Lightened Up Curry Chicken Salad
Original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light revamped and lightened even more by me with inspiration from Whole Foods amazing deli counter version
Last year, a coworker made me a believer in the deliciousness of Whole Foods Market and although I do love the huge variety of products I’m not a fan of the high prices and perceived health factor associated with many notsohealthy options simply because they are organic, natural, etc. For example the, albeit amazing, surely high calorie Curry Chicken Salad sold at their deli counter. So when I found a Cooking Light version I could tweak to make even closer to the Whole Foods salad I’ve been shooing off cravings for I was no doubt going to make it happen.
- 1/4 c. Smart Beat or low-fat mayo
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 12.5oz can chicken, drained
- 2 stalks celery
- 9 dried apricots (40 g)
Stir together Smart Beat, curry powder, water, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined.
Coarsely chop celery and apricots.
Add chicken, celery, and apricots to dressing mixture and stir to combine.
Refrigerate to set.
Enjoy! (Preferably with these chips :D)
Makes 2 heaping servings: 190 calories/serving
Lighten my Campfire S’more
Recipe by Desiree Roughton
I’ve never really liked Hershey’s chocolate and have always felt cinnamon graham crackers trump the regular ones any day. This recipe is lightened up, spruced up and great for a lot more than just camping.
- 1 square reduced fat cinnamon graham cracker
- 12 chocolate chips
- 1 large marshmallow
Place graham cracker square on cookie sheet.
Evenly scatter chocolate chips and top with marshmallow.
Broil for 1-2 minutes until marshmallow is heated through.
Makes 1 serving: 90 calories/s’more
You’ve heard coconut oil is awesome. I just thought it was trendy. It is in fact trendy and awesome.
Healthy Coconut Oil Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from Pinterest via The Veggie Nook
- 1/4 c. coconut oil
- 2/3 c. cocoa powder
- 20 drops liquid Stevia
- Optional: 1 package diet hot chocolate mix
- 1/2 c. PB2 mixed with 1/2 c. water (or peanut butter of your choice)
- Cupcake liners (mini or regular)
- Small paintbrush
Melt coconut oil. Whisk together oil, cocoa powder, Stevia, and hot chocolate mix until combined. Add vanilla extract.
Tip: Sometimes chocolate ingredients don’t love to combine, use a food processor for easier mixing.
Using the paintbrush, spread and even layer of chocolate on the bottom and sides of the each cupcake liner. Let set up in fridge for 5-10 minutes.
Add a small dollop of PB2 to each cup. Spoon a layer of chocolate on top of PB2. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until ready to serve.
Makes approx. 1 dozen mini cups: (made with PB2) 55 calories/cup
Slow Cooker Pork Verde
From my Mother
Authentic carnitas are hands down the best use of the other white meat. Unfortunately fried meats aren’t the best match for a healthy diet. Fortunately, it’s not very hard to make something (almost) as good with less effort than it takes driving to a taco shop.
- 2lb lean pork roast
- 1 jar green salsa of your choice
Plop roast in your slow cooker (my rice cooker has a slow cook function, can you say “all-in-1?”).
Pour salsa over roast.
Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Serve over rice, in tacos, on a pizza, in a giant bowl…with the au jus your slow cooker magically created for you.
Calories vary depending on the pork roast you buy. I get extra-lean which is only 25 calories/oz. I don’t count veggies and that includes salsa.
*If you want that crispy carnitas crust (I know you do) “fry” this up in a non-stick pan coated with a little bit of oil or oil spray
Who needs to be a barista to make coffee designs? Use vanilla extract and a stir stick.
Who needs gloves when you have plastic baggies?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
When I saw these on Pinterest I thought they must be too good to be true, but these come out legitimately as tasty as they look. They are also pretty nutritionally dense which makes them 100% acceptable as a breakfast item or pre-workout snack.
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 c. PB2 or other peanut butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 Splenda or Honey
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients but chocolate chips in food processor and process until very smooth.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Wet hands with warm water and roll into 1 1/2” balls. Place on cookie sheet.
Lightly press down on each ball to flatten slightly.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
Makes 6 servings, 2 bites per serving: (with PB2 and Splenda) 155 calories, 6.5 g protein, 4.5 g fiber
*Bites are best served warm, leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for 15-30 seconds
Baked Whole Wheat Pita Chips
Recipe by Desiree Roughton
Pita chips are delicious but a bit overpriced and not as healthy as these babies, especially for such a hefty serving. I have no idea why it took me so long to do this…
- 1 large whole wheat pita (130 cal)
- Garlic powder (or any other seasoning, be creative!)
- Olive oil spray
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Cut pita into 8 wedges.
Open wedges and rip at the seam, creating 16 chips.
Spread evenly on a non-stick cooking sheet.
Lightly spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic powder.
Bake 5 min or until crispy (watch these guys as they will burn quickly!), no need to flip.
Makes 1 serving: 130 calories/serving
Carino’s is one of my favorite places to eat back home. A delicious wedge salad, amazing bread, and what I consider to be hands down one of the best appetizers on the planet. Pasta chips, chicken, sausage, alfredo sauce, cheese, and pepperocinis all baked together into what they humbly refer to as Italian nachos.
Here’s my homemade version that was not only DELICIOUS, it’s also low cal and pretty healthy. I’m sure you veggie loving people can think of even more things to load this up with, but for me it’s perfection.
Carino’s Italian Nachos
Recipe by Desiree Roughton, adapted from Carino’s delicious appetizer
- 10 won ton skins
- 2 oz. turkey or chicken Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 c. light alfredo sauce
- 1/4 c. low cal tomato sauce
- 1-2 pieces lowfat string cheese (Personally, I think the extra 70 calories are way worth it on this one)
- Pepperocinis, jalapenos, any other low cal goodies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each won ton wrapper in half horizontally and arrange on a non-stick cookie sheet, spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through (these go from done to burnt very quickly so watch out!)
Combine alfredo and tomato sauce in a bowl and set aside.
Finely grate the string cheese and thinly slice a few pepperocinis.
Arrange won ton chips on a foil lined baking sheet or microwave safe plate.
Drizzle with sauce, top with crumbled sausage, pepperocinis, and jalapenos.
Put under broiler or microwave until cheese is melted and sauce is heated through, once again being careful here not to burn your chips.
Makes 1 serving: 530 calories
*Save 160 calories by using a 90 calorie chicken sausage and using only 1 piece of string cheese to make for a HUGELY satisfying serving for 370
Click here to find out how to get an equally cute colored washer and dryer for $10 instead of the outrageously inflated price of the most stylish set anyone has ever seen.
True confession #1: I’m a huge sucker for
appliances anything that comes in a bright color.
True confession #2: Kelly Rippa is flawless and because of this I have no qualms about being suckered into her Electrolux endorsement.
True confession #3: I’m not as domesticated as my blog posts lead you to believe.
Bonus confession: I still really want that turquoise washer and dryer in my first house even though this swap is GENIUS.
I’m also going to claim this method is a lot more fun and satisfying than using an appliance.
Who needs to settle? If only, if only…
Who needs to get married or pregnant when you can just keep being awesome?
Who needs stairs when you have a slide?
If you don’t like this movie, I can’t like you. I still watch this cinematic epicness every Halloween and it never fails to make me happy. So don’t mind me while I grab my Halloween bottle of wine and bust this out for an amazing time.
Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but I love bats. Happy Halloween People!