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Ask the Expert Archive


It doesn’t matter if you’re at the pool, hanging out at the beach, or spending the day in the park–everyone enjoys a good snack.  The key is making sure it’s one that will keep you energized without putting on the pounds.  I mean, it IS bathing suit season after all.  Grab and go items are always an option (think trail mix, fruit, and cut up veggies).  However, I’ve got some healthy ideas that might require a little more prep time, but are well worth the effort.


Avocado Egg Salad Roll Ups use hard boiled eggs, red onion, Greek yogurt, and mashed avocado (note NO mayonnaise in this recipe).  Season with some chopped parsley and a little lemon juice, then spread on a whole wheat tortilla, roll tightly, and slice into 3/4 inch slices.


Courtesy of OMG Chocolate Desserts


Suffering through one of those summer heatwaves?  Forget that ice cream–you’ll want to snack on some Honeydew Sorbet.  Three ingredients are all you’ll need–honeydew melon, lemon juice and either maple syrup or honey.  Blend frozen, sliced honeydew melon, the lemon juice, and your sweetener of choice. Once your ingredients are well blended, put into your freezer for 30 minutes until it sets and serve.  Super simple!


Courtesy of I Heart Vegetables


This Watermelon Pizza almost looks too pretty to eat.  Plus, it combines all things healthy and good.  Take a thick slice of watermelon and top with Greek yogurt.  Then, sprinkle on fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries.  Finally, top with some pomegranate seeds.  You can also drizzle a little honey over top if you like.


Courtesy of Choosing Chia


I’ll be back next Monday with some simple steps to making the perfect healthy smoothie.


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If you love soup as much as I do, you’ll be pleased to know there are several soup recipes created that use fresh spring produce so you can enjoy a warm, delicious bowl right now.  No need to wait until cold weather.  These soups are filled with healthy veggies and lighter broths, which make them perfect for spring.


Spring Minestrone Soup with Chickpeas uses a vegetable stock as its base and is filled with onion, fennel, garlic, broccoli, peas, asparagus, kale, scallions, garbanzo beans, and pasta.  You’ll season this soup with cayenne, coriander, tarragon, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper.


Courtesy of Feasting at Home


Lemony Chicken and Spring Veggie Soup with Quinoa and Fresh Basil is a light alternative to the traditional chicken soup we all love.  You’ll add peas, zucchini, carrots, and leeks as veggies to this soup.  Chicken breast and quinoa are also added to the chicken stock with garlic and herbs.  It’s the lemon juice and lemon zest that give this soup its tangy, citrusy flavor.


Courtesy of The Cozy Apron


If you’re a fan of French Onion Soup, try Spring Leek Soup with Gruyere Toasts.  Leeks are a milder version of the onion and this soup has a lighter broth than the traditional version.  You’ll use leeks, chicken stock, butter, salt, pepper, Meyer lemon juice and zest for the soup.  Use toasted crusty bread for your topping and shredded Gruyere cheese.  Place the bread on top of the soup, cover with cheese, and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  You can also garnish the top of each with some chopped green onion.


Courtesy of Pinch and Swirl


If you enjoy snacking, check back next Monday when I’ll have some great recipes for healthy, low-cal options this summer.


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May is National Strawberry Month and these little bursts of sweetness are the first of the summer berry season.  Strawberries are incredibly popular in the U.S.  According to a report by The Produce News, strawberries rank as Americans’ favorite berry, followed by blueberries and raspberries.  And you can feel good about indulging in these fruits–they are fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, high in vitamin C, and high in folate.


Enjoy strawberries alone, in a fruit salad, or in these delicious recipes that highlight their flavor.  Banana Strawberry Nut Butter Crepes are a delicious and healthy way to start your morning.  An extra bonus is the whole wheat batter can be made the night before and refrigerated.  You’ll use whole wheat flour, eggs, nonfat milk, salt, and canola oil for the crepe batter.  The filling consists of bananas, strawberries, margarine, brown sugar, and almond butter.


Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


5 Ingredient Strawberry Salsa combines a blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors that go perfectly on a salty tortilla chip.  You’ll mix together finely diced, fresh strawberries, a finely diced, fresh jalapeno pepper, a half a cup of finely chopped red onion, 2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro, the juice of one lime, salt and pepper to taste.  It’s that simple and you’ll love how colorful, crunchy, and delicious this salsa is.


Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven


Strawberry Mozzarella Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfect warm weather meal.  You’ll combine whole wheat pasta, cooked chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil in a vinaigrette you’ve made with grape juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Serve this salad over fresh spinach.


Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


Be sure to pick up a carton of strawberries while they’re at their best flavor, now through the end of May.  Check back next week when I’ll have some soup recipes that are designed specifically for the spring season.


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Traditional empanada recipes typically are made from dough that is filled with beef and cheese, which is then fried.  While it’s quite tasty, it isn’t the healthiest meal you can consume.  The great news is you can still get your empanada fix with all the flavor, but less calories, fat, and more nutrition with healthier versions.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas are quite filling and get a lot of flavor from seasonings like cumin seeds, green onions, chile powder, poblano chile, and fresh cilantro.  These empanadas are also baked, not fried–a bonus.


Courtesy of My Recipes


You’ll love the savory goodness of these Spinach and Feta Empanadas.  Fresh spinach, onion, garlic, roasted tomatoes, and feta cheese complete the filling for this delicious version.  You will fry these empanadas, so be sure to heat the oil to high and drain them well after cooking.


Courtesy of Goodie Godmother


Avocado, Black Beans, Queso Fresco Empanadas contain a blend of diced avocado, black beans, lime juice, red onion, queso, fresco, cilantro, and chili powder.  The dough is made with packaged pie crust and these empanadas are baked.


Courtesy of Ethnic Spoon


I hope you enjoy these recipes and next week I’ll return with one of spring’s most popular fruits–strawberries!


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