Tuesday, November 30, 2010

80--- Elk Wonton Soup

This soup was restaurant-good and so easy and filling! I was planning on serving edamame with it for a healthy "filler", but my neighborhood grocery didn't have any, so that plan was shot. But, my hard-working hubby didn't even need it!

I LOVE wonton wrappers-- can't imagine my life without them.

Elk Wonton Soup

Serves 4


1/2 lb ground elk

1 egg white

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp lite soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp maple syrup

3 Tbsp panko crumbs

16 wonton wrappers


8 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 cup bok choy, chopped

1 clove garlic, pressed and minced finely

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

Combine ingredients for wonton filling and mix thoroughly (with hands works best). Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add remaining soup ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer while preparing wontons, ~ 20 minutes.

Place wonton wrappers on a flat clean surface. Brush each wrapper lightly with water (with a pastry brush). Place 1 1/2 Tbsp elk mixture in the center of each wrapper. Fold edges of wrapper together into a triangle and press edges together. Make sure no air is trapped in with the meat!

Gently place wontons into soup and place over medium-low heat. Cook for ~6-8 minutes.

Place 4 wontons in each bowl and cover with remaining soup broth.

Nutrition Info per 4 wontons and ~2 cups broth: 268 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 22 g protein, 25 g protein, 1 g fiber

Monday, November 29, 2010

80--- Mahi Mahi Salad

We ran out of turkey! It was good while it lasted. So, I am posting this recipe for Mahi Mahi Salad that I made from leftovers! You can also substitute turkey or chicken in this recipe.

Have you ever made too much fish for dinner? Then what? Do you save it and heat it up for lunch the next day? I don't love that idea, so I made tuna-like salad with mine!

The cottage cheese in this recipe adds great moisture to the salad without making it high in fat and calories (like mayonnaise will). I also use cottage cheese on green salads before adding dressing. It acts as a little "flavor extender" for the dressing!

Mahi Mahi Salad
Serves 4

6 oz cooked mahi mahi filets, shredded (or shredded chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup chopped pickles of your choice
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup pepperoncini slices (optional)

Combine fish, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, pepper, salt and coriander in a medium bowl. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Serve on toasted bread, lettuce leaf, or crackers.

Nutrition Info per 3/4 cup serving: 130 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Friday, November 26, 2010

80--- Turkey Chopped Salad

You can add whatever additional items that you see fit to this salad. The more the better! I love chopped salads because they are so easy, fresh, and versatile! I also love a pre-dressed salad.

You can pre-dress any salad, and I often recommend that to clients. You will find that if you place your salad into a plastic bag, add a little bit of dressing and shake it up, that little bit of dressing goes a long way! The salad will be evenly coated, and you will have saved quite a few calories!

Turkey Chopped Salad
Serves 6

1 head romaine lettuce, evenly chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup diced black olives
1/2 cup diced pepperoncinis
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup kernel corn
3/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 cup diced turkey breast
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to mix, set aside.

Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing mixture. Toss to coat. Serve!

Nutrition info per 1 1/2 cup serving: 139 calories, 8 g fat, 10 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! No recipe post today-- I've shown you all I've got! I get to let my family take care of the rest (and why mess with perfection?).

Here's some tips to prevent food illness with your friends and family-- COOK YOUR BIRD!

Here's the rules:

-Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey (breast).
- Cook your bird to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- NEVER leave hot food out at room temperature for more than 4 hours!

Thanksgiving leftover recipes tomorrow-- HOORAY!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

80--- Roasted Tomatoes

This is so easy-- I don't even really consider it a recipe. I wanted a light dinner for the night prior to Thanksgiving (to make more room for stuffing). Not to mention I was running around my kitchen like a mad woman trying to get all of my Thanksgiving desserts done before Thanksgiving (Type A much?). So..... what do we have in the fridge besides all of the heavy cream for my desserts? Tomatoes!!

LYCOPENE is the hot nutrition term used frequently when talking about tomatoes. This antioxidant carotenoid is fat-soluble, so consuming them with foods such as avocados and olive oil increase their absorption! Tomatoes are also filled with Vitamins C and A and FIBER.

Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4

3/4 lb grape tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and place in a small baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cook tomatoes until they burst and begin to brown slightly, ~15 minutes.

Serve on slices of toasted bread spread with goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar (optional).

Nutrition Info per 1/4 recipe: 49 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 2.5 g carbohydrates

Monday, November 22, 2010

80(ish)--- Just Peachy Tartlets

Remember how I hate to waste food? Well- a few posts back I made Pecan Pie Tartlets and I had leftover phyllo dough. I'm also not a fan of re-freezing food. So.... I took some frozen peaches from my freezer and voila!

You can use any fruit that you have in your freezer for these- or a combination!
Phyllo dough is a great substitute for a pie or pastry crust. One sheet of dough contains only 57 calories and 1 g of fat! You CAN make it from scratch, and one day I will and I promise I will post it.

Just Peachy Tartlets
Serves 12

6 sheets phyllo dough
Cooking Spray
2 cups frozen peach slices (or fruit of your choice)
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with two additional layers. Using a knife, cut dough into six even 2 1/2 - 3" squares. Place one square into one cup of a muffin tin prepared with cooking spray. Repeat for each cup. Repeat process for additional three layers of phyllo dough and six additional muffin cups.

Blend peaches, sugars, and cinnamon in a food processor until it has an applesauce-like consistency.

Place ~2 Tbsp peach mixture into each cup. Bake for ~20-25 minutes or until phyllo edges brown slightly.

Serve with 1 Tbsp whipped cream if desired.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

80 --- Thai Barbecue Elk Meatballs

So... I FORGOT to take a picture of these meatballs! But, they were so good I need to post this recipe anyways. They look like what you think they look like. Yummy barbecue meatballs.

Another adventure with elk! The best part about elk meatballs is the leanness. They do not turn out greasy at all! I used my Spicy BBQ Sauce, but you could use your own if you desire.

Thai Barbecue Elk Meatballs
Makes 24 -2" meatballs

1 lb elk burger

2 egg whites

1 cup rolled oats

2 Tbsp thai chili sauce

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp salt

Some Like it Spicy BBQ Sauce
Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup Thai chile sauce

3 Tbsp cup spiced rum

3 Tbsp cup soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 large garlic clove, pressed and finely minced

1 1/2 tsp ground dry mustard

In a medium saucepan, saute garlic until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer for ~ 20 minutes, until mixture thickens.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix with clean hands. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Prepare a 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray. Roll meat into 2" balls and place in dish. Cover with BBQ sauce and bake for ~30-35 minutes, turning halfway through.

Nutrition Info per 1 meatball with sauce: 67 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates

Saturday, November 20, 2010

80(ish)--- Feta & Date Cheese Balls with Walnut & Arugula Crumbs

Obviously there is no real way for a cheese ball to be a true 80. However, reducing the fat in the cheese used and adding yummy ingredients that are high in fiber, healthy fats, or antioxidants will certainly improve a cheese ball's nutritional value.

These are a simple, easy, very tasty appetizer for your next holiday party! I make my cheese balls individual size, so there is no messing with serving utensils.

Feta & Date Cheese Balls with Walnut & Arugula Crumbs
Serves 24

8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
6-7 dried pitted dates, diced into small pieces
1 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, and Feta cheese. With a hand mixer, combine until smooth. Add dates, minced onion, and salt. Stir to combine.

In a food processor, blend walnuts and arugula leaves until finely chopped. Scoop mixture out onto a clean plate and spread evenly.

With clean hands, remove ~1 Tbsp of cream cheese mixture from bowl. Roll into a ball. When ball is formed, roll in arugula walnut mixture until all sides are covered. Continue to roll the ball in your hands to press mixture into cream cheese. Continue process with remaining mixtures.

Serve with toast points, wheat crackers, thick cucumber slices, or pita chips.

Nutrition Info per 1 cheese ball: 60 calories, 4 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 2.5 g protein, 2.5 g carbohydrates

Friday, November 19, 2010

20(ish)--- Pecan Pie Tartlets

Thanksgiving dessert recipe trial #3! These are miniature pecan oatmeal pies! I have never worked with phyllo dough before-- it is so easy!

These are certainly healthier than a slice of pecan pie. But, still not an EVERYDAY food! The oats add a bit of fiber, and we are forgoing the buttery crust.....

Pecan Pie Tartlets
Serves 12

6 sheets phyllo dough
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white, beaten
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with two additional layers. Using a knife, cut dough into six even 2 1/2 - 3" squares. Place one square into one cup of a muffin tin, prepared with cooking spray. Repeat for each cup. Repeat process for additional three layers of phyllo dough and six additional muffin cups.

Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 2 Tbsp batter into each shell. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

80--- Black Bean Soup with Elk

Have you ever been to Panera Bread? They have wonderful soups. This is a copycat recipe of their black bean soup--- with a little bit of game meat!

This soup gets it's creamy texture from pureed vegetables, not dairy products. So- omit the elk (or beef, or bison) and you have a lovely vegan meal!

Black Bean Soup with Elk

Serves 6

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp olive oil

2 celery ribs, chopped

1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 anaheim chile, seeded and chopped

2 cups vegetable broth or stock

2- 15oz cans black beans, undrained

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp comino seeds, ground

2 tsp lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 Tbsp water

6oz elk tenderloin, cubed into 1/2" pieces


1 tsp cumin

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic salt

Place elk tenderloin in a container with marinade mixture for ~ 3 hours prior to soup preparation.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for ~5 minutes, until onion softens.

In a food processor, combine sauteed onion and garlic, celery, peppers, and one can of black beans. Puree items and add to a large saucepan or stock pot. Add vegetable stock, remaining black beans, salt, ground comino seeds, and lemon juice. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer.

In a skillet over medium high heat saute elk pieces until outside is browned. DO NOT COOK THROUGH. Add elk to soup and continue to simmer ~ 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine cornstarch and water, and add to soup. Continue to cook over low heat for ~ 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Nutrition Info per 1 cup serving: 281 calories, 4.2 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 45 g carbohydrates, 14 g fiber, 28 g protein


The entire month from Thanksgiving to Christmas is NOT a 20.

Even if you've been on Santa's good list all year long, you can really get yourself into nutrition trouble this time of year. Here are some tips for holiday eating!

· Be selective.

Buffets and pot lucks do not have to be all you can eat. Survey the offerings. What looks too good to pass up? What can you live without? Focus on what you'll enjoy, not how much you can squeeze on your plate.

· Leave grazing to the cattle.

Grazing on munchies at parties or at home can add up to BIG calories. Instead, put items on a plate to keep track of how much you are eating.

· Plan for indulgence.

If you want to indulge in a homemade holiday treat or luscious dessert, ask yourself what you're willing to give up in exchange — something at lunch or dinner, or your afternoon snack? Or are willing to put in the extra time at the gym?

· Decorate your plate.

Fill 1/2 to 3/4 of your plate with colorful raw veggies, fruits or items that have these as their main ingredient. Creamy sauces and cheesy toppings are going to add calories, so if you must have some, take smaller portions. Fill the rest of your plate with lean meat, shrimp or other seafood choices.

· Snack on.

If a holiday party is a few hours in your future, make a plan to not arrive hungry. When we do not feel the DRIVE to eat, we tend to make smarter choices. Snack on fruits and vegetables to help fill your stomach prior to the event.

Be the "HEALTH ELF" at your next party! Here are some 80 party food ideas!

· Shrimp cocktail
· Roasted vegetable tray
· Turkey breast tray
· Olive sampler
· Fruit or vegetable skewer bouquet
· Spring rolls

80--- Caprese Bouquet

Tis the season for holiday parties! This is a great party appetizer that is so easy and fast to prepare. It's beautiful and delicious too!

If you love caprese salad (tomato, basil, mozzarella, olive oil) you will love this!

AND-- it's an 80!!

Caprese Bouquet

Serves 12

12 oz mozzarella fresca cilenge (small mozzarella balls)

12 grape or cherry tomatoes

12 large sweet basil leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


Bamboo skewers

Festive plate

On each bamboo skewer, stack a basil leaf, followed by a mozzarella ball, and finally a tomato. Place skewers in a vase and place the vase on a decorative plate. Around the base of the vase drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Guests dip their caprese skewer in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy! Be sure to place a plate out for empty skewers.

Nutrition Info per 1 skewer: 110 calories, 8 g fat, 6 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

80- - - Barbeque Chicken Tacos with Apple Kraut Slaw

This is a fun twist on a taco!

The apples in this coleslaw offset the tang of the sauerkraut for a perfect flavor! I recommend making the coleslaw just before serving the meal so that the apples do not have a chance to turn brown.

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable with good antioxidant capacity! However, studies have shown that when cabbage is overcooked (boiled), it loses most of it's cancer-fighting properties! Therefore, I recommend raw cabbage or lightly steamed cabbage as part of your diet!

Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It retains a lot of vitamin C from the cabbage due to the acidic environment! It also contains lactobacilli, a healthful bacteria.

Barbeque Chicken Tacos with Apple Kraut Slaw

Barbeque Chicken
Serves 6

20 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if frozen, thaw prior)
1/2 cup barbeque sauce of choice (see previous post for some ideas)
1/2 cup apple juice

Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover with barbeque sauce and apple juice. Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. Shred prior to serving and return to slow cooker with juice for additional 15-20 minutes.

Apple Kraut Slaw

Serves 6

1 -16-oz can sauerkraut, drained
1 1/2 cups packaged shredded cabbage mix for coleslaw
1 apple of your choice, cored, and sliced into thin strips
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin strips
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine sauerkraut, cabbage, apple, onion, and parsley in a medium bowl, set aside.

Whisk oil, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and celery seed, in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until hot and sugar is dissolved. Pour over sauerkraut mixture. Serve immediately.

12 - 10"tortillas
1/2 cup barbeque sauce of choice
Shredded chicken
Apple Kraut Slaw

Place ~2 oz shredded chicken into a tortilla. Top with 1 Tbsp barbeque sauce and 1/4 cup coleslaw. Enjoy!!

Nutrition info per 1 taco with 2 oz chicken, 1/4 cup kraut: 232 calories, 5 g fat, 16 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Monday, November 15, 2010

80- - - BBQ Sauce x 3

As promised-- here is homemade barbecue sauce! I am labeling these as 80 because they ARE homemade, and we know every single ingredient that goes into them. No high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, controlled sodium levels. They do contain sugar and a little butter, but for the amount that is typically consumed (2-3 Tbsp) does not typically cause the calories, sugar, or fat to add up.

I made THREE different sauces, because I really didn't know what I was doing. DISCOVERY: barbecue sauce is so easy to make! Don't buy sauce ever again. Make your own and truly MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Make a signature product!

Some Like it Smokey (middle spoon)
Makes ~ 3 cups

1 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp liquid smoke or hickory flavoring

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until brought to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly prior to refrigerating.

Some Like it Tangy
(top spoon)
Makes 2 cups

1 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Some Like it Spicy (bottom spoon)
Makes 3 cups

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Thai chile sauce
1/2 cup spiced rum
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed and finely minced
2 tsp ground dry mustard

In a medium saucepan, saute garlic until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

80--- Fiesta Corn Chowder

More soup! I love a chowder; corn, potato, clam, you name it and I will eat it. But chowders often contain heavy cream, which translates to high fat, high calorie.

This is a lighter version made with lowfat milk. The roasted peppers give it such a great flavor you do not even miss the cream!

Chile peppers are high in vitamins A and C. They also contain capsaisin, a capsaicinoid that has been found to work as an anticoagulant, possibly helping to prevent heart attacks or strokes. The amount of heat in a hot pepper depends on the variety, and is measured in Scolville Heat Units. On this scale, peppers can range in heat between 500 to 400,000 heat units! Within each variety, the more mature the pepper, the hotter it will be.

By weight, a red bell pepper contains three times as much vitamin C as a citrus fruit. Hot peppers contain 357 percent more than an orange!

Fiesta Corn Chowder
Serves 4

2 Anaheim chile peppers

2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, pressed and minced

1 small red bell pepper

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup 1% milk

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tsp chopped fresh oregano

Preheat a gas grill. Place peppers (Anaheim chiles and red pepper) on grill over medium-high heat ~3-5 minutes each side, until skin is blackened. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cook enough to handle. Peel away skin, seed and chop.

Place potato pieces into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add onion and chopped garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a food processor, process 1 cup of corn kernels and 1/2 cup potato chunks until fairly smooth. Transfer contents to a stock pot over medium heat and add potato pieces, diced peppers, onions and garlic, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until soup thickens.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Info per 2 cup serving: 301 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 9 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates

Friday, November 12, 2010

80(ish)---Pumpkin Like-a-Latte

It's that time of year when all of the coffee shops have Pumpkin Lattes...... soon to be followed by Peppermint Lattes! I have quite a "thing" for these lattes, even though I rarely drink espresso (actually, only this time of year).

Two problems with this: they are expensive ($3 a piece), and they can contain over 300 calories (for coffee? yes- crazy).

So, let's make a lower calorie, much cheaper version of our own, shall we? Feel free to use decaf coffee! I typically do not promote DRINKING your calories-- they can add up fast. But, the holidays are all about a little bit of EXTRAVAGANCE.

Pumpkin Like-a-Latte

Serves 4

3 cups skim milk

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

3 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee

Cinnamon (optional)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine milk, pumpkin puree, and sugar. Cook until steaming, stirring continually. Remove from heat.

Add vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until foamy.

Transfer 1 cup of mixture into each mug and then add 1/2 cup coffee. Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).

Nutrition Info per 12 oz beverage: 126 calories, 0 g fat, 6.5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates

80--- Elk Spring Rolls

My husband and his friend shot an elk a few weeks ago. Mixed feelings here: poor elk BUT yay for meat! So-- be looking forward to future elk recipes. Truth: I do not love game meat. I know that I am a Montanan, but we never had it growing up. It is somewhat an acquired taste. Therefore, you know that my recipes will not be gamey.

Elk, like buffalo, has less total fat and saturated fat then their mooing counterparts. There is also something very appealing about knowing that they have been eating whatever grows in the woods and on the prairies and not what is provided in grain bins (corn).

Elk Spring Rolls
Serves 4

16 spring roll wrappers
10 oz Maifun rice noodles, soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, drained
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 3" strips ~1/8" thick
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 3" strips ~1/8" thick
2 cups baby spinach leaves, stemmed
6 oz elk tenderloin steaks, trimmed

Dipping sauce of your choice

1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1 Tbsp Thai chili sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp coriander powder

Place tenderloin steaks in marinade overnight.

Preheat a grill to medium heat. Cook steaks for ~10 minutes each side (cooking time will vary on thickness) until medium-rare. Note: avoid overcooking to reduce game flavor. When done, slice steaks into 1/4" thick slices (~2-3" long).

Soak spring roll wrappers, one at a time, in warm water for ~15 seconds or until slightly pliable. Layer soaked wrappers in between moist paper towels. I recommend having all other ingredients ready to go and set out so you can quickly start wrapping without wrappers becoming too soft (more likely to tear).

Lay moist wrapper on a plate. Fold one edge of wrapper in ~ 1 inch. Place 2 cucumber slices, 2 carrots slices, 2 spinach leaves, and 1/8 cup noodles on folded edge. Place steak slices in middle of wrapper. Starting at the folded edge, roll the wrap and seal the edge. Note: you can fold in edges as you go (like a burrito), or leave ends open.

Repeat process until all have been wrapped! Serve with hot chili sauce, sweet & sour sauce, peanut sauce, or your choice of dipping sauce!
Nutrition Info per 4 rolls: 324 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 26 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

80 - - - Creamy Cucumbers

This is my mother-in-law's recipe, slightly revised (health-ified). These cucumbers are a favorite of mine-- I always request them on my birthday. These also are my favorite dish to serve alongside the Thai Chicken Calzones.

Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin C, and they are also very low in calories-- VERY LOW. One third of a medium cucumber contains only 10 calories.... practically none.

Creamy Cucumbers
Serves 8

4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 onion (red or white), thinly sliced
14 oz 2% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp salt

In a colander, layer cucumbers and sprinkle with salt. Place a heavy bowl on top of cucumber to press out water. Allow to sit for one hour.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate.

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup serving: 58 calories, 7 g protein, 1 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

80(ish)--- Thai Chicken Calzones

This is an 80(ish). You can make this a strong 80 by preparing this recipe as a pizza, rather than a calzone (thus eliminating some dough/ carbohydrates). Just use the peanut sauce as your sauce and pile the ingredients on top.

I always have friends request this recipe. It's so easy and you get to use really fresh ingredients (some that we have previously prepared).

I'm sure you are aware that spinach is good for you. This SUPERFOOD is high in Vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium.......... this list goes on and on. So, if you want to live long and prosper-- Popeye-ify!

Thai Chicken Calzones
Serves 10

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe, divided into 10 pieces, rolled thin
4- 4 or 5oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, marinated then grilled or baked and cut into 1/2" chunks
3 cups spinach leaves, shredded
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (part-skim)

Chicken Marinade
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, shredded

Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
2 tsp sesame oil
8 oz lite coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp hot chili sauce (Thai chili sauce)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp lime juice

**Marinate chicken breasts in marinade ingredients for 1-3 hours prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine cooked chicken pieces, spinach, cilantro, shredded carrot, and shredded cheese. On each rolled-out dough circle, add ~1/2 cup chicken mixture. Lightly brush water to the edge of the circle. Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal. Lay calzones on a baking sheet (or 2) sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake for ~15-20 minutes on middle rack, or until crust is lightly brown.

Combine peanut sauce ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently.

To serve: ladle ~1/4 cup peanut sauce onto the top of each calzone. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 1 calzone with peanut sauce: 386 calories, 27 g protein, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

80 - - - Luau Pizza

Here is the first of two recipes using my homemade wheat & honey pizza crust! This is a Luau Pizza. Don't be afraid of the BBQ sauce- it's really good (my homemade recipe will be coming soon- I promise).

Pineapple is rich in Vitamin C, Bromelain, Manganese, and Thiamin (B1). Some people swear that pineapple aids in digestion, however no results have been published to provide that evidence.

Luau Pizza

Serves 3-4

1/3 wheat & honey pizza crust recipe

1/3 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1/3 cup favorite marinara sauce (I used one with vegetable chunks-highly recommended)
1 clove garlic, pressed and finely minced
4 oz mozzarella fresca balls, halved
6 slices Canadian bacon, sliced into strips
1/2 cup pineapple chunks, sliced thin
1/2 cup finely sliced red onion (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out crust thin, to 12" x 14-16". Lay on a baking sheet.

Mix barbecue sauce and marinara sauce. Ladle onto crust, spread thin, and sprinkle with minced garlic. Next, layer sliced Canadian bacon, pineapple chunks, red onion, and mozzarella ball halves.

Bake for ~18-20 minutes on middle rack, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Slice into 12 slices.

Nutrition Info per 3 slices: 362 calories, 21 g protein, 13 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g fiber

Monday, November 8, 2010

80- - - Wheat & Honey Pizza Crust

This was my first yeast experience since junior high. I admit-- I was scared, especially since I live at high altitude and I have been "warned" by friends that it is not an easy task. Beginner's luck! THIS WAS EASY. I vow to never use store-bought crust again (yikes).

My crust held up very well, had great flavor, and was nice and thin. My next two posted recipes will use this crust.....

Wheat & Honey Pizza Crust
Makes 4- 12" pizzas

1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 - 1/4 oz package active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
Extra unbleached flour for rolling
Extra olive oil for coating bowl

In a large bowl, place the warm water, olive oil, honey and yeast, and blend with a hand mixer for 30 seconds to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add both types of flour and salt, and mix for 1 additional minute or until the dough comes together to form a ball. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl with a little olive oil, transfer the ball of dough to the bowl, and roll the dough around the inside of the bowl to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough, and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times, place the bowl over the top of the dough, and leave it to rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out to desired size. Place toppings onto crust and bake on middle rack at 425 degrees for ~20 minutes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

20--- Apple Pie Panna Cotta

I promise I will only post good, healthy items for the next week. But I had to attempt another Thanksgiving dessert this weekend.

This is Apple Pie Panna Cotta. Tastes just like apple pie with vanilla ice cream, just without the crust! The panna cotta has a consistency much like my Russian Cream, and the apple compote topping adds lovely flavor and texture. KEEPER!

Apple Pie Panna Cotta

Serves 6


2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 package unflavored gelatin (~2 1/2 tsp)

1/2 firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon


4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2" pieces (I used Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp)

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 oz spiced rum

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg



Pour whipping cream into a medium saucepan and lightly sprinkle gelatin over the top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and heat over medium-low heat (do not boil). Whisk until brown sugar and gelatin have dissolved.

Whisk in sour cream, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Pour 1 cup of mixture into each glass or bowl. Note: panna cotta is traditionally served free-standing, and therefore if you have small molds you can use those. I used glasses for ease.

Refrigerate panna cotta for at least 4 hours, but up to overnight is fine.


In a large saucepan, combine water, sugar, vanilla, rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture slightly thickens, ~ 5 minutes. Add apple cubes and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until apples are tender and mixture thickens, ~20 minutes.

Remove from heat and place in a bowl in the refrigerator until panna cotta is ready to serve.

*Add ~1/2 cup compote mixture to the top of each panna cotta and serve!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

20--- Punkin Puddin

I am in charge of dessert on Thanksgiving at my in-laws this year. They do a beautiful job with everything at the meal, so my goal is to make it special. I also am trying to get away from PIE.

Pie is good and all, but after you've eaten a heavy meal, it can be a little much. I am trying to make dessert a lighter experience, not necessarily healthier. But I also want to hold onto those classic Thanksgiving flavors.

My first attempt happened last night when my dad came to town. 2nd attempt will be tonight. More to come in the next couple of weeks.

This recipe is also magically gluten-free! THIS is a keeper.

Punkin Puddin (aka: Pumpkin Pudding)
Serves 6

2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin puree)

3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (if you do not have some, use 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger)

3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup milk

1 cup table cream (found next to heavy cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix with a hand mixer. Pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish or casserole dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve. Place 1/2 cup pudding in individual glasses and top with whipped cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional).

Friday, November 5, 2010

20(ish)--- Coconut Macaroons

I've always loved macaroons, but I guess I figured they were difficult to make. Not so much. AND they contain NO butter or oil. Coconut is naturally high in saturated fat however. One macaroon still contains only 70 calories.


Coconut Macaroons

Serves 3 dozen

14oz flake coconut

2/3 cup sugar

6 Tbsp flour

4 egg whites

1 tsp pure almond or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix coconut, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites and extract until well blended. Drop tablespoons of batter onto greased and floured baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove immediately from sheet onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

80--- Almost Alfredo Sauce

Thank you Christina for the "80-fy my recipe" comment! This white sauce is "almost alfredo" (shown here with whole wheat penne). The chicken broth really adds that flavor that is often missing from low-cal alfredo recipes.

Almost Alfredo Sauce
Serves 8

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, pressed and finely minced

2 cups skim milk

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown.

In a separate saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into garlic. Continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

One serving contains only 80 calories and 4 g fat!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

80--- Skinny Girl Bean Burgers with Sriracha Lime Yogurt Sauce

I made a health-conscious choice at a restaurant a few weeks ago. I went for the veggie burger, which is something I rarely do. Veggie burgers can be scary.... and full of overly-processed soy. This burger surprised me with freshness and flavor!! It was full of black beans, cilantro, and bold seasonings.

I re-incarnated that burger.

Beef is a great source for protein and iron (however, not found in THIS burger). Unfortunately, beef can have quite a bit of saturated fat, especially ground beef. If you are in the market for burger, look for a 95/5 or leaner combination. Most restaurants use 80/20 (as in 80% beef, 20% fat) blend, which produces "good quality" burgers (that's a restaurant term for fat and juicy).

Skinny Girl Bean Burgers
Serves 8

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 large white onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup panko crumbs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp green hot sauce
1 tsp comino seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine black beans, cilantro, hot sauce, panko crumbs, salt, garlic, and comino seeds in a medium bowl. Use a fork to smash and blend ingredients until beans are pressed with a few chunks remaining. Add egg whites and blend with your hands until well-mixed.

Spray a baking sheet liberally with cooking spray. Roll ~1/2 cup bean mixture into a loose ball (mixture will be wet) and place on baking sheet, then press into a patty. Place sheet into oven on lower rack(s). Bake for 20-25 minutes, gently flipping patties halfway through cooking (note: this is easiest done with a very thin spatula).

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in refrigerator until serving.

Nutrition Info per 1 burger with 2 Tbsp sauce: 118 calories, 1.2 g fat, 10 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 5.5 g fiber

Let's Work Together

Alright, I WANT your comments. Part of my job that I LOVE is working with people to problem-solve. Whether it's with exercise or food or LIFE, I like being able to help people through critical thinking.

I want to help YOU with your recipe needs. Comment to this post and let me know what one of your favorite foods is. I will do my best to health-ify it for you! One request: Do not ask me to clean up your great-grandmother's chicken soup or your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing. Those types of recipes should be un-touchable and should remain 20s!

AND........ go!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

80--- Mediterranean Six Layer Dip

Everything Mediterranean is delicious. Olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, hummus..... so healthful and full of healthy fats. This dip combines them all! It's a lovely twist on a Mexican 7 layer dip. Serve with pita triangles, chips, or raw vegetables. I cannot wait to take this to a holiday party! Make sure you place it into a glass bowl for eye-appeal.

Olives are concentrated in monounsaturated fats and are also a good source of vitamin E. Monounsaturated fats have a protective effect on cells that, especially when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, can lower the risk of damage and inflammation. In addition to vitamin E, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrients including polyphenols and flavonoids, which also have significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Mediterranean Six Layer Dip
Serves 12-15


1 1/2 cups chickpeas, raw & soaked or canned

3/4 cup black olives, drained (reserve 2 Tbsp juice)

2 Tbsp tahini

1 large clove garlic, pressed and minced

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp olive juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mix until smooth.


1 1/2 cups black olive hummus (or other flavor if you prefer)

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, seeded and diced (if you use canned, pat dry before dicing)

3/4 cup reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

3/4 cup black olives, sliced

In a glass bowl layer hummus, chopped pepper, feta cheese, chopped tomato, cilantro, and black olives. Serve!

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup serving: 162 calories, 9 g fat, 5.5 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber

80--- Italian Salsa

Nothing is better than salsa. It's really such a simple dish, but there are so many variations! The best part-- it's virtually calorie and fat free.

This is an Italian salsa. Yes you can eat it with tortilla chips-- let's be multi-cultural. It can also be served as a bruschetta topping, or on pasta, or with grilled chicken or fish........ the possibilities are endless.

Italian Salsa
Serves 6

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, roasted (see below), seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed and minced
1 tsp salt

Roasting the pepper: Rub pepper lightly with olive oil. Place pepper on a hot grill over medium-high heat. Turn every 4-5 minutes until all sides are charred. Remove from grill and allow to cool for handling. Peel away charred skin, leaving a few pieces of char for color. Remove stem and seeds and chop.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for ~1 hour prior to serving.
Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup serving: 45 calories, 1.8 g fat, 1 g protein, 4.8 g carbohydrates, 1.3 g fiber