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Asparagus and White Bean Soup

Asparagus and White Bean Soup Recipe

This soup provides a hearty, filling meal without the excess fat and sodium of canned versions. It uses fresh asparagus that provides vitamin K. The white beans add both protein and fiber. When blended, the beans thicken the soup to a creamy consistency without the need for cream or butter.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup diced onion

1 cup chopped asparagus

2 (15 oz.) cans no salt added white beans, rinsed and drained

2 ¼ cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

½ tsp fine ground sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Parsley and shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Directions

Heat the oil in a 3 to 4 quart pan over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the beans and then the vegetable broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Transfer the soup to a blender and puree for 10 to 15 seconds, until the soup is smooth. Return the soup to the pan on low heat. Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve warm, garnished with parsley leaves and shredded parmesan, if desired.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 250; Total Fat 3.9 g; Saturated Fat 0.6 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 372 mg; Carbohydrate 41.3 g; Fiber 10.3 g; Sugar 3.9 g; Protein 14.2 g

Ricotta Toasts with Fresh Strawberries

Ricotta Toasts with Fresh Strawberries Recipe

These easy toasts make a quick breakfast or snack. Part skim ricotta cheese provides protein and fresh strawberries supply vitamin C.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

8 slices whole wheat baguette

½ cup part skim ricotta cheese

1 tsp honey

8 to 10 strawberries, sliced

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Directions

Preheat the broiler and place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil until toasted and browned, about 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and honey. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta over each toast.

Place a few slices of strawberry over the ricotta on each toast. Sprinkle the toasts with chopped mint and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (2 toasts): Calories 135; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated Fat 2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Carbohydrate 20.3 g; Fiber 2.8 g; Sugar 6.9 g; Protein 6.4 g

Cabbage and Beetroot Slaw

Cabbage and Beetroot Slaw Recipe

Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains that act as antioxidants and are shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Betalains are sensitive to heat and decrease when beets are cooked. This recipe uses raw beets to help maintain their valuable antioxidant content. They are mixed with cabbage and carrots for a crisp slaw that makes a great side dish for cookouts.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded (about ¾ cup)

1 clove garlic, grated

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

4 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp honey

1/8 tsp salt

2 small beets, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)

Directions

In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, garlic, and chives.

In a small dish, stir together the vinegar, honey, and salt. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.

Add the shredded beet and gently toss all the ingredients. The beet will slightly color the other vegetables. Serve right away.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 38; Total Fat 0.2 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 118 mg; Carbohydrate 8.9 g; Fiber 2.5 g; Sugar 5.9 g; Protein 1.4 g

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins Recipe

Muffins make a quick breakfast when you are on the go, but store-bought varieties are often loaded with calories and saturated fat. You can make a healthier muffin when you prepare them at home. The mashed strawberries and applesauce in this muffin reduce the need for added sugar and oil. Whole wheat flour adds fiber to make them more filling.

Yield: 6 muffins

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup sliced fresh strawberries, mashed

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

¼ cup raw sugar

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a standard 6-muffin baking tin with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed strawberries and applesauce. Stir in the egg until all ingredients are mixed together. Stir in the raw sugar and vanilla extract.

Add the baking soda and salt. Stir well until there are no longer any white clumps from the baking soda.

Fold in the flour and mix just until all ingredients are incorporated into a batter. Transfer the batter to the muffin tin, filling each slot with an equal amount.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from the muffin tin and serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition information for 1 muffin: Calories 131; Total Fat 2.3 g; Saturated Fat 0.6 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 82 mg; Sodium 294 mg; Carbohydrate 23.8 g; Fiber 2.3 g; Sugar 9.3 g; Protein 5.2 g

Lightened Up Deviled Eggs

Lightened Up Deviled Eggs Recipe

Deviled eggs are a staple for spring parties and picnics, but they are often high in unhealthy fat, cholesterol, and sodium. This version uses fewer egg yolks and adds non-fat yogurt to reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol. Herbs and spices add flavor to the filling without excess salt.

Yield: 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

4 large, hard-boiled eggs

¼ cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt

½ tsp chopped fresh chives + plus extra for garnish

½ tsp chopped fresh dill

1/8 tsp hot or sweet smoked paprika

1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

Directions

Carefully cut the hard-boiled eggs in half. Gently remove the yolks. Place two of yolks in a small bowl and discard the other two. Place the egg whites, cut-side up on a serving plate.

Add the yogurt, chives, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper to the two egg yolks. Use a fork to smash the yolks and stir all ingredients. Stir for about 30 seconds, until smooth and all ingredients are blended.

Transfer the filling to a pastry bag with a star tip, or to a zip lock bag with the bottom corner cut off. Pipe an equal amount of filling into each egg where the yolk was held. Sprinkle with any remaining chives and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 27; Total Fat 1.2 g; Saturated Fat 0.4 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 53 mg; Sodium 66 mg; Carbohydrate 0.4 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugar 0.2 g; Protein 3.1 g

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