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Crunchy Baked Zucchini Sticks

Crunchy Baked Zucchini Sticks Recipe

Zucchini and other summer squashes are antioxidant-rich and provide copper, manganese, potassium, folate, and fiber. In this recipe, zucchini sticks are coated in bread crumbs and baked until crunchy for a healthy snack or side dish.

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. small zucchini, ends trimmed

¾ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 large egg

1 tbsp water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut each zucchini in half length-wise, and then cut each half again length-wise to make 4 sticks per small zucchini.

In a large shallow baking dish, stir together the bread crumbs, cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and the water for 15 seconds. Add the zucchini sticks to the bowl and toss to coat each in the egg.

Transfer the zucchini sticks to the dish with the bread crumbs. Working in batches, coat each stick with crumbs. Place the sticks, skin-side down on a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the zucchini is tender and the bread crumbs are browned and crunchy. Serve warm.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 44; Total Fat 1.1 g; Saturated Fat 0.6 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 3 mg; Sodium 177 mg; Carbohydrate 5.4 g; Fiber 0.2 g; Sugar 0.3 g; Protein 3.0 g

Kale Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing

Kale Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing Recipe

Kale is best known for providing vitamins A, C, K and folate, but this leafy green also contains protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and beneficial plant chemicals like lutein that promote healthy vision. While sometimes bitter when eaten alone, you can combine it with other vegetables and a homemade dressing to create a crunchy salad that is balanced in flavors.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

6 cups finely chopped kale

½ cup sliced celery

½ cup shredded carrot

½ cup sliced red onion

¼ cup dry roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried cranberries

Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp honey

¼ tsp grated fresh ginger

1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, toss together the kale, celery, carrot, and red onion. Sprinkle in the sunflower seeds and cranberries.

In a half pint jar or small bowl with a lid, add all of the dressing ingredients. Seal with the lid and shake for 15 to 20 seconds until all ingredients are combined.

Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the salad.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 273; Total Fat 18.7 g; Saturated Fat 2.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 136 mg; Carbohydrate 28.4 g; Fiber 4.4 g; Sugar 13.2 g; Protein 5.2 g

Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites

Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites Recipe

Frozen treats make a great dessert during the hot summer, but chocolate-dipped ice cream balls and cheesecake bites can be loaded with calories and saturated fat. These banana bites provide a healthier option with the same delicious flavors as higher-calorie frozen desserts.

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation time: 2 ½ hours

Ingredients

2 medium bananas

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Optional toppings: chopped pistachios, chopped peanuts, unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the bananas and cut each into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. Place the banana pieces on the parchment paper. Insert a toothpick into each piece.

Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Stop and stir every 30 seconds to prevent burning. Once smooth, remove from the microwave.

Place any chopped toppings on a plate or in a shallow bowl.

Remove the bananas from the freezer. Using the toothpick to hold the banana pieces, dip each in the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drain well. The banana bites should be only lightly coated. Roll in any of your desired toppings. If the chocolate begins to cool and thicken, place it back in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.

Return the bananas to the baking sheet and freeze about 15 more minutes before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (without toppings): Calories 107; Total Fat 4.5 g; Saturated Fat 2.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 19.6 g; Fiber 2.0 g; Sugar 13 g; Protein 1.3 g

Crunchy Cucumber Salad

Crunchy Cucumber Salad Recipe

This summer salad is full of vitamin-rich vegetables. It is dressed in a slightly spiced vinaigrette that goes well with the refreshing cucumber. A few nuts sprinkled on top supply healthy plant protein.

Yield: 2 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

3 small cucumbers, such as Persian cucumbers

1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

¼ tsp dark sesame oil

¼ tsp unseasoned rice vinegar

¼ tsp sriracha hot sauce

¼ cup raw cashews

Directions

Use a vegetable peeler to cut the cucumbers into thin ribbons. Place the cucumber ribbons in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and let sit for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the cucumbers to extract excess water and drain. Add the carrots to the bowl.

Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar and sriracha. Stir the salad well. Sprinkle with cashews and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 130; Total Fat 8.3 g; Saturated Fat 1.1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 195 mg; Carbohydrate 12.6 g; Fiber 3.7 g; Sugar 5.2 g; Protein 3.5 g

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

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