Skinny Healthy Recipes

 

New Orleans: Absolutely Fabulous Food!

I believe in living life to the fullest, especially when it comes to food.  Food excites me in all sorts of ways.  I love to cook and experiment with new recipes while putting a healthy spin on some of my favorite dishes and doing my best to ensure flavor all the way.  Believe it or not, you can eat healthy and have flavor at the same time, it just takes some thought, a little planning and a few tricks of the trade.  Cooking has become a passion for me and I am always on a mission to find more ways to prepare nutritious, delicious meals that I can share with my friends, family and now you.

On this page, I will share my my food experiences from new foods that I have tried, healthy recipes that I have created and what I choose to eat when I am out at a restaurant to keep the healthy balance in my life.  I will show you how to take what would normally be an unhealthy choice and turn into a lower fat Skinny Healthy food, like my spinach artichoke dip and homemade pita chips.  Or even my “You’d Never Know It’s Lowfat Cheesecake Recipe”.

I have always had an interest in cooking, even when I was a little girl.  I would watch my dad cook amazing food as I asked tons of questions and helped prepare the meals whenever I could.  He taught me so much from how to make a proper roux to how to use a knife so that I wouldn’t cut my fingers, even though it sometimes comes with the territory, ouch.

In addition, my husband and I have had the amazing opportunity to work on a number of different Food Network television shows, so are always sharing even more knowledge with each other from what we have learned from the professionals.  We travel all over the world together and food is a big part of our experiences everywhere we go.  We will order foods in restaurants and actually come up with our own version that we plan to make when we get home while we are eating like our Simple White Bean Dip Olive Oil Dip below.  I can’t wait to share all of my skinny healthy flavorful foods and recipes with you.

Restaurant Inspired White Bean Dip

23 thoughts on “Skinny Healthy Recipes

  1. I made a carmelized onion & garlic whole grain pasta last night, very simple with some cracked pepper, extra virgin olive oil & romano cheese on top…so good! Pasta (and carbs as a whole) get such a bad rap nowadays, but if you are eating only whole grains and exercising regularly, you SHOULD be eating pasta. Barilla has the best tasting whole grain pasta that I think tastes better than regular pasta, plus it is extremely healthy full of fiber and protein. It is so worth the time it takes to saute (carmelize) the onions, about 40 minutes, you can do big batches of them and store in the frig, I use them in everything, especially good on top of a pizza. Preheat a medium fry pan @ medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, chop your onions (1-2 large sized) and add to the pan. Sprinkle them with a tablespoon of sugar (trick for extra sweet onions), a teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Let them saute, but keep your eye on them to ensure they do not burn, stir occasionally for about 30-40 minutes until they have turned a light to medium brown. Add 3-5 chopped cloves of garlic and cook through, then stir in 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of low sodium, fat free chicken broth (College Inn is my fav) and let cook down so the flavors can come together. Cook your whole grain pasta (of choice) al dente and add to the sauce, stir through and top with some romano or parm cheese. Simple, yet delicous meal!

  2. When you are living a healthy balanced lifestyle you are still able to have fun. You are able to go out with friends and attend parties while keeping balance in mind. I learned today that the healthiest beer that you can drink is STOUT. It combines an amazing rich taste with low calories and has more heart healthy antioxidants than other beers. Guiness is my favorite!

  3. After many delicous, but heavy, fried, buttery dinners, I chose a healthier option in New Orleans tonight. Sushi was the choice since not only do I love it, but the weather is hot and humid here right now and cold food can be soothing. I reasearched every sushi restaurant here, read all the reviews, google-mapped their locations, talked to locals and finally found “the spot”.I enjoyed an amazingly fresh sushi dinner at Horinoya on Poydras Street in the business district. Seaweed salad started off the meal which was out of this world, followed by vegetable and shrimp tempura. After that, my husband and I shared a number of sushi rolls consisting of salmon avacodo, tuna avacodo and eel which were out of this world. We really couldn’t have asked for fresher fish and the service was out of this world. We are tough sushi critics and this restaurant ranked in our top 5 around the world.It was nice to go outside the norm in New Orleans and eat a meal that made me feel good about my choices and enabled me to enjoy the rest of the evening. Between the circuit work out this morning and the healthy food choice tonight, today was a healthy, balanced day for sure!

  4. Did you know that you can make a delicious and healthy quesadillas at home? At the restaurants, it is mostly filled with cheeses, but they will also include other ingredients like some type of cooked meat. The problem is, you can’t trust what is served to you because you don’t know how it was prepared. Did they use butter? Is the meat fatty? This is why quesadillas are considered to be unhealthy. Well, I have found a way around that.

    My Mexican version contains low-fat chicken breast that I marinate, (with cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and garlic for 15 minutes), I grill it and cut into slices. I also include my famous carmelized onions, some sautéed red and yellow peppers, a tablespoon of shredded extra sharp cheese (lots of flavor so you can use less) and scallions. You can also add a sprinkle of nutritious black beans if you would like. In addition, there are so many healthy burrito options at the grocery stores nowadays. Choose one high in fiber and low in fat.

    Very simply, gather all of your ingredients, and preheat a medium non-stick pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Once the pan is warmed, put in your tortilla, add your chicken and other fillings on one side and then flip the empty side up and over while pressing down with a spatula. Continue to flip the quesadilla until browned, take it out of the pan and let rest for about 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

    I also make a sautéed mushroom, chicken and carmelized onion version which my husband loves. Look and see what you have in your frig because quesadillas can be made with what you have on hand which makes them an easy and wholesome lunch or dinner option. You can serve any of them with salsa and an iceberg salad. I am confident that you will love these quesadillas and will make them all of the time. Enjoy!

  5. Healthy pasta primavera was for dinner last night and it was delicous. Pasta primavera is a fresh vegetable dish made up of all of your favorites straight from your garden, farmers market or grocery store. Last night I was trying to use every vegetable that I had on hand which included 4 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 medium onion, 1 yellow pepper, 1 large zuchinni and 3 cloves of garlic. Carrots, celery, onions and garlic are a must in almost everything that I cook for flavor and health benefits, so I always have them available. Including vegetables that are in season makes this dish extra special and that’s why I included the zuchinni and yellow pepper.

    Start with a large skillet at medium heat with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once warm, add your chopped carrots and celery, a little salt and pepper to taste and let cook down. Meanwhile, chop your onions, peppers, garlic and zuchinni into small squares and start up a large stockpot at high heat on the stovetop in preparation to boil the pasta. Fill 3/4 of the pot with water and 1/4 of fat free low sodium chicken broth. I have found that cooking pasta in chicken broth adds tremedous flavor.

    After the carrots and celery have cooked through, add your zuchinni and allow to lightly brown and then put all of these vegetables into your serving dish. Next, lower the heat to medium-low, add another tablespoon of olive oil and your onions to the pan, season them with a little more salt and pepper and turn down the heat to allow them to sweeten. After the onions are lightly brown and cooked through, add your peppers to the pan and allow to cook 1/2 way, then add the garlic. Garlic cooks quickly and should always be added last. Next, add 1/2 cup of white wine (one that you would drink) and 1/2 cup of fat free low sodium chicken broth to the pan and let cook down. This should take about 10 minutes, so at this point you can add a pound of your favorite whole grain pasta to the boiling water. My favorite is rotini, the Barilla omega 3 brand is fantastic and that is what I use for this recipe.

    After the wine and chicken broth have cooked down, add your other vegetables back into the skillet and let the flavors come together. Once your pasta is cooked aldente, add it into the skillet and stir with your vegetable mixture. After the pasta soaks up a good portion of the liquid, add the pasta primavera into your serving dish, top with fresh chopped flat leaf parsely and sprinkle with romano cheese. You will make this dish over and over again. You can serve it cold at a picnic or you can even add chicken or shrimp. Enjoy!

  6. I have tried Skinnygirl Margarita twice now and I am ready to give my honest opinion about this 100 calorie drink that has swept the nation. If you haven’t heard of it or the creator Bethenny Frankel for that matter, you will want to read this review so you are well informed for your next visit to the liquor store or a party with your friends.

    Bethenny Frankel has become a household name because of her reality show popularity that made her famous. She is a straight-forward, down to earth, truth to your face woman who put herself out there and landed a spot on the reality show, Real Housewives of New York City. That in itself was a success because you really have to stand out in some way to get on a television show nowadays. The network executives aren’t looking for the quiet girl in the corner, they want substance to create interest for the viewer and Bethenny did that for sure. She is a natural food chef on a mission to be successful and created Skinnygirl for people who like margaritas without all the calories. It was brilliant. I was buying the low carb mix at the store and making my own lower calorie drinks at home, but to have it ready to pour in a bottle is really smart. Plus, she couldn’t have asked for a better way to create brand awareness than through a popular television series and it worked.

    Depending on on where you live will dictate how much a bottle costs. In Connecticut and New York City it is sold in most stores for $12.99, but when I was in New Orleans recently, I got a bottle for $10.99 which I was thrilled about. The bottle itself is beautiful, I could just stare at it all day. It is an easy open twist top and it seems like it is just begging to be opened, even when warm because the glass has that frosted look to it. I made sure it was chilled for a few days and just poured it into a glass over the ice.

    The first sip was good, very refreshing and almost had a little bit of a salt taste to it which I liked because I usually drink my margaritas with salt. But after I was 1/2 way through the second glass, my mouth started to taste really bitter and puckered. The next day, no matter how many times I brushed my teeth, I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth. Also, I didn’t feel great, a little headache and a bit off.

    In a nutshell, I think the drink is good, a little pricey for how much you get, but it is a sophisticated way to drink a low calorie margarita. So if you want to impress your friends at your next party, bring a bottle or two and share your knowledge of how this specialty drink came about.

  7. Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Soft Tacos are so fresh, delicous and healthy all at the same time. I eat low fat wraps all summer long full of healthy ingredients like chicken, shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, avacodo, cilantro, scallions and fat free Greek yogurt. They are so light and perfect for the summer heat on the beach or in your backyard on the deck.

    In my opinion, there is nothing tastier or easier to make than fresh tacos. I throw together a marinade for the chicken and shrimp consisting of extra virigin olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice…email me if you want the exact amounts of each @ cristina@wholemindandbody.com. I grill the protein and the low fat soft taco shells a bit, just to warm and give them a little bit of a chared taste and serve with your healthy fixins. It’s that easy and leftovers are easy enough to warm up for lunch the next day. Bon Appetite!

  8. I had so much fun last night! My husband and I got together with 2 of our favorite people whom we hadn’t seen in some time and we got to experience a new restaurant.

    It was kind of funny how it all came about. We had reservations at one place, but when we arrived, they told us that we couldn’t order food. Kind of strange, huh? Turns out, their kitchen was so backed up that no one was allowed to put in a food order for at least an hour, so we left disappointed and discusted at the same time.

    But the saying, “everything happens for a reason” fell true for us last night. We literally fell upon a restaurant that I had heard rave reviews about for some time now called X2O Xaviars On The Hudson and it lived up to all the hype because it was out of this world.

    First of all, it must be said that this dining establishment is gorgeous and an experience in itself! X2O sits in the water on the only turn of the century Victorian pier on the Hudson River. The main dining room has 25 foot vaulted ceilings in addition to 3 walls of glass that offers amazing views of the George Washington and Tappan Zee Bridges, plus you can watch the sunset over the Palisades. The location of this restaurant is simply breathtaking.

    We chose to sit in the bar area which has a very zen vibe. There is a beautiful cornered bar with lamps hanging above surrounded by tables with natural-colored placemats and a green floral vase. We started with a bottle of pino noir for the table and it was very good. We were then offered a choice of breads that consisted of a mini french baquette or a buttermilk cheese scallion biscuit. I chose the latter and it went perfectly with my pino noir. There is also a sushi bar and chef set up in this area so we were thrilled to order some and it was delicous. We also ordered a few appetizers and had no complaints, we actually started planning when we were going to come back again.

    So at the end of the night when were perfectly filled, we were pleased that our first restaurant choice fell apart because we now have a new favorite restaurant that we plan to visit as often as possible.

  9. Three healthy eating tips for you that just came to mind.

    1. Don’t eat the chicken skin. It is unhealthy fat. Always eat white chicken breast and try to stay away from the dark meat.

    2. When possible, buy the “low sodium” option. Almost everything you buy at the store is packed full of salt, even the lower sodium products are higher than what we should be consuming. Salt is bloating and will make your clothes feel tight, in addition, if you eat too much of it, your health can be affected in a number of negative ways.

    3. Only use olive oil or canola oil, they are the most heart healthy. Extra virgin is terrific for sauces and dressings, while canola is best for a healthier fry or saute’.

  10. Do not believe the hype, it’s ok to eat carbs and maintain a beautiful shape. Just like everything else we talk about on this blog, balance is key in life. Be sure to always and only buy high fiber carbohydrates. That means if they don’t have it in a fiber option, don’t buy it. Trust me, there are some delicous fiber options out there right now, they have come a long way. I actually like the taste of high fiber products better than the unhealthy white flour options.

    Some of my favorite brands:
    1. Barilla Plus Multi-Grain Pasta
    2. Fiber One Cereal
    3. Arnold Whole Grains Breads (4grams fiber/5 grams protein per slice)

    Fiber is good for you because it keeps you feeling full, where regular carbs are short-lived. It also keeps your intestines healthy and fights cancers. Many high fiber foods contain proteins which is another great way to fill yourself up. Fiber is also generally low in fat so you can stay slim. I only eat fiber-enriched breads, pastas, and cereals. The most important thing to remember is healthy carbs are essential for energy, will make your workouts more effective and will be burned off with your daily exercise routine anyway. So don’t pass on the carbs, just choose the right ones.

  11. Through my travels, I have spent some time in California. I have visited the City of Las Angeles, the coast in Malibu and Santa Monica, lived for a month in the valley of Woodland Hills and Pasadena and took some time out in San Fransisco. But, years ago I had the amazing experience and traveled to Santa Barbara with my husband to visit some friends, and there I discovered my love for avacodos.

    After driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible and taking in the ocean air and views, we arrived at our friends beautiful home. Being from the east coast, we were blown away at how people live in California. It’s almost always sunny, relaxed, easy going with a some art thrown into the mix. Our friend is a food cinematographer and his wife is an artist of some pretty amazing paintings.

    When we walked into their kitchen, there was a huge bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips waiting for us. I had always passed on this offering in restaurants when ordering nachos because it was flavorless and a dark shade of green which turned me off. But this particular version was out of this world and completely changed my opinion. What had I been thinking? The fresh guacamole was bright green, flavored with some garlic, fresh cilantro and lots of lime juice mixed with some the most delicious avocados I had ever eaten. This is when I learned that California is the place to eat them and this appetizer stirred something inside of me. Since then almost everything that I cook has some sort of Mexican influence and avocados have become a staple in our home and our healthy lifestyle.

    I include this perfect protein in salads, chicken wraps, for breakfast on an English muffin, basically avocados can fit anywhere you would like them. Unfortunately, they have a reputation for being fattening so many avoid them for that reason alone. Remember, too much of anything is never good and will prohibit you from living a balanced life, but a little bit of everything is truly living. Avocados contain healthy fat, just like extra virigin olive oil and almonds, but they are very healthy in many ways. They have been proven to prevent a number of cancers, they lower cholesterol and the risk of a stroke, are heart healthy, prevent aging and are the best source of vitamin E through a fruit. There is no doubt, if you haven’t already, you might want to consider including avacodos in your skinny healthy life.

  12. I love salads in the summer. I will eat them for a week straight right before a beach vacation or when I know I have to wear a bikini because they help slim the body quickly. I don’t feel deprived when eating salads because I make them with everything I love to eat and there are so many ways to change up a salad and make it interesting and delicious. For instance, here are two different preparations you might want to try.
    Last night we had a baby lettuce and arugula mix, yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, gorganzola crumbles with a homemade balsamic dressing and grilled chicken tenders feast and it was absolutely delicous! The meal was perfectly balanced with everything good and it was satisfying at the same time.
    Tonight we made another delicious salad for dinner, but this time we added grilled vegetables (red peppers, zucchini, summer squash and red onions) alongside sliced grilled Delmonico steak, it was truly out of this world! Couldn’t ask for more. In addition, there is nothing like the feeling of going bed knowing you made healthy food choices.
    Here’s a bonus, for a quick, flavorful lunch, I put together some of the leftover chicken tenders with the grilled vegetables and a little of the homemade salad dressing in a whole grain wrap and served it with low fat potato chips. Wow! So good!!
    Are you interested in how we put these salads together? How we made the dressing or how we prepared the chicken and steak? Let me know, I would be happy to share with you.

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  14. I just finished my morning coffee, was ready to make something to eat when I realized that I haven’t shared the best protein packed breakfast that I eat almost daily. This morning ritual is not only absolutely delicious, but is a skinny healthy food that will keep you full which we have talked about here.

    I know that you have heard it over and over again, but there is no doubt that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only will you be more focused, be able to think more clearly, but most importantly, what you choose to eat in the morning, will set the tone for the rest of your day. When you have a donut or any type of sugar-filled carb, or nothing at all for that matter, you will be very hungry long before lunch and will tend to make poor food decisions. But when you start the day off with the best protein packed breakfast, you won’t be hungry until it’s time to be, if even then. In addition, because you made a good decision in the morning, you will find that you will continue to make good decisions for the rest of the day.
    Planning ahead is always best, especially when it comes to breakfast, because we are always so pressured to get out the door in the morning. When I have the time, maybe on a Sunday night, I will hard boil 5 or 6 eggs, which we learned how to do here, and put them away in the refrigerator so they are ready when I need them. My favorite morning carbohydrate is a Thomas’ Multi Grain Light English Muffin. One muffin contains 8 grams of fiber, 1/3 of what you need in a whole day, only 100 calories, 1 gram of fat and 5 grams of protein. This English Muffin alone with get your through until lunch. But add a hard boiled egg that contains 6 grams of protein, only 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat to the mix and you couldn’t ask for a better protein packed breakfast. Add it all up and you are eating only 170 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber and an amazing 11 grams of protein. So this how I put it all together. I toast the English Muffin to perfection and put a light coat of Smart Balance Light Spread (the one with extra virgin olive oil) on it. I cut up my hard boiled egg into 4 pieces and place 2 on each side of the muffin and then top it off with a little hot sauce, my favorite is Cholula Chipotle. Absolutely delicious! Once you try the best protein packed breakfast and experience the affects it has on your appetite and your body, you will eat it everyday, no doubt.

  15. Do you want to know how to make the best nachos? I have created the best black bean healthy nachos on the planet and want to share them with you. These nachos are absolutely delicious, low fat, full of flavor and healthy beyond your dreams. The best black bean healthy nachos fit perfectly into your skinny healthy girl lifestyle and make a serious impression at your next party.The first step is to learn how to make the best black bean dip creation, which you can get the recipe for here. The next step is to preheat your oven to broil and lay out your favorite, thick, strong yellow corn chips on a cookie sheet. My two favorites are Tostitos Whole Grain Scoops and Snider’s Round 40% Lower Fat Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips.

    Shred a bar of your favorite extra sharp cheddar cheese and put aside. Chop up 2 scallions and a jalapeno (with or without seeds, depending on how spicy hot you like them) and put aside. Top each chip with a teaspoon of the best black bean dip, as to not over do it, which will only make the nachos soggy. Place a little cheddar cheese onto each nacho and press down a little to make sure it stays put.

    Place the cookie sheet under the broiler and set your timer for 4 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to go longer to make sure they are extra crispy (browned around the edges with bubbling cheese), so keep an eye on them. Once the best black bean healthy nachos are at your crispy liking, pull them out of the oven and garnish with your scallions, jalapenos (and a little cilantro if you would like).

    Place the best black bean healthy nachos on a serving platter. A favorite condiment in my house is sour cream whipped with up with your favorite hot sauce, ours is Cholula in the chipotle flavor which you can get at your local grocery store. It is a simple topping that looks complicated. Just put a cup of sour cream into a small serving bowl and mix in as much hot sauce as you would like, it’s absolutely delicious.

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  17. Here is the absolute best low fat spinach artichoke dip recipe for you………. I have never met anyone who doesn’t like spinach artichoke dip, but most people don’t like all the fat that comes along with the incredible taste. I have the recipe for the absolute best low fat spinach artichoke dip. I promise that once you try this dip, you will love it so much that you will never order it in a restaurant again because nothing compares.

    The best thing about cooking foods at home is that you are in total control of the quality of the ingredients. When you are out at a restaurant, unless you walk into the kitchen, you really don’t know how they are preparing your dish. The chef isn’t concerned about how much fat is put into your food and it’s rare that you will see a low fat dip such as this on a menu, so why not make it at home? Most people think that an appetizer like spinach artichoke dip is complicated to make, but it couldn’t be more simple.

    Here is what you will need:

    1. A container of frozen chopped spinach (make sure it is chopped) defrosted & drained really well, no water, squeeze tightly.

    2. 1 cup of low fat mayonnaise

    3. 1 8oz package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (room temperature)

    4. 12oz jar of whole artichokes (in water or marinated) chopped up

    5. 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese + a little more for the topping

    6. 3-4 large cloves of garlic-chopped really well (great way to add flavor especially when there is less fat that we talked about here)

    7. 1/2 teaspoon of cracked black pepper

    8. Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil-another way to add healthy flavor.

    Now the preparation, SO easy!

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl add your room temperature cream cheese, mayonnaise, artichokes, garlic, spinach, parmesan cheese and mix really well all together. Pour into a medium sized oven casserole dish and flatten out. Sprinkle the top with the extra parmesan cheese and then drizzle the very top with a little extra virgin olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes, make sure it is bubbly on the edges and warmed through. Then set the oven to broil, remove the foil and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Doing this will create a crispy delicious top layer which adds more flavor. Once browned, take out of the oven, recover with the foil and let sit until ready to serve. I choose to pair with low fat whole grain tortilla chips or I will make my own healthy pita chips in the oven. Find out how to make these very simple chips right here.

    That is it! You have now made the absolute best low fat spinach artichoke dip on the planet, enjoy!!

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