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Happy Labor day weekend everyone!

I know many people will be barbecuing and picnicking at some point this weekend so I thought I would post a recipe for healthier potato salad because it is a picnic/bbq essential.

Potato salad can contain a lot of fat, calories and sodium, especially if you buy it premade. In my recipe, I used just enough light mayonnaise and only a little salt to cut the fat/calories and sodium content. But then of course when cutting salt and fat you want to make sure that it still tastes good so I added vinegar, pepper, dill, chives and mustard for flavor. The vinegar does add quite a zing, so if you are not a huge vinegar fan, cut the amount in half.

Also, I am lazy and hate peeling potatoes so I like using red skin potatoes because they have a thinner softer skin than regular baking potatoes so no need to peel 🙂

 Red Skin Potato Salad - Simple and Healthy

Healthier Red Skin Potato Salad

Serves 6
Ingredients
1.5 lbs Red Potatoes ( I just bought a 3lb bag and used half)
3/4 Cup Light Mayonnaise*
1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Chives
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Directions
Chop potatoes into bite size pieces (no need to remove skin) and place in a saucepan with water covering potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 min. While potatoes are cooking, mix mayonnaise, dill, chives and mustard in a small mixing bowl and refrigerate. Drain potatoes after they are done cooking and place in a large mixing bowl. Add vinegar, pepper and salt to potatoes, toss to coat. Allow potatoes to cool and then add refrigerated mayonnaise mixture to potatoes. Mix gently and refrigerate until ready to serve. Feel free to add celery or onions if you like a little crunch in your potato salad.
*Look for a mayonnaise that has about 35 calories and 3g of fat per tablespoon
 Healthier Redskin Potato Salad
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For Memorial Day I wanted to make a quick, easy and healthy bite size dessert. I found a lot of recipes for stawberries filled with a cheesecake type filling that looked delicious, but had entirely too much saturated fat, calories and sugar for my liking. But I loved the idea of filling a strawberry to make a bite sized treat. Strawberries are full of fiber, vitamin C, and multiple other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research shows that eating strawberries may decrease cancer risk, improve cardiovascular health and boost cognitive functioning so you can definitely feel good about eating these tasty treats! For my filling I decided to use neufchatel cheese (like cream cheese but with 1/3 less fat), nonfat plain greek yogurt to cut the fat and calorie content further, a small amount of sugar (1 teaspoon) and pure vanilla extract. Everyone seemed to enjoy them and they were so simple and easy to make.

Strawberry Dessert Bites

Ingredients
1 -16 oz box of Fresh Strawberries (approx 20 berries)
4 oz Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 Cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Directions
Clean the strawberries and remove the center of each strawberry with a small paring knife to make a hole for the filling. See picture below. Combine remaining ingredients (cheese, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract) together in a bowl and mix well. Once well blended, scoop filling into each berry with a small spoon. If you want it to look more professional and fancy you can try using a cake decorator or icing bag. (I just scooped the filling in with a spoon because I was in a rush…. that is why mine look a little messy) Refrigerate until ready to serve. Super easy!
 
Strawberry Dessert BitesStrawberry Dessert Bites
Nutrition Info
Serving Size: Approx 4 Strawberries
Calories: 95
Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
Protein: 3.7 g
Fat: 5.4 g
Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
Fiber: 1.4 g
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Sweet Potato Pasta Salad, Healthy, Gluten Free, Simple. Easy, Cold
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Last weekend I turned 30 (old lady now…) so we thought we would do a beach party on Saturday to celebrate. So of course I wanted to make some nutritious and delicious food to bring. I had to think of something I could keep cold in a cooler and that would be refreshing and not too messy or complicated. Pasta salad seemed to be an easy solution…so my recipe for sweet potato pasta salad was born! I used whole grains (good carbs for sustained energy and fiber), olive oil (good fat, anti-inflammatory properties), and fresh veggies (lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals). I was able to keep it in a large aluminum tray in the cooler and it did stay cool until we were ready to eat. I also made a fruit salad to bring because it is super easy to just chop up some melons, grapes and strawberries….and who doesn’t love cool, fresh fruit on a hot day? Plus…it is good for you. My pasta salad turned out really delicious fed about 16-20 people so keep that in mind when you see the large amounts of ingredients.

http://deliciousandnutritiouseating.com/wp-content/uploads/Sweet-Potato-Pasta-Salad.png

Sweet Potato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

32 oz Dry Whole Grain Pasta (I used Brown Rice Pasta to make it Gluten Free)

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Head of Broccoli

4 Large Tomatoes

1- Fresh 8 oz Bag of Baby Spinach

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar

Juice from 2 Lemons

1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Sugar

Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in a very large pot.
  • While pasta is cooking, clean off sweet potatoes and poke several holes through the skin with a fork. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • Rinse broccoli and tomatoes and start chopping into pieces while sweet potatoes and pasta are cooking.
  • Remove sweet potatoes (be careful they will be very hot) and let cool.
  • Put chopped broccoli in the microwave on a microwave safe plate on high for 2 minutes…but only if you are like me and prefer your broccoli to be slightly cooked but still firm and crunchy. If you prefer it raw you can skip that step.
  • By now your pasta should be done cooking; drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking and add to your aluminum tray or serving dish.
  • Add the bag of spinach to the warm pot you just removed the pasta from and put back on burner on low heat stirring occasionally to warm and wilt spinach until it shrinks to about half.
  • Add warm spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes to pasta.
  • If your sweet potatoes are cool enough, peel off the skin and chop into bite size squares. If they still feel hot please be patient and let them cool down more… you can get burned by hot potato steam. The potatoes should peel very easily with a knife now that they are cooked.
  • Add the sweet potato pieces to the pasta mixture.
  • Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and sugar in a small bowl and pour over pasta. Mix well and add ground black pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat, can be made the day before.

 

Healthy, Sweet Potato Pasta Salad, Whole Grain, Easy,

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