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Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables and How to Sneak Them in Your Diet This Summer

Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables and How to Sneak Them in Your Diet This Summer

“You simply cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to our everyday human needs as vegetables!”

 

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Without enough vitamins and minerals, our immunity, vitality, and mood suffer considerably. Eating veggies provides numerous health benefits since the nutrients they contain act on a cellular level. The antioxidants found in vegetables strengthen the body’s defense system, reducing the risk of some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, increased blood pressure and some types of cancer!

And this is just the tip of an iceberg. The beneficial influences of vegetables extend to all parts of the body, covering everything from cognitive functions to improved blood flow. In addition, some of the most powerful health-boosting foods are also the best beauty products money can buy – they help rejuvenate your skin and have a positive effect on the hair, nails, and teeth. This fact surely justifies the statement that beauty comes from the inside!

If this is not enough to persuade you to stock up your grocery cart with veggies, here are a few more reasons:

  • Vegetables are very low in calories (a cup of the healthiest veggies contains about 50 calories). That is why you can eat as much as you want without gaining weight. This, combined with the fact that veggies are great sources of fulfilling dietary fiber, makes them an ideal addition to your weight-loss plan.
  • Vegetables are nutritious in any form – fresh (some may even grow in your backyard), canned, frozen, or juiced which makes them very convenient and highly available to include in any recipe.
  • Veggies come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, and textures. There is always something new to try and make your meals not only healthier but also more vibrant and appealing!

Opting for vegetables is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and longevity but which ones should you choose? Studies have shown that not all veggies are created equal after all. Here is a list of those particularly rich in nutrients along with advice on how to sneak them into your everyday diet.

#1 Asparagus

10 healthiest vegetables

#1 Asparagus

This funny-looking vegetable is especially rich in folates (to be more precise, half a cup of asparagus satisfies about 1/3 of the recommended daily intake). This spring veggie is an important choice for pregnant women since folate is credited with neural tube birth defects prevention.

Moreover, asparagus is filled with numerous minerals and vitamins like vitamin K, riboflavin, thiamin, and selenium, which support numerous body functions and promote toxin expulsion.

Cooking with asparagus: Fresh asparagus is easy and simple to turn into a delightful crispy-sweet addition to any meal. It is very versatile as well – it can be steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, pan-seared, or simply chopped and included in a salad. This well-loved vegetable works well with both simple condiments like salt and pepper, as well as bolder spice mixes, like those including chili, sesame seeds, garlic, and olives.

Recipe recommendation: Our choice is Roasted Asparagus, whole asparagus spears that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or even a snack!

#2 Broccoli

#2 Broccoli

No healthy food list can go without broccoli! Dubbed “one of the nature’s rock stars”, this cruciferous vegetable is very rich in sulfur-containing compounds which are considered tumor inhibitors. Besides being a weapon to fight cancer, broccoli is also recommended as a preventive against other types of chronic disease, especially heart disease. Broccoli’s florets are especially rich in vitamins C and K, as well as folate, potassium, and manganese.

Cooking with broccoli: Despite popular belief, broccoli can be absolutely delicious— you can steam it and serve as a quick side dish with butter and lemon, include it in various stir-fries and creamy soups, or add it into cheesy casserole recipes. Whatever method you decide to deploy, you can be sure that this humble green veggie will make your meal a little more special.

Recipe recommendation: We love the Potato and Broccoli Casserole, a dish that also includes cheddar cheese and mushroom soup for an absolutely hearty & fulfilling family meal.

#3 Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and, just like their relative broccoli, they contain the same beneficial nutrients and compounds, including vitamins B, C, and K, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

On top of that, these ‘mini cabbages’ also contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that is very efficient in the prevention of cell damage caused by harmful free radicals. Brussels sprouts also aid detoxification, thus reducing the risk of various diseases, especially colon cancer.

Cooking with Brussels sprouts: Despite their bad reputation, when prepared with a little care, Brussels sprouts can be spectacular. From simple options like roasting in the oven, to creative solutions that require mixing these cruciferous veggies with fruits or meat, you can rest assured that they will make your meal pop.

Recipe recommendation: Tart Cherry-glazed Brussels Sprouts are just one example of how flexible these veggies can be. The addition of tangy cherry juice is the perfect match to the sometimes-bitter mini cabbages. Thicken the juice with a little brown sugar and complement with a splash of sriracha sauce and you’ve got yourself an intensely flavored meal in no time!

#4 Carrot

#4 Carrots

Carrots provide you with a whopping 430% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A! They contain beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that not only gives carrots their beautiful orange color but also fights harmful free radicals, making sure your body is safe from diseases. Studies have shown that these root veggies are especially efficient against prostate and lung cancer. Moreover, carrots are also packed with vitamins C and K, as well as potassium.

Cooking with carrots: It is time to stop looking at carrots as a plain pantry staple that is available throughout the whole year, and acknowledge their amazing ability to transform. These orange veggies can complement your savory dishes, but can also easily adjust and become a part of various delicious dessert recipes!

Note: Bear in mind that vitamin C is heat-sensitive and most of it will be lost during cooking, so make sure to consume carrots raw as often as possible. An easy way to do this is to include them into your morning smoothies.

Recipe recommendation: Make Classic Carrot Cake healthier by replacing sugar with stevia, all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and vegetable oil with extra-virgin coconut oil. Your sweet treat will be much healthier, but still moist, tender, and absolutely delicious!

Note 2: When using stevia, bear in mind that it is a lot sweeter than regular sugar. For each cup of sugar required in the recipe, use a ¼ cup of this 100% natural sweetener.

#5 Garlic

#5 Garlic

This smelly vegetable has been used for thousands of years, not only for its flavorful aroma but also for its medicinal properties. Studies have detected the substance responsible for garlic’s health benefits. Allicin is a compound that promotes cardiovascular health, maintains blood sugar levels normal, decreases LDL cholesterol and blood sugar. Recent studies suggest that allicin might prevent cancer, but additional research is needed to confirm this claim.

Cooking with garlic: Garlic is one of the most widely used seasonings. It is less commonly eaten as a raw vegetable but often added as a flavoring agent to various dishes like dressings, marinades, sauces, meats, stews, soups, and more. Garlic becomes milder and sweeter when cooked, so you don’t have to worry about the smell.

Recipe recommendation: We recommend Garlic Mashed Potatoes as a side dish for your tomorrow’s lunch – mashed potatoes flavored with roasted garlic and made creamier with the addition of sour cream!

#6 Green Peas

#6 Green peas

Despite the fact that peas are a starchy vegetable that is high in calories and carbs, we can’t ignore the fact that they are nutrient-dense and very beneficial if consumed in moderation. These round green legumes are packed with dietary fiber which supports digestive functions and increases feelings of satiety. Besides protein, vitamins A, C and K, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, green peas are also high in saponins, compounds known for their anti-cancer properties.

Cooking with green peas: Peas can be consumed cooked or raw, on their own or as a side dish. Try them in salads, savory dishes, stir-fries, stews, and soups. Extra tip: these tiny green marbles can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for green beans.

Recipe recommendation: Minted Mixed Peas is a dish that incorporates sugar, snap, and garden peas, complementing them with melty minted butter in a meal full of greenness and freshness!

#7 Kale

10 healthiest vegetables

#7 Kale

Kale has come a long way from being regarded as one of most dreaded foods to being considered the ultimate superfood!

Similar to all leafy greens, kale is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants – it satisfies your daily needs of vitamins A, C and K, but also provides considerable quantities of B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and copper. Kale protects your heart, lowers the bad LDL cholesterol, reduces blood sugar and blood pressure.

Cooking with kale: Not everyone likes kale’s strong flavor and that is why we recommend using baby kale. Its leaves are tenderer and smaller, so there’s no need for chopping.

Recipe recommendation: A healthier take on everyone’s favorite dish? Kale Pesto Pizza is a proof that a healthy makeover is not always made at the expense of yumminess!

#8 Spinach

The uncrowned ‘king of leafy greens’ is well-known for its amazing nutritional profile – a cup of spinach provides you with more than half of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, along with considerable amounts of vitamins C and K, iron, manganese, and antioxidants, all with a very low-calorie count. Popeye’s favorite food choice has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as improved heart health.

Cooking with spinach: Sneaking spinach into your everyday diet is very easy. Unlike other leafy greens like kale and collard, it does not require long braise or a large amount of oil. You can serve it simply topped with butter and salt, combine it with cream and cheese, and include it in scrambles, casseroles or smoothies.

Recipe recommendation: Four-Cheese Spinach Fettuccine is an easy and clever way to get your kids to eat spinach. The creamy sauce composed of Parmesan, cream cheese, and Italian two-cheese blend makes this dish rich and flavorful.

#9 Swiss Chard

There are two main varieties of Swiss chard – rainbow chard with multicolored veins and stems, and white chard with white veins and stems. Both are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, among which vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium and manganese.

The high fiber content makes you feel full for a longer period of time, whereas the antioxidant content helps protect the kidneys and liver. But what makes Swiss chard stand out is its ability to prevent diabetes-related damages to the body.

Cooking with Swiss chard: Even though it is much less popular than its leafy green cousins, spinach and kale, Swiss chard is just as versatile and tasty. It is easy to handle and contributes tender, silky texture to your dishes.

Note: To preserve as many nutrients as possible, steam the chard lightly and cover in a simple vinaigrette. Alternatively, use chard leaves as healthier and lighter tortilla alternatives when preparing tacos.

Recipe recommendation: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto. The title says pretty much all about this Mexican-flavored dish, but if you need more details, here you are: the sweet potato is roasted with chipotle sauce, whereas the Swiss chard pesto contains queso fresco, cilantro, and avocados!

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#10 Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato

Besides vibrant color and sweet taste, these root vegetables offer a great deal of nutrients as well. they are loaded with dietary fiber, protein, vitamins B6 and C, as well as essential minerals like manganese and potassium.

Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A (more specifically, just one sweet potato provides you with over 430% of the recommended DV) in its healthiest form: beta-carotene. This compound is known for reducing the risk of some types of cancer, including breast and lung cancer.

Cooking with sweet potatoes: Believe it or not, research surveys have shown that almost 20% consumers consider sweet potatoes difficult to cook. However, the great number of easy and simple cooking methods make this opinion untrue. While baking remains the most traditional way of preparing these orange veggies, you can also try sautéing, boiling, grilling, or including them raw and grated into your salads and even desserts!

Recipe recommendation: Get creative and serve these unique Sweet Potato Enchiladas, a gourmet dish that mixes the traditional spiciness with a modern sweet twist.

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
The Best Recipes for a Low Carb Diet (Nutritional Info Included)

The Best Recipes for a Low Carb Diet (Nutritional Info Included)

If you have a soft spot for food, but still want to eat healthily then maybe you should consider implementing a low carb diet. The simplest way to explain what a low carb diet is all about is to actually understand the word itself – “carb” is the abbreviation for “carbohydrates” and “low” means well, “low” – your diet should include foods that are low in carbohydrates.

 

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In layman’s words, you will have to say bye-bye to bread, pasta and sugary foods. But don’t get your tissues out just yet, there is a wide variety of foods you can enjoy and low carb recipes you can prepare that are equally as delicious as these high carb ones.

Low Carb Diet Dos and Don’ts

Although there are many variables (How much weight do you want to lose? Do you exercise? Do you have any health issues?) to consider when it comes to what foods you should eat, here’s а general list of dos and don’ts.

Dos

Eat These Foods

First off, let us take a look at the food you are to eat, because it is the most important part of the whole story. You should be on the look for foods that are high in protein and natural fat. Such foods include fish, meat, veggies growing above ground, eggs, fruit, seeds, nuts, high-fat dairy, natural fats, and healthy oils.

Stay Committed

Do know that entertaining the idea of implementing a certain diet is not the same as actually doing it. So, yes, you will crave cake, and yes, you will be tempted to give up and devour a whole pack of candies, but once you start with this diet, you will have to stay committed.

Exercise

Don’t expect to lose weight by couch potatoing. Exercising is critical for your physical and mental health. Regular exercise will result in an increase of your muscle mass and an improvement of your hormonal environment. As for your mental health, if you have ever gone to the gym, then you know the rewarding feeling after an intensive workout, and if not, then trust me when I say: your overall mood will be improved!

Don’ts

Don’t Eat These Foods

Now, on to the foods you should avoid: sugar, seed oils, trans fats, wheat, and all those “diet” products. As we have already mentioned, the low carb diet means you should implement more fat, so low-fat products are a no.

Don’t overeat

Yes, the food you are going to eat when you are on a low carb diet is much healthier, but this doesn’t mean you should eat all day long. So eating only when you are hungry and just until you are satiated is crucial.

Don’t Back Down

This is along the same lines as the staying committed part. Persistence and self-affirmation are vital! Don’t say you can’t do it. Don’t say it’s too difficult. Just, don’t give up. 🙂

The Easiest Low Carb Diet Recipes

Low Carb Not No Carb Diet

Before revealing to you these delicious and easy to prepare recipes, it is of vital importance to remember this: if you are looking for a way to lose weight but still eat healthily, every meal you consume has to be balanced. This means that a meal is nutritious only if it contains protein, fat, and CARBS. Remember: it is a Low Carb Diet NOT No Carb Diet. And now you are probably wondering what is considered a “moderate” carbohydrate intake. Well, 100-150 grams per day is ok. As for the best sources to get your carbs from, feel free to eat vegetables, several pieces of fruit per day and a moderate amount of healthy starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and oats).

# Appetizers, Starters, and Sides

  • Garlic Mushrooms

Cook time: 12 minutes

Can you think of a tastier starter or side dish than mushrooms tossed with garlic and sautéed in lemon juice? Finish everything off with a balsamic dressing made of olive oil, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 155,

fat 13.7g (sat fat 1.8g),

carbs 7.7g

Serving ideas: if you are not a big parsley fan, then go ahead and replace it with chopped fresh sage. These mushrooms will be a great companion to a marinated chicken or steak, or if you want to serve them as appetizers, go ahead and serve them along with soft breadsticks to soak up the delicious juices.

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

  • Stuffed Mushrooms

Cook time: 35 minutes

mushrooms

In case you haven’t noticed, we LOVE mushrooms. This time, they are stuffed with savory goodness: seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley all make their way into this incredibly easy to prepare recipe. An appetizer everyone will go crazy about!

Nutritional information Per mushroom:

calories 89,

fat 8.3g (sat fat 5.1g),

carbs 1.7g

Serving ideas: these will be great with cheese, and crackers, bruschetta and colorful fresh veggies. If you are to host a crowd, you can easily triple the recipe to make plenty of these stuffed beauties.

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

  • Italian Summer Squash

Cook time: 34 minutes

This summer squash will become your go-to side dish this summer, and it can even become a vegetarian main dish. A vegetable medley that has summer written all over: yellow squash, tomatoes, and zucchini combined with garlic and onions, and a true Mediterranean touch of olive oil and basil- Perfect!

Serving ideas: substitute the re-roasted diced tomatoes with green pepper, or plain diced tomatoes. As for the main dishes, these can go with, fish and chicken are your best bet.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 64,

fat 1.9g (sat fat 0.3g),

carbs 11g

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

# Main Dishes

To have a nice and balanced meal, combine one of the side dishes above with one of these incredibly delicious main meals. Regardless of whether you are camp beef or camp chicken, you will adore these recipes.

  • Garlic Clove Beef

Cook time: 25 minutes

Are you ready for an all garlic main dish? A beef steak cooked in garlic oil, topped with sautéed garlic and served with garlic butter! It is one of those main dishes that go well with everything, but we’d recommend mashed red-skinned potatoes with sour cream or steamed green beans.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 809,

fat 64.1g (sat fat 34.2g),

carbs 3.3g

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

  • Zesty Drumsticks

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

Perfect for a summer picnic, these tangy drumsticks grilled to perfection are all you ever wanted. Orange rind and orange marmalade come together to make these the freshest, most unique chicken drumsticks ever!

Serve these with a potato salad made with cooked baby new potatoes, cooked peas and chopped green onions with just a bit of mayonnaise. Yum!

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 269,

fat 12.9g (sat fat 3.5g),

carbs 4.8g

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

  • Southwest Calico Chicken

Cook time 36 minutes

chicken

Bring chicken drumsticks and tights to a whole new level of awesome with this taco-seasoned chicken recipe.  Serve your chicken on a bed of corn, black beans, pinto beans and green chilies.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 774,

fat 39.1g (sat fat 10.2g),

carbs 40.5g

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

# Dessert

  • Avocado, Pear and Grape Salad

Cook time 15 minutes

tasty salad

 

A fruit salad is the best way to satiate your sweet tooth without fearing you’ll get too many carbs. And this colorful salad is not only delicious but it looks so inviting it might even steal the show! Mind you, the recipe below is actually a savory salad, but to make it dessert worthy, swap the crushed red pepper flakes with cinnamon and the white vinegar with maple syrup. As for the onion and the minced pepper, skip them altogether.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 134,

fat 9.6g (sat fat 1g),

carbs 13.1g

Serving ideas: for an even more stunning presentation, serve the salad in scooped-out cantaloupe halves. Leave about 1 /2-inch of the melon flesh intact. (Dice the scooped-out melon flesh, and serve over vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey for dessert.)

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

  • Low Carb Patriotic Dessert Pizza (Grain Free)

Cook time 27 minutes

Surprise your friends and family with this incredibly scrumptious cake and make the 4th of July even more memorable.

Serving ideas: you can easily substitute the blueberries with blackberries. You can even cut this giant cookie into small rectangles and prepare a dozen patriotic cakes.

Nutritional information Per serving:

calories 95,

fat 8.3g (sat fat 5.2g),

carbs 6g

see full instructions for this low carb recipe here

There you go guys, easy and delicious low carb recipes that will help you venture into the healthy-eating world more easily than ever!

 

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I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
10 Epic Vegan Breakfast Recipes That You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

10 Epic Vegan Breakfast Recipes That You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

The phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” has been repeated so many times, it is impossible to ignore. We are inclined to agree since having a fulfilling meal at the beginning of the day will give you enough energy and make you snack less.

And while meat eaters (even vegetarians) have no problem throwing together a quick bacon & eggs or grab a sandwich to eat on the go, when it comes to vegans, possibilities seem to decrease. Do vegans really need to be limited to smoothies and granola for breakfast? Not anymore. We have compiled an amazing list of healthy and easy vegan breakfast recipes that includes pancakes, cookies, wraps, French toast, soups and more!

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Having in mind that weekday mornings can be quite chaotic, we made sure they are quick to make – done in no more than 15 minutes in order to prevent you from running late. And finally, we have selected the star of each vegan recipe, the ingredient in each recipe that makes your meal extra fulfilling, nutritious, and delicious.

Sweet Quick and Easy Vegan Breakfast Recipes

#1 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

Time: 10 minutes

Why make pancakes only at the weekend when they are done in only 10 minutes? To make the process really quick, mix the ingredients in a blender for about a minute, then cook each side of the pancakes for about two minutes. One more upside is that, besides being vegan and incredibly easy to make, these fluffy flapjacks are also gluten-free. Top with pure maple syrup, peanut butter, fruit, or vegan chocolate chips.

Star of the vegan recipe: Oats are considered one of the healthiest breakfast options for a good reason- they are a whole grain, which means they retain their germ, endosperm, and bran, which means that the nutrients remain intact. Oats are rich in dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and essential minerals. Note: These whole grains are gluten-free but can be contaminated in the production process. That is why, if you are following a gluten-free diet, you should look for ‘certified gluten-free’ labels.

vegan recipes

#2 Vegan French Toast

Time: 15 minutes

This vegan breakfast recipe is so good, you won’t even know it lacks eggs. The secret ingredient that gives the toast ‘eggy’ taste is nutritional yeast, also known as ‘nooch’. Throw some cinnamon & nutmeg and top with maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or nut butter. Perfect for using up your stale bread!

Star of the vegan recipe: Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast made from beet and sugarcane molasses. It is widely used as a condiment because of its nutty and cheesy flavor but also as a thickener for soups and stews.  Nooch is gluten-free and filled with protein and B-complex vitamins. It also contains folates, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, zinc, and selenium. Furthermore, this flaky ingredient is low in fat and sodium and contains no sugars or preservatives; enough to dub nooch a superfood!

#3 Indian Cream of Wheat

Time: 7 minutes

The simplicity of cream of wheat collides with the rich flavors of Indian rice pudding to create a quick and yet luscious breakfast. Low-fat, sugar-free, and rich in iron & calcium, this elegant vegan recipe bursts with flavors from the rose water, cardamom, coconut, and pistachio nuts.

Star of the vegan recipe: Thanks to the ads featuring Ernie the Elephant, aired during the Super Bowl, as well as the marketing campaigns featuring celebrities, pistachios have become one of the most popular nuts. It’s no wonder everyone is going nuts about pistachios – they’re packed with unsaturated fat, which lowers bad cholesterol levels and keeps your heart healthy. Moreover, these healthy fats in combination with dietary fiber and protein, contribute to weight loss and weight control!

vegan recipes

#4 Deluxe Acai Bowl

Time: 5 minutes

Described as a smoothie you can eat with a spoon, this easy vegan recipe involves much more chewing than a regular smoothie. It combines several vegan breakfast favorites like granola & fruits and complements them with acai powder. Not only will this purple powder give your dish an amazing color and a tangy note, but it will also contribute a great deal of nutrients as well.

Star of the vegan recipe: Filled with vitamins C and A and richer in antioxidants than raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or goji berries, acai berries inhibits signs of aging, control appetite hormones, boost energy, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

#5 No Bake Espresso Cookies

Time: 10 minutes

How about a double coffee for breakfast? Pour a large cup of warm coffee and treat yourself to these amazing, super-quick cookies made with espresso powder. The author suggests that you use good-quality cocoa powder; we support that and add our own advice: substitute sugar with a healthier sweetener option like stevia because these bites are addicting. The best part? You can pack and eat on the run.

Star of the vegan recipe: Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world (after water) and despite concerns, studies have shown that drinking up to 3-5 cups of coffee a day is not only safe, but also recommendable; coffee reduces the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer.

Savory Quick and Easy Vegan Breakfast Recipes

#6 Hummus, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pea Shoot Crostini

Time: 10 minutes

Having a jar of delicious homemade hummus in the fridge at all times really pays off. But even if this is not the case, humus is done in no more than 5 minutes in a food processor and is extremely versatile. This creamy paste can be used as a side dish, dip, or, in this case, a spread over toasted baguette bread slices. Together with crisp, sun-dried tomatoes and garnished with fresh pea shoots, it creates a fun, easy meal that can be served as a breakfast, snack, or appetizer.

Star of the vegan recipe: Hummus has been consumed in the Middle East and some North African countries for a long time but the USA and Europe have ‘discovered’ it recently and seem to really enjoy its amazing taste, experiencing its numerous health benefits at the same time! The main ingredient in this creamy spread, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are rich in protein and fiber. They increase satiety, improve digestion, and keep your heart in good health.

vegan recipes

#7 Toast with Refried Beans and Avocado

Time: 5 minutes

This quick and easy Mexican take on vegan breakfast is made with toasted bread (make sure the bread is vegan), topped with refried beans paste. If you decide to go with a homemade version, bear in mind that it will take about 20 minutes, so it is better if you get it ready the night before. Finish off with avocado & onion slices and garnish with coarse salt. For those in your family that are not vegans, add a poached egg as well. Top with another slice of bread to get a vegan sandwich or, if there are family members sensitive to gluten, use gluten-free bread.

Star of the vegan recipe: Often dubbed “one of the healthiest foods on the planet” and “the most nutrition-packed food in the world”, avocado steals the show in every recipe, whether vegan or not. Packed with heart-protective fats, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and numerous minerals, this creamy fruit improves heart health, balances hormones, and contributes to better digestion.

#8 Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Time: 15 minutes

These easy and low-carb wraps are made with sautéed tofu, mushrooms, and veggies. They are bursting with exotic flavors from the red peppers and jicama and red peppers. The original recipe recommends wrapping the filling in tender butterhead lettuce leaves, but if that’s not fulfilling enough for you, opt for the good old tortillas. Drizzle with hoisin sauce.

Star of the vegan recipe: Over the past few years, tofu has found its way to the unhealthy food lists due to the fact that it is GMO and filled with antinutrients. That is why we recommend that you replace it with fermented soy products like natto or tempeh in your vegan recipes. The fermentation process increases the level of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making these tofu alternatives really good for you.

#9 Vegan Tomato, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Soup

Time: 15 minutes

Delicious vegan recipes like this soup are a welcomed change from your pancake/waffle routine. Not that there is anything wrong with them! The point is to eat diverse, nutritious food that will not only make you feel full, but will also contribute to your good health and good shape. And this soup does all that for you – flavorful, vibrant and summery, it is the ideal combination of sweet and savory. Chop the veggies the night before and your easy breakfast will be served fresh and warm in no time!

Star of the vegan recipe: With so many good-for-you-ingredients such as onion, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and basil, picking the star of this vegan recipe is really difficult. That is why we have decided to ‘crown’ cumin, the spice that gives this soup an exotic note in addition to the numerous nutrients like vitamins E and B1, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

vegan recipes

#10 Vegan Potato Salad

Time: 15 minutes

Simple & casual and yet so fulfilling. This summery classic is packed with enough protein to keep you going for hours. The use of hummus instead of mayonnaise reduces the calorie count and the addition of lemon juice, parsley, fresh mint, garlic, and scallions really brighten it up. The potatoes will take only 7-8 minutes to cook but since this salad is usually served chilled, you can make them the night before and keep them in the fridge (in a plastic container, covered with a lid) until the next morning.

Star of the vegan recipe: Potatoes contain more potassium than bananas and provide you with almost half the daily value of vitamin C! This combination, in conjunction with the protein content, makes potatoes more energy-packed than any other widely consumed veggie, perfect to fuel your brain and body throughout the day.

Hope we have given you enough choices to make a different vegan breakfast every day. Find more ideas for a delicious start of your day in our Quick and Easy Vegan Recipes collection.

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I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
4 Holistic Ways to Lose Weight

4 Holistic Ways to Lose Weight

Obesity is often a result of a complicated set of physical and mental issues so attempting to deal with it by simply reducing the amount of food intake will most likely be in vain. Studies show that more than half of the people who lose weight following a strict diet plan, do not only get it back but also gain a few extra pounds in the process.

Unlike most weight loss programs, the holistic approach sees a person as a whole being and, instead of simply treating the symptoms, it attempts to get to the root of the problem.

Holistic Weight Loss Methods

A holistic weight loss program addresses two aspects of the weight problem. First, it will get to the very core of the problem, identifying the reasons that make people eat more or exercise less than they should. By discovering the factors that lead to being overweight, this approach will help one reconsider the decisions they make. The final goal is to make long-term changes necessary to achieve and maintain optimal weight.

The second aspect is the quality of life as a whole. Being overweight can lead to various health issues, including serious diseases such as type II diabetes, various kinds of cancer and cardiovascular problems. Solving the weight problem means better overall health and higher quality of life.

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Basic weight loss plans are based mainly on nutrition and physical activity, but holistic programs further develop these plans, taking into consideration factors such as lifestyle, environment, spirituality, etc.

#1 Nutrition

Information is essential. Starving yourself will probably lead to weight loss eventually, but with many unwanted side effects that range from fatigue to serious inflammations. Healthy nutrition consists of high-quality ingredients that boost your mood and energy, increase the feeling of satiety and reduce cravings. Here are the basics of healthy nutrition, followed by recipes to get you started.

Focus on variety.  Fruits, vegetables, and herbs are allowed in large amounts. When you put together your meal plan, go by this rule: ‘the more colorful, the better’. A plate filled with these ingredients is sure to provide a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whenever possible, opt for fresh, organic ingredients.

Recipe idea: Fresh Fruit Salad

Eliminate refined foods. Start by eliminating refined sugar, flour and processed foods that contain these harmful ingredients. For example, many processed foods contain sugar hidden behind great-sounding labels like cereals or granola bars. Avoid anything that contains maltodextrin, dextrin, corn syrup, sucralose, or maltitol on the list of ingredients. Replace white refined sugar with raw honey (honey that has not been heated or filtered) or pure maple syrup and use whole grain flour instead of the bleached, all-purpose one.

Recipe idea: Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Cranberry Couscous

Know your carbohydrates. Basically, carbs can be simple and complex. The former ones are considered the main culprits for weight gain since they digest more slowly, causing sharp surges in blood sugar levels that lead to cravings. The latter consist of whole grains, vegetables, seeds, and legumes and are great to include in your diet plan.

Recipe idea: Chicken with Snow Peas

Combine healthy fats and proteins. Besides complex carbs, your diet should also include high-protein foods like meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as good polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, found in fish, flaxseed, nuts, and seeds. This combination of carbs, fats, and proteins, consumed in moderate portions several times during the day, will reduce your appetite, causing you to eat less in general.

Recipe idea: Shrimp in Lemon Sauce

Hydrate. Most people are chronically dehydrated without being aware of it. Hydration is very important for proper digestion, as well as for toxin and waste elimination. Water is the best and most convenient choice, provided it is purified, not chlorinated tap water. Herbal teas and sparkling water are also acceptable alternatives.

#2 Physical Activity

As mentioned before, exercise, together with good nutrition, is a major component of all holistic weight loss programs. Any endeavor to lose weight without combining it with any form of activity will be incomplete and less successful. Physical activity not only enhances metabolic functions and burns calories, but it also increases endurance and stamina, strengthens the muscles, boosts energy levels, improves blood circulation, and affects the production of ‘good mood’ hormones.

The holistic approach is a proponent of finding a workout regimen fit to your needs, one that you truly enjoy and that you’ll be happy to do on the long run.

Alternatively, intense workout regimens can be replaced with constant movements throughout the day. Walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will be a great change of a sedentary routine.

holistic weight loss

#3 Lifestyle and Environment

Many lifestyle choices can be a cause of weight gain.

Smoking and alcohol consumption are two examples, with major negative effects on health. These harmful habits cause accumulation of toxins that inhibit the immune system and, eventually, influence vitality. Alcohol is high in calories and known for causing sugar cravings.

Changing your eating habits also causes changes in your hormones and enzymes. This can result in tiredness and chronic fatigue. Balance can be restored with a good night sleep and proper rest.

Environmental factors like pollution and crowded places, in combination with everyday stress and constant rush, can cause weight gain as well. Negative effects of modern lifestyle can be neutralized by spending more time outdoors and doing things you really like, with the people you love.

#4 Spirituality

Emotions are a very important obesity factor. Mental problems like anxiety and depression can cause hormonal imbalance and trigger binge eating. Support from family and friends is crucial in the attempt to change the relationship to food.

Other holistic techniques include keeping track of the progress in a journal, positive thinking, meditation, psychotherapy, and visualization of the final goal.

To sum up, the holistic approach combines nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle changes, and spiritual attunement, to ensure that weight loss is healthy and viable.

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25 Weight Loss Recipes That Take 30 Minutes or Less!

25 Weight Loss Recipes That Take 30 Minutes or Less!

When looking for ways to lose weight, there are two things one should bear in mind: eat less, exercise more! Of course, there is nothing new or revolutionary in this statement, but there is certainly a reason why every weight loss plan starts like this. And while we cannot help you with the exercising part, we can offer you a whole list of weight loss friendly recipes that will surely come in handy once you embark on the venture that is weight loss.

Weight-loss Breakfast Recipes

If you are trying to lose weight, the very first thing you should do as soon as you wake up is drink a glass of water. It will help your body get rid of all the toxins and waste and you will be ready to seize the day. But not before you prepare yourselves a tasty breakfast!

1# Fresh Fruit Smoothies

Time: 10 minutes

fresh fruit smoothies

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Smoothies allow you to mix and match your favorite flavor in one highly nutritive and delicious drink. The only problem is deciding which flavor is your favorite!

Although fruits contain sugar, they have a low energy density so the body needs time to process them. Moreover, they are rich in fiber which makes you feel satiated for a longer period of time and keeps the sugar from entering the bloodstream too quickly.

2# Spinach Potato Pancakes

Time: 26 minutes

spinach potato pancakes

These blender pancakes are not only simple to make, but they can be served with both sweet and savory add-ins.

Most importantly, they contain one of the most nutritive vegetables – spinach. With only 7 calories per cup, this green leafy vegetable is one of the world’s lowest-calorie foods. In addition, it contains a compound called thylakoids, which extends digestion, creates a feeling of fullness, and reduces cravings. A study conducted at the Lund University found that thylakoids reduces feelings of hunger by more than 90% and boosts weight reduction by more than 40%.

3# Chewy Granola Bars

Time: 30 minutes

chewy granola bars

These crunchy bars taste as sweet as a decadent dessert and are perfect when served with a cup of warm milk. They are packed with protein, natural vitamins and antioxidants coming from ingredients like oats, wheat germ, raisins, walnuts, and cherries.

All of the above-listed foods are rich in dietary fiber. In addition, these bars contain cinnamon and clove, two spices that reduce LDL cholesterol levels, lower plasma glucose levels, enhance digestion and boost the metabolism, aiding the organism to burn fat more efficiently.

Note: The original recipe calls for sugar, but you can replace it with honey. Use equal amounts of honey for sugar up to one cup. For amounts over one cup, substitute each cup of sugar with 2/3 or 3/4 cup of honey, depending on the degree of sweetness you are going for.

4# Summer Veggie Omelet

Time: 15 minutes

This omelet is overflowing with fresh, summery veggies. It contains sweet peppers, corn, cilantro, and goat cheese, but omelet recipes are very flexible and you can vary the ingredients to taste.

Eggs are low in calories, but rich in metabolism-boosting amino acids and proteins, which makes them ideal for reducing appetite and increasing fullness. Furthermore, eggs regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, while suppressing the hunger hormone known as ghrelin at the same time. Not to mention they are extremely cheap and easy to make!

5# Ginger Apricot Muffins

Time: 30 minutes

These muffins are so easy to throw together – combine good-for-you-ingredients like pure maple syrup, rolled oats, banana, apricots, and ginger to make a healthy breakfast on the run!

Ginger is a magical spice that should find its way into all your desserts. It contains gingerol, a compound responsible for digestive regulation and feelings of fullness. Ginger promotes fat loss and acts as a natural appetite suppressant.

Weight-loss Lunch Recipes

Losing weight and, more importantly, maintaining it, is not an easy process, but knowing a few simple tricks will help you a great deal. Opt for recipes full of protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbs, which act as metabolism boosters. These quick, delicious, and satisfying lunch ideas will help you lose weight without feeling hungry and will take you no more than 30 minutes to prepare

6# Cool Cucumber Soup

Time: 18 minutes

cucumber soup

Summer is around the corner, so you’d better have an amazing and light recipe up your sleeve. Cucumbers, onions, and parsley make up a quick and refreshing soup to enjoy on the porch!

Cucumbers are the best food to eat when trying to lose weight. They will fill your stomach well, giving you a feeling of satiety, but without contributing calories. In fact, these green veggies are mostly composed of water and, as you might know, water contains 0 calories!

7# Vermicelli Walnut Salad

Time: 30 minutes

vermiceli walnut salad

Besides containing veggies like snapped green beans, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms, this colorful salad is also packed with crunchy walnuts.

Although walnuts are higher in calories and fats, they are associated with the same degree of weight loss as low-fat products provided they are consumed in moderation, i.e. a handful daily. In addition, these nuts are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats. This combination of nutrients boosts the metabolic functions, thus facilitating weight loss.

8# Veggie Burgers

Time: 30 minutes

veggie burgers

Sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini combined with rolled oats and Cheddar cheese yield juicy burgers that will make you forget beef for good!

Due to their high fiber content, oats are a great addition to your weight loss plan, just make sure to stay away from unhealthy, fattening processed oats! Carrots, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are also weight-loss-friendly ingredients, low in calories and fat, but rich in fiber.

9# Sesame Chicken Salad

Time: 30 minutes

sesame chicken salad

Sesame-coated chicken and cucumbers dressed in honey and orange juice make up a light and yet fulfilling meal, perfect for warm days.

Lean, unprocessed, protein-rich meats like chicken will increase the feeling of satiety, reduce your appetite, and help you burn calories at the same time! Grilled or baked skinless chicken breast is the best addition to your weight loss plan.

10# Pasta with Artichoke Hearts

Time: 30 minutes

pasta with artichoke hearts

Steaming bowls of flavorful pasta are not necessarily in the forbidden zone when trying to lose weight. Even though simple carbohydrate foods are considered to be to blame for weight gain, it is a fact that they are very low in fat as well. To be on the safe side, choose a healthier type of pasta such as whole wheat, and combine it with weight-loss-friendly ingredients like artichokes.

This nutrient-rich vegetable abounds with dietary fiber which is responsible for making you feel full for longer periods of time and, consequently, assists weight loss.

Note: Originally, this recipe takes 45 minutes to make from scratch, but if you cook the pasta in advance or use leftover pasta, the time will shorten by 15 minutes!

Weight-loss Dinner Recipes

Dinner is the most important meal of the day. So even though you are looking for ways to lose weight, don’t be tempted to skip this significant meal. Instead, prepare one of the following healthy recipes.

11# Easy Turkey Skillet

Time: 30 minutes

easy turkey skillet

This incredibly delicious and easy to make recipe makes use of carrots and onions and is only seasoned with black pepper and salt. A quick and easy, yet incredibly delicious and scrumptious meal!

One thing to bear in mind when trying to keep the scale numbers down is this: lean protein is of vital importance! This is so because it will help preserve muscle mass and what’s more important, it will help you feel satiated. And among the best sources of lean protein is precisely turkey meat.  Turkey is carbohydrate-free, low in fat and low in calories. For comparison, a 3-ounce portion of turkey breast contains 170 calories and 7 grams of fat less than chicken breast, pork, and lamb.

12# Spicy Tomato Pasta

Time: 18 minutes

spicy tomato pasta

This saucy Italian pasta is all one could want in a dinner- light, delicious and quick!

Contrary to popular belief, bacon can actually facilitate weight loss! Many studies have proven that eating bacon will result in eating fewer carbs. This being said, the fat that bacon abounds with is actually the healthy type, monounsaturated fat, while the carbs are actually empty calories that will result in spikes in insulin levels, a process which contributes to binge eating. To sum up: bacon will keep you full and midnight snacking won’t be an issue!

13# Orzo Risotto

Time: 21 minutes

This risotto takes way less time to get prepared than a regular rice one risotto would. This tiny rice- shaped pasta will produce the richest risotto and combined with the onion soup this will definitely be a dinner dish that the whole family will enjoy.

Onions are rich in nutrients and fiber, and they also contain an antioxidant called quercetin. This antioxidant will help increase the calorie burn while at the same time reducing inflammation. It will help your digestive tract work with more ease

The best thing about onions is they can easily be included in many different dishes. By adding onions in a dish, you will make it more flavorful, and not only will you consume fewer calories (44 in a medium-large onion) but you will be getting rid of the excess fat.

14# Pan Crisped Cod

Time: 30 minutes

pan crisped cod

If you are into fish for dinner, then this pan crisped cod is just the recipe for you! Crisp on the outside and delicately flaky on the inside it is a bite filled with flavor and texture!

Although fried dishes don’t necessarily provoke an image of a healthy fulfilling meal, this one surely is. Due to the high protein content and the cod’s amino acid profile, cod has a power to regulate the metabolism. This means that eating this insanely delicious fish will keep you satiated and will help the slimming process. Eating cod influences the serotonin, the key hormone responsible for appetite signals.

This recipe can also be made with halibut, a fish that is ranked second only to boiled potatoes in terms of its satiating power according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: The Satiety Index of Common Foods.

15# Almond Cheddar Chicken

Time: 30 minutes

almond cheddar cheese

An easy-peasy dinner filled with contrastive flavors that blend perfectly together into a light hearty dish with a crunchy topping! Make sure you use a healthier mayonnaise substitute and you are in for a healthy treat! You can try using nayonaise, for instance. The vegan alternative to mayonnaise made from soy packed with vitamin B13 and 3 fatty acids.

While we have covered the chicken benefits on weight loss above, in this particular meal we will focus on the benefits of almonds. Oftentimes we avoid implementing almonds in our diet because they are rich in fatty acids. But, here’s a newsflash! It is these fatty acids precisely (the omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9) that will help you lose a pound or two. These fats help in the stabilization of the blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol build up in our blood, and more importantly, they help maintain and reduce our body mass index (BMI). This, in turn, will help reduce belly fat. Moreover, almonds are rich in protein which stimulates the development of lean muscle mass.

Weight-loss Snacks

Yes, you are on a diet, and yes, you want to slim down. But there is another yes that is even more important than these! YES, you will always want to snack on something! And while many people would emphasize the importance of either breakfast or dinner as being the most important meal of the day, we do believe that snacks win in this category. Why? Well, unhealthy snacking is one of the major causes for weight gain. No worries, we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 healthy snack recipes that will beat the regular fatty ones any day!

16# Crispy Sweet Potato

Time: 20 minutes

A tasty wholesome alternative to French fries, these tasty sweet potato chips will become your favorite snack of all time!

With their high water and fiber content and low-calorie content, sweet potatoes are the go-to snack when trying to lose weight. Since they are rich in vitamin A and good carbs, you will be able to nibble these totally guilt-free!

17# Roasted Asparagus

Time: 20 minutes

asparagus

These asparagus spears will definitely win you over. The sesame seeds give a crunchiness that is truly irresistible, not to mention the seeds pair perfectly well with the sesame oil these are roasted in J.

As for the weight loss promoting features of asparagus, they are plenty! We will, however, focus on only three: it will suppress your appetite, it will help you de-bloat, and it will regulate the sugar levels in your blood.

18# Broccoli with Pine Nuts

Time: 30 minutes

broccoli with pine nuts

Not only will you enjoy the incredible combination of broccoli and nuts, but you will also be consuming far fewer calories than if nibbling other fatty snacks. Plus, the raisins and pine nuts combined with the broccoli is a combination that is strange but works like a charm

Broccoli abounds with vitamin C, a nutrient vital for turning fats into energy. Moreover, it contains calcium and chromium, nutrients that will reduce the production of new fat cells and regulate the activity of insulin, respectively.

19# Garlic Mushrooms

Time: 12 minutes

mushroom snack

The garlic and balsamic dressing make these mushrooms heaven in a bite, and done in only 12 minutes? That’s a must in anyone’s book!

Oftentimes mushrooms are eaten as a meat substitute, and for a good reason: they are a great source of protein and abound with iron, riboflavin, and niacin. The fact that they can satiate one’s hunger much like meat with far fewer calories and fat, makes mushrooms a perfect companion in your weight loss battle!

20# Lemon Pie Energy Bars

Time: 10 minutes

Talking about satiating your sweet tooth while still remaining on the weight loss side, it can’t get better than this: Yummy energy bars that are flavorful and refreshing!

Although there is a lot to be said about the weight-loss properties of all of the ingredients that are included in this recipe, we chose to give you a reason or two on why dates are weight loss promoting. They are a powerhouse of nutrients! Dates abound in vitamins, minerals, and both soluble and insoluble fiber, thus they will help the function of the digestive tract.

Weight-loss Dessert Recipes

And as the cherry on top, we have selected 5 weight loss friendly desserts that are not only simple and quick to prepare, but are so tasty you will want to eat them every day!

21# Heavenly Cherry Crumble

Time: 30 minutes

cherry crumble

A buttery, crisp topping adds a sweet and nutty contrast to the tang of cherries and fruit-filled dessert.

We have already discussed the weight loss benefits of oats, cherries, almonds and cinnamon. This dessert combines all of them, comprising an incredibly healthy sweet treat.

Note: The recipe originally calls for all-purpose flour and brown sugar. To further reduce calories, replace the flour with an alternative made from nuts, or ancient grains like almond, quinoa, spelt, or soy flour. Instead of brown sugar, opt for pure honey.

22# Grape and Raisin Clafoutis

Time: 30 minutes

grape

A clafouti is a custard-like baked dish usually including fresh fruits. This recipe combines green and red grapes with raisins for an elegant and healthy dessert.

Raisins are rich in natural sugar and can serve as a sugar replacement. Moreover, they are rich in fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and potassium. Grapes, on the other hand, contain resveratrol, a compound that boosts muscle metabolism and energy expenditure, causing you to burn more calories. Furthermore, resveratrol is credited for fighting cravings and hunger.

23# Double Chocolate Beet Muffins

Time: 28 minutes

beet muffins

Photo Credit: http://minimalistbaker.com

These fudgy muffins are made chocolatey by combining cocoa powder and non-dairy chocolate chips, but also contain a secret super-healthy ingredient beets! Healthy, simple and perfect for taming your raging sweet tooth while following a weight loss plan.

Beets are an amazing weight loss food. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, but contain no fat. This red vegetable is very efficient in preventing water retention in the body, which is a common cause for excess weight. It improves stamina and endurance, allowing you to exercise longer and encourages muscle mass growth.

24# No-Bake Espresso Cookies

Time: 10 minutes

espresso cookies

Photo Credit: https://naturallyella.com

Cookies done in only 10 minutes? These cuties contain coffee that will prevent you from feeling sluggish after lunch. The rest of the ingredients are also very good for you – natural sugar and natural peanut butter, coconut oil and almond milk, rolled oats and cocoa powder. Just mix them up and you’ve got a delicious vegan dessert!

Caffeine in coffee stimulates the nervous system, which sends signals to the fat cells and “orders” them to break down and transform into free fatty acids that can be later used up by the body. Coffee also increases the metabolic rate by 5-10%, which controls the degree of burned calories at rest.

25# Hazelnut Cookies

Time: 25 minutes

So small in size and so big when it comes to health benefits! These cookies are paleo, vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. They are filled with healthy and flavorful ingredients like coconut flour and oil, chocolate chips, maple syrup, and hazelnut.

Besides chopped hazelnuts, the recipe calls for hazelnut butter as well. Hazelnuts have been shown to boost the metabolism. They also contain thiamine, a compound which keeps the metabolism function properly and helps convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is later used as an energy source.

Note: hazelnut butter is quite pricey but very easy to make at home by simply mixing three cups of hazelnuts in a blender or a food processor.

There you have them, the 25 easy to prepare recipes that wll sure make your weight loss adventure more fun!

 

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Top 20 Weight Loss Recipes

Top 20 Weight Loss Recipes

If you are looking to lose weight, you must have tried at least one food regimen or restrictive dieting that require cutting on certain high-calorie food groups. Well, you have been doing it all wrong. Despite popular opinion, weight loss does not depend on simple calorie reduction. On the contrary, the body needs calories to keep the metabolism functional. Nutritionists agree that the focus should be on diversity. Infusing your diet with healthy foods, combined with increased physical activity and controlled portion sizes is most likely to give the desired results. A balanced intake of vegetables, fruits, whole eggs, and cheese will not only make you lose weight faster but will also have a positive effect on your overall health and vitality.

We have compiled a list of 20 amazing recipes that will make the process of weight loss easy and fun!

Breakfast

#1 Mixed Berry Smoothies

mixed berry smoothies

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Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries combined in a quick and easy smoothie recipe for a healthy start of the day. To make this morning drink sweeter, add some pure honey.

Fruits can be a very efficient addition to any weight loss diet. Even though fruits contain sugar, they have a low energy density so the body needs time to process them. In addition, they are high in dietary fiber which makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time and prevents the sugar from being released too fast into the blood. Berries have another important upside – they are rich in antioxidants which fight harmful free radicals in the body and keep us in good health.

#2 Homemade Granola

homemade granola

Honeyed oats, crunchy pecans, dried cherries, and coconut flakes are just a few tempting ingredients in this healthy morning treat.

Oats are rich in soluble fibers called beta-glucans, known for increasing satiety and boosting metabolic functions. Make sure to stay away from processed oats because they are quite harmful and fattening.

Nuts are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Despite the concerns related to the high calorie and fat content, when consumed in limited amounts (a handful or two a day), nuts can improve your metabolic health and promote weight loss.

#3 Raisin Bran Muffins

raisin bran muffins

Use your favorite bran breakfast cereals to create these utterly delicious muffins. Complement with raisins, applesauce, and cinnamon and you have the perfect breakfast to enjoy on the run.

Half a cup of bran cereal contains up to 13 grams of fiber which, as we’ve mentioned, is great to keep you full.

Raisins make ideal diet addition in weight loss programs due to the fact that they are rich in natural sugar and can serve as a sugar replacement. In addition, these tiny fruits are also rich in fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, and iron.

#4 Puffy Oven Pancakes

puffy oven pancakes

Pancakes are always a good idea, but when they are made with healthy ingredients, they are even better. Make this fragrant and fluffy delight in no time, mixing the ingredients in a blender and baking in the oven, then top it with fruit slices or jam for extra healthiness.

The recipe calls for three eggs, one of the best foods for weight loss. Eggs are rich in healthy fats and protein so they make you feel full without contributing too many calories. Plus, they are packed with various nutrients (mostly in the yolk) and will make up for any ingredients you are depriving of in restrictive dieting.

#5 Easy Eggs and Asparagus

easy egg asparagus

This recipe is especially convenient when you need an idea to use up any leftover boiled eggs or when you simply need a hearty and flavorful breakfast.

Besides eggs, whose benefits were mentioned in the previous recipe, this simple dish contains another very healthy ingredient – asparagus.

Asparagus is a great source of inulin, soluble fiber that decreases your appetite. In addition, fiber in asparagus aids digestion, whereas vitamin K acts as a natural diuretic, reducing bloating and gasses in the stomach. This veggie is also rich in B vitamins that help regulate your blood sugar levels, which means reduced sugar crashes and, as a result, overeating.

Snacks

#6 Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts

Turn one of the most dreaded veggies into a spectacular delight in no time. It’s all about the spices!

Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin A, potassium, folacin, and calcium. They have 25 calories and about 4 grams of fiber per cup. These cabbage-like veggies will keep you full, which makes them a great addition to your weight loss diet plan.

#7 Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

snap peas

This recipe reveals the secret sauce used by restaurant chefs to turn bland vegetables into an amazing snack!

Snap peas have 35 calories per 1 cup. They provide 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of natural sugar and 2 grams of fiber, with no fat whatsoever. Crunchy sesame seeds are rich in proteins and minerals like magnesium and calcium, as well as vitamin E, all of which are good for the metabolism and regulation of blood sugar levels. The high content of fiber in both these ingredients increases satiety and improves digestion as well.

#8 White Bean Dip

white bean dip

White beans combine with sour cream and cream cheese to create this amazing Italian-flavored dip.

White kidney beans act as starch blockers, i.e. they inhibit amylase, a starch-digesting enzyme that urns starch into absorbable sugar. Note: sour cream is an ingredient that is quite high in fat and calories, so alternatively, you can try reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream as a substitute. Other options are nonfat or low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese.

#9 Honey Glazed Carrots

glazed carrots

Serve these juicy baby carrots cooked in a glaze made of honey and butter, flavored with lemon juice and ginger as an entrée.

Carrots are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and water. Moreover, these veggies have a low glycemic index (GI 47) which, combined with fiber, helps control blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness.

#10 Crumb-Topped Broccoli

broccoli

Steamed broccoli? No one likes that. However, topping it with a tangy mixture made of buttery bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and garlic will transform this plain food into a delicious starter or side dish.

Broccoli is low in carbs and calories, but high in fiber. Leafy greens like broccoli increase the volume of your dishes, without the unwanted increase of calories. Broccoli also contains calcium, which is known to facilitate fat burning.

Lunch

#11 Rosemary Pasta Toss

rosemary pasta toss

This simple pasta dish filled with flavorful garden herbs will make you feel like dining by the Mediterranean Sea.

It is common belief that carbs are the main culprit for making us fat. However, high-carb foods are low in fat so, when they are part of a diverse diet and consumed in moderation, they are perfectly safe. However, it wise to opt for whole wheat pasta or rice pasta, which is much healthier and higher in fiber than processed pasta made of bleached flour.

#12 Fresh Herb Tabouli

tabouli

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulgur (sometimes couscous), veggies like tomatoes and onion, and complemented with chopped parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. There is literally no ingredient in this dish that is bad for you!

Bulgur is another ingredient that should become regular in your diet. This whole grain is rich in fiber which, as we know, makes you feel fuller on smaller amounts of food. The best part is that it cooks in 15 minutes.

#13 Mexican Chicken Salad

mexican chicken salad

This colorful salad is a lighter and healthier take on the beloved Mexican fast food. It is based on pre-packed ingredients for faster preparation, but we recommend using fresh ones whenever possible.

Even though meat has been considered unhealthy and weight-loss unfriendly, the high protein content proves the opposite. Processed meats are indeed harmful and should not be consumed, but protein-rich unprocessed meats will make you feel full, reduce cravings, and burn calories at the same time.

#14 Turkey, Rice and Fruit Salad

turkey salad

Whether trying to use up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers or just want an easy, fulfilling snack, this recipe is the best solution.

Besides lean, unprocessed turkey meat, it is also packed with vegetables, chopped almonds, rich dressing, but also – fruits; namely, it contains two cups grapes and two cans of mandarin oranges, which make this dish a real festival of flavors and nutrients!

Note: instead of regular rice, opt for brown rice or wild rice.

#15 Cranberry Spinach Salad

cranberry spinach salad

Fresh spinach, dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts combined in a tangy, sweet, and sour dressing to produce a dish full of textures and contrasts.

Nuts and veggies are a combo you can’t go wrong with. However, the star of the show is the apple cider vinegar, one of the most popular ingredients amongst healthy eaters. Studies suggest that taking vinegar with meals that are high in carbs increases satiety and makes you eat less. In addition, this condiment controls blood sugar spikes, thus helping reduce cravings.

Dinner

#16 Tuna Steaks with Pineapple Salsa

tuna steaks

No healthy food list can go without fish. This tropical recipe combines tuna with tomatoes, hot jalapeño peppers, and sweet pineapple salsa.

Tuna is lean fish low in fat and calories, but high protein food, which makes it especially popular amongst physically active people and athletes. Note: to increase the protein intake additionally, opt for tuna canned in water, not in oil.

#17 Shrimp Fried Rice

shrimp fried rice

Recreating your favorite Chinese takeout at home has never been easier. This delicious fried rice dish combines juicy healthy seafood with tender ham, and sweet peas.

Shrimps are one of the most potent secret weapons against weight gain. They are high in protein but very low in calories (4 large shrimps have a total of 30 calories, 6 grams of protein and virtually no saturated fats). Shrimps, like all seafood and fish, are also very rich in iodine, a nutrient responsible for maintaining normal function of the thyroid gland, which is needed for proper metabolism functioning.

#18 Maple Orange Salmon

maple orange salmon

Probably the healthiest fish out there, salmon, combines with an easy sauce made of maple syrup and orange jam. The dish is richly seasoned with flavorful herbs and spices like cloves and anise to create a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth meal.

Oily fish like salmon is not only very healthy, but also very satisfying. The high protein content in salmon will make you feel full for longer periods of time during the day, while keeping the calorie intake low. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight obesity and metabolic issues by reducing inflammation. Other types of oily fish that should become a regular part of your weight loss diet are trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring.

#19 Italian Chicken and Olive Tartlets

italian chicken tartlets

Make these cute and delicious bites full of Italian flavors healthier by replacing store-bought piecrust with a homemade one. It is true that it will take you a bit longer to make, but you’ll be able to control the ingredients and make it healthier by adding, for instance, some oats or substituting common refined oil with a healthier option like olive oil.

In fact, olive oil should replace all types of harmful refined oils in all your recipes. It not only contributes Mediterranean flavor to your meals, but it increases the levels of serotonin, a hormone connected with satiety. Make sure you are using cold-pressed (extra virgin) olive oil.

#20 Sesame Noodles

sesame noodles

Hot pasta smothered in a rich, spicy and nutty sauce made with peanut butter, red pepper, sesame seeds and ginger.

Ginger aids digestion and balances the metabolism, which makes it an excellent addition to any recipe you make (it is best if you use freshly grated ginger root).

Still, the star of the show in this recipe is peanut butter. While it might seem like it is one of the worst foods to consume when trying to lose weight, America’s favorite spread has been proven to be the exact opposite. Researchers have found that a diet that includes high levels of monounsaturated fats, like peanut butter, helps you lose weight and prevent heart disease. Snacking on natural, unsweetened PB in small amounts will help you control hunger without weight gain.

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I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!