Healthy Recipes from the Diet Detective
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Healthy Recipes from the Diet Detective

These recipes have been tested so that you can enjoy them without any regret. Here, the healthier versions of some of your favorite foods.

100 Percent Whole-Grain Blueberry-Banana Muffins

Finding great-tasting recipes that are also healthful is not easy, even though there are thousands on the Internet. The following dishes have been tested and retested in our very own kitchens so that you can cook and eat them with confidence.

100 Percent Whole-Grain Blueberry-Banana Muffins

Health Perks: Delicious 100 percent whole-grain muffins that are low in calories and packed with fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.

What They Replace: Traditional blueberry muffins are 400 calories or more and have little nutritional value.

  • 1 1/2 cups 100% whole-grain flour
  • 1/2 cup 100% whole-grain oats
  • 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 egg whites slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 6 very ripe bananas


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray, or use muffin liners. Put rolled oats in a food processor until ground -- 10-20 seconds. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl mash the banana and combine it with the blueberries, milk, egg whites, vanilla, oil, and honey. Stir in flour mixture and spoon into muffin cups until about 3/4 full. Bake 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.

Nutrition: (One 3-ounce muffin) 174 calories, 3.2g fat, 34g carbs, 4g protein, 4.6g fiber, 340mg sodium

Serves: 12

Cooking and Prep Time: 45 minutes

Healthy Chicken-Vegetable 100 Percent Whole-Grain Lasagna

Health Perks: Packed with fiber, protein, vitamin C (about 70 percent of daily needs), vitamin A, calcium, iron, and the antioxidant lycopene.

What It Replaces: A serving of traditional lasagna can top 1,000 calories, and it doesn't have as much fiber.

  • 1 ounce chopped dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups sliced yellow squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound skinless and boneless chicken breast (sliced into tiny chunks)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup liquid from mushrooms
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 9 strips of 100% whole-durum wheat lasagna (ready to cook)
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded, low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan


  1. Place mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Let them sit 15-20 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, stir and add a pinch of salt. Saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash, and another pinch of salt. Spray the vegetables with the cooking spray and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Move the vegetables to one side and add the chicken with a pinch of salt. Slowly mix the two and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat, and boil until about half the liquid has evaporated. Add the broccoli, the mushrooms, and their reserved liquid and another pinch of salt. Wait for half the liquid to evaporate again (approximately 5 minutes). Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook about 10 minutes until thickened.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly coat the bottom of a 19-x-13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a little tomato-veggie sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with 3 noodles side by side. Cover with 1/3 of the sauce, then 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering twice more, finishing with a layer of mozzarella. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
  4. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and completely cover the pan, sprayed-side down. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition: (8-ounce slice) 302 calories, 7.5g fat, 27g carbs, 27g protein, 5g fiber, 618mg sodium

Serves: 8

Prep and Cooking Time: 1 hour

Guiltless Potato Fries

Health Perks: High in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, protein, iron, and magnesium.

What They Replace: French fries, which have almost 500 calories per serving.


  • One medium baking potato (3-inch diameter)
  • Cooking spray
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic power
  • Onion flakes
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flavored bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub the potato and slice into 8 pieces lengthwise. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the potato slices on the tray. Mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, onion flakes, salt, pepper, and paprika. Then sprinkle the bread crumbs. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until crispy. Spray a light coat of margarine spray before serving.

Nutrition: (1/2 potato) 95.5 calories, 0.3g fat, 21g carbs, 2.65g protein, 2.5g fiber, 62.5mg sodium

Serves: 2

Prep and Cooking Time: 50 minutes

100 Percent Whole-Grain Egg White French Toast

Health Perks: Low in calories, high in fiber.

What It Replaces: Traditional 400-calorie French toast.

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 very ripe mashed banana
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 pieces 100% whole-grain bread (70-80 calories each)
  • 2 tablespoons of jam or pure maple syrup


Place the egg whites in a bowl, add the skim milk, banana, cinnamon, and salt and mix to combine. Spray frying pan with cooking spray and heat it up. Dunk bread into the egg mixture and cook to desired doneness. Serve with jam or syrup.

Nutrition: (2 slices) 224 calories, 2.25g fat, 41g carbs, 2.65g protein, 5.75g fiber, 246mg sodium (add 80 calories for the jam or 105 calories for the maple syrup)

Serves: 2

Prep and Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network, and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, May 2008.