Red, white and blueberry cheesecake cupcakes

image credit: skinnytaste.com

Ingredients

  • 12 reduced-fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz. 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 oz. fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz. strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz. blueberries

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line cupcake pan with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
  3. Using an electric mixer, gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Gradually beat in yogurt, egg whites and flour. Do not overbeat.
  5. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
  6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set.
  7. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  8. Top with fresh strawberries and blueberries before serving.

Yield

Makes 12 cupcakes. Each serving is 1 cupcake.

Nutrition analysis per serving:

  • Calories: 98 calories
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 29.5 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 10.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Protein: 3.5 g

REcipe adapted from skinnytaste.com.

– Megan Husek, RDN, is with the Weight Control Center at Beaumont Health Center. Did you know that the center offers cooking classes to kids in the community? View a list of upcoming classes here.

Strawberry, chicken and avocado mason jar salad

Ingredients

  • 1 quart-size mason jar (wide-mouth)
  • 2 Tbsp lite ranch salad dressing (e.g., Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch®)
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 mini cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 4 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. chopped chicken (can use store-bought rotisserie chicken with skin removed)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped romaine lettuce

Directions

  1. Squeeze lime juice over avocado slices.
  2. Layer all ingredients into mason jar in this order: salad dressing, then tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, strawberries, chicken and end with lettuce.
  3. Put the lid on the mason jar. Store in refrigerator.
  4. When ready to eat, pour into a bowl and serve.

Yield

Makes 1 serving. (Serving size equals a whole quart-size salad. Each serving counts as 1/2 protein, 1 fruit, 3 fats and low starch vegetables.)

Nutrition analysis per serving

  • Calories:  393
  • Fat:  21 g
  • Saturated Fat:  4 g
  • Trans Fat:  0 g
  • Cholesterol:  37 mg
  • Sodium:  551 mg
  • Carbohydrate:  30 g
  • Fiber:  10 g
  • Sugar:  14 g (mostly from natural sugars)
  • Protein:  16 g

Inspired by a salad from Red Olive ®restaurant

Lemon herb chicken kabobs

Image: healyeatsreal.com

Ingredients

Marinade

    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 5 tsp. dried oregano
    • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
    • ½ tsp. sea salt
    • ½ tsp. black pepper
    • Pinch of cayenne

Kabobs

    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 2 bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 large zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
    • 1 large red onion, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
    • 8 skewers

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken then cover and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium. Brush olive oil onto grill surface to prevent sticking.
  3. Thread the skewers, alternating chicken and each of the veggies. Baste each skewer with the remaining marinade.
  4. Once grill is hot, add kabobs about ½ inch apart.
  5. Cook 5 minutes, turn and cook 5 minutes more until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly charred on ends.

Yield

Makes 8 servings. One serving is 1 kabob.

Nutrition analysis per serving

  • Calories:  155
  • Fat:  8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol:  36 mg
  • Sodium:  222 mg
  • Carbohydrates:  6 g
  • Fiber:  1 g
  • Sugar:  3 g
  • Protein:  13 g 

– Beaumont Weight Control Center. Did you know that the center offers cooking classes to kids in the community? View a list of upcoming classes here.

Recipe adapted from http://www.healyeatsreal.com.

Chicken rainbow salad with fennel seeds

Blank recipe card illustration

Ingredients for the vinaigrette

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black or white pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Ingredients for the salad

  • 1 bag mixed cruciferous veggies (kale, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
  • 2 endives, chopped, ends discarded
  • 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and diced in small pieces
  • 2 strips of compliant bacon, cooked and sliced in 1/4 inch pieces (Tip: Use kitchen scissors)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds

Directions

  1. Blend vinaigrette ingredients on high until it is well-combined and creamy.
  2. Add all of the salad ingredients and the vinaigrette to a large bowl. Toss well with a baker’s spatula until all of the salad is coated in vinaigrette. Enjoy!

– Beaumont Weight Control Center. Did you know that the center offers cooking classes to kids in the community? View a list of upcoming classes here.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM “Savor and Fancy” posted on WHOLE30.COM Springtime Lunches.

Is breakfast truly important?

breakfast, granola and banana

You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how important is it to you? Studies show that eating breakfast regularly can decrease your risk for obesity and diabetes. Additionally, many breakfast foods offer several nutrients that you may not get during other meals, such as calcium, fiber and vitamin C. Often times people think that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight, however it can actually have the opposite effect. Studies show that skipping breakfast is strongly associated with overweight and obesity because rushing out the door in the morning without a balanced meal can lead to consuming larger portion sizes later in the day.

Having a few ready to eat meals prepared ahead of time can cut down on the morning rush that often leads to skipping breakfast. Here are two of my favorite “on the go” foods for breakfast that can easily be prepared ahead of time to make mornings a little easier.

Banana Walnut Overnight Oats

 Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced

Directions

  1. Divide oats, milk, yogurt, honey, cinnamon and vanilla between two bowls or jars. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, heat the oats in the microwave or enjoy chilled. Top with the walnuts and banana slices just before serving.

Yield

2 servings

Nutrition analysis per serving

  • Calories:  320
  • Fat:  13 g
  • Saturated Fat:  2 g
  • Trans Fat:  0 g
  • Cholesterol:  5 mg
  • Sodium:  55 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 45 g
  • Fiber:  5 g
  • Sugar:  20 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Apple Sandwich with Almond Butter and Granola

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple, cored and sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • ½ cup granola

Directions

  1. Spread almond butter on one apple slice.
  2. Sprinkle granola over almond butter and top with another apple slice.
  3. Repeat using remaining apple slices and almond butter.

Yield

2 servings

Nutrition analysis per serving

  • Calories:  240
  • Fat:  10 g
  • Saturated Fat:  1 g
  • Trans Fat:  0 g
  • Cholesterol:  0 mg
  • Sodium:  40 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 34 g
  • Fiber:  6 g
  • Sugar:  13 g
  • Protein: 7 g

– Amanda Mazurek is a dietetic intern with Beaumont Health. The Beaumont Weight Control Center offers cooking classes to kids in the community. View a list of upcoming classes here.

A favorite flavor of fall: Cranberry-Raspberry coffee cake

coffee cake

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the weather; even the rainy days perfect for curling up with a book. I love the clothes; there’s nothing like a cozy flannel shirt with jeans and some super cute boots. I’m a huge college football fan and can spend a whole Saturday watching game after game. And I love the flavors of fall. Warm, hearty beef stew bubbling on the stove, and the smell of freshly baked bread. Apples with cinnamon and nutmeg (and maybe caramel) warming their tart crisp. And cranberries! When I see cranberries hit the produce shelves at the grocery store — that’s when I truly know it’s time for autumn. One of my favorite fall recipes is Cranberry-Raspberry Coffee Cake. Let me share it with you.

I stumbled onto this treat as a way to use some leftover cranberry sauce I made for Thanksgiving. As I type that, I’m reminded of just how long I’ve been making this dish. My now 18-year-old son hasn’t allowed for leftovers of this cranberry sauce in a very long time! The tart and fruity side dish is a favorite of my kids and they hover in the kitchen when I make it for the chance to “clean” the pot and spoon. But back when I first made it, we actually did have some left over after Thanksgiving dinner, and I was looking for something to do with it. I decided on coffee cake. It was an instant hit!

Step 1

The first step is to make the cranberry-raspberry sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine:

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 bag of frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¾ cup orange juice

Heat the mixture on medium heat until raspberries have thawed. Then cover and simmer the mixture on medium low heat until cranberries have burst. (It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the pot because if it starts to bubble over you’ll have a sticky mess on both pot and stove.) Once cranberries begin bursting, I usually help them along by popping them against the side of the pot with the back of a large spoon. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool and thicken. The sauce can then be used in the coffee cake, served on its own, or stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days to use later.

Step 2

Now it’s time to make the pastry. You’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 12 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (If souring milk yourself, you’ll need 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

The first step (if you don’t have buttermilk – and I never do) is to sour the milk. Place 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measure. Fill the rest of the measure with milk. Stir and let sit until the step calling for adding the milk to the recipe.

Now, in a large bowl, combine:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

With a pastry blender, cut in 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) of salted butter until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Next, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine:

  • Buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix vigorously with a fork until eggs and vanilla are beaten into the milk. Add that mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Spread 2/3 of the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking pan, sprayed with non-stick spray. Over the top, gently spread your cranberry-raspberry sauce. Now spoon the remaining pastry batter over the mixture. I like to do 12 evenly spaced dollops, which nicely delineates the pieces to cut later.

Step 3

There are still a few ingredients left (I hear you say) – what to do with them? Time for a crumble topping! In a small bowl, use the pastry blender to combine:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter

Once the ingredients are combined into a fine crumble (in texture – though it will certainly taste fine as well), sprinkle the mixture over the coffee cake. Place in the oven at 350° F , and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

This breakfast is best enjoyed warm, but no worries in case your family doesn’t polish off the whole pan at once. Individual pieces warm nicely in the microwave for 30 seconds!

NOTE: You can halve this recipe and make it in an 8×8-inch pan, baked for 40 to 45 minutes.

By now, you’ve probably already celebrated fall with an apple treat or two. You can’t go anywhere without running into something that’s pumpkin spice. So I invite you to enjoy my favorite flavors of fall:  slide into that cozy flannel, grab a good book, and indulge in the sweet and tart treat of Cranberry- Raspberry Coffee Cake.

– Nicole Capozello, Parenting Program staff

The goodness of Greek yogurt

strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, granola with Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt isn’t the same thing as “regular” yogurt. Greek yogurt it has a thicker consistency and stronger, more tangy flavors because it’s strained three times, removing most of the liquid whey. This also makes Greek yogurt more concentrated, giving it more protein than “regular” yogurt.

Did you know that Greek yogurt:

  • Is packed with protein to aid in wound healing and prevent muscle wasting?
  • Contains calcium to ensure our bones and heart are strong and healthy?
  • Is a great source of potassium, which stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure levels, strengthens muscles and bones, and boosts metabolism?
  • Contains probiotics that maintain and promote a healthy gut?
  • Has less lactose than regular yogurt resulting in less sugar and better tolerance in people with lactose-intolerance?
  • Isn’t the same across brands? Choose ones that are low-fat or fat-free, have a low sugar content (less than 6 g) and have high protein (more than 12 g).

While many people enjoy Greek yogurt right out of the container, it is more flexible than that. Consider:

  • Buying plain Greek yogurt and adding fruit, cinnamon, raisins, nuts or granola.
  • Making your own savory dip for vegetables.
  • Substituting mayo or sour cream in recipes for plain Greek yogurt.
  • Trying out this recipe for Greek Yogurt Chicken.

Greek Yogurt Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 5-ounce container of plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine yogurt, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
  3. Spread over chicken breasts. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and topping is browned. Serve immediately.

Yield

Makes 4 servings. Serving size equals 1 chicken breast.

Nutrition Analysis per serving

Calories:  280

Fat:  10 g

Saturated Fat:  3.5 g

Trans Fat:  0 g

Cholesterol:  15 mg

Sodium:  640 mg

Carbohydrates:  3 g

Fiber:  0 g

Sugar:  2 g

Protein:  46 g

– Beaumont Weight Control Center. The Beaumont Weight Control Center offers cooking demonstrations to the community. View a list of current demonstrations here.

Recipe adapted from https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/melt-in-your-mouth-baked-chicken/a2b8eab0-906d-4af4-b2ab-80f578288d84