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Simple, Healthy Recipes

Banana Bread Plus!

2 cups unbleached flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In another mixing bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake for approximately 1 hour or until it tests done with a toothpick.


NUTRITION:  210 Calories; 6g Fat (24.7% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 36mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium. 


FIRST PLACE 4 HEALTH LIVE IT TRACKER:  1 oz.-eq. Grain, 1/2 cup Fruit



Plus! Add-in’s (each adds less than 10 calories per slice)

2 tablespoon chopped walnuts sprinkled on top before baking

1/2 cup cranberries, chopped, folded into batter just before baking

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, folded into batter just before baking

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

cooking spray

1 cup sliced red onion

1 large garlic clove,minced

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese

8  1 1/2-oz. slices hearty white bread

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

8 slices tomato

6 slices center-cut

bacon, cooked


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1/2 cup spinach, 2 tomato slices,

2 tablespoons onion mixture, and 1 1/2 bacon slices. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese; top with the remaining 4 bread slices. Heat skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place sandwiches in pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese melts.  Serves 4


NUTRITION: 377 calories; 11g fat (25.0% calories from fat); 21g protein; 54g carbohydrates;

9g dietary fiber; 14mg cholesterol; 802mg sodium.


LIVE IT TRACKER: 1½ oz.-eq. meat, 2½ oz.-eq. grain, 1 cup vegetable

Basic Roasted Chickpeas

1 15-oz. can chickpeas

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400° F. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Evenly spread the chickpeas on a paper towel to dry. Once chickpeas have dried, toss them with olive oil. Spoon the chickpeas onto a baking pan, sprinkle with salt, and place in the oven. Bake 45 to 60 minutes. Every 15 minutes, take them out of the oven and stir to ensure the chickpeas cook evenly. Chickpeas are done when crispy. To check, take one out and let cool for a minute and taste for crispiness.  Serves 4


NUTRITION: 156 calories; 5g fat (26.0% calories from fat); 5g protein; 24g carbohydrates; 5g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 788mg sodium.

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Recipe

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

4 6-oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 tsp. black pepper
cooking spray
3 large shallots, peeled (about 1 cup)

1 8-oz. package mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
freshly ground black pepper

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/3-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; coat with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned. While chicken cooks, cut shallots vertically into thin slices. Remove chicken from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan; coat vegetables with cooking spray. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and marjoram. Return chicken to pan; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is done. Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken; sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4

NUTRITION: 230 calories; 2g fat (10.5% calories fromfat); 41g protein; 4g carbohydrates; 1g dietary fiber;99mg cholesterol; 249mg sodium.


LIVE IT TRACKER: 5 oz.-eq. meat, 1 cup vegetable

Southwest Salad

3 oz. lean ground turkey
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
¼ cup salsa (or to taste)
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup canned corn, drained
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red leaf lettuce, chopped

Cook turkey on stovetop with garlic, cilantro and a couple of tablespoons of water. Place salsa in bottom of jar. Add cooled, cooked turkey, corn, beans, bell
pepper and lettuce as your last layer. If you’re vegetarian or you don’t eat turkey for any reason, omit it and up the portion of black beans for more protein.

Serves 1

NUTRITION: 376 calories; 8g fat (18.9% calories from fat); 30g protein; 50g carbohydrates; 14g dietary fiber; 55mg cholesterol; 1028mg sodium
LIVE IT TRACKER: 3 oz.-eq. meat, 2 oz.-eq. grain, 2 cups vegetable

Raspberry Pancakes

1½ rolled oats

1 cup buttermilk

1½ cups unbleached flour

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

4 eggs

1½ cups non-fat milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh raspberries

oil or butter


In a bowl mix oats and buttermilk. Let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats mixture. Mix until blended and fold in raspberries. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, coat the pan with a thin layer of oil or cooking spray. Pour batter in ½ cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and the edges begin to look dry, about two minutes. Turn and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Coat pan with more oil as needed to cook remaining pancakes. Serve with fresh raspberries, powdered sugar and warm maple syrup.  Serves 4


NUTRITION: 324 calories; 5g fat (15.3% calories from fat); 14g protein; 54g carbohydrate;

4g dietary fiber; 144mg cholesterol; 591mg sodium.


LIVE IT TRACKER: 2½ oz.-eq. grain, ½ oz.-eq. meat, ½ cup milk, ½ tsp. healthy oil

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookies

1¼ cups unbleached flour
1 cup regular old fashioned oats
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg

¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
¼ cup semisweet chocolate mini chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk; set aside. Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in pecans and mini chips. Drop dough by tablespoonful 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° F for 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.  Makes 36 cookies

NUTRITION PER COOKIE: 75 calories; 3g fat (30.5%calories from fat); 1g protein; 12g carbohydrates; trace dietary fiber; 10mg cholesterol; 78mg sodium.


LIVE IT TRACKER: ½ oz.-eq. grain

Honey Lime Quinoa Salad Recipe

Honey Lime Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa (can use the 90-second microwavable bags)
½ cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 mandarin orange, peeled and separated into sections
1 kiwi, diced
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. lime juice


Rinse and prepare the quinoa according to package. Let quinoa cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, and mango. To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the honey and lime juice. Drizzle over the fruit salad and toss to coat. Serves 4

NUTRITION: 282 calories; 3g fat (8.8% calories from fat); 6g protein; 61g carbohydrates;7g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 13mg sodium.


LIVE IT TRACKER: 2 oz.-eq. grains, 1 cup fruit

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