You can almost hear the sad trombone accompany those two words. The foods we should be eating while losing or maintaining weight get a bad rap. So-called diet food seems to rank somewhere between airplane food and hospital food on the desirability meter.
It’s time to redefine what we think about eating on a diet!
Here are a few recipes we LOVE that could very well change the way you think about “Diet Food.”
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Servings: 4 Prep Time: 8 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons light sour cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper
- Separate the cauliflower into florets and chop the core finely.
- Bring about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.
- Drain and discard all of the water (the drier the cauliflower is, the better) and add the milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash with a masher until it looks like “mashed potatoes.” Top with chives.
Squash Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
For the spaghetti squash:
- 2 lbs. spaghetti squash (1 large or 2 medium squashes)
- 1 teaspoon grape seed oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon liquid amino acids, divided
For the meatballs:
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1½ lbs. lean ground turkey
- ½ lb. ground pork
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid amino acids
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
- 1 large shallot, peeled and halved
- 2 carrots, peeled and quartered
- 2 stalks celery, quartered
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1 28-oz. can tomato puree
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Chopped flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Drizzle a little of the grape seed oil over each half. Drizzle a little of the amino acids over each half of the squash.
Place the seasoned spaghetti squash cut side down on the lined sheet pan. Roast the squash in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until it is tender and soft when pierced with a knife or fork.
While your squash is roasting, prepare your meatballs and sauce.
Peel your shallot and cut it in half. Peel 2 carrots, and cut them in quarters. Cut 2 stalks of celery in quarters. Peel 6 cloves of garlic. Measure 1 cup of flat leaf parsley.
Place all of the veggies in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped; be careful not to over-blend, you do not want the veggies to become a paste.
To a large pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil. Once your pan is hot, add the veggies from the food processor. Sauté the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
To a bowl, add half of the sautéed veggies. Remove the other half of the veggie mixture from the pan, set aside and reserve. Let the veggies cool slightly before adding the meat to the mixture.
To the veggies in the bowl, add 1½ lbs. ground turkey, a ½ lb. of ground pork, 2 eggs, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon liquid amino acids, and a few grinds of black pepper. Combine everything together, but be careful not to over mix as you will toughen the meatballs.
Moisten your hands with cold water and shape the meatball mixture into balls. Your mixture should make about 24 medium-sized meatballs.
In the same pot on medium high heat, add a tablespoon of grape seed oil. Brown the meatballs in the skillet, for about a minute on each side. Depending on the size of your pot you may have to brown the meatballs in batches; be careful not to crowd the pot.
Add the reserved veggie mixture to the skillet with the browned meatballs. Add the can of tomato puree, 1 cup of low sodium chicken stock, and 2 teaspoons of oregano to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are fully cooked through.
Using a fork, scrape the inside of the fully cooked squash until it breaks apart and resembles “spaghetti” noodles. Divide the spaghetti squash into bowls.
Top the squash with 4 meatballs per person and a scoop of the sauce. Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.
Crazy Ingredient Brownies
(makes 8 brownies)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp spelt flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp instant coffe
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground flax
- 3 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup frozen cauliflower, thawed
- 1/4 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together all ingredients through salt (cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt) in medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine flax and water, and set aside. Place cauliflower and quick oats in food processor and process until broken down into small chunks. Add blueberries to food processor and process until blueberries are well broken down. Add in flax mixture and vanilla, and process one more time until all combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix as best you can. Gently mix in milk, and then stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into greased loaf pan and bake 30 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes. Then flip brownies onto cloth, and out of pan. Let cool a couple more minutes on cloth, before slicing. Refridgerate until serving time, with the side that was face-up in the oven, down.
Try these recipes for dinner this week and let us know what you think. Want more ideas for tasty meals? Click the schedule an Appointment button above and let’s discuss a complete health and fitness plan customized for you – including some delicious “diet food” that tastes like anything but!