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A Skinny Pasta Recipe for a Slimmer Summer

Written on May 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm , by

The perfect pasta for your first outdoor BBQ this season! (Photo courtesy Christine Avanti)

For some reason, pasta always seems to get linked to a winter comfort food. And it’s true that on a cold, blustery day a bowl of spaghetti can hit the spot, but when given the right ingredients it can make a pretty mean, lean summer dish as well. Check out this recipe below from Christine Avanti, CN, author of Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad and Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food so you can continue your carb love affair and still sport a bikini this summer.

Simple Skinny Pasta
Makes 7 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup artichoke hearts packed in water
4 ounces mozzarella (fresh packed in water), cubed
1 cup Skinny Vine Slim Chardonnay
1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions

1. In an extra large frying pan, sauté onions, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and tomatoes in olive oil until onions being to caramelize. Deglaze pan with Skinny Vine Slim Chardonnay wine scraping all the brown bits from the pan. Add artichoke hearts and lightly sauté until artichokes are evenly distributed.
2. Add cooked pasta and fresh mozzarella and lightly toss with a set of tongs.
3. Plate and sprinkle with flat leaf parsley or basil.

Nutrition info per serving: 366 calories, 18g protein, 53g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 10g fat

 More from FITNESS: Give It a Twirl: Low-Calorie Pasta Recipes

 

Join the Food Revolution This Month

Written on May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am , by

Who says dessert can’t be healthy? (Photo courtesy Jamie Oliver)

An interesting stat: The average U.S. elementary school child gets just about 3.4 hours of food and nutrition education a year. And with over 43 million children overweight or obese, if this epidemic continues on this road, that number will rise to 60 million by 2020. Yikes! Take a stand and join celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver on May 17 for Food Revolution Day, a movement to raise awareness or funds for better food education and cooking skills in your area.

Started last year as an effort to get back to basics with healthy cooking skills, Food Revolution has racked up 1,000 events in 664 cities across 62 countries. This year, Oliver is asking individuals, schools, businesses and organizations everywhere to host or attend activities in their areas to combat obesity and health epidemics that affect more than 500 million adults worldwide. Interested? Check out foodrevolution.org for a list of events in your city, recipes and ideas on how you can host your own Food Revolution Day. Below, Oliver shared one of his favorite recipes with us, proving that getting your kids interested in healthy eating doesn’t have to be a drag.

Jamie Oliver’s Berry Ice Cream

Ingredients

1.5 pound pack of mixed frozen berries

5 ounces blueberries

3-4 tablespoons of honey

1.5 pound tub of natural yogurt

Directions

1. Get ahead by putting 4 small glasses in the freezer for a few hours, or until nicely chilled.

2. Then, get the glasses and the frozen berries out of the freezer and divide the fresh blueberries between the glasses.

3. Put the honey and yogurt into a food processor and mix, then add the frozen berries and mix again until combined. Spoon the frozen yogurt over the fresh berries and serve.

3 Skinny Summer Cocktails to Pair with Our Bikini Body Boot Camp

Written on April 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm , by

Talk about a perfect post-workout treat! (Photo courtesy of Voli Vodka)

By now, you’ve been revving up your workouts at the gym with our Trim and Tone Circuit Workout  but as they say, a girl needs to unwind a little too, right? (At least we sure do!) To make sure you don’t completely blow all your hard work, Voli Light Vodka has given three super slim, super summery cocktail recipes that you can sip without guilt. Bonus: If you’re a morning smoothie lover, you probably have most of the ingredients already! Get the recipes below and tell us your favorite in the comments!

Island Oasis

1.5 ounces Voli Mango Coconut
6 blueberries
2 strawberries
1 ounce Sweet and Sour Lite Mix
1 ounce light orange juice

Directions: Muddle fruit, add all ingredients together and stir. Garnish with skewered blueberries and strawberries. (Approximately 94 calories) Read more

The Little Black Book of Healthy Restaurants

Written on February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am , by

Eating out just got a whole lot healthier. (Photo courtesy of Equinox)

Whether you’re an Equinox member or not, the gym just made finding a healthy spot to nosh at as easy as turning a page. That’s because they’ve teamed up with Zagat to create Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. It’s a health-conscious Zagat guide highlighting restaurants located near the 58 Equinox locations in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Stop by select Equinox shop locations and pick up your copy to start navigating the restaurants in your area.

The guide helps launch Equinox’s new nutrition philosophy, which consists of 12 pillars of healthy eating (you can read about them at q.equinox.com). We flipped through the book and quickly reached a verdict: We’ve got a lot of eating to do in 2013! And that’s just fine with us.

Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. is available at 28 Equinox stores for $18.95.

 More from FITNESS: Eat Out and Still Lose Weight

Taste and Tell: Slow-Cooker Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Written on February 18, 2013 at 9:05 am , by

Time to sharpen my knife skills!

The recipes in FITNESS magazine can’t really be as easy and tasty as the mouthwatering pictures in the magazine make them look, can they? Some readers write in and say they are a bit skeptical, so I (quite an amateur when it comes to the kitchen), decided to put a dish to the test. My hands know their way around a keyboard way better than a cutting board, so believe me when I say everything that I can do, you can as well!

The evening I needed dinner, I was going to indoor cycling class soon after work—meaning I didn’t have much prep time the day of. This also meant that I would need something filling (it was going to be a late meal) yet nutritious (so I wouldn’t undo all of that hard work at the gym). I stumbled upon a yummy-looking fix: Vegetable and Chickpea Curry.

The evening before, I took about 20 minutes to chop all of the vegetables and scooted them into my little slow-cooker dish with the rest of the ingredients to be cooked, which I then placed in the refrigerator. When I came home to change for my workout, I poured in the vegetable broth, put the meal into the slow-cooker and flipped it on high.

By the time I returned from class, my kitchen smelled like an Indian restaurant. I stirred in the light coconut milk and prepared some quick-cooking stove top brown rice, and dinner was ready!

I surprised myself and a pal who joined me for dinner with the gourmet result, which really looked fairly similar to the image in the story, and the taste lived up to the description from the recipe developer. Click below to see the side-by-side pictures and get the recipe to try yourself.

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Simple Recipe Swaps to Make for Your Super Bowl Party This Year

Written on January 29, 2013 at 10:33 am , by

Keep an eye out for the grilled goods–they’re always the healthier choice! (Photo courtesy of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)

While we don’t know which Harbaugh will win the Super Bowl on Sunday, we do know that come the next morning, you will win against the scale. That’s because nutrition expert Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N gave us her sneaky ingredient swaps and tips to navigate the buffet table at your Super Bowl party to enjoy yourself without the guilt. Stock up on her suggestions below to a Super Bowl Sunday that won’t leave you dreading Monday.

The Super Bowl is a notorious day of overeating for Americans. What are some tips to keep in mind to not fall face first into a plate of wings?

If you’re hosting a party yourself, look the recipe you want to make and make some substitutions. I drive my family crazy with this because it’s all I do–they always say I can’t make anything twice because I do some much swapping. If you want to make a huge plate of nachos, sub in lean ground beef instead of the fatty kind or turkey meat, or even veggie crumbles! I promise you no one will notice the difference. If you’re on dip duty, swap in fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. And for desserts, replace butter with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spread–it will reduce saturated fat by 70 percent. Read more

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day! Celebrate with This Recipe

Written on January 20, 2013 at 11:00 am , by

This recipe is only half the calories a standard bowl of mac and cheese typically clocks in at. (Photo courtesy Maren Caruso)

Could there be a better holiday? There are tons of diets than ban all things cheesy, but here at FITNESS we believe in everything in moderation. So go ahead and dig in with this lightened up mac and cheese recipe from Laura Werlin, cheese expert and James Beard award-winning author of The All American Cheese and Wine Book. Werlin’s latest book, Mac & Cheese, Please! has an entire chapter dedicated to healthier versions of the comfort food staple. This one sounded so good, we had to share. Anyone know when National Chocolate Lover’s Day is so we have something to look forward to when today is over?

Fiery South of the Border Mac and Cheese

Serves 6

NOTE: This mac and cheese is not for the faint of heart, it’s definitely spicy. But it’s also easy to tone down if you wish. All you need to do is use a little less chili pepper, cut back on the amount of pickled jalapeño, and use a combination of pepper Jack and regular Monterey Jack. The salsa in this recipe is easy to make, but if it’s too hot to turn on the oven, or you can’t find tomatillos or don’t have the time to make it, then use purchased green salsa. Read more

Bethenny Frankel’s Tips to Snack Out of It

Written on December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by

Frankel sticks to nutrient-packed snacks under 200 calories to stay energized. (Photo courtesy of Almond Board of California)

If there is one takeaway from handling the swarm of dinner parties this time of year we’ve learned, it’s that nuts are your friends for keeping the weight off. That’s why Bethenny Frankel, busy mom, entrepreneur and now talk show host is teaming up with the Almond Board of California to share her favorite snack recipes during one of the busiest times of the year. So what’s Frankel’s top snacking tip? “Pay attention to when you’re hungry and what you’re hungry for (sweets, salty, crunchy, etc.) and figure out some go-to healthy choices to fit those cravings.” Check out the recipes below and remember, “Smart snacking doesn’t just mean it’s healthy, it means it is easy!”

Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Banana Pops

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized bananas, cut in half widthwise
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted
  • 8  Popsicle sticks
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped

Directions

In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips. Peel bananas and insert  Popsicle sticks into one end. Spoon chocolate mixture over bananas to coat. Sprinkle with almonds. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Serve frozen.

Nutrition info per serving: 168 calories, 8.5g total fat, 0.9mg cholesterol, 2.1mg sodium, 22.2g carbs, 3.4g dietary fiber, 2.8g protein

Read on for another one of Bethenny’s almond recipes!

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Celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Secret Holiday Cooking Weapons (Plus a Very Useful Tip!)

Written on December 4, 2012 at 11:14 am , by

If you’re going to take holiday cooking tips from anyone, take them from her! (Photo courtesy Fisher Nuts)

Already thinking about your holiday dinner parties, at least the menu part? Here’s a fun idea–use nuts for a healthy, tasty twist. That’s what Alex Guaranschelli, Food Network host of Alex’s Day Off and executive chef of Butter and The Darby in NYC suggests. She’s teaming up with Fisher Nuts to show how nuts can add that little something you’ve been missing to your holiday recipes this year. “I hate when people say nuts have so many calories,” she says during a meeting in her super trendy restaurant Butter. “They give you the sensation of being full, and that’s what is important. I eat a handful and feel satisfied. With other foods I could eat 1,000 calories worth and still feel hungry.” To figure out which nuts work best with certain dishes, follow Guaranschelli’s guidelines:

  • Try pecans with veggies that are meaty in texture, like beets, mushrooms, fennel or  sautéed onions.
  • For walnuts, go with one of two extremes. Use them with light and lean veggies (like the asparagus recipe below) or with a super heavy dish, like steak with lemon.
  • If you’re choosing almonds, use them on berries or keep the skin on them and add them to your mashed potatoes (they’ll mimic the skin on potatoes!).

And a word to the wise for all party planners: “Write out your holiday menu and then cross half of it off,” Guaranschelli says. “Wasn’t it Coco Chanel who told us to look in the mirror and remove one thing before going out? The same goes with cooking. Give yourself a break and add more later if you need to. Also, pick one thing to make from scratch and be proud of. Cooking should be about enjoying the process, and you can’t do that if you are overworked. It’s perfectly fine to buy something store bought every once in awhile!”

Read on for two holiday recipes to try.

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Chef Danny Boome Takes Your Comfort Food Menu to “Recipe Rehab”

Written on October 30, 2012 at 10:30 am , by

Host Danny Boome eats well to fuel his active lifestyle–he recently started CrossFit! (Photo by Vanessa Stump)

Take one easy-on-the-eyes English chef, mix in a selection of all of our favorite comfort food meals, add two all-star cooks with an eye towards health and stir.

That’s the formula for Recipe Rehab, a new TV show airing on ABC stations. Each episode of the show, hosted by Danny Boome (left), features one dish that traditionally is a calorie bomb (spaghetti with meatballs or macaroni and cheese, for example). Two accomplished gourmets duke it out in the kitchen to see who can create the most flavorful—and healthful—makeover.

We caught up with Boome to find out what makes this program stand out among all of the cooking shows on air and to learn how we can lighten up any of our favorite meals.

What do you think most home cooks do wrong in terms of the health factor of their meals?

Why do we always have to buy full-fat or full-sodium products? Swap in reduced-sodium and low-fat and use your spice rack frequently. It also helps if you buy seasonally. Butternut squash tastes so much better—and is way more affordable—now rather than during summer.

Great advice! There are a lot of food shows on TV. What convinced you to sign on to the Recipe Rehab team?

It’s much fresher than the “stand and stir” shows. The competition adds energy, but it’s still educational. We’re not lecturing. You don’t have to cut everything out, but we show viewers how to make good choices

Keep reading for Boome’s greatest lessons learned on set, plus a winning “unfried” chicken recipe from the show.

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