SUMMER SALADS

 

Summer is the perfect time for salads!  Try substituting spinach and mixed greens for bread or high calorie wraps - put your favorite sandwich ingredients (egg salad, chicken salad, BLT, tuna, etc.) in a salad.  Or wrap the ingredients in a large lettuce leaf.

Here's one of our favorites:

 

Dressed-Up Steak Salad Recipe

 

Steak salad: cut your leftover steak into strips and put it over spinach and mixed greens (stay away from iceberg lettuce - very low nutritional content).  Add your favorite extras: tomato, onion, avocado, cucumber, zucchini, artichoke, carrot, celery, chickpeas, sunflower seeds...the possibilities are endless.  Top with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  (Stay away from pre-made dressings that say "fat free" and are high in sugar/carb content).  Enjoy and have a healthy summer!

 

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Quinoa Salad

 

 

3 cups water

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups quinoa

3 Tbsp parsley

1 tsp oil (preferably safflower or grapeseed oil)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 cup red pepper, diced

1/2 cup tomato, diced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

 

Combine water, bouillon, and salt in large saucepan; bring to a boil.  Stir in quinoa.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  While that is simmering, cut up mushrooms, pepper, and tomato.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, red pepper, and wine.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  Add tomato and black pepper; reduce heat.  When quinoa is done, add vegetable mixture to the saucepan and mix well.  If desired, spoon walnut over the top before serving.

 

Nutrition per 3 oz serving: Cal 128, Fat 8, Carb 12, Protein 4

 

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TURKEY SAUSAGE MEATBALLS

 

 

1 lb Italian sausage, ground

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp parsley

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp pepper

 

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, eggs, onion, basil, parsley, garlic, and pepper. Blend well. Add the ground turkey and sausage. Using fingers gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a small ice cream scoop, form the meat mixture into 1-2 inch balls (about 22 to 24 meatballs). Place meatballs into a large oiled skillet and cover. (I recommend grapeseed or safflower oil).  Tun 1/2 way through and cook until brown all the way through. (Total time will be about 20 minutes).

 

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SCRAMBLED EGG MUFFINS

 

Scrambled Egg Muffins Recipe

 

1/2 lb pork sausage or 1 lb bacon

12 eggs

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

Brown sausage / cook bacon; drain well.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, beat eggs.  Add onion, green peppers, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir in sausage and cheese.  Grease muffin pan (do not use paper liners).  Spoon 1/3 cupfuls into muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Note: if you want to change ingredients, do an equal substitution.  Ex: 1/2 cup mushrooms instead of 1/2 cup green pepper.  Otherwise, you'll end up with excess mix that will not fit into the muffin cups.

 

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PROTEIN COOKIES

 

Weightlifter's Protein Cookies

 

3 cups quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup almond or skim milk

4 scoops protein powder (chocolate is best)

dash of cinnamon

 

Mix peanut butter and milk together, then add dry ingredients and stir until well blended.  Shape into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet and put in the fridge overnight.  Enjoy as a snack!

 

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BANANA SPINACH SMOOTHIE

 

1 banana

1 handful of fresh spinach

1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 Tbsp peanut butter

1 serving yogurt (I use Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla yogurt)

 

Peel and slice banana; freeze for 1 hour or as long as you can.  Place all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

(I promise, you will not taste the spinach)

 

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NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST IDEAS

 

  • Egg scramble with fresh chopped veggies (mushrooms, sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach)
  • Whole wheat English muffin with an egg and pre-cooked sausage patty (for a quick version, cook the egg in the microwave in a small bowl for a perfect round sandwich size)
  • Oatmeal with honey & a banana with peanut butter
  • Breakfast burrito: Carb Balance flour tortilla with a scrambled egg and meat (ham, sausage, or bacaon) - add chopped veggies and green chiles if desired
  • Wheat toast with peanut butter and a sliced banana
  • Protein shake
  • Breakfast cookies (see recipe below)
  • Smoothie: have fun with this - a mixture of fresh or frozen fruit, milk, Greek or plain yogurt, vanilla protein powder
  • Spinach smoothie: blend spinach, frozen berries, peanut butter, banana, vanilla protein powder, & milk 
  • Whole wheat waffle with peanut butter
  • Kashi cereal
  • Fresh fruit with whole wheat toast and an egg
  • Fresh fruit with oatmeal and an egg
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit
  • Greek yogurt (my favorite is Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt) with fresh fruit or whole wheat toast with peanut butter
  • Oatmeal with greek yogurt and flaxseeds

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NUTRITIOUS SNACK IDEAS

  • Celery with tuna salad 
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Any kind of fresh fruit (about 1 cup worth)
  • Nuts (almonds are the best, but no more than 10)
  • Beef jerky 
  • Pepperoni 'chips' - just zap the slices in the microwave
  • Apple slices with natural peanut butter or 1 oz of cheese
  • Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt
  • Smoked salmon & cream cheese on cucumber slices
  • 1 cup of any fresh veggies (spinach, brocolli, snap peas, celery, & cucumbers are the best), with 2 Tbsp of Hummus or natural peanut butter as a dip
  • Lettuce rolls - deli meat, egg salad, tuna, rolled up in a lettuce leaf
  • Deli rolls - cheese and veggies rolled up in deli meat
  • Protein shake
  • Breakfast cookies (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • Seafood Salad (see recipe below)

**Snacks with a protein source will the best option for a healthy diet.  Enjoy!

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SEAFOOD SALAD

(great for snacking!)

 

8 oz (1 cup) imitation crab, shredded

8 oz (1 cup) cooked shrimp, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/4 cup green pepper, diced

1/4 cup onion, diced

3/4 cup lite mayonnaise

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dill

1 tsp parsley

salt and pepper to taste

 

Mix everything together in a bowl.  Chill 1 hour before serving.  

Eat 'as is' for a low carb snack, or eat with a few whole wheat or whole grain crackers.

 

Nutrition: Makes about 10 servings, each serving is:

Calories: 70

Fat: 5

Carbs: 5

Protein: 8

 

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SOUTHWEST CHICKEN CASSEROLE

 

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed

2 cups tomatoes, diced (romas work best)

1 can green chiles (7oz)

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground chipotle or red pepper (can adjust for spiciness)

1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15oz) corn, drained, or 1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup tomato juice or small can tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup light sour cream or plain yogurt

 

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, green chiles, green pepper, and all spices.  Pour over chicken.  Cook in slow cooker for 5-6 hours.  Shred chicken (can be done with 2 forks right in the slow cooker).  Stir in beans, corn, tomato juice / sauce, cheese, and sour cream / yogurt.  Cook for another 10 minutes in slow cooker, until heated through.  Get ready for a surprisingly delicious treat! 

 

Nutrition: about 8 servings: each serving is:

Calories: 281

Fat: 6

Carbs: 17

Protein: 41

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JERK CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Jerk Chicken Casserole

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp ground red pepper (optional for heat)

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (cubed if you prefer)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp sliced green onions

 

Heat oven to 375.  In small bowl, mix salt, allspice, thyme, and red pepper.  Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and rub mixture on all sides.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken 2 minutes per side.  In greased baking dish, layer beans and potato.  Place chicken on top.  In small bowl, mix honey, lime juice, and cornstarch; add to warm skillet.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Pour over chicken.  Bake 35-45 minutes or until chicken is 180 degrees.  Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

 

NUTRITION: makes 6 servings

Calories: 320

Fat: 8g

Carbs: 37g

Protein: 20g

 

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APPLESAUCE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES (AKA BREAKFAST COOKIES)

 

1 can (2 cups) unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup natural peanut butter

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup milk powder

2 scoops (1/2 cup) vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 Tblsp sweetener (Truvia baking blend)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 325.  Mix applesauce and peanut butter together.  Mix in dry ingredients, stir well.  Add raisins.  Using 2 spoons, scoop 24 cookies onto a GREASED baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

NOTE: these will not flatten like other cookies because there is no butter/shortening in them.  Do NOT overbake.  Have a cookie with a protein shake for a quick, easy, nutrient rich breakfast. 

 

Nutrition: each cookie contains:

Calories: 91

Fat: 2 g

Carbs: 12 g

Protein: 5 g

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Easy Spaghetti Squash

1 small spaghetti squash (the oval yellow one :)

2 lbs ground beef (not less than 90%)

1 jar pasta sauce

1 bag frozen corn

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Cut the sqaush in 1/2 lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds in the middle.  Put in a pan, cut sides down, with a bit of water.  Cook squash for about 45 minutes, until the skin can pierced easily with a fork. 

While the squash is cooking, brown the beef and mix in the pasta sauce.  Heat the corn. 

Use a fork to scoop out the squash, it should be stringy like noodles.  Serve the sauce mixture over the squash.  The corn can be served on top or on the side. 

 

**For an even lower carb option, you can reduce the serving of corn and use fresh diced tomatoes with italian seasoning and garlic as a substitute for the pasta sauce.  Or instead of corn, serve with a spinach salad with olive oil and vinegar.  If you are running low on time, you can 'jump start' the squash by microwaving the halves for about 5 minutes while the oven warms up.

 

Nutrition: Each serving is 1 cup squash, 1/3 lb beef, 1/2 cup sauce, & 1/2 cup corn.

Calories: 570

Fat: 21

Carbs: 38

Protein: 53

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Nacho Skillet Casserole (Easy)

 

Nacho Skillet Casserole

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 pkg taco seasoning

1/2 cup water

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 sm can corn

1 sm can green chiles

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup green pepper, diced

1/2 cup shredded cheese

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Dice tomato and green pepper while beef is cooking.  Add taco seasoning and water.  Add all remaining ingredients except cheese.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

 

Nutrition: makes 6 servings, each serving is:

Calories: 552

Fat: 16

Carbs: 27

Protein: 56

 

Eat 'as is' for lower carbs, otherwise this dish can be served with tortilla chips.

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Tasty Salmon Cakes

 

 

Ingredients:

15 oz Salmon (3 5oz pouches of boneless, skinless salmon)

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp mustard

1 Tbsp light mayonaise

1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup brown & wild rice (1/2 pouch of Uncle Ben's ready rice)

2 eggs, beaten

Salt & Pepper

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Form 10 cakes with a large spoon and place on a non-stick 9x13 pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Nutrition: makes 5 servings (2 cakes each), each serving is:

Calories: 276

Fat: 11

Carbohydrates: 28

Protein: 24

 

Serve with a vegetable, such as a fresh spinach salad.

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Easy Baked Chicken

 

Baked Chicken. Photo by gailanng

 

Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts

1/4 cup Butter, melted (do not use margarine)

2-3 tsp Seasoned Salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry

Place chicken in a baking dish

Brush chicken with butter

Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt

Bake for 45 min or until chicken is no longer pink in the center

NOTE: do not overcook, or chicken will be tough and dry

TIP: if using frozen chicken, place in fridge the day before to thaw

 

Nutrition: makes 4 servings, each serving is:

Calories: 351 g

Carbs: 0

Fat: 24 g

Protein: 30 g

 

Pair this with your favorite fresh or frozen vegetable, such as steamed broccoli and a small, baked red potato.

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