Tag Archive | healthy

Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp & Spinach

Forgive me on the recipe name here, not my best work.  This dish was fantastic, we will definitely be making it again.  Although “creamy” may make you step away from this recipe, the “cream” is just Greek yogurt!  I fooled Mr. Applebutter once again. ;-)


Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp- adapted from back to her roots

Serves: 6

12 oz whole wheat spiral noodles

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

8 oz. mushrooms, diced

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

10 oz. shrimp, peeled & deveined

1 cup marinara sauce

5 oz. plain 0% Greek yogurt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 oz fat free crumbled feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms soften.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the pasta, Greek yogurt and marinara sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated.   Add Italian seasoning and feta cheese.  Mix well.
  6. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Depending on your taste, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of “sauce” (pasta/yogurt mixture). 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 357 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 45g carbohydrate (8g fiber), 26g protein


Easy Peasy Chicken Fingers

Sometimes, the heart wants chicken fingers.  I get it.  As a child, it was always chicken fingers for me.  Instead of running to the drive-thru for a deep fried, high fat version- take 15 minutes to make these. :)


Easy Peasy Chicken Fingers

Serves: 4 (3 chicken fingers each)

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. ground flax seed (or “flax meal”- same thing)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins, rinsed and trimmed of visible fat

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Cooking spray

Barbeque sauce to drizzle on top (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Lay raw chicken out on cutting board and lightly salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly beat egg in medium sized bowl.  Combine flax, panko and whole wheat breadcrumbs on a plate.  Mix well.  Spray medium sized cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Line them up in a line in the above order.
  4. Carefully dip chicken fingers one at a time into egg, then flour mixture, and place on cookie sheet.
  5. Bake in 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping chicken fingers over after about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with 1-2 tbsp. drizzle of barbeque sauce if desired.

Suggested Side: baked sweet potato fries and a mixed greens salad.

Nutrition Facts (per serving- bbq sauce not included):  230 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 12g carbohydrate (2g fiber), 30g protein

Healthy Tuna Melts

There’s a couple major perks to this recipe.  One, it is an excellent source of protein without the high fat of other protein sources. Two, it’s got as much fiber as my morning bowl of oatmeal.  Three, it’s very very easy!  The hint of cheese gives it the tuna melt flavor without covering it in tons of saturated fat.  As much as I enjoy my Avocado Tuna Melts, this is a similar but slightly slimmed down version.


Healthy Tuna Melts adapted from Emeril’s Kicked-Up Tuna Melts
Serves: 4
4 cans (5 ounces each) solid white tuna packed in water, drained
1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 slices 100% Whole Wheat Low Sodium Bread
8 thin slices tomato
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese,  shredded
  1. Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine tuna, Greek yogurt, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Divide tuna salad evenly among bread slices that have already been arranged on the baking sheet, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1/8 cup (or small sprinkle) of cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 260 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated), 14.3g carbohydrate (3.3g fiber), 44.6g protein

Apple Walnut and Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal

This one is really simple, you can easily make it on a weekday morning.  It also screams “fall!” and the fiber it contains will fill you up for longer then some other breakfast choices.  This will most likely prevent you from reaching for a unhealthy mid-morning snack.  As a side note, be careful when choosing a store-bought pumpkin butter.  They can be very high in sugar, very unnecessarily.  Mine is 5g sugar per tablespoon with only 4 ingredients, which is acceptable, but feel free to make your own or use canned pumpkin with a bit of brown sugar to substitute.  Enjoy :)

Apple Walnut and Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal

Serves: 1

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 cup water

1 tbsp. pumpkin butter

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 small gala apple, diced

2 tsp. walnuts, finely chopped



  1. Combine oats and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 2 minutes and 10 seconds until water is absorbed.
  2. Add diced apple, pumpkin butter and walnuts.  Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top.
  3. Mix and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 273 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated),  45g carbohydrate (7g fiber), 6g protein

Lemon Lentil Soup

Lentils are such a great source of fiber and protein that I’ve made a personal goal to get them into more dishes. What I’ve noticed is that you can easily sneak them into things because when they cook they just sort of.. blend in. I understand that’s a terrible description, but you’ll have to cook them and see for yourself!  This soup was really tasty and fresh.  I froze the leftover servings and really look forward to having it again on a cool winter night.

Lemon Lentil Soup– slightly adapted from The big book of little lentils

Serves: 6

2 tsp. olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (do 1/2 tsp if you like spicy)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1.5 cups dry split red lentils (I used Goya brand), cleaned and rinsed

6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. dried parsley (or 2 tbsp. fresh)

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot
  2. Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute
  3. Add cumin and lentils, combine well.  Add chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and soup is beginning to thicken, about 30 minutes
  5. Add lemon juice and serve with parsley sprinkled on top and 3 (1 oz) slices of ciabatta bread

Nutrition Facts (per serving without the bread): 193 calories, 13g protein, 28g carbohydrate (9g dietary fiber), 3.4g fat (.7g saturated)

Minestrone Soup

It was a sick, study filled weekend.  I can say I moved from the couch once or twice in 48 hours.  Unfortunately, the little germ monsters (children) at my part time job did it again.  My cold left me not caring at all about the quality of this picture of soup.  Despite the awful picture, I promise that it tastes delicious and was very comforting on a chilly fall night, sore throat or not!

It is not my recipe though so I cannot take credit for it.  It’s one of my favorite chef’s/RD, Ellie Krieger.  Next weekend through Tuesday I will be at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics national conference in Philadelphia (sorry, no post next Monday!), and I can’t WAIT to go to Ellie’s presentation.  Maybe I can even meet her?! I like this recipe so much that I hardly altered it at all, and it’s perfect to freeze for nights you’re feeling lazy but still want need to get your vegetable servings in :)

Minestrone Soupvery slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger, RD

Serves: 6

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 stalks celery, diced fairly thin

1 large carrot, diced fairly thin

1/3 lb green beans, cut into 1/2 in pieces

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

salt and pepper, to taste

1 28 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 14 oz can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5 oz can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup whole wheat elbow pasta

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Dice all vegetables
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the celery and carrot and cook until begin to soften, about 6-7 minutes.  Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and basil, dash of salt and pepper (if cans are higher sodium omit the salt), cook 4-5 more minutes.
  3. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes & chicken broth, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans and pasta and cook about 10 minutes more.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 260 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated), 37g carbohydrate (12g fiber), 15g protein

Kale, Mushrooms & Cranberries Salad

Alright so we’re going to do a 180 from Monday’s post with a kale dish today. Kale is literally one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables on the planet.  I’d say, it is the king.  It is an excellent source of antioxidants A, C & K and is widely recognized as cancer protective.  The fiber content in the kale also helps to bind with bile acids in your blood stream which helps you to lower your blood cholesterol.  This vegetable is truly a no-brainer to put in your grocery cart. It is worth every penny to your health, and it’s pretty cheap too!

If this is your first stint with kale, you may want to start with a mixed dish such as my Baked Pasta with Kale & Chickpeas first to get used to the texture.  It is a rather “healthy” tasting veggie, so I don’t want to scare you away from it with this recipe too soon.  If kale is your thing, definitely give this salad a try.  I think you’ll be able to feel your body smiling when you eat it!

Kale, Mushrooms & Cranberries Salad– adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a main dish

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, roughly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium bunch kale, chopped (about 5 cups)

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup dried cranberries


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots, green onion, mushrooms, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes.  Add the broth and cranberries.  Bring to a boil and scrape any brown bits that clung to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper and serve.  I would suggest you serve it with a seasoned chicken breast or your favorite cut of fish which will add the needed protein to fill you up.

Nutrition Facts (serving as a side): 175 calories, 8.1g fat, 1.1g sat. fat, 25g carbohydrate (6.7g dietary fiber), 6.1g protein.  ** Also to notice: 852mg Potassium, 446% of the DV of Vitamin A & 123% of the DV of Vitamin C!

Nutrition Facts (serving as a main dish): 350 calories, 16.2g fat, 2.2g sat. fat, 50g carbohydrate (13.4g dietary fiber), 12.1g protein.  **Also to notice: 1,705mg Potassium, 891% of the DV of Vitamin A & 246% of the DV of Vitamin C!