the pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium high heat. Makes 5 - 1-½ cup servings. Top with low-fat sour cream, cilantro, or lime wedges and serve with a green salad.
Enjoy this quick and yummy soup. __Lisa!
I call this recipe Chicken Sunday Supper because you can cook it in your Crock-Pot all day and the sweet aromas will fill you house and make your mouth water. But this is a delicious dish that can be made any day of the week.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsps. of dried basil
1 cup of diced yellow pepper
1 15.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano, and basil (not drained)
1 15.5 oz can of low sodium cannellini beans rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut off and discard any fat from the chicken breasts and place the breasts in your slow cooker. Sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Pour the can of petite diced tomatoes over the chicken and add the diced pepper and cannellini beans. Cook on high for 6 hours. Serve with brown rice, farro, or quinoa, and a green salad. Healthy and delicious. Let me know how you like it. Enjoy__Lisa!