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Cucumber Feta Dip

3 Feb

cucumer feta dip

Are you heading out to a Super Bowl party this afternoon and don’t have a clue what to make? This cucumber feta dip is easy, quick and delicious!

Mix the following ingredients together:

  • 2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped, and squeezed dry in a kitchen towel
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Serve with toasted pita, crackers or fresh veggies. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Oat Energy Bites

15 Jul peanut butter bites

I was recently visiting a friend in Boston who is a new mommy. We spent the weekend catching up, laughing, and of course admiring her handsome little boy. During one of our conversations about her new life with a newborn, she mentioned how much she would enjoy a simple recipe for a snack she could have ready to go for those days when she needs a little boost of energy.  These no-cook peanut butter and oat energy bars that I found on The Cilantropist came to mind and they are A-mazing! Loaded with protein, whole grains, and just enough sugar to give you that punch of energy to get you through your day, these little bites of goodness are sure to please your grumbling tummy. Try them out – they take no time to make and the entire family will love them!

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (or more) dried cranberries, roughly chopped*
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure to evenly distribute all the ingredients.  Take some of the dough and press it together between your hands – if it sticks together well, it is ready to go, if it feels too dry then add a bit more peanut butter or honey.  Likewise, if it is too ‘wet,’ add some extra oats or flax.  

To form the dough into a small bite, use a spoon or a cookie scoop to portion out the dough, squeeze it between your hands, and then gently roll it into a ball.  This amount of dough makes 12 bites that are about 2 inches in diameter.  Store the bites in an airtight container, and keep them refrigerated until eating.  Bites will keep for 1-2 weeks refrigerated.

UPDATE (1/22/13)
***My Grandmother stumbled across a better way to make these! Instead of forming them into bite sized balls, press the mixture into a square pan (I line mine with wax paper so they won’t stick), refrigerated, then cut them into squares. A lot less mess!!***

Gingerbread Cookies!

10 Dec gingerbread cookies

If you’re heading out to a Christmas party tonight and need some inspiration for what to bring, look no further. These gingerbread cookies from Cooking Light will have everyone coming back for more – and without the guilt. Weighing in at 79 calories per cookie (almost half the calories of a traditional recipe), they are a healthier option for dessert and trust me, no one will know the difference! I made these last night for some friends and they were a huge hit. Enjoy!

**You can omit the chopped crystallized ginger and increase the ground ginger to 1 1/2 teaspoons, if desired**

• 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1/3 cup stick margarine or butter, softened
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 1 large egg white
• 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
• 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Cooking spray
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Beat brown sugar and margarine at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg white; beat well. Stir in crystallized ginger.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, wheat germ, baking soda, ground ginger, and cinnamon. Stir into molasses mixture. Cover; freeze 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°.
4. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Shape the dough into 30 balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Roll the balls in the granulated sugar. Place the balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool the cookies completely on wire racks.

Ginger Pumpkin Pie

23 Nov pumpkin pie

Looking for a lower calorie dessert without sacrificing the taste? I stumbled upon this recipe in Cooking Light. The ginger really brings out the pumpkin flavor, and although it still packs 224 calories per slice (12 servings per pie), it sure beats the average 380 calories in a traditional pumpkin pie slice! I also suggest cutting the pieces smaller to reduce the calories. Just two or three bites can usually tame a craving, so be mindful! I made it the other night and it sure is tasty!


¼ cup packed brown sugar

1 ½ tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 large eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

1 (14 ounce) can fat free sweetened condensed milk

½ (14.1 ounce) package refrigerated pie dough


  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with whisk until smooth
  3. Roll dough into an 11 inch circle; fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold edges under, and flute
  4. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust. Place pie plate on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven on lowest oven rack. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from baking sheet; cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.
  5. For some added taste and “flare”, sprinkle some shaved coconut on top and WA-LAH!


Cauliflower Mash

22 Nov cauliflower mash


I know, I know, we all love our mashed potatoes. BUT this mashed cauliflower is a perfect low-carb substitute, I PROMISE! It gets its fabulous flavor from garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter and, best of all, it has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes! I made them Sunday night at a friends house and they were a hit, so give them a try! You never know – Uncle Larry may not even know they’re not potatoes!


  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish


  1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

Eggplant and Barley Mediterranean Salad

22 Nov Eggplant & Barley Salad


WOW I don’t think healthy has ever tasted so good! Even if you’re not the biggest fan of eggplant, don’t write off this recipe just yet! The fresh and vibrant flavors are sure to be a crowd-pleaser and can make even those of you who aren’t the best chefs look like a pro. This dish is perfect for any occasion, not just for Thanksgiving. In fact, I made it for our tailgate party over the weekend and it was a big hit! I suggest preparing it a day in advance to give the flavors time to meld.

Not so sure about Barley? Listen to this – Barley is a nutritional powerhouse – it is an excellent source of dietary fiber and is low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t raise your blood sugar too quickly. It is naturally cholesterol free and low in fat AND houses plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so enjoy!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for another delicious and healthy side dish to accompany your Thanksgiving meal!


  • 1 1/2 pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
  • 1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Roast eggplant and zucchini:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

Cook barley:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Make dressing and assemble salad:
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well.

Blueberry Banana Pie Vegan Overnight Oats

18 Aug img_6969-2


A friend of mine shared this recipe with me the other day. She said it was delicious and a great and simple breakfast recipe. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 small bananas, peeled & chopped
  • 1-1.5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Homemade Granola sprinkled on top before serving

Directions: Mix in a casserole dish and place in fridge overnight. In the morning, give it a stir and enjoy cold with a sprinkle of granola on top. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Chicken Souvlaki

12 Aug chicken-souvlaki-ck-1687639-l1

In Greece, souvlaki typically refers to skewers of grilled lamb. In America, chicken is more common, and it’s often served in pita bread. Precooked chicken makes these sandwiches a snap to prepare. Serve with tabbouleh.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons bottled minced garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups sliced roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Combine feta cheese, yogurt, dill, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic in a small bowl, stirring well.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and oregano to pan, and sauté for 20 seconds. Add chicken, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each pita half, and top with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture, 2 tablespoons shredded lettuce, 1 tablespoon cucumber, and 1 tablespoon tomato. Divide onion evenly among pitas.

Nutritional Information
414 (30% from fat)
13.7g (sat 6.4g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.4g)

From: Cooking Light

Grilled Salmon With Tomatoes, Spinach, and Capers Recipe

7 Aug
Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Makes 4 Servings

4 fish, salmon fillet, 6-ounce, skin on
pepper, black ground, to taste
1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra virgin
1 medium onion(s), chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 pounds tomato(es), plum, chopped
3 ounce(s) spinach, baby
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, 4 wedges

Heat the oven to broil. Lightly coat a large heat-resistant baking dish with cooking spray.

Place salmon, flesh side up, in the baking dish, lightly season with salt and pepper, and broil without turning until salmon is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, spinach, and capers; cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.

Remove salmon from broiler and transfer to 4 serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over salmon, squeeze lemon wedges over the top, and serve warm.

Nutritional Info (Per serving):
Calories: 386, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 273mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Total Fat: 22g, Carbs: 10g, Protein: 36g

Reprinted from: THE SOUTH BEACH DIET SUPERCHARGED by Arthur Agatston, MD with Joseph Signorile, PhD. © 2008 by Arthur Agatston, MD. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735.


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