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Creamy Pasta with Summer Squash

Creamy Pasta with Summer Squash Recipe

Pastas with creamy sauces are satisfying, but they are also loaded with calories and saturated fat. By using part-skim ricotta cheese and seasonal vegetables, you can create a healthier meal that mimics traditional favorites.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups sliced zucchini

3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta (like linguine)

¾ cup part skim ricotta cheese

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

Directions

Heat the oil over medium-high in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 10 more minutes, until the zucchini is slightly tender.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cooked pasta. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ricotta, lemon zest, and black pepper. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 245; Total Fat 8.5 g; Saturated Fat 3.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 22 mg; Sodium 278 mg; Carbohydrate 35.5 g; Fiber 5.9 g; Sugar 4.1 g; Protein 10.7 g

Summer Melon Salad

Summer Melon Salad Recipe

Melon contains few calories and it is rich in vitamins A and C. It also has a high water content, which helps to keep you hydrated. This salad is a sweet and salty combination of fresh melon and crumbled feta cheese. It makes an easy breakfast, or serve it as a side dish at your next picnic.

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups diced cantaloupe

2 cups diced honeydew melon

2 green onions, sliced

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Place the cantaloupe and honeydew melon in a bowl. Add the onions, basil and black pepper, and stir well.

Sprinkle with the feta cheese just before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 48; Total Fat 0.9 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 3 mg; Sodium 54 mg; Carbohydrate 9.9 g; Fiber 1.1 g; Sugar 9.0 g; Protein 1.3 g

Tex-Mex Chopped Salad

Tex-Mex Chopped Salad Recipe

This salad uses seasonal ingredients for fresh flavor and beans for protein. Lightly sautéed vegetables and chopped avocado eliminate the need for salad dressing, which decreases total calories and fat. Enjoy it as a side dish at dinner, or take it to work for a healthy lunch.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 ½ cup chopped red bell pepper

½ cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn (about 2/3 cup)

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

8 to 10 cups spring mix lettuce, roughly chopped

1 cup no-salt-added kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained

1 avocado, chopped

Directions

Heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to become tender. Add the corn and cook 2 more minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables with the lime juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Divide the greens evenly on 4 serving plates. Top with ¼ cup of the beans. Divide the cooked vegetables into 4 portions and place an equal amount over each salad. Add ¼ of the chopped avocado to each salad and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 206; Total Fat 9.3 g; Saturated Fat 1.3 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 196 mg; Carbohydrate 26.6 g; Fiber 8.7 g; Sugar 3.5 g; Protein 7.7 g

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Traditional chicken salads are often loaded with mayonnaise, but this recipe uses Greek yogurt and brown mustard to reduce the fat and calories without sacrificing flavor. Wrap it with crunchy lettuce leaves to create a meal with fewer calories and carbohydrates than traditional chicken salad.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

3 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp light mayonnaise

2 tsp spicy brown mustard

2 cups chopped roasted chicken

2 green onions, sliced

2 tbsp chopped unsweetened dried fruit (such as cherries, raisins, or apricots)

2 tbsp chopped raw walnuts

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

8 small lettuce leaves

Directions

In a medium bowl, make the dressing by stirring together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and mustard. Stir in the chicken.

Add the onions, dried fruit, walnuts, and black pepper and stir well until all ingredients are coated in the dressing.

Divide the chicken salad into 4 servings. Place half of each portion on a lettuce leaf and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 180; Total Fat 5.9 g; Saturated Fat 1.1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 60 mg; Sodium 116 mg; Carbohydrate 5.9 g; Fiber 1.1 g; Sugar 3.5 g; Protein 23.5 g

Whole Wheat and Brown Rice Crackers

Whole Wheat and Brown Rice Cracker Recipe

Crackers make a handy snack to pair with fresh vegetables or protein-rich hummus, but many store-bought options are loaded with sodium and refined grains. Making crackers at home is as simple as baking a batch of cookies. The result is a whole grain snack that you can feel better about eating.

Yield: 60 crackers

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

½ cup brown rice flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine ground sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

4 tsp olive oil

½ cup + 3 tbsp warm water

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, and black pepper.

Stir in the olive oil. Add the water and continue to stir the dough until all ingredients come together. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead a few times until it can be formed into a ball. Place the dough ball back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the dough back on a lightly-floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll to 1/16-inch thickness (about the thickness of a penny). Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into 60 2-inch crackers.

Place the crackers on a baking sheet covered in a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are crisp and browned. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information for 4 crackers: Calories 69; Total Fat 1.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 93 mg; Carbohydrate 12.6 g; Fiber 1.5 g; Sugar 0 g; Protein 2 g

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