Tag: Low calorie

Mediterranea Zucchini “Pasta Noodles”

julienne zoodles zoodles 2

Since eliminating most grains and wheat from my diet, I have been struggling with substitutions for pasta. I like using spaghetti squash, but it can be hard to find in the spring and summer months. Then I came across zucchini noodles- which are basically just zucchini sliced with a julienne slicer. Now I am hooked. I enjoy the consistency of zucchini “pasta” more than I did spaghetti squash, as it has a consistency much closer to pasta. No matter what sort of diet you follow, an abundance of vegetables are always encouraged. This recipe for Zucchini noodles replaces the starchy pasta noodles, that would normally spike blood sugar and be stored as fat, with fiber rich zucchini that pairs well with just about anything you top it with. The entire recipe can be made in 20 minutes from start to finish. The best thing about zucchini noodles is you can eat a larger portion for very little calories, around 320 for half the recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.


2 Large Zucchini

1 Can White Albacore Tuna (you can substitute chicken breast or ground grass-fed beef also)

1/3 Cup Chopped Red Onion

1/3 Cup Sliced Sun-dried Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Sliced Kalamata Olives

1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

1 Tbsp Oregano

1 Tbsp Basil

1 Tbsp Fresh Minced Garlic

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt to taste

Cayenne Pepper flakes to taste.


Using a julienne peeler, julienne all zucchini lengthwise. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan or skillet, Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.

Add red onion, saute til slightly softened- About 5 minutes.

Add garlic and sun-dried tomato. Cook 2 minutes.

Add zucchini, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes

Add Tuna, Oregano, Basil and Olives. Stir all ingredients together. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

Zucchini should be softened but not mushy.

Next add crumbled goat cheese and stir. Cook until it softens if you prefer a creamy sauce consistency.

Top with sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Dig in!

Makes Two Servings (use one large zucchini per person to increase recipe. ex: 4 People=4 Zucchini)





Creamy Avocado “Top Anything!” Dressing


This super creamy avocado dressing is a nutrition powerhouse. Loaded with fiber and healthy fat, it is the perfect creamy alternative to store bought dressings.  The dressing is also wonderful for the summer grilling season as an unexpected topping for coleslaw, salads, sandwiches, and even tacos instead of sour cream. For those with food allergies and restrictions it is important to note that this dressing is Soy-free, Dairy- free, and Gluten-free. The entire recipe is only 310 calories! This is because the avocado does all the work and no oil is necessary. The recipe makes almost a full mason jar.  A single serving of  the dressing (2 Tbsp) is  only  about 40 calories. I find that this recipe is very forgiving and you can play with it to achieve a consistency you like.


1 very ripe Avocado

1 handful of Cilantro

1 Tbsp fresh minced Garlic

Juice of  2 Limes

1 Tbsp. Honey

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Water

1/2 a tsp. Sea Salt


Add all ingredients in blender or bullet and blend until creamy. You can add more water for a looser consistency. Top over your favorite salad, slaw, or make an old recipe new again by topping it with some avocado dressing!





Calorie Saving Food Swaps



Often times when trying to cut calories and make healthy choices you may find it very hard to give up the foods you love and crave. With these simple swaps you don’t have to feel deprived and can still stay fresh and fit! I will continue to offer tips on food swaps in future articles.
1. Substitute applesauce for oil in baking recipes–  This will trim hundreds of calories off your recipe as well as fat. If a recipe calls for 1/2 c vegetable oil use 1/2 c of applesauce instead. You may feel you need to add a tablespoon of oil back to achieve the desired texture of the food, but you will still save a ton of calories.
2. Substitute lean ground turkey or chicken for ground beef–   This one also packs a double whammy saving you fat and calories. Just make sure the package says “lean” or “extra lean”. Sometimes regular turkey and chicken can have just as much calories and fat as regular ground beef, so it is important to read your food labels.  You can substitute lean ground chicken or turkey in burgers when grilling, in meatloaf, and even tacos and chili. If you want to go a step further, look for packages that say “Organic”, this means the chickens were not fed additives or given antibiotics/ hormones and  are treated humane.
3.  Substitute baked sweet potato fries for packaged potato fries or white potatoes–  Many times packaged frozen french fries seem like a good and convenient choice, but most commercial brands have oil and preservatives. If you make your own baked sweet potato fries you will have control over how much oil you use ( if any) and it will be preservative free. Sweet potatoes are also full of fiber, potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C, making  them an ideal swap for white potatoes. Another bonus, they cover the salty/sweet craving!
4. Substitute frozen chocolate covered bananas for Ice Cream–  This is a huge swap nutritionally and a huge calorie saver for your waistline. What makes chocolate covered bananas a dieters best friend is they come in a single serving size direct from nature. This makes counting the calories a cinch. Store bought chocolate covered bananas contain an average of 130-270  calories per banana, around 6 grams of fat, and virtually no cholesterol, compared to a 1/2 cup of ice cream which contains 300 calories, 20 grams of fat and 105 mg of cholesterol! That is an incredible swap. And let’s face it, no one eats only 1/2  a cup of ice cream. You can even make your own chocolate covered bananas using dark chocolate and chopped almonds or walnuts. Or make your own “ice cream” out of  frozen bananas by blending them with a little peanut butter or chocolate protein powder. Either option will give into your craving for a frozen sweet treat without sabotaging your diet!