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I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening! Part 7

caramel apple sundae snack Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Though most caramel apples might be off limits, this sweet snack sure isn't. It's easy to throw together and great any time of the day ...even for breakfast!

Next time you go to a warehouse or club store, pick up some clear plastic containers with lids. You can make a few of these at a time and store them in your refrigerator for a few days so they're ready when you are.

cup fat-free artificially sweetened or naturally sweetened apple turnover or apple-flavored yogurt (I used Yoplait) 2 tablespoons low-fat granola without raisins cup chopped apple (about small apple) 1 teaspoons fat-free caramel-flavored topping Spoon the yogurt into a sundae dish or small, deep bowl. Top the yogurt evenly with the apples, followed by the granola. Drizzle the caramel over the top. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. Made with artificially sweetened yogurt: 176 calories, 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 146 mg sodium; Made with naturally-sweetened yogurt: 200 calories, 7 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 144 mg sodium Made with artificially sweetened yogurt: 176 calories, 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 146 mg sodium; Made with naturally-sweetened yogurt: 200 calories, 7 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 144 mg sodium broiled peaches a la mode Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT BROILER PLUS 2 TO 4 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT BROILER PLUS 2 TO 4 MINUTES I've never appreciated pies the way I know a lot of other folks do. I love chocolate so much that I always feel if I'm going to eat something fattening, I want it to be super-decadent-and pies, to me, are not. If I'm going to eat something that tastes like fruit, I figure I might as well just eat fruit and save the additional calories to later get my chocolate fix. Then I started cooking fruit more, and it totally changed my view. Granted, I make fruit much cleaner (as in healthier) than putting it in pies, but there's something really satisfying about a baked peach or a roasted grapefruit that just doesn't come across in uncooked fruit.

This makes a hearty amount, so it's perfect for when you're craving something sweet, and lots of it. If you want just a little something, I'd recommend sharing it with a buddy.

Butter-flavored cooking spray 2 firm medium peaches 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed 4 pinches ground cinnamon 1 cup fat-free churned vanilla ice cream, divided (I used Breyer's Double Churn) Preheat the broiler. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Lightly mist the foil with spray.

Cut each peach in half, crossing over the stem. Remove the pit. (If the peach is ripe, this should be easy to do with your fingers. If you have trouble, use a spoon to gently dig it out, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh.) Place the peach halves, side by side, cut sides up, in the pan, and sprinkle each with tablespoon brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Broil on high for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and the sugar begins to bubble and caramelize (brown lightly).

Divide the peaches between 2 dessert bowls and top each with cup ice cream. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each serving (2 peach halves with cup ice cream) has: 187 calories, 4 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 55 mg sodium Each serving (2 peach halves with cup ice cream) has: 187 calories, 4 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 55 mg sodium ready-for-guests roasted pears Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 40 TO 45 MINUTES PLUS 15 MINUTES TO COOL TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 40 TO 45 MINUTES PLUS 15 MINUTES TO COOL When coring the pears, make sure you also remove the fibrous portion along the line of the stem. Then, before serving, make sure to let the pears cool until they are just warm or room temperature. The flavor and texture is much richer once they've cooled. In fact, these pears are perfect for a dinner party or an event where food may be sitting out for a bit; the flavor actually gets better as they rest. Keep in mind the cooking time may vary depending on the variety of pear you use. Some are considerably firmer than others, so if the pears don't seem cooked enough after the suggested cooking time below, continue roasting them until they're very tender. It could take up to an additional half-hour if you get a really firm variety.

Butter-flavored cooking spray 2 firm pears (about 6 ounces each), rinsed 2 teaspoons light butter, melted (stick, not tub; I used Challenge Light) 2 tablespoons brown sugar, not packed 2 pinches cinnamon Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 8-inch baking dish with parchment. Lightly mist the parchment with spray. Crinkle a piece of foil to form a log about 12 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 1 inch in diameter. Set the log in the center of the baking dish.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the cores and remove the stems. Place the halves on the prepared baking sheet so the tips rest on the log (this is to ensure the pears lay flat so the glaze doesn't drip out during baking). Drizzle the butter evenly over the pears. Then sprinkle the brown sugar, followed by the cinnamon, evenly over the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until very tender. Allow the pears to cool until they're just warm or room temperature, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each (1 pear; 2 halves) serving has: 155 calories, < 1 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 36 mg sodium Each (1 pear; 2 halves) serving has: 155 calories, < 1 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 36 mg sodium

mini chocolate oreo pudding "pies"

Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE This quick dessert takes pudding to a new level of decadence by making it a little more like a pie featuring cookie crumbs, reminiscent of a chocolate crumb crust, and a touch of whipped topping. Feel free to make this with any flavor pudding. You can even sub in an all-natural pudding, though that will add calories (about cup of sugar-free pudding has only 60 calories, while about cup of naturally sweetened pudding has 90 calories). Always be sure to read labels.

Numerous friends have reported, after enjoying this recipe, that they love it as is ...their husbands usually "require" more Cool Whip. If you're making it for your guy or you are a guy, you may want to add a bit more.

4 (106 g each) sugar-free refrigerated chocolate pudding cups (I used Jell-O Brand) 6 reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed (I used reduced-fat Oreos) 4 tablespoons fat-free frozen whipped topping, defrosted Divide the crushed cookies evenly among 4 (about 3 -inch-diameter) ramekins or glass bowls. Spread the crumbs in an even layer in the bottom of each ramekin. Spoon one pudding cup over each of the cookie "crusts." Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. S Each (1 pie) serving has: 143 calories, 3 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 268 mg sodium S Each (1 pie) serving has: 143 calories, 3 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 268 mg sodium

cinnamon sugar triangles Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 4 TO 5 MINUTES 4 TO 5 MINUTES Be sure to buy eggroll wrappers-the ones that are bigger than wonton skins-to make these triangles. These are an awesome treat at the end of an Asian-inspired meal ...or any time. Use different colors of decorative sugar to make them extra fun and festive. I love making them with Wilton Sprinkles Pink & White Sparkling Sugar when girlfriends are coming over or when working with the young girls I mentor.

If you want to make these triangles for a group, don't worry. The recipe is really easy to multiply. I was tempted to write the recipe in a larger quantity. But I find them so addicting, I think it's slightly "dangerous" to have them sitting around.

Butter-flavored cooking spray teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons raw sugar or coarse colored sugar 2 (7-inch) eggroll wrappers (look for them in the refrigerated section with other international foods at your local grocery store) 1 tablespoon light butter, melted (stick, not tub; I used Challenge Light) Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a large nonstick baking sheet with spray.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.

Lay the eggroll wrappers side by side on a cutting board. Using a pastry brush, very lightly brush one side of one of the wrappers with half the melted butter, all the way to the edges. Then, sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the butter. Using a pizza cutter, cut the wrapper across both diagonals to create 4 triangles. Repeat with the remaining eggroll wrapper, butter, and cinnamon-sugar. Lay the triangles side by side on the prepared baking sheet so they do not touch. Bake them for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the triangles are crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately, or allow them to cool and store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes 8 crips. Each (2-crisp) serving has: 61 calories, < 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, < 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 54 mg sodium Each (2-crisp) serving has: 61 calories, < 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, < 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 54 mg sodium crunchy bananas & caramel Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Ideally, this recipe should be prepared with firm bananas: The softer ones are best reserved for banana breads and muffins. I buy a couple of bananas pretty much every time I go to the grocery store (way more frequently than most, I'm sure), so I'm always set no matter what I want to do with them.

1 tablespoon fat-free caramel-flavored sundae topping 1 small (6 to 7 inches) banana, sliced into -inch rounds 1 teaspoons high-fiber, low-fat crunchy cereal (I used Grape-Nuts) Heat the caramel sauce in a small bowl in the microwave until warmed, 10 to 30 seconds. Place the bananas in a small, deep bowl. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the bananas. Top evenly with the cereal. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 170 calories, 2 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 98 mg sodium 170 calories, 2 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 98 mg sodium simpler s'mores Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE When you go to the grocery store looking for fat-free hot fudge, be sure to flip the jar and look at the nutrition label even if the front doesn't say it's fat-free. Several common brands don't brag about being fat-free, but they are. The store brand at my local grocery store is one of them, so you might want to check at yours.

Feel free to microwave these for a few seconds after you spread each side but before assembling. You'll end up with an even gooier treat!

1 sheet (4 crackers) low-fat honey graham crackers 1 tablespoons marshmallow creme 1 teaspoon fat-free hot fudge Break the graham cracker in half to form two squares. Spread the marshmallow creme evenly over the back of one of the squares. Spread the hot fudge over the back of the other square. Put the graham cracker halves together, forming a sandwich, so the marsh-mallow and hot fudge are in the center. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 107 calories, 1 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, < 1 g fiber, 125 mg sodium 107 calories, 1 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, < 1 g fiber, 125 mg sodium gooey gramwiches Hands-on Time: 2 MINUTES 2 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Years ago, I used to make these gramwiches all the time. Every time, my ex-boyfriend, Kyle, would watch the marshmallow as it gooed out of the cracker when I took a bite. He would say, "You're such a child," with a smile on his face. He didn't like marshmallows, but I know he wished he did because this quick treat always put a smile on my face.

1 low-fat graham cracker sheet (4 crackers), broken in half 1 marshmallow Place one graham cracker half on a microwave-safe plate. Put the marshmallow in the center of the cracker. Watching carefully, microwave it on low until the marshmallow expands by about one-third of its size, 10 to 15 seconds. Top the marshmallow with the remaining graham cracker half, smooshing it down gently. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 78 calories, 1 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, < 1 g fiber, 101 mg sodium 78 calories, 1 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, < 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, < 1 g fiber, 101 mg sodium chocolate peanut-bears Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE These adorable little bears are exceptionally great for kids instead of less nutritious sandwich cookies. You can make plenty ahead of time and store them in an airtight plastic container for whenever they (or you) need a snack in seconds.

12 chocolate Teddy Grahams Graham Snacks 1 teaspoons all-natural creamy peanut butter Arrange 6 of the bears, flat sides up, on a small plate. Spread the peanut butter evenly among them. Top them with the remaining bears, flat sides down.

Makes 1 (6-Sandwich) serving. 118 calories, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 93 mg sodium 118 calories, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 93 mg sodium tropical truffles Hands-on Time: 10 MINUTES 10 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Let's face it, baking cookies or making candy can take a lot of time-time we sometimes just don't have. But we do still want to offer treats that are made with love. These truffles are a simple, fast, and fun answer that will keep you from slaving over a stove and will keep your family fit and happy. In fact, they're the perfect homemade sweet treat to impress everyone whether they're interested in eating healthfully or not. And, they're even perfect for getting the kids in the kitchen with you.

1 (5-ounce) bag of dried mangoes, cut into 1-inch pieces cup marshmallow creme cup old-fashioned oats cup sweetened flake coconut Put the mangoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and process until the pieces are extremely fine and very sticky. Add the marshmallow creme and coconut and continue processing until well combined. Add the oats and process until they are just incorporated (the finished mixture will be sticky to the touch and the "dough" should hold together easily). Remove the blade from the bowl of the food processor and, using your fingers, divide the mixture into 8 equal amounts. Carefully form each into a ball. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days.

Makes 8 servings. Each (1-truffle) serving has: 108 calories, 1 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 18 mg sodium Each (1-truffle) serving has: 108 calories, 1 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 18 mg sodium sexy strawberry tapenade Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands off Time: Hands off Time: UP TO 2 HOURS TO CHILL UP TO 2 HOURS TO CHILL When strawberries are in season, this recipe is not only extremely affordable, it's amazingly scrumptious. With each bite, you taste fresh strawberries followed by a hit of chocolate that lingers perfectly. I've come to love this recipe as a topping for low-fat whole-grain waffles and low-fat pancakes, as a dip for cinnamon flatbread sticks, and even as a topping for fat-free vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Whether your strawberries were cold or not when you started preparing this tapenade, it's best to refrigerate it until they are fully chilled after being mashed.

2 cups quartered, trimmed fresh strawberries 2 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips In a medium mixing bowl, using a potato masher or pastry blender, mash the berries until they are about the consistency of a chunky applesauce. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, up to 2 hours. Stir in the chocolate chips just before serving.

Makes 4 servings. Each (generous -cup) serving has: 50 calories, <1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 1 mg sodium Each (generous -cup) serving has: 50 calories, <1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 1 mg sodium strawberry shortcake to go Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE This dessert is great to take out the door, to sell at a bake sale (if you store the cups in a tub of ice), or even to just open the refrigerator to. There's just something so much more appealing about food that's ready to go.

Feel free to make this in any resealable plastic container you have sitting around your kitchen. But if you want it to look like it was made by the pros, next time you go to a warehouse or club store, buy 12-ounce clear plastic take-out cups with lids. If you're making a lot, line them up and fill them assembly-line fashion.

If you have a few extra minutes and want the shortcakes to be even more decadent, try following this recipe using the Sexy Strawberry Tapenade (see this page this page) instead of plain strawberries-a -cup serving of the tapenade has only 50 calories and 2 grams of fat. Just layer a serving (or two) of the tapenade between the angel food cake and whipped topping in a 12-ounce cup, and you're in for an extra-special treat.

1 ounces angel food cake, torn into bite-sized pieces 1 cup sliced strawberries cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free frozen whipped topping, defrosted Add half of the angel food cake to a 12-ounce plastic to-go beverage cup with a lid or to a medium resealable plastic container. Top with half the strawberries, followed by half the whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining cake, strawberries, and whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes 1 serving. 190 calories, 3 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, <1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 282 mg sodium 190 calories, 3 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, <1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 282 mg sodium

cinnamon & sugar soft pretzel Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 5 TO 6 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 5 TO 6 MINUTES If you're tempted every time you walk by the pretzel stand at the mall, this recipe is for you. I used a pretty small amount of cinnamon in this recipe because I didn't want it to overpower the flavor of the butter and the sugar. If you're a big fan of cinnamon, feel free to use a little more. Since it's virtually calorie-free, it's consequence-free.

1 (about 64 g) frozen soft pretzel (1 g of fat or less per pretzel; I used Super Pretzel) teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste cup sugar*

1 teaspoon light butter, melted (stick, not tub; I used Challenge Light) Bake the pretzel according to package directions, omitting any salt, in the oven.

Meanwhile, in a medium shallow bowl, stir the cinnamon and sugar.

Brush the melted butter evenly over both sides of the cooked pretzel, then dip the pretzel in the bowl with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Flip it and completely coat both sides with the cinnamon-sugar. (Not all of the sugar will be used.) Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 210 calories, 5 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 162 mg sodium 210 calories, 5 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 162 mg sodium strawberry banana marshmallow fondue skewers Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE This is a great, colorful treat to serve when hosting a girls' night or cocktail hour. It's fun and extremely easy to make in large quantities, since you're just skewering one piece of marshmallow, strawberry, and banana on each skewer.

When buying hot fudge, you may need to read the nutritional information to determine whether or not it's fat-free. Some brands say "fat-free" directly on the label, but others that are may not say so. Just be sure that "0 g fat" is listed on the nutrition label.

2 marshmallows 2 medium strawberries, rinsed and trimmed 2 (1-inch-thick) rounds ripe banana 1 tablespoon fat-free hot fudge, warmed 2 decorative or wooden skewers Thread 1 marshmallow, then 1 strawberry, and then 1 banana slice on each skewer. Serve immediately with hot fudge for dipping.

Makes 1 serving. 83 calories, 1 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 17 mg sodium 83 calories, 1 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 17 mg sodium irish cream hot chocolate Hands-on Time: 2 MINUTES 2 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER TIME TO BOIL WATER I love this hot chocolate when I'm hanging out with girlfriends watching movies or playing board games on cold winter nights.

For a more natural alternative, this recipe can be made with an all-natural cocoa (though it will be a bit higher in calories). Just add 1 tablespoon of Bailey's Irish Cream for every 5 ounces of prepared hot cocoa.

1 (8 g) packet fat-free, sugar-free hot cocoa mix (I use Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Diet-25 calories) 1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream or other Irish cream liqueur 1 tablespoon fat-free aerosol whipped topping Prepare the cocoa according to package directions, but omit 1 tablespoon of water. Stir in the Irish cream. Top with whipped topping. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 (5-ounce) serving. 76 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 178 mg sodium 76 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 178 mg sodium

icy mocha blended Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE This is a great recipe if you have a craving for something sweet but don't want to indulge in an overly caloric dessert. With each serving having only 85 calories and 2 grams of fat, you can save yourself the trip and the cost of going to a coffee shop with a friend and indulge right in your own kitchen.

1 cup low-fat chocolate milk (should be 3 g of fat or less per 1-cup serving) 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules 1 cup (about 9 medium) ice cubes 2 tablespoons fat-free aerosol whipped topping Add the milk, coffee granules, and ice cubes to the jar of a blender with ice-crushing ability. Blend on high or the ice crush setting until the mixture is smooth and frothy. Divide evenly between 2 glasses, and top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each (8-ounce) serving has: 85 calories, 4 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 112 mg sodium Each (8-ounce) serving has: 85 calories, 4 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 112 mg sodium orange chocolate milkshake Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Though this shake isn't as thick as some, it's still incredibly rich and really satisfies that chocolate craving. In the evening, I love to add Triple Sec or orange liqueur to make it even more indulgent. The liqueur really adds even more depth and makes the shake something special. But either way, I'm sure you'll find it delicious!

cup churned, fat-free chocolate ice cream (I used Breyer's Double Churn) cup frozen mango cubes cup 100% orange juice (not from concentrate) 1 ounce Triple Sec or orange liqueur, optional Add the ice cream, mango, orange juice, and Triple Sec (if using) to the jar of a blender with ice-crushing ability. Make sure the lid is on tight. Using an ice crush setting, blend the ingredients until they are relatively smooth, about 1 minute. Then blend on the liquefy or the high speed setting for about 10 seconds until the mixture is completely smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each (about 8-ounce) serving has: 158 calories, 3 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 41 mg sodium Each (about 8-ounce) serving has: 158 calories, 3 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 41 mg sodium slimming banana smoothie Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE When looking for the perfect banana for a smoothie, you want to choose one that is not green but also not overly ripe (a few brown spots are great, but you don't want it to be brown). Green bananas are difficult to blend smoothly in the blender and won't give you the nice sweetness ripe bananas will. But, if they're overly ripe, the flavor will be overpowering.

If you're a big fan of smoothies, it's best to buy bananas in bulk when they're on sale. When they are the perfect ripeness, peel them and store them in resealable freezer bags in the freezer so they're ready for you whenever the craving strikes.

1 medium, peeled frozen banana cup fat-free milk teaspoon vanilla 4 medium ice cubes Break the banana into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the jar of a blender with ice-crushing ability along with the milk, vanilla, and ice cubes. Blend on high or the ice crush setting until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 (8 to 10-ounce) serving. 141 calories, 3 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 36 mg sodium 141 calories, 3 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, trace fat, trace saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 36 mg sodium *Note: These numbers are based on average sugar consumption, not, a full cup.

the basics Basic Grilled Chicken Southwest Basic Grilled Chicken Simple Grilled London Broil Steamed Shrimp Brown Rice Hard-Boiled Egg Whites Easier-Than-Caramelized Onions basic grilled chicken Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT GRILL PLUS 10 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT GRILL PLUS 10 MINUTES I almost always have Basic Grilled Chicken on hand in my refrigerator. Not only is it great for adding to salads, it makes it a cinch to make nachos, pizzas, and so much more. Plus, it's great cubed when I just get the munchies and want something healthy to snack on.

1 pound trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil Salt, preferably sea salt, to taste Pepper, to taste (preferably, fresh ground) Preheat a grill to high heat. Toss the chicken breasts with the olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until it is no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes per side.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving has: 135 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium Each serving has: 135 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium southwest basic grilled chicken Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT GRILL PLUS 10 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT GRILL PLUS 10 MINUTES This chicken is excellent to have on hand if you're as huge a fan of Mexican cuisine as I am. Add it to salad, soups, Southwest wraps, and more. If you use just a touch of salt along with a salt-free Mexican or Southwest seasoning, it will have a ridiculously small fraction of the sodium of any taco, burrito, or fajita seasoning I've seen in grocery stores, not to mention far fewer preservatives.

1 pound trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breast 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons salt-free Mexican seasoning or rub (I used Southwest Chipotle Mrs. Dash) Salt, to taste Preheat a grill to high heat. Toss the chicken breast with the olive oil and season both sides with seasoning and salt. Grill the chicken until it is no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes per side.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving has: 135 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium Each serving has: 135 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium simple grilled london broil Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 15 MINUTES TO REST PLUS 8 to 10 MINUTES PLUS 10 ADDITIONAL MINUTES TO REST 15 MINUTES TO REST PLUS 8 to 10 MINUTES PLUS 10 ADDITIONAL MINUTES TO REST This recipe is a great one to make on a Sunday night. Not only will you have a great dinner, you'll have leftovers (unless, of course, you have a large family, in which case I suggest you make two at the same time) to slice thinly for use as deli meat or to cube for use in salads. It'll have a lot less sodium and less processing than most deli meats you'd buy at your grocery store, and it's much less expensive.

Though I always love the flavor an outdoor grill provides, as a second option, this dish can be prepared under a broiler for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer until desired doneness is reached.

teaspoon sea salt, or to taste teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste teaspoon onion powder teaspoon garlic powder 1 pounds trimmed London broil 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, and onion and garlic powders until well combined. Rub the meat evenly on all sides with the olive oil, followed by the seasoning mixture.

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Let the meat stand for 15 minutes.

Grill the meat for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare or longer until desired doneness is reached. Transfer it to a serving platter and cover it loosely (just the meat, not the platter) with a piece of foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, and then slice it thinly against the grain. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

Makes 6 servings. Each (about 4-ounce) serving has: 137 calories, 28 g protein, trace carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 58 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 198 mg sodium Each (about 4-ounce) serving has: 137 calories, 28 g protein, trace carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 58 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 198 mg sodium steamed shrimp Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER TIME TO BOIL WATER I always keep shrimp in my freezer. I buy it in bulk or when it's on sale so it's there when I want it. Shrimp is a great source of lean protein and one of the few proteins you can easily defrost in minutes and without affecting quality. Simply run the frozen shrimp under cold water until it thaws.

This recipe technically makes boiled, not steamed, shrimp. The result is similar, but I have found boiling to yield more consistent results.

1 pounds large (21-25 count or similar) unpeeled shrimp, or 1 pound peeled Salt, preferably sea salt Place a bowl of ice water in the sink. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook them 1 to 2 minutes until the outsides turn pink and they are cooked through.

Drain the shrimp and transfer them immediately to the bowl of ice water. Drain them again. Peel and eat them immediately, or store them in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings. Each (about 4-ounce) serving has: 120 calories, 23 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 172 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 168 mg sodium Each (about 4-ounce) serving has: 120 calories, 23 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 172 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 168 mg sodium brown rice Hands-on Time: 2 MINUTES 2 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 40 MINUTES TO SIMMER PLUS 5 MINUTES TO REST TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 40 MINUTES TO SIMMER PLUS 5 MINUTES TO REST Brown rice is a must-have staple for healthy eaters. I used to think I wasn't a fan-and then I was introduced to short-grain brown rice (long- and medium-grain varieties are much more commonly found but not nearly as tasty, if you ask me). The short-grain has a nuttier taste that I've truly come to crave. If you haven't tried it, it's definitely time to do so.

One of the best things about brown rice is that you can make a pot on Sunday and it keeps all workweek if refrigerated in an airtight plastic container or resealable plastic bag.

2 cups water 1 cup brown rice (I prefer short-grain) Salt, to taste Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer the rice for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately, or allow to cool and refrigerate in a resealable plastic container or plastic bag for up to 5 days.

Makes 4 servings. Each (-cup) serving has: 109 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, <1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, <1 mg sodium Each (-cup) serving has: 109 calories, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, <1 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, <1 mg sodium hard-boiled egg whites Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 13 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 13 MINUTES I love to have egg whites on hand at all times.

A whole large egg white has only 17 calories and no fat, so they're great right out the refrigerator any time of day, whether as part of a meal or for the munchies. I just sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper or one of my favorite rubs, and they're good to go.

Put 6 to 10 eggs in a medium saucepan with a lid. Pour in enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Cook the eggs for 13 minutes. Immediately drain them and fill the saucepan with ice, and then run cold water over them; the water should quickly turn ice-cold. If it does not, add more ice. As you peel the eggs, run them under cold water so the shells remove easily. Remove the shells and discard the yolks. Refrigerate any remaining eggs in a resealable plastic container (in or out of the shell) for up to 3 days.

1 egg white has 17 calories, 4 g protein, trace carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 55 mg sodium 17 calories, 4 g protein, trace carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 55 mg sodium easier-than-caramelized onions Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 20 TO 22 MINUTES 20 TO 22 MINUTES Caramelized onions are a great accompaniment to many dishes, but I never order them out because they're almost guaranteed to be doused in oil or butter. Here, I make them much lighter but still get that to-die-for flavor I love so much (and you likely will too).

2 medium onions (any variety; about 1 pounds), very thinly sliced 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and pepper, to taste Preheat the oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the onions on the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over them and season them with salt and pepper. Toss them well. Spread them evenly over the baking sheet. Bake them for 20 to 22 minutes, turning about every 5 minutes, until the onions are cooked through and caramelized (soft and lightly browned).

Makes 4 servings. Each (-cup) serving has: 35 calories, trace protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, <1 g fiber, 1 mg sodium Each (-cup) serving has: 35 calories, trace protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, <1 g fiber, 1 mg sodium

Also by devin alexander

Fast Food Fix

The Biggest Loser Cookbook

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