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More Healthy Snack Recipes

Because I had such a good response to my previous post on healthy snack recipes, I added some more for you on this post.

Chipotle spiced shrimp

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 32 shrimp)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

Directions

Rinse shrimp in cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside on a plate.

To make the marinade, whisk together the tomato paste, water and oil in a small bowl. Add garlic, chili powder and oregano. Mix well. Using a brush, spread the marinade (it will be thick) on both sides of the shrimp. Place in the refrigerator. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source .Put the shrimp in a grill basket or on skewers and place on the grill. Turn the shrimp after 3 to 4 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on the heat of the fire, so watch carefully. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 73, Cholesterol 85 mg, Sodium 151mg, Carbohydrates 3g,

 Ambrosia with coconut and toasted almonds

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 small pineapple
5 oranges
2 red apples, cored and diced
1 banana, halved lengthwise, peeled and sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons cream sherry
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool. Add the coconut to the sheet and bake, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool.

Cut off the crown of leaves and the base of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright and, using a large, sharp knife, pare off the skin, cutting downward just below the surface in long, vertical strips and leaving the small brown “eyes” on the fruit. Lay the pineapple on its side. Aligning the knife blade with the diagonal rows of eyes, cut a shallow furrow, following a spiral pattern around the pineapple, to remove all the eyes. Cut the pineapple crosswise into slices 3/4-inch thick, and remove the core with a small, sharp knife or small cookie cutter. Cut into cubes and set aside.

Working with 1 orange at a time, cut a thin slice off the top and the bottom, exposing the flesh. Stand the orange upright and, using a sharp knife, thickly cut off the peel, following the contour of the fruit and removing all the white pith and membrane. Holding the orange over a bowl, carefully cut along both sides of each section to free it from the membrane. As you work, discard any seeds and let the sections fall into the bowl. Repeat with the remaining oranges. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, oranges, apples, banana and sherry. Toss gently to mix well. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among individual bowls. Sprinkle evenly with the toasted almonds and coconut and garnish with the mint. Serve immediately.

Nutritional info:  Calories 146, Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrates 26g, Sodium 1mg, Total fat 4g, Saturated fat 1g, Monounsaturated fat 1g

Apples with dip

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1/2 cup orange juice
4 apples, cored and sliced

Directions

Place the cream cheese on the counter to allow it to soften, about 5 minutes.  To make the dip, combine the brown sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Stir in the chopped peanuts.  Place the apples in another bowl. Drizzle orange juice over the apples to prevent browning. Serve the sliced apples with the dip.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 177, Cholesterol 4mg, Sodium 326mg, Carbohydrate 28g, Total fat 3g, Saturated fat 1g, Monounsaturated fat 1g

 Quesadillas

Serves 16

Ingredients

4-ounce can diced green chili peppers, drained

Half a small onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

8 10-inch fat-free whole-wheat tortilla

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

In a bowl, combine peppers, onion and cumin. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese, using 1/4 cup cheese on each. Divide pepper mixture among tortillas, spreading it over cheese. Roll up each tortilla and put in greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover pan with foil. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove foil. Turn oven to broil. Broil 4 inches from heat for 1 1/2 minutes a side, or until lightly browned. Cut each tortilla into 4 pieces. Serve with your favorite salsa for dipping.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 103, Cholesterol 10 mg, Sodium 200mg, Carbohydrates 16g, Total fat 3g, Saturated fat 1.5g, Monounsaturated fat  0.5g

Fresh tomato crostini

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 plum tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 pound crusty Italian peasant bread, cut into 4 slices and toasted

Directions

Combine tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Divide tomato mixture with any juices among the toast. Serve at room temperature.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 120, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 175mg, Carbohydrates 19g, Total fat 3.5g, Saturated fat 0.5g, Monounsaturated fat 2g

 Crispy potato skins

You can use any number of herbs or spices to season the potato skins. Try fresh basil, chives, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, tarragon or thyme.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 medium russet potatoes
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour.  Carefully — potatoes will be very hot — cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use.  Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 114, Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Total fat 0g, Saturated fat 0g, Monounsaturated 0g.

Vegetable salsa

Store-bought salsa can have as much as 400 milligrams of sodium in 1/4 cup. This thick vegetable salsa has much less sodium — 150 milligrams in 1/2 cup. If you prefer hotter salsa, add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno peppers.

 Serves 16

Ingredients

1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped red onion
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Wash vegetables and prepare as directed. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 20, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 150mg, Carbohydrates 5g, Total fat 0g

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Healthy Snack Recipes

A lot of times I’d eat healthier if I had healthy recipes for snacks and entertaining.  Figuring I’m not the only one who thinks like this, I decided today I’d share with you some healthy snack and entertaining recipes.  I hope you enjoy.

 White bean dip

Ingredients:

1 can (15 ounces) white (cannelloni) beans, rinsed and drained
8 garlic cloves, roasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, add the beans, roasted garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Serve on top of thin slices of toasted French bread or pita triangles. This is also excellent placed on top of red (sweet) bell peppers cut into squares.

Nutritional Info:  Serving size:  2 tablespoons.  Calories:  109, Protein 5 g, Carbohydrates 15 g, Total fat 4 g, Monounsaturated fat 3 g, Trace saturated fat, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 105 mg.

Cheesecake

Serves 8
Ingredients

2 tablespoons cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup skim milk, heated almost to boiling
Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg, or 2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
Lemon zest (optional)

Directions

Combine water, gelatin and lemon juice in blender container. Process on low speed 1 to 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Add hot milk, processing until gelatin is dissolved. Add egg substitute, sugar, vanilla and cheese to blender container. Process on high speed until smooth. Pour into 9″ pie plate or round flat dish. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. If you wish, top with grated lemon zest just before serving.

Nutritional Info:  Calories 80, Cholesterol 3 mg, Sodium 200 mg, Carbohydrates 10g, Total fat: trace,

High-calorie, high-protein smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup 2 percent milk
1 medium banana, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons protein powder

Directions

In a blender, combine the yogurt, milk, banana chunks, wheat germ and protein powder. Blend until smooth.  Pour into a tall frost-chilled glass and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:  Serving Size:  2 ½ to 3 cups.  Calories, 531, Cholesterol 35 mg, Protein 32 g, Sodium 293 mg, Carbohydrates 82 g, Total fat 10 g, Saturated fat 5 g, Unsaturated fat 2 g

Fresh spring rolls with shrimp

Instead of being fried, like Chinese egg rolls, these appetizers are served fresh, letting the textures and flavors of the vegetable and shrimp filling shine through. Serve with the easy dipping sauce.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups water
8 large shrimp (prawns), peeled and deveined
1 ounce cellophane noodles
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup peeled, seeded and julienne cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or fresh coriander
4 rice-paper rounds, 8 inches in diameter
4 large fresh basil leaves, halved lengthwise

For the sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 green (spring) onion, including tender green top, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted natural peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of brown sugar

Directions

In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups water to a boil. Add the shrimp and immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover and poach until pink and opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 3 minutes. Drain and cut each shrimp in half lengthwise. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the noodles and boiling water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and return the noodles to the bowl. Add the carrot, cucumber, cabbage, bean spouts and cilantro. Toss gently to mix.

Place a double thickness of paper towels on a work surface. Fill a large, shallow baking dish with water. Place 1 rice-paper round in the water and soak until pliable, about 30 seconds. Carefully transfer the wrapper to the paper towels and turn once to blot dry. Arrange 1/2 cup of the noodle mixture on the bottom half of the wrapper.

Fold the bottom edge toward the center and roll up the wrapper halfway, making sure to wrap tightly around the filling. Tuck 2 basil leaf halves along the inside crease of the half-rolled wrapper. Arrange 4 pieces of the shrimp, cut sides up, along the crease. Fold the right and left edges of the wrapper over the filling and finish rolling up. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, filling, basil and shrimp. Transfer the rolls to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.

To make the sauce, combine the hoisin sauce, green onion, lime juice, fish sauce, peanut butter, red pepper flakes and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir until well blended.

To serve, cut the rolls in half on the diagonal and place on small individual plates. Pool the sauce alongside each roll.

Nutritional Info:  Serving size:  2 spring rolls.  Calories 198, Monounsaturated fat 2 g, Protein 10 g, Cholesterol 44 mg; Carbohydrates 34 g, Sodium 512 mg, Total fat 4 g, Saturated fat 0 g

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How to Make Healthier Baked Goods Recipes

If part of your New Year’s Resolution is to get healthier, one way you can do this is making some substitutions in your recipes.  If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve made “healthy” versions of some of your favorite baked goods and ended up throwing them away.  I remember last Christmas we tried to decrease the fat and sugar content in my grandmother’s pizzelle recipe.  Instead of those nice, crisp, Italian cookies I remember from childhood, we ended up with soft, rubbery, tasteless things that I wouldn’t even call a cookie.  So this year as I try to cook healthier, I started looking into ways to bake with less calories and fat but maintain the same good taste.

The more I researched this, the more I discovered that you can’t make a baked good 100% healthy and still expect it to taste ok.  It’s still a baked good after all.  However, you can make it healthier.  That’s important because, as I pointed out in a previous post – the point is to still eat a wide variety of food but in healthier ways.

To Reduce Sugar/Simple Carbohydrate Content:

  • Up to 1/2 cup of sugar may be substituted with a sugar substitute.
  • You can usually reduce sugar in a recipe by ¼ to 1/3 in cookies, pies, and quick breads.  Although, it may not work as well in cakes
  • Adding vanilla extract in baking goods gives the essence of sweetness that makes up for the reduced sugar.
  • Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for up to half of the called-for all-purpose flour.  However, whole-wheat pastry flour is less dense and works well in softer products such as cakes and muffins.

To Reduce Fat Content:

  • You can usually reduce fat in a recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 in cookies, pies, and quick breads without affecting the product.
  • Replace half of the fat in a recipe with unsweetened applesauce, low-fat yogurt, or prune puree.
  • Use lower-fat versions of the ingredients called for in a recipe, such as 1% or skim milk rather than whole, use low-fat cheeses, etc.
  • To avoid dense, soggy or flat baked goods, don’t substitute oil for butter or shortening.
  • Use cooking sprays or non-stick pans instead of butter or shortening to grease the pans.

To Reduce Salt

  • Use half the amount of salt called for in a recipe.  In some dishes, you can totally omit salt.  For example, cooking rice or pasta.  However, DO NOT eliminate salt from yeast bread or rolls; it is essential for yeast action.
  • Rather than using salt for seasoning, try spices, herbs, vinegar, flavoring extracts, fruit peal, or your own blend of seasonings.
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Easy Ways to Cut Calories Without Feeling Deprived

Nutritionists agree the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to modify your eating habits in such a way that you never feel deprived. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to cut 40 to 50 calories per meal, and if you start today you will start dropping weight without “officially” going on (and off) a diet.  In fact, Trimming 100 calories a day from your current diet will save you 36,500 calories over the course of one year. That equals a loss of 10.4 pounds of fat!  And it’s not difficult to cut 100 calories without feeling deprived. Try some of the suggestions here and see what works for you!

Did you know?

In order to lose one pound of body fat, you must create a 3,500 calorie deficit. That might sound like a lot, but simply cutting 100 calories a day for 35 days will get you there. Here are some suggestions on cutting 100 calories a day

  • Don’t drink your calories. Skip the juice (at 14 calories/oz), soda (at 12 calories/oz) and wine (at 21 calories/oz) in favor of water (calorie-free!)
  • Change your coffee habit. A 16oz latte will cost you 260 calories. Switch to nonfat milk and drop the calories to 160! Take it a step further by switching to plain drip coffee and your daily dose of caffeine will only cost you 10 calories!
  • Don’t garnish with cheese. It is high in fat and calories and just one ounce can add 100-115 calories.
  • Remove the skin from your chicken breast before cooking and save 100 calories
  • Skip the mayo.  1 Tbsp of regular mayo has 100 calories whereas light mayo has 50 and mustard has just 10 calories
  • Avoid premium ice creams—they have as much as 2 or 3 times the calories as reduced fat versions
  • Focus on cutting 50-100 calories here and there throughout the day that add up to BIG caloric savings!

More Easy Ways to Cut Calories

Breakfast: It’s easier to go low-fat at breakfast than at any other meal so make the most of the following light choices.

  • In a hurry?  Grab a yogurt and an apple for a fiber and calcium rich breakfast.
  • Instead of making a three-egg omelet, use one whole egg and two egg whites.
  • Switch to fat-free dairy products (milk, yogurt, cream cheese & cottage cheese)
  • Upgrade your cereal—it can be a hidden source of sugar and fat. Do a little label reading and choose one that is low in calories and high in fiber.

Lunch: Workday lunches may be your biggest challenge. To cut calories, try the following strategies.

  • Substitute fat-free chips or pretzels for corn or potato chips in your brown-bag lunches. Or better yet, go for a piece of fruit.
  • Try low-fat cottage cheese topped with dried, herb-blend seasonings, a handful of raisins, or a tablespoon of salsa.
  • Look up the nutrition information online for fast food restaurants and plan the healthiest meal ahead of time
  • Starting with a salad? Ask the kitchen to hold the croutons, grated cheese, olives and high-fat dressings. Request a low-fat dressing on the side.
  • Make your sandwich with lean meats like turkey or chicken and spread the bread with mustard instead of mayonnaise.

Dinner: Whether you eat at home or in a restaurant, you can take steps to lighten up your meal.

  • Top baked potatoes with salsa, nonfat cottage cheese, or nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Order fresh fish poached or steamed instead of deep fried or battered & pan fried.
  • Watch your condiments. Tartar, Hollandaise and creamy cheese sauces are all high in fat and cholesterol. Better choices: ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce.
  • Steam vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, zucchini and potatoes. Top with lemon juice and herbs.
  • Halve the butter or margarine called for when preparing packaged rice, potato or macaroni dishes.
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Healthy Eating Tips So You Don’t Need to Diet

It’s that time of the year again, when that 4 letter word becomes part of everyone’s vocabulary – DIET!!!!  You’re trying to lose the weight you put on over the holidays, or you’re trying to stick with that New Year’s Resolution to lose those 15 pounds you’ve been trying to lose since college.  As you prepare for this year’s resolution, you try to figure out which diet you’re going to follow.  And there are many out there to choose from – in researching for this post, I did a search on Google and found 578 different diets before I became overwhelmed.  Otherwise, I’m sure I would have found many more.  So this year as you’re trying to decide if you want to do the old reliable Weight Watchers or try a different cabbage soup diet, I’d like to share with you some healthy eating tips.

Try not to focus on the latest fad diet, but instead focus on developing healthy eating habits.  Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as restrictive as you might imagine.  The first principle of a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of foods.  This is important because different foods give you different nutrients.  The bulk of your calories should come from fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, which are foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  The rest of your calories should come from low-fat dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and fish.  Also, try to maintain a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure.  In other words, don’t eat more food than your body can utilize.

Following these basic steps doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite foods.  As long as your diet is balanced and rich in nutrients and fiber, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional ice cream sundae.  Just be sure to limit how frequently you eat such foods, and try to eat smaller portions of them.

Basic Guidelines for Developing a Healthy Diet

  1.  Eat plenty of high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.  They should supply the 20-30 grams of dietary fiber you need on a daily basis.  Dietary fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so there’s less effect on insulin and blood sugar.  Such foods also provide important vitamins and minerals.
  2. Make sure to include green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits.  The antioxidants and other nutrients in these foods may help protect against developing certain types of cancer and other diseases.  Try to eat 5 or more servings of these a day.
  3. Limit your intake of sugary foods, refined-grain products such as white bread, and salty snack foods.  Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they’re calorie-dense.
  4.  Cut down on animal fat. It’s rich in saturated fat, which boosts blood cholesterol levels and has other adverse health effects. Choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
  5.  Cut down on trans fats, supplied by hydrogenated vegetable oils used in most processed foods.
  6. Eat more fish and nuts, which contain healthy unsaturated fats. Substitute olive or canola oil for butter or stick margarine.
  7. Keep portions moderate, especially of high-calorie foods.  In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants.  Split a dish with a friend or take home half of the portion in a doggie bag, and don’t order supersized anything.
  8. Eat a variety of foods. Don’t try to fill your nutrient requirements by eating the same food day in and day out.  Eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients.
  9. Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements.  Supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies nutrients and other compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the “synergy” that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body.
  10. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That is one drink a day for women, two a day for men. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Excess alcohol consumption leads to a variety of health problems. And alcoholic beverages can add many calories to your diet without supplying nutrients.
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