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Topic: The Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge 'Cookbook' Thread

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Date Posted: 11/14/2014 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2005
Posts: 1,348
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Not a recipe but I read a tip to substitute extra virgin olive oil for butter/margarine on your toast--It flavors it but people tend to use a lot less than they would with a spread of other hard fats. So less calories and you're gaining healthy fats! 

Date Posted: 12/2/2014 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 6,072
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

4 Large Graham Crackers

8 tsp. Low calorie Margarine, melted

1 pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) Sugar free Cook-type Chocolate Pudding Mix

2 c. Skim Milk

6 T. Peanut Butter

Reserve 1 tablespoon cracker crumbs. Mix cracker crumbs with margarine. Press into 8-inch pie pan. Prepare pudding using skim milk. Add peanut butter while pudding is still hot: stirring until melted. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Chill 3 hours. Serves 6

Date Posted: 12/5/2014 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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OK, I should have been here sooner.  MUCH sooner.   And I haven't read all the recipes posted, so I don't know if I am posting a repeat, but here goes:

Smoothies are a breakfast must for me.  I don't add honey since the yogurt is sweetened already.

Banana Ginger Smoothie

Soothe digestion, heartburn, nausea, and other stomach trouble with the fresh ginger in this natural remedy drink.


1 banana, sliced
¾ c (6 oz) vanilla yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp freshly grated ginger

COMBINE the banana, yogurt, honey, and ginger. Blend until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving157 cals, 1 g fat, 0.8 g sat fat, 57 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 28 g sugars, 1.5 g fiber, 5 g protein


I found this to be really thick (more of a yogurt than a smoothie) and adding a little 1% milk helps - this changes the nutrition, however.

Last Edited on: 12/11/14 3:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/8/2014 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2005
Posts: 1,348
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Get Your Veggies 

1 small or medium sweet potato

Handful of fresh spinach or 3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach

1/2 cup rinsed black beans

Salt & pepper

Peel and cube sweet potato. Cook gently until tender in a small pot barely covered with water. At the end of cook time, add your spinach and let Wilt. Add black beans, salt pepper to taste. 

Eat as is, add to a baked potato, over rice, in a burrito, to eggs etc

Date Posted: 12/11/2014 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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OK, this is a basic but very good recipe:

Green Bean and Olive Oil Recipe

(Makes 4 servings)

1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large pot with 1" of water on stove and heat to high. Remove the stem end of the green beans and wash. When water reaches boil toss in green beans and cook for 5-10 minutes until your favorite consistency (this will depend on how tough the beans are). Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and serve. To get fancy add sliced or slivered almonds.

I like my steamed veggies 'al dente', so I tend to think less is more for time, even only a couple of minutes.

Date Posted: 12/14/2014 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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SO, I have been looking thru cookie recipes for the holiday and I think I found a keeper:  I'll let you know how they come out! (they are amazing and the only cookies I ate for the holiday this year - when I didn't have almonds I used walnuts and that was really good too)


Almond Clouds Recipe

Makes 40 cookies

Inspired by A Chef’s Life

2 large egg whites
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand held mixer, beat egg whites until starting to get fluffy.

Slowing drizzle the brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg in the bowl while you continue to whisk. When the batter is stiff (like cookie batter), gently fold in the vanilla and almonds.

Drop cookies using a spoon onto the cookie sheets in rows of five (each cookie sheet should fit 20 cookies – they do not spread). Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool and enjoy!

For one cookie = 39 calories, 2.4 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 3.7 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g sugar, 1.2 g protein, 0.6 g fiber, 19 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Points+ values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
Want more recipes like this? Get my book

Last Edited on: 12/27/14 4:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Sesame-Ginger Grilled Tilapia
Date Posted: 12/21/2014 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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Prep time: 5 minutes (15 minutes marinate time extra)
Cook time: 5 minutes

2 Tbsp. soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1 Tbsp. sriracha (hot chili sauce)
1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh gingerroot
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds
4 (4 to 6 oz.) tilapia fillets

1.  Preheat grill to med. (300 to 350 degrees).  For the marinade, in a large baking dish stir together soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, oil and sesame seeds.  Add fillets; turn to coat.  Let stand 15 minutes.

 2.  Cut 4 (8 inch) sheets of foil; coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Remove fillets from marinade; reserve marinade.  Place 1 fillet on each foil sheet.  Place foil sheets on grill.  Grill 5 to 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, brushing with marinade occasionally.  Transfer fillets to individual plates, and serve.

Serves 4

per serving: 130 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 55mg cholesterol, 540mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 4g protein.

Date Posted: 12/21/2014 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2005
Posts: 1,348
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Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach, and Pepper Vegan Enchiladas

Yield: 4 Enchiladas
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped (~2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sweet potato, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 handfuls spinach, chopped
1 can black beans (~2 cups), drained and rinsed
Enchilada sauce 
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
4 whole grain tortilla wraps 
Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grab a baking dish large enough for 4 enchiladas. Pre-cook the chopped sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet or pot, add 1 tbsp oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes. Now add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
3. Now add in your enchilada or pasta sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: nutritional yeast (optional), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder- all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.
4. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer. Scoop about 1/2-3/4 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining 3 tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top. 
5. Bake tortillas at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make your Cilantro cream sauce (see below). When enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and pour the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion. Serve immediately. Makes 4 enchiladas.
Note: Depending on what kind of sauce you use, you will have to adjust the seasonings to taste. I used a pasta sauce so I likely needed more seasonings to achieve the taste I desired.


Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

Yield: ~1.25-1.5 cups
1 & 1/4 cup avocado flesh
2 tbsp water, or more as needed to thin out
2-3 tbsp lime juice, to taste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste
1. In a food processor, process the avocado flesh and water until creamy. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and well blended. Use immediately for best results.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/04/vegan-enchiladas-with-cilantro-avocado-cream-sauce-2/#ixzz3Map9inz1

Holly's note: These are really good! However, I did not add the sauce and bake. I heated the tortillas, added the filling and rolled them up with the avocado sauce drizzled on top. 

Last Edited on: 12/27/14 4:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Kale Chips
Date Posted: 12/25/2014 5:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2014 Allrecipes.com


I like to add flavors & textures sometimes: shake on garlic powder, chili powder, sesame seeds, drizzle lemon.  Just use your imagination.  Also, keep the oil on the light side so it's not soggy.

Last Edited on: 12/25/14 5:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/27/2014 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2005
Posts: 1,348
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Oh my goodness, I made this soup for a starter for Christmas Dinner and it is delicious! I used an organic rostiserie(sp?) chicken for the meat and the bones for a homemade broth for the soup base. It was amazing with the lemon and dill. I don't think I'll go back to regular chicken soup again.


1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
2 cups finely chopped onion 
1 cup finely chopped or diced carrot
1 cup finely chopped or diced celery
Kosher salt
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3 cups cooked-until-barely-tender white rice
10 oz. spinach, well washed and dried, tough stems removed, and chopped into 2-inch piece
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 to 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions for serving (optional)

If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1/2 Tbs. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaf or leaves and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, the rice, and spinach. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the dill and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Taste, and add more lemon juice, 1 Tbs. at a time, if needed, up to 4 Tbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each bowl with 1 Tbs. sliced scallion, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving): 
Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): fat g 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 29; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1320; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;



Last Edited on: 12/27/14 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/29/2014 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2011
Posts: 3,543
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A quick snack...

Rice Cake With Peanut Butter, Coconut, and Dried Cherries 
Spread 1 rice cake with 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons toasted unsweetened shredded coconut and 2 teaspoons dried cherries.

177 calories | 2 g fiber | 5 g protein | 11 g fat