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Easy Pumpkin Soup

Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Keep healthy meals simple with this pumpkin soup. It comes together in less than 30 minutes. It’s lower in sodium than most canned soups, and it’s packed with vitamin-rich pumpkin and flavorful herbs and spices.

Yield: 3 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


½ tbsp olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp smoked paprika

1/8 to ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)

1/8 tsp poultry seasoning

15 oz. canned pumpkin puree

2 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable stock

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Fresh rosemary for garnish (optional)


In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the paprika, cayenne pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook for 30 seconds.

Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the pumpkin puree, and then add the chicken or vegetable stock. Continue to stir until pumpkin and stock are combined. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. You can also transfer the soup to a blender and puree.

Increase the heat back to medium-high. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and black pepper and serve with a sprig of rosemary for garnish.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 89; Total Fat 2.9 g; Saturated Fat 0.3 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 275 mg; Carbohydrate 14.1 g; Fiber 6.3 g; Sugar 5.8 g; Protein 4 g

Warm Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warm Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Garlic Parmesan Croutons Recipe

If you want the holiday flavors without the refined carbohydrates and excess sodium, give this shredded Brussels sprouts salad a try. It uses similar seasonings as your favorite holiday stuffing, but it is loaded with healthy vegetables for more nutrients and fiber.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes



2 slices whole wheat bread, cubed (about 1 cup)

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 ½ tsp olive oil

¼ tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup diced onion

¼ cup diced celery

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, shredded or thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped raw pecans

¼ tsp poultry seasoning

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

2 tbsp diced dried cranberries


To make the croutons, preheat the broiler to high and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Add bread cubes, cheese, 1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil, garlic powder and black pepper to a medium bowl. Stir well to coat the bread with the oil and other ingredients.

Spread in single layer on the baking sheet. Broil for about 1 minute, stir and broil for about 1 more minute, until browned and crisp. Set aside.

Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the celery and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, until they reach your desired softness. Stir in the pecans, poultry seasoning and sea salt, and cook for 30 more seconds.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Serve warm, topped with the croutons.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 195; Total Fat 10.1 g; Saturated Fat 1.3 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 291 mg; Carbohydrate 23.7 g; Fiber 5.6 g; Sugar 6.8 g; Protein 6 g

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Recipe

Steel-cut oatmeal makes a warm and filling breakfast that provides dietary fiber. Give it a seasonal twist by adding antioxidant-rich fresh cranberries and orange segments. This oatmeal is lightly sweetened with honey, but feel free to substitute your favorite natural sweetener.

Yield: 2 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


½ cup dry steel-cut oats

2 cups water

Segments from ½ a medium orange

¼ cup fresh cranberries

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp orange zest

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


Combine the oats and water in a medium saucepan. Heat on high, until they boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken and the oats will become tender.

While the oatmeal cooks, combine the orange segments and cranberries in a small food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.

Once the oatmeal is done cooking, stir in the orange and cranberries. Remove from the heat and fold in the honey, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Serve warm.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 210; Total Fat 2.1 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 1 mg; Carbohydrate 41 g; Fiber 5.5 g; Sugar 12.4 g; Protein 4.4 g

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 - Calorie counting made easy
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