With a new year comes new resolutions, and weight loss is typically at the top of many people’s lists. But oftentimes, these food-related resolutions are among the first to fail. And why is that? Because things like pizza and takeout exist! Eating healthily can be hard, but embarking on a new, healthy lifestyle does not mean having to give up all of your favorite things. In fact, you can embrace them and still stick to your goal!
Instead of caving to our cravings, it’s time we outsmart them. Cheers to 2018!
Try Personal Portobello Pizzas
Oh, pizza. Wonderful, wonderful pizza. While it’s arguably the most universally beloved dish, it’s also the bane of just about every health-conscious diet out there. Luckily for us, there are ways to satisfy this craving without breaking the caloric bank. Our favorite? Portobello pizzas. Get all the flavor without guilt. And they’re done in 10 minutes! You might never go back to delivery.
- 6 portobello mushroom caps
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 1 ½- 2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella
- Toppings of your choosing (fresh basil, pepperoni, olives, peppers, pesto, garlic– the choices are endless!)
- Wipe down mushrooms with damp paper towel to clean. Remove stem and gills from mushroom cap.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Mix together olive oil, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Brush or drizzle olive oil mixture onto both sides of mushroom caps and place on a baking sheet
- Bake mushroom caps for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through
- Remove from oven and spoon in sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you choose.
- Return to oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and golden
Try Zucchini Lasagna
It would seem that all Italian food is built upon a tasty foundation of carbs and cheese. While this normally wouldn’t warrant a single complaint, this glorious foundation turns from friend to foe when watching your weight. Thankfully, your favorite ooey-gooey, hearty pasta dish has a low-carb and low-fat alternative that- believe it or not– is just as delicious as the original. Stuffed full of cheese and rich meat sauce, you won’t even miss the noodles.
- 5 large zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced small
- 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
- 1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3 tsp italian seasoning
- handful of parsley, finely chopped
- red pepper flakes, if desired
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 15 oz fat-free ricotta
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place sliced zucchini on large baking sheet coated with non stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for abour 10 minutes. Blot away any excess water with a paper towel. Then, roast zucchini in the oven for 15-20 minutes to dry out any additional moisture.
- For sauce, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and peppers and cook until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant; stirring occasionally. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, italian seasoning, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until thick. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
- Combine egg white, ricotta, and parmesan in a bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine.
- To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the turkey meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on. Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake for 15 minute longer uncovered.
*recipe adapted from www.ambitiouskitchen.com
Craving Chinese Takeout?
Try Fried Cauli Rice
There is something just oh-so-satisfying about a carton of Chinese takeout. Asian flavors, as well as the ease and convenience of takeout, are truly unparalleled. The only problem is that the calorie and sodium levels often found in our takeout favorites aren’t exactly resolution-friendly. But fret not! There’s an alternative that is quick, delicious, and will instantly become a weeknight staple. Best thing? It’s low-carb. That’s right, low-carb rice! That’s because the rice is actually cauliflower, and you’ll be amazed at how much you love it.
Chicken-Fried Cauli Rice
- 4 cups riced cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 large eggs or egg whites, lightly beaten
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots, thawed
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving, optional
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced (Or shrimp, if preferred)
- 1.Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the peas and carrots, scallions and cauliflower. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Stir the sauce and chicken into the cauliflower mixture. Cook an additional minute.
- Create a space in the center of the skillet and add the egg. Scramble into vegetable mixture.
- Serve with soy sauce or hot sauce, if desired.