Skinny Mac and Cheese

3 cups frozen cauliflower florets
4 1/2 oz (about 1 1/4 cups) uncooked high-fiber elbow macaroni
2 tbsp light sour cream
2 slices 2% American cheese
4 wedges of The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese
Optional seasonings: salt and black pepper

Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir. Re-cover and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot. Drain excess liquid. Roughly chop cauliflower, return to the bowl, and cover to keep warm.

In a medium-large pot, prepare pasta per package instructions, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta and stir into cauliflower. Cover to keep warm.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, mix sour cream, cheese slices, and cheese wedges, breaking slices and wedges into pieces. Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well. Microwave for another 20 seconds, or until cheeses have melted. Stir well.

Add cheese mixture to the large bowl and thoroughly stir. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings
Nutrition Facts: 198 calories 4.5g fat 390mg sodium 30g carbs 4.5g fiber 5.5g sugars 10g protein
Source: Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien

Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

I admit, I was skeptical about avocados in pudding, but you gotta try this. Best of all, there is no sugar! Add the protein powder and you've got the perfect healthy chocolate dessert. Who knew?

2 avocados, ripe
2 medium bananas, ripe
6-8T unsweetened cocoa powder
1t vanilla extract
1t cinnamon
1.5 scoops Raw protein powder [opt]

In a food processor, combine the avocado and banana and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and protein powder [if using]. Process again until smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to serve and add any topping you like. Store in a sealed container and eat within 2-3 days.

Tips:  If you want a thinner consistency, add your favorite milk, starting with 1T at a time. Do not use frozen bananas. The riper the banana, the sweeter and stronger the flavor will be. If you don’t like banana, feel free to sub in a squash puree [drained of excess liquid]. Add honey or maple syrup if desired. An immersion blender should also work for this.

[serves 2-4]

Healthy Sweet Potato Skins

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If you love potato skins, you'll love this healthy version made with sweet potatoes. 

2 medium or large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Bacon bits (optional)

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. 
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  3. While potatoes are cooling, saute shallots with the butter over medium heat until translucent. 
  4. Add the fresh spinach to shallots and heat for 2-3 minutes until spinach has cooked down. Set aside. 
  5. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a thin layer (or whatever you prefer) inside with the peel so that they can stand up on their own. Mash the removed sweet potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in chickpeas, spinach, and salt and pepper. 
  6. Coat sweet potato skins only with a drizzle of oil and bake for about 5 minutes to get a crispier outside shell. 
  7. Remove skins from the oven and fill each skin with the sweet potato mixture and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  8. Bake again for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Top with bacon bits or other favorite skin toppings.

Tropical Fruit Dip

A great tropical fruit dip loaded with protein from the cottage cheese and yogurt. A great combination you'll love for your family or for a party.

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
1/4 cup lemon yogurt or flavor of your choice
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted
Assorted fresh fruit

Place the cottage cheese and yogurt in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Stir in honey and orange peel. Pour into a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with coconut. Serve with fruit. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups.

Source: Taste of Home June/July 1998
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