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Easy Pumpkin Pudding

Easy Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

Pudding makes an easy treat to satisfy a sweet tooth, but skip the instant mixes. By making it at home, you can reduce the added preservatives and artificial flavors. This version is perfect for fall with vitamin-A-rich pumpkin and spices. It uses skim milk and no eggs to reduce saturated fat and total calories.

Yield: 6

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


3 cups skim milk

¾ cup raw sugar

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

3 tbsp cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional toppings: chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, whipped cream


In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and milk for about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and salt, and whisk until there are no lumps.

Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. Continue to whisk until the pudding begins to bubble and thicken. Once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 15 minutes), remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.

Pour the pudding into serving dishes. Place a small square of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. The pudding can be eaten warm or refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. It will thicken as it cools.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (½ cup): Calories 161; Total Fat 0.4 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 2 mg; Sodium 170 mg; Carbohydrate 35.6 g; Fiber 0.6 g; Sugar 24.5 g; Protein 5.1 g

Vegetable Pad Thai

Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai is a quick and easy dish that you can make in 30 minutes or less. Compared to traditional recipes, this version doubles the nutritious vegetables and uses fewer noodles to reduce calories without sacrificing flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


4 oz. Pad Thai brown rice noodles

5 cups hot water

1 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice)

3 green onions, sliced, greens and white portions separated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

2 ½ cups sliced bok choy

1 ½ cups thinly sliced green cabbage

Juice of ½ a lime

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 large egg

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped dry roasted, unsalted peanuts


Place the Pad Thai noodles in a medium bowl and pour in the hot water. Stir to submerge all of the noodles in the water. Let sit for 8 to 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender, and drain.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the white portion of the onions and the garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the ginger and the carrots and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, lime juice, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Stir well to mix all ingredients and cook for 1 more minute.

Use your cooking spoon or spatula to push all of the vegetables to one side of the skillet. Crack the egg onto the surface of the pan on the empty side. Let the egg cook until it sets, about 1 minute. Gently flip and scramble the egg, chopping it into pieces as it cooks. Stir the egg into the other ingredients.

Mix in the Pad Thai noodles and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, until heated. Remove the the skillet heat and stir in the cilantro and the reserved green portion of the onions. Sprinkle the Pad Thai with the peanuts before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (¼ of the recipe): Calories 238; Total Fat 9.4 g; Saturated Fat 1.6 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 265 mg; Carbohydrate 32.8 g; Fiber 5.4 g; Sugar 5.9 g; Protein 7.4 g

Roasted Pumpkin and Red Rice Salad

Roasted Pumpkin and Red Rice Salad Recipe

If you are tired of brown rice and quinoa, give red rice a try. In this seasonal recipe, it is combined with roasted pumpkin and curry powder for a whole grain side dish that gives you a boost of fiber. Any variety of winter squash can be substituted for the pumpkin, and if you are not a fan of curry, switch to other spices like chili powder or cumin.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes


1 cup dry red rice

1 ½ cups water

2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin

1/3 cup diced onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp fine ground sea salt

2 green onions, greens-only, sliced


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the rice and the water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Let rest, covered, for at least 5 minutes. The rice will absorb any remaining liquid.

While the rice cooks, place the pumpkin, onion, olive oil, curry powder, and sea salt in a medium bowl. Toss to coat all ingredients with the spices. Transfer the pumpkin to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.

In a medium bowl, stir together the rice and pumpkin. Fold in the sliced green onions and serve warm.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 207; Total Fat 3.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 147 mg; Carbohydrate 42.5 g; Fiber 3.8 g; Sugar 1.7 g; Protein 4.0 g

Whole Grain Fig and Coconut Trail Mix

Whole Grain Fig and Coconut Trail Mix Recipe

Trail mix makes a quick and healthy snack, but many packaged varieties are loaded with excess sugar and sodium. This version uses unsalted nuts, unsweetened dried fruit, whole grain cereal, and a few dark chocolate chips for a satisfying snack that is easy to pack with you during busy afternoons or on weekend hikes.

Yield: 14 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes


3 cups puffed whole grain cereal (such as puffed kamut)

¼ cup raw cashew pieces

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

¼ cup halved and sliced dried figs (about 6 figs)

¼ tsp ground cinnamon


Add the cereal, cashews, coconut, chocolate chips, and figs to a medium bowl. Stir to mix all ingredients.

Sprinkle the cinnamon over the trail mix and toss to coat all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Nutrition information for 1 serving (¼ cup): Calories 58; Total Fat 3 g; Saturated Fat 1.8 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 1 mg; Carbohydrate 7.1 g; Fiber 1.1 g; Sugar 3 g; Protein 1.1 g

Roasted Turkey Sandwich with Caramelized Onion & Apple

Roasted Turkey Sandwich with Caramelized Onion & Apple Recipe

Store-bought sandwiches can contain as many as 1,300 milligrams of sodium. Making sandwiches at home allows you to select your own bread and cut down on condiments that are often heavily salted. Using roasted turkey that you make at home instead of lunch meat allows you to get lean protein without all the additives. An apple gives these sandwiches crunch and the caramelized onions add a sweet and salty flavor that requires no added sodium.

Nutrition tip: If you buy roasted turkey from the store, ask for a nutrition label so you can ensure that it has not been heavily seasoned, which can increase the sodium.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

12 oz. roasted turkey breast, warmed

1 apple, cored and sliced

8 tsp brown or Dijon mustard

8 slices whole grain bread


Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the onions cook for about 30 minutes. Stir them every 5 to 10 minutes. They will become very sweet with a rich golden brown color.

Place one slice of bread on each plate. Top with ¼ of the onions. Add 3 ounces of roasted turkey to each sandwich. Layer ¼ of the apple on top.

Spread 2 teaspoons of mustard over the second slice of bread. Place the slice mustard-side down over the apples and serve.

Nutrition information for 1 sandwich: Calories 319; Total Fat 10.2 g; Saturated Fat 2.3 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 63 mg; Sodium 345 mg; Carbohydrate 27.8 g; Fiber 8.9 g; Sugar 8 g; Protein 30.1 g - Calorie counting made easy
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