• Updated Mac & Cheese

    From EatingWell Magazine Winter 2004 -- Subscribe Now!
    High Fiber | High Calcium

    Our mac-and-cheese makeover wins raves of approval, having all the comfort and great taste of its predecessors with a substantially more healthful profile. It uses whole-wheat pasta and includes a colorful layer of spinach. It's also a winner for make-ahead convenience.

    Makes 4 servings

    ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes

    TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes


    3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
    1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    1 16-ounce or 10-ounce package frozen spinach
    1 3/4 cups 1% milk, divided
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
    1 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    Freshly ground pepper to taste
    8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni or penne

    1. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
    2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold water; press out excess moisture.
    3. Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
    4. Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
    5. Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 503 calories; 17 g fat (9 g sat, 2 g mono); 54 mg cholesterol; 60 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 8 g fiber; 935 mg sodium.

    Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (200% daily value), Calcium (60% dv), Folate (27% dv).

    MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, then bake for 35 to 45 minutes


    Pear Cranberry Sauce

    From EatingWell Magazine December 2006 -- Subscribe Now!
    Low Sodium | Low Cholesterol | Low Sat Fat | Heart Healthy

    This dazzling pink pear & cranberry sauce has a perfect balance of tart and sweet tastes. It stands in for the applesauce that traditionally accompanies latkes.

    Makes 6 servings, generous 1/3 cup each

    ACTIVE TIME: 45 minutes

    TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes


    3 large ripe Bartlett pears, peeled
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 4-inch cinnamon stick

    1. Grate pears into a large saucepan, using the large holes of a box grater; take the flesh all the way down to the core but do not get any seeds in the pan.
    2. Stir in water, cranberries, sugar, ginger, salt and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until the pears break down and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 80 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 4 g fiber; 99 mg sodium; 146 mg potassium.

    Nutrition bonus: Fiber (16% daily value).

    1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings

    Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit

    MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    5 flat belly foods 11

    Flat Belly Diet Recipes

    Chocolate Pudding with Bananas and Graham Crackers
    A creamy, sweet-tooth-satisfying dessert--and it's good for you!

    TIME: 20 minutes + chilling time



    3 whole graham crackers, crushed

    1 lg ripe banana, sliced

    1⁄2 c sugar

    1⁄4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

    3 Tbsp cornstarch

    1⁄8 tsp salt

    3 c 1% milk

    1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract

    1 1⁄2  c semisweet or dark chocolate chips (MUFA)


    1. DIVIDE graham cracker crumbs evenly among 6 custard cups or ramekins. Press into bottom. Top with banana, reserving a few slices for garnish.


    2. MIX sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in large saucepan. Stir in milk. Whisk over medium heat until pudding thickens and comes to a boil.


    3. COOK 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into prepared custard cups. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Top each serving with 1⁄4 cup of the chocolate chips and garnish with reserved banana.


    Nutritional Info Per Serving

    391 cal, 7 g pro, 65 g carb, 4 g fiber, 15 g fat, 8.5 g sat fat, 6 mg chol, 150 mg sodium

    Recipe of the Month
    Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit
    Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit
    4 Stars


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    Sparkling cider turns this fresh fruit cup into a fizzy soda fountain-style treat. For the best results, chill all the ingredients.
    2 red grapefruits, halved, seeded, and sectioned
    1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed and halved or quartered
    1 (25-ounce) bottle sparkling cider
    Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
    1. Alternately spoon the grapefruit sections and the sliced strawberries into 6 goblet glasses until you have enough fruit in each to make a nice serving.

    2. Slowly pour enough sparkling cider over the fruit to almost cover it. Add a sprig of mint to each goblet, and your treat is ready to eat. Makes 6 servings.

    Nutritional Information Per serving: 137 Calories, 34.1g Carbohydrates (11% dv), .3g Total Fat (0% dv), 0g Saturated Fat (0% dv), 0mg Cholesterol (0% dv), 0.5 mg Sodium (0% dv), Vitamin A (28% dv), Vitamin C (187% dv), Fiber (10% dv)

    Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Easy Applesauce Muffins
    Easy Applesauce Muffins
    4 Stars


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    These scrumptious muffins are an amazing way to start your day.
    6 tablespoons butter
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
    1. Kids' Cooking Skills: Use this recipe as an opportunity to teach your kids how to mix wet and dry ingredients, scoop batter into muffin tins, and test for doneness.

    2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with bake cups and set aside.

    3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high for about 30 to 60 seconds; set aside to cool slightly.

    4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large mixing bowl. When mixing dry and wet ingredients for muffins, gently stir just until the flour disappears. This will produce muffins with a nice crumbly texture.

    5. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. Stir in the applesauce and melted butter until the mixture is smooth. For mess-free muffins, use an ice-cream scoop to spoon the batter into the bake cups.

    6. Pour the apple mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined (it's ready when you can't see any traces of flour).

    7. Fill the bake cups about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.

    8. Have your kids test for doneness by inserting a knife in the middle of one muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are ready to eat. Makes 12.
    Super Energy Bars
    These tasty, chewy bars are the perfect sanck before or after a lot of exercise!
    You will need:
     1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup applesause2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
    2 cups rolled oats
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    What to do:
    Have an adult help with this recipe
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x9 pan with a little oil (or spray)
    To soften the raisins, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes then discard the water.
    Mix applesause and maple syrup in a medium sized bowl.  Add almond or peanut butter and mix well (heating the nut butter a bit will help it mix in easier).
    Add oats and sesame seeds and combine completely.  Fold in the the raisins.
    Spread into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.
    Cut into 12 squares