Showing posts with label Low Sodium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Low Sodium. Show all posts

Oct 6, 2014

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

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A simple Fall side dish, made with just 3 ingredients (butternut, pure maple syrup and oil) plus s + p!

My aunt LOVES butternut squash and shared this recipe with me. I personally an not a huge fan of sweet food (I prefer my butternut squash savory) but since many of you might enjoy this, I thought I would share. It's too easy not to!

The hardest thing about making this is peeling and cutting the squash, but the good news is you can buy it pre-cut, so if you want to do that, I say by all means, go for it!

May 29, 2014

Vegan Eggplant Meatballs

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Vegan Eggplant Meatballs - whether you're a vegan or just want to incorporate more plant based foods into your diet, these eggplant meatballs are delish!

These amazing meatless meatballs are made with eggplant, white beans and breadcrumbs to hold them together – if I was a vegan, I would have no problem eating this for dinner every night! They almost remind me of eggplant parmesan, in the form of a meatball.

I've had my eye on this recipes since I got a copy of Mark Bittman's VB6 Cookbook, and it did not disappoint! I love finding new ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet, and I try to eat meatless two to three times a week, so Mark's concept of eating vegan by day and flexitarian by night is quite appealing to me. And this week, I'm giving away 3 signed copies of the VB6 Cookbook on Skinny Bits. Click here for a chance to win your signed copy of the VB6 Cookbook.


Mark suggests serving this on a whole wheat roll, over pasta, rice or vegetables, but I thought I would make some zoodles (zucchini noodles) for a veggie play on spaghetti and meatballs. To make the zucchini noodles, you'll need a spiralizer (I use the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Sliceror a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade. I use 1 medium zucchini per person and saute each zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and garlic for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes tops. To see a more detailed zucchini noodle recipe, click here for my Zucchini Noodles with Lemon and Shrimp.

These meatballs are perfect for all types of diets; vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, clean eating, and gluten-free if you swap the crumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Mar 12, 2014

Flounder Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

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A simple yet delicious way to prepare fish for under 225 calories.

Breaded flounder lightly pan sauteed and topped with an arugula, lemon and tomato salad – a simple yet delicious way to prepare fish. Perfect for Lent, or any night you're in the mood for fish.

I was on a cruise a few weeks ago aboard the Norwegian and one of the meals I ordered more than once was the Flounder Milanese. I was able to recreate a lighter version of that meal; rather than deep frying it, I generously sprayed the fish with olive oil and pan sauteed it until golden. I love everything about this dish, it's light, quick and satisfying all for under 225 calories. You can use any white fish fillet you wish, and if you rather make this in the oven, I would broil it instead. Hope you enjoy!

An easy, light and delicious fish dish

Mar 6, 2014

Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

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A quick Spring stir fry made with chicken and asparagus

Although the weather outside still feels like winter, I'm excited to see signs of Spring all around. One of those signs is asparagus. Asparagus is one of my favorite Spring vegetables, and this quick stir-fry made with chicken, lemon, garlic and ginger is a great way to make it a weeknight meal.

I used a reduced-sodium Japanese soy sauce called Shoyu which is similar to Chinese soy sauce, but has a more full bodied flavored and a touch of sweetness that I'm really in love with. I like Eden, which is organic and non-GMO. You can use either one, or even Tamari if you're gluten free. We served this over brown rice to complete the meal. 

Dec 16, 2013

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies

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Light, crisp and chewy and sandwiched together with dark chocolate!

These delicious cookies are light, crisp and chewy, made with basic ingredients like oats, flour, butter, sugar and spices– then once baked they are sandwiched together with melted dark chocolate. If you're baking cookies for Holiday parties, or just to leave Santa, these are a must!


Holiday traditions in my family always included baking cookies with the kids. My Mom did it with my brother and I, and she still does it with my children. To ease some of the guilt, I try to include some lighter cookie recipes in the mix and these lace cookies are one of my favorites. Of course, I do practice restraint and tracking (and exercise) helps keep me in check this time of the year.



One thing to keep in mind when baking these cookies is the batter will spread once baked so don't put them too close together on the cookie sheet. Once baked they will keep well in an airtight container.

Aug 17, 2013

Agua De Sandia (Watermelon Water)

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Can't think of anything more thirst quenching that this on a hot summer day like today – chilled watermelon pureed with water, a squeeze of lime juice over a large glass of ice. Agua fresca is as common in Mexico as ice tea is here in the States. And BONUS, since watermelon is naturally sweet, there's no need to add any sugar!

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene and a great choice for it's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits, so eat as much as you can, before the summer's over.


Last weekend I spent a few days out in Montauk for a little family getaway. It's only about 2 hours away by car (if you don't count traffic) but since it's on the most eastern tip of Long Island, where all the highways from NYC merge into one road, there's always traffic. It's worth it though – the beaches, lighthouse, restaurants, shopping  – it's so much fun!



After a morning at the beach we went to the town to grab some lunch at La Brisa. Aguas frescas, horchata, fish tacos – I was in heaven. Probably had the best ceviche I've had in a long time (although a bit overpriced) but I couldn't stop talking about it all weekend. I had a fish taco and pork taco with the watermelon agua fresca. As I sat there, I kept thinking I can't believe I don't have this recipe on my blog. So of course, I came back, bought some watermelon and here it is, tasted exactly like the one I had in La Brisa.


And you may even want to make some skinny fish taco's to go with it!

Aug 5, 2013

Skillet Mexican Zucchini

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This zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a Mexican kick from the jalapeno then topped with melted queso blanco. It's also easy and quick, a must try!


I'm a bit of a cookbook addict. It's a problem as I'm running out of room in my home for all my books, but that never stops me from buying new ones. But the biggest problem is that I kinda neglect them. But this weekend I was thumbing through the Aaron Sanchez's (who is one of the judges on Chopped - one of my favorite shows) cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor who is also one of the judges on Chopped (one of my favorite shows) and I came across his Mexican recipe for zucchini. I can't get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire Pinterest Board devoted to skinny zucchini called Yummy Zucchini, so I decided to test this out...


You MUST try this! I only made a few tweaks using less oil, and and rather than making a cilantro pesto, I added Garden Gourmet cilantro paste and minced pickled jalapeno for kick. It totally exceeded my expectations.

Jun 25, 2013

Easy Grilled Fish Fillet in Foil Packets

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This super easy method for grilling fish is pretty foolproof, and you can use any fresh fish that's available to you in your area. It's almost 90 degrees today, which means I'm grilling tonight. In fact I use my outdoor grill just about every night in the summer to make quick, easy, healthy dinners.

Living on the east coast, I love to take full advantage of the fresh caught local fish available to me here on Long Island. Nothing is quite better than eating fish that came out of the ocean the same day! My local fishmonger suggested the Long Island porgy that was caught early that morning – delish! I asked him to fillet it for me, and I kept the skin on, just my personal  preference. Oh, the possibilities are endless when making fish in foil, you can add any fresh herbs you like, wine, garlic, shallots, whatever you like! I also do this in a 400 degree oven in the Fall and winter months.


When I do this outside on the gas grill, I cook the foil on indirect heat, which basically means I heat up one side of the grill with the cover closed so it gets good and hot, and keep the burners off on the other side. You can also do this with a charcoal grill with a cover, by leaving the coals on one side. The fish goes on the indirect side of the grill so that it cooks from the steam created in the foil. In about 10 minutes, the fish cooked to perfection. My whole family enjoys this, even my three year old.


Jun 20, 2013

Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs

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These chicken kebobs just SCREAM summer, made with my skinny basil pesto and grape tomatoes. Serve this as an appetizer at your next backyard bash, or have them for dinner any night of the week with a great big salad or over pasta.


We grow sooo much basil in my garden all summer long, so I make a lot of pesto and use it so many ways. This is super easy and can be made a day ahead, in fact the longer it marinates the better! Doubling the skewers helps keep everything in place while grilling, and makes them easier to turn. I love how the tomatoes taste after they are grilled, and they smell just divine when they come off the grill. To make my pesto skinny, I use less oil and make it without the pine nuts – but it's still so flavorful you won't miss them! If you're having this for dinner, I would serve 2 skewers, rather than one with salad or grilled veggies on the side.


These are gluten free, inexpensive, low-carb, clean and simple. If you want to make them paleo, you can leave out the parmesan and swap it for pine nuts. If you love pesto as much as we do, you may also love Skinny Chicken Pesto Bake, Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers, or this delicious Eggplant Panini with Pesto – so good!!

Jun 15, 2013

Spicy Chipotle Ketchup

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Homemade ketchup made with clean ingredients you can feel good about eating. Last summer I made my own homemade ketchup which turned out so GOOD, I made it again this year... with a twist! I added some chipotle paste to give it some heat, it goes great with turkey burgers or grilled sweet potato fries!


Finally someone came up with a chipotle paste in a tube, perfect since I never use the whole can. The brand is Olo's which I found on Amazon, but of course canned chipotle sauce will work fine here, you'll have to mince the chipotles. 

This is so EASY to make, just put a few ingredients in the sauce pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes. If you are planning on grilling this weekend and you like things a little spicy, give this a try!

Jun 11, 2013

Garlic Lover's Roast Beef

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Vampires beware, there's garlic in every bite! And if that's not enough garlic, I like to serve this with roasted broccoli with smashed garlic and skinny mashed potatoes... in my house, there's never too much garlic.


With Father's Day right around the corner, I thought it was time to re-shoot this recipe which means this is what's for dinner tonight. I make roast beef quite often in my house because it's pretty simple to make and we all love it. Roast beef is really hard to mess up as long as you have a meat thermometer and you let it rest before slicing.

For lunch today I made a delicious carved roast beef sandwich with melted cheese and sweet caramelized onions that I will be sharing tomorrow here, it was sooo good!

Jun 10, 2013

Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe

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This tropical fruit salad, made with fresh papaya, mango, pineapple, bananas and grated coconut is the best tasting fruit salad... EVER!!

It makes a great big bowl, big enough to feed a crowd so it's perfect to bring to a picnic, potluck or to serve at a backyard BBQ. This is easy enough for anyone to make – if you can use a knife, you can make this salad. The bananas are added just before serving so they don't turn brown.

Fruit salad always makes me think of my Dad, when I was younger he made a great big bowl of fresh fruit salad just about every night. It's the perfect dessert because it's all natural, made with nothing but fruit – it doesn't get cleaner than that!


In my past life I must have lived on a tropical island somewhere; the climate, blue oceans, palm trees, and sweet tropical fruit are my idea of a perfect world. Thank goodness we can get papayas, mangoes, coconut and pineapples here in the states, but there are still so many tropical fruits I'd love to see a lot more tropical fruit imported here one day such as fresh guanabana (sour sop) guava or passion fruit (maybe I need to get on a plane to somewhere tropical really soon).

Fruit salad is naturally low-fat, low-sodium, gluten-free, vegan, paleo friendly, clean-eating dish you can serve for brunch, snack or dessert. Yes, there is sugar in fruit, but it's natural and unprocessed, and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. Unless you have to watch your sugar for health reason, the USDA suggests you eat about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit a day.

Jun 4, 2013

Just Peachy Green Smoothie

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high protien shake with hemp seeds, spinach, peaches and bananas

At least 3 to 4 days a week, I start my morning with a green smoothie because it's a quick way to enjoy a nutritious breakfast without having to cook a thing. Just throw everything in the blender and breakfast is ready in less than a minute. I especially love this time of year when stone fruits are in season, especially sweet juicy peaches.


Which is the perfect time to make this delicious smoothie, because frozen peaches just aren't the same. For this protein packed liquid breakfast, I combined the peaches (skin and all) with a frozen ripe banana, some hemp seeds for extra protein, almond milk and baby spinach (you can't taste it, I promise!) My toddler loves green smoothies and always reminds me to buy spinach when I'm out (cracks me up!).

I often get asked about my blender, and I can't say enough good things about my Blendtec Total Blender. I never really knew what I was missing until I owned it, and now I'm not sure I could ever live without it. It's so powerful, perfect for whipping up smoothies and so much more. If you don't have one, no worries, I used to use my magic bullet and it worked just fine.

Best blender for smoothies

And just one note about counting points in smoothies, as per Weight Watchers the official answer is yes, you should count the fruit when you calculate the recipe in recipe builder when making smoothies. That being said, I've been told many WW leaders don't. One WW leader mentioned on my Facebook page: "you should let your weight loss be your guide. If you're doing smoothies within reason, I wouldn't count the points". So it's really up to you, if you don't count the fruit, this smoothie is 3 points plus.

Apr 15, 2013

Harissa Eggs in Purgatory

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Eggs simmer in a fiery tomato sauce with Moroccan spices.

This simple egg dish, simmered in a fiery tomato sauce can feel like heaven if you need a quick inexpensive meal with a kick.

I bought a jar of Mina Harissa on Amazon, a bright red Moroccan condiment that can be used with couscous, vegetables, meats or whatever you want, and my first thought was Eggs in Purgatory. It's spicy and flavorful, made of a blend of six simple ingredients; red chili pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and salt which also comes in a paste.


This is the type of dish you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner (Hello Meatless Mondays). Serve with with crusty bread, or any type of grain and call it a meal or double the portion and skip the starch if you are following a low carb or paleo diet.

Apr 11, 2013

Chicken Francese - Lightened Up

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Low fat chicken breast in a light white wine lemon sauce.


Skinless chicken cutlets, lightly coated in flour and egg, cooked in a white wine lemon sauce. Move over Olive Garden, this one's lighter and easy to make!

Confession, I've never been to the Olive Garden, heck I live in New York, we have tons of great Italian restaurants here so there's really no need. This is my husband Tommy's specialty, on those random nights that he gives me a break from the kitchen, he usually makes his Chicken Francese.


My husband's version let's just say is a little bit heavier, so I learned how to make it myself, with a lot less butter. My family loves it, kids and all and I usually serve this with a simple salad on the side.


This is also great over pasta with garlic since it makes a lemon sauce, I like to make it over whole wheat angel hair or orzo when I'm craving carbs. This is not a new recipe, I first posted this back in 2009, but I make this often and my husband thought it was time for a re-shoot. I also made a few modifications to it since I last posted, so if you have an old recipe printed out, you may want to print out a new one.

Apr 9, 2013

Mixed Baby Greens with Strawberries, Gorgonzola and Poppy Seed Dressing

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Today it really feels like Spring here on the East Coast. Temperatures are supposed to get into the eighties, which is quite a change from the snow we had two weeks ago! I've been on a salad kick big time, and even started a Pinterest board dedicated to salads called "Bikini Ready Salads" because summer will be here before you know it.


This delicious salad is perfect for this time of year or throughout the summer. Mixed organic baby greens such as baby kale and baby spinach (side bar, I am looooving Organic Girl's I heart baby kale mix), are tossed with sliced strawberries, slivered almonds and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette with honey, poppy seeds and shallots.  This makes a wonderful light lunch or a perfect side salad to serve it with grilled chicken.


I love fruit in my salads, especially when combined with the texture of nuts such as almonds and a soft cheese such as Gorgonzola. The sweetness of the strawberries compliments the cheese, and the poppy seed dressing ties it all together. This recipe was first posted back in 2008, before I owned a decent camera and the photo was so embarrassing, I decided to let it shine and give it a photo makeover.

You can swap the almonds for any nut you like, such as walnuts or pecans and the cheese can be swapped with goat cheese. For Paleo diets, leave out the cheese and use raw honey in the dressing.

Apr 8, 2013

Fiesta Bean Salad

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Black beans, chick peas, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado are tossed with a cumin-lime vinaigrette – I love the bright, fresh flavors of this quick and easy salad! Perfect for lunch, Meatless Mondays, or even as a side dish with grilled steak, shrimp or chicken.

Something magical happens when you combine cumin, cilantro and lime juice. I can seriously add this to just about anything and be a happy camper.


I confess that I didn't always like beans in my salads, I think it's a texture thing because I love beans simmered in soups or with rice, but...


...add some avocados, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, and cumin.... this is yumm-y!! What's more it's antioxidant rich, full of heart healthy fats, clean, and high in fiber which keeps you full and satisfied.

This serves four as a main dish, if you prefer to have this as a side dish, then it would easily serve 8.

Apr 3, 2013

Grilled Shrimp Avocado Fennel and Orange Salad

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Grilled shrimp, slices of avocado, shaved fennel and oranges are served over baby kale and mixed greens then topped with a citrus vinaigrette.

Spring is here, although today you would never know it with this crazy cold weather we are having in New York, but my allergies are kicking in to high gear and confirming that Spring is hear indeed. Just a few more weeks before the warmer weather approaches and I already started switching up my meals from those cozy comfort dishes to lighter salads.


This recipe is for my friend Raquel who texts me photos of her fancy dishes she eats when she dines out, then asks me how to make it. I told her I would try to recreate it for her, but wasn't too excited about the idea of fennel. Because she raved about it so much, I bought all the ingredients anyway and to my surprise, the fennel didn't bother me at all! I think the trick is that I shaved it real thin with my mandoline, and I loved the way it paired with the citrus and the grilled shrimp.


I felt like I was eating dinner at a fancy-shmancy restaurant, and kept thinking what a great dish this would be for Mother's Day. My daughter Madison (yes, my three year old) enjoyed the salad too believe it or not! Here she is on Easter, she's getting so big...


She liked everything except the avocado and baby greens, but ate all the shrimp, oranges and fennel, go figure! I packed the rest for lunch and leftovers tasted just as good as yesterday.

This salad is light and delicious, less than 300 calories, and perfect for Weight Watchers, Clean Eating, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Low-Sodium and I'm sure others dietary restrictions I'm not familiar with. I am starting to label all the Clean Eating and Paleo recipes from my site for those of you who asked for this, you can see them in the column on the right. I have a lot to go through so it will take a while to get through them all.

Apr 1, 2013

Southwestern Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley

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Happy Monday, hope everyone had a nice weekend. Today is the first day of April and Spring is in the air! I started my morning with a two mile run which felt great, and I thought it would be the perfect day to enjoy this delicious quinoa salad which I am reviving from the archives.

Black beans, sweet mango, and lots of colorful vegetables make a delicious zesty salad that has wonderful texture, color and flavor. Serve this as a side dish at a potluck or enjoy this as a meatless main course with some corn tortillas (perfect for Meatless Mondays!!) Leftovers are perfect for lunch on the go as the flavors only get better the next day.


Packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, folate, iron and lutein so it's not just tasty, it's good for you.

This recipe is from The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD who I met in California on my trip to the Dole Blogger Summit. If you are interested in adding more vegetables and plant-based foods to your diet, this is the book for you.

Mar 19, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

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paleo friendly side dish

Pretty little bundles of bacon wrapped French "green beans" known as Haricot verts which are longer and thinner than the typical American green bean. Of course, American green beans will work just fine here too.


As a kid, I never liked green beans because the only way I tasted them was boiled and overcooked. As I got older, I learned that I actually enjoy them if they are prepared right. Fresh green beans are a must for me, and I like them roasted or sauteed until tender and crisp. Add a little bacon to them and you can't go wrong.

These are really easy to make, I served them as a side with Petite Turkey Meatloaf for dinner, but this would also make an elegant side dish for Easter dinner if you double the recipe. You can prep them ahead of time, then roast them just before serving.