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Chocolate Chip Orange Smoothie

Chocolate Chip Orange Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie uses heart-healthy dark chocolate combined with cocoa powder for a rich treat that is low in calories. For a thick smoothie, plan ahead and freeze the orange juice in ice cube trays before blending the ingredients. Be sure to use chocolate and cocoa powder that is at least 60 percent cocoa solids to get the most health benefit.

Yield: 1 serving

Preparation time: 10 minutes


1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

½ tsp honey (or your preferred sweetener)

1/3 cup fresh orange juice, frozen in cubes

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp orange zest

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

6 dark chocolate chips

3 to 4 ice cubes


Place the almond milk and the honey in the cup or pitcher of a blender. Pulse to blend in the honey.

Add the orange juice cubes, cocoa powder, orange zest and vanilla. Place 4 chocolate chips in the blender. Chop the other 2 and reserve for garnish. Add the ice and pulse in 5 to 10 second intervals, until smooth and the chocolate chips are finely chopped.

Pour into a glass, top with the reserved chocolate, and serve right away.

Nutrition information: Calories 120; Total Fat 5.7 g; Saturated Fat 1.7 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 182 mg; Carbohydrate 18.6 g; Fiber 3.4 g; Sugar 12.4 g; Protein 3.1 g

Bean and Broccoli Quinoa Bites

Bean and Broccoli Quinoa Bites Recipe

These bites combine protein-rich quinoa and beans with nutritious broccoli for a healthy, baked snack. They work well for an easy holiday party appetizer or you can serve them during the next big game. Team them up with some Greek yogurt dressing to use as a dip.

Yield: 28 bites

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes


2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

1 cup white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper


Stir together the quinoa and the water in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil over medium-high, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until almost all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool. Any remaining water will be absorbed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the beans to a large bowl. Use a potato masher to smash the beans until mostly smooth. Stir in the broccoli and the garlic. Add the quinoa and gently smash it into the beans as you stir. Mix in the oregano, cumin, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Use a cookie scoop to remove one scoop of the mixture. With clean hands, roll it into a ball. Place on a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining mix.

Bake the bites for 25 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Serve warm.

Nutrition information for 2 bites: Calories 49; Total Fat 0.8 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 50 mg; Carbohydrate 8.7 g; Fiber 1.3 g; Sugar 0.3 g; Protein 2.0 g

Easy Pumpkin Pudding

Easy Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

Pudding makes an easy treat to satisfy a sweet tooth, but skip the instant mixes. By making it at home, you can reduce the added preservatives and artificial flavors. This version is perfect for fall with vitamin-A-rich pumpkin and spices. It uses skim milk and no eggs to reduce saturated fat and total calories.

Yield: 6

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


3 cups skim milk

¾ cup raw sugar

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

3 tbsp cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional toppings: chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, whipped cream


In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and milk for about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and salt, and whisk until there are no lumps.

Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. Continue to whisk until the pudding begins to bubble and thicken. Once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 15 minutes), remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.

Pour the pudding into serving dishes. Place a small square of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. The pudding can be eaten warm or refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. It will thicken as it cools.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (½ cup): Calories 161; Total Fat 0.4 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 2 mg; Sodium 170 mg; Carbohydrate 35.6 g; Fiber 0.6 g; Sugar 24.5 g; Protein 5.1 g

Vegetable Pad Thai

Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai is a quick and easy dish that you can make in 30 minutes or less. Compared to traditional recipes, this version doubles the nutritious vegetables and uses fewer noodles to reduce calories without sacrificing flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


4 oz. Pad Thai brown rice noodles

5 cups hot water

1 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice)

3 green onions, sliced, greens and white portions separated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

2 ½ cups sliced bok choy

1 ½ cups thinly sliced green cabbage

Juice of ½ a lime

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 large egg

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped dry roasted, unsalted peanuts


Place the Pad Thai noodles in a medium bowl and pour in the hot water. Stir to submerge all of the noodles in the water. Let sit for 8 to 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender, and drain.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the white portion of the onions and the garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the ginger and the carrots and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, lime juice, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Stir well to mix all ingredients and cook for 1 more minute.

Use your cooking spoon or spatula to push all of the vegetables to one side of the skillet. Crack the egg onto the surface of the pan on the empty side. Let the egg cook until it sets, about 1 minute. Gently flip and scramble the egg, chopping it into pieces as it cooks. Stir the egg into the other ingredients.

Mix in the Pad Thai noodles and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, until heated. Remove the the skillet heat and stir in the cilantro and the reserved green portion of the onions. Sprinkle the Pad Thai with the peanuts before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (¼ of the recipe): Calories 238; Total Fat 9.4 g; Saturated Fat 1.6 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 265 mg; Carbohydrate 32.8 g; Fiber 5.4 g; Sugar 5.9 g; Protein 7.4 g

Roasted Pumpkin and Red Rice Salad

Roasted Pumpkin and Red Rice Salad Recipe

If you are tired of brown rice and quinoa, give red rice a try. In this seasonal recipe, it is combined with roasted pumpkin and curry powder for a whole grain side dish that gives you a boost of fiber. Any variety of winter squash can be substituted for the pumpkin, and if you are not a fan of curry, switch to other spices like chili powder or cumin.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes


1 cup dry red rice

1 ½ cups water

2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin

1/3 cup diced onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

2 green onions, greens-only, sliced


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the rice and the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Let rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes. The rice will absorb any remaining liquid.

While the rice cooks, place the pumpkin, onion, olive oil, curry powder, and sea salt in a medium bowl. Toss to coat all ingredients with the spices. Transfer the pumpkin to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.

In a medium bowl, stir together the rice and pumpkin. Fold in the sliced green onions and serve warm.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 207; Total Fat 3.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 147 mg; Carbohydrate 42.5 g; Fiber 3.8 g; Sugar 1.7 g; Protein 4.0 g - Calorie counting made easy
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