Do cooler temps have you craving comfort food? This hearty soup combines turkey, butternut squash and lots of veggies and spices, making it the perfect cold-weather meal.

Providing six grams of fiber and with a 90 percent water content, winter squash is the perfect “volumetric” food (it gets you full on fewer calories), which is an important factor in promoting fat loss. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing portions of vegetables and decreasing portions of grains not only resulted in greater vegetable consumption but also decreased calorie intake at that meal by 14 percent.

The take-home message is that eating more fiber-packed vegetables, such as squash, throughout the day is an effective strategy for controlling calories and keeping your hunger level in check. That’s why we love this comforting soup: It’s low in fat and packed with protein and will keep you feeling full longer.

Turkey & Butternut Squash Soup

Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 3 leeks, rinsed, chopped and trimmed
  • 2 small red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. turkey breast cutlets, cut into bite-sized strips
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks and bell peppers and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Stir in the broth, cumin, rosemary, and squash; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add turkey and return to a simmer until the turkey is cooked, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Add lime juice and crushed red pepper.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 235, Total Fats: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 51 mg, Sodium: 159 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 29 g, Iron: 3 mg

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Delicious, healthy and easy to make, this tilapia dish is a physique-friendly meal.

Seafood is a great protein for supporting lean muscle and reducing body fat. Plus, eating 8 ounces of seafood a week reduces your risk of hear disease. Tilapia, a mild white fish, is high in protein (it contains about 26 grams in a 3.5-ounce serving), low in calories and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Roasted Tilapia with Baby Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon each sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 4 4-ounce tilapia fillets
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ½ cup red peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In a large baking dish, toss potatoes with lemon, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons oil.
  2. Arrange potatoes in a single layer. Put into oven and roast, tossing once, until potatoes soften, about 20 minutes.
  3. Drizzle tilapia with remaining oil, season with paprika and tuck into the potato mixture. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Toss olives, red peppers and capers into the potato mixture.
  5. Continue to roast for another 15 minutes, until the fish is opaque and the potatoes turn golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 295, Total Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 438 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 23 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 25 g, Iron: 2 mg

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Try this fresh-from-the-oven indulgence that won’t wreck your waistline.

Flourless Chocolate Whey Cookies Recipe

Ready in: 35 minutes

Makes: 14 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 5 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet.
  2. Blend all ingredients, except coconut, in a food processor until smooth. You may need to stop to scrape the sides.
  3. Toast coconut in a small frying pan set over medium-low heat until lightly golden, then add to processor and pulse until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into 14 heaps on baking sheet, spacing evenly.
  5. Bake 24 to 26 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack.

Nutrients per serving (1 cookie): Calories: 180, Total Fats: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 65 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 22 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 14 g, Protein: 8 g, Iron: 2 mg

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Blenders aren’t just for making smoothies. This kitchen workhorse can help you prepare healthy meals from breakfast through dinner.

The trusty countertop appliance known as the blender might be a champ at whizzing together your postworkout recovery shakes, but if you use it for little more than blitzing protein powder with frozen berries, you’re seriously selling this gizmo short.

A blender can be a multitasking kitchen workhorse if there ever was one. From pancakes to burgers to waistline-friendly desserts, those blades are ready to help you whip up ultra-fast healthy and delicious around-the-clock meals that go way beyond frosty drinks. To bring you up to speed on the versatility of your blender, start by mixing up these recipes, which prove that it’s a fit girl’s BFF.

Salmon burgers

Salmon Burgers With Mango Salsa

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 burger

Total time: 25 minutes

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Using a blender to whip up these burgers and salsa saves you a bunch of chopping time. And swapping out the beef for salmon helps you net a boatload of mega-healthy omega-3 fats — the superhero fats shown to help those who train hard reduce the severity of post-exercise muscle pain.

Mango breathes new life into salsa and infuses this dish with plenty of vitamin C. Needed for the production of carnitine, a compound involved in fat burning during exercise, vitamin C plays an important role in melting the chub.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼ lb skinless center-cut wild salmon, chopped into 1-inch chunks 
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ black pepper
  • 1 mango, peeled and quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 4 cups arugula

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place salmon, egg, breadcrumbs, basil, mustard, lime zest, salt and black pepper in blender container and pulse several times until you have a chunky mixture. Form into four patties.
  2. Wash blender container and place mango, red peppers, green onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice and couple pinches of salt in container. Pulse several times until you have a chunky mixture. Do not puree. Stir in coconut flakes.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Place salmon burgers in heated skillet and cook about three minutes on each side, or until crispy on the outside but just barely cooked through in the middle.
  4. Divide arugula among serving plates and top with salmon burgers and salsa.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 493, total fat 30 g, carbs 23 g, fiber 4 g, sugar 11 g, protein 33 g, sodium 355 mg

Chicken Spinach Egg Pie

Chicken Spinach Egg Pie

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: ¼ of pie

Total time: 40 minutes

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Eggs and chicken team up to give each slice of this dinnerworthy savory pie enough protein to aid in building a lean, mean physique. And since an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that eating eggs may boost brainpower, blending the orbs together for a quick meal seems like an even smarter idea.

Sending spinach for a ride in your blender can help you enjoy more birthdays. That’s because it contains a wallop of vitamin K, a nutrient shown to help lessen the chances of falling prey to deadly diseases like cancer and heart disease. You also can use frozen spinach for this recipe — just make sure to thaw and squeeze out excess moisture.

This same recipe can be made using a muffin pan for individual (and portable) pies. Simply divide the mixture among greased or paper-lined standard-size muffin cups and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until eggs are set.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • 3 cups spinach, ends trimmed
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped chives 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line bottom of 8-inch-round cake pan with parchment paper and grease sides.
  2. Place eggs, sour cream, spinach, mustard, salt, cayenne and pepper in blender container and blend until spinach is pulverized. Pulse in chicken and chives.
  3. Place egg mixture in prepared pan, scatter on cherry tomatoes and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until center of pie is set. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 266, total fat 12 g, carbs 6 g, fiber 1 g, sugar 5 g, protein 33 g, sodium 507 mg

Beet Soup With Avocado Crema

Beet Soup With Avocado Crema

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: 5

Total time: 25 minutes

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

The naturally occurring nitrates in beets appear to improve blood flow, which can boost exercise performance and lower blood-pressure numbers. To cook beets, trim ends, place them in a shallow baking dish and add water until it reaches about ½-inch up the sides of the vegetables. Cover with foil, crimping edges to make a tight seal, and bake in a 400-degree oven until a skewer poked through the foil easily pierces flesh, 50 to 60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub off skins with a paper towel. Or you can now find precooked beets in most supermarket produce aisles.

For great health, it’s a good idea to include more plant proteins like tofu in your daily menu. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that higher intakes of plant protein can be protective against developing diabetes, whereas higher intakes of animal protein — processed red meats like bacon in particular — can raise the risk for this disease. Tofu, beans and other plant proteins bring with them a powerful bundle of disease-thwarting nutrients and antioxidants.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 block soft tofu 
  • 3 medium-size cooked beets 
  • 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme 
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place broth, ½ block tofu, beets, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest, garlic, salt, chili powder and black pepper in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to saucepan and heat on medium until warmed through. If you have a powerful blender, you can let it run until the mixture is steaming hot.
  2. Wash out blender container. Place ½ block tofu, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice and couple pinches of salt in container and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to help mixture blend into a smooth consistency.
  3. Serve bowls of warmed soup topped with avocado cream and pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 254, total fat 19 g, carbs 16 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 7 g, protein 10 g, sodium 273 mg

Sweet Potato Pancakes With Blueberry Yogurt

Sweet Potato Pancakes With Blueberry Yogurt

Makes: 4 servings

Serving size: 3 pancakes

Total time: 25 minutes

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Pureed sweet potato lends a stack of pancakes natural sweetness, vibrant color and a wallop of beta carotene. In the body, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, which works to improve immune health and fortify bone strength. Forgoing the butter and maple syrup treatment for a berry-yogurt sauce adds muscle-building protein and health-hiking antioxidants.

This batter can be made up to two days in advance. Whip everything together and then chill covered in the refrigerator until needed. It’s best to let batter rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium-size sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place sweet potato cubes and 1 tablespoon water in microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in plastic to allow for venting. Microwave on high six minutes, or until potato is easily pierced with a knife. Let potatoes cool a few minutes.
  2. Place milk, eggs, sweet potato cubes, oats, almond flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in blender container and blend until smooth. Blend in additional milk if mixture is too thick. Pulse in walnuts, if using.
  3. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake into greased skillet and cook over medium heat for two minutes. Flip and cook an additional one minute. Keep prepared pancakes warm in a 200-degree oven while preparing remaining batter.
  4. Wash out blender container. Place yogurt and blueberries in container and blend together. Serve pancakes topped with blueberry-yogurt sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 291, total fat 11 g, carbs 34 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 10 g, protein 16 g, sodium 75 mg

Mocha Black Bean Cakes With Cashew Cream

Mocha Black Bean Cakes With Cashew Cream

Makes: 12 servings

Serving size: 1 cake

Total time: 80 minutes

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

The stealth addition of beans to this guilt-free dessert gives the cakes a fudgy texture and hunger-quelling fiber. We promise there’s enough rich chocolaty flavor and natural sweetness from the dates that you’ll forget you blended beans into the batter in the first place.

When soaked and then blended with coffee, buttery cashews turn into a decadent cream that replaces the lofty saturated fat numbers with those from heart-boosting monounsaturated fat. A 2017 study found in the pages of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that adding about a daily handful of cashews to a typical American diet can trim cholesterol numbers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 11/3 cups hot coffee
  • ¾ cup pitted dates
  • ¾ cup unsweetened (natural)
  • cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup oat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1½ cups raspberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place cashews in bowl, cover with water and soak for at least two hours.
  2. Place 1 cup coffee, dates and cocoa powder in blender container and let rest 30 minutes. Add eggs, oil, beans, flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda and salt to container and blend until smooth, about one minute.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide mixture among 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 18 minutes, or until centers of cakes are just barely cooked through. Let cool a few minutes before unmolding and cooling further on metal rack.
  4. Drain cashews and place in clean blender container along with 1/3 cup coffee, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
  5. To serve, spread some cashew sauce on serving plate, top with warmed bean cake and scatter on raspberries.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 197, total fat 11 g, carbs 23 g, fiber 5 g, sugar 9 g, protein 6 g, sodium 66 mg 

Spik-and-Span

For speedy cleanup, let your blender wash itself. Add a squirt of dish soap to a dirty container, fill halfway with hot water, and then simply blend until sudsy and the food grime has been dislodged from container sides. Just make sure to rinse out any lingering soap so your next blended meal doesn’t taste like Palmolive.

Rise of the Machine/Mix Master

If you plan on giving your blender daily workouts, forget the dated Oster. You want a machine with a bigger engine. From soups to pancake batters to DIY nut butters, the mega-powerful Vitamix Professional Series 750 is up to the challenge. Yes, its $600 price tag is hard to swallow at first, but once you tap into its horsepower several times a day for years to come to whip up nearly anything you can throw at it, the Mercedes-Benz of blenders seems like a bargain. It even comes with several nifty preprogrammed settings to handle frozen desserts and hot soups.

Follow the Leader

Dump stuff in the container, blend it and eat it. Right? Not so fast. To help make blending a breeze, place liquids like milk, broth and eggs in the blender container first followed by harder items such as vegetables, flour and nuts. This way, the liquid in the bottom will absorb the solids for, well, smoother blending and also keep the machine from overheating during tougher blending jobs (hello, smoothie bowls!).

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Love baked goods in the morning? This pumpkin muffin is packed with healthy ingredients to start your day off right.

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and grated
  • 1½ cups carrot, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • Dash unrefined sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper cups or lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients and the sea salt, in a large bowl. Stir in apples, carrots, walnuts, dates and sunflower seeds until well combined.
  3. Beat wet ingredients together in a separate large bowl. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Fill muffin cups and bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nutrients per serving: 230 calories, 17 g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 17 g total carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar, 5 g protein

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A little sweet and a little savory, this easy and flavorful chicken dish is perfect for dinner.

Blueberries are loaded with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and antioxidants that help fend off muscular pain and disease. Paired with the muscle-building properties of chicken and you’ve got the perfect dish for dinner.

Blueberry Rosemary Chicken

Ready in: 50 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, divided
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice or blueberry
  • ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 20 oz. chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

Directions

  1. In a blender combine 1 cup blueberries with the next 7 ingredients. Set mixture aside.
  2. Pound chicken breasts to about ½-inch thickness. Marinate chicken in mixture and add water, if needed, to cover.
  3. Heat a large skillet. Add marinated chicken breasts and brown on each side. Add marinade, bring everything to a boil then reduce to low heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the marinade starts to reduce and thicken. Add the remaining blueberries and heat through.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 334, Total Fats: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 87 mg, Sodium: 453 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 23 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 17 g, Protein: 34 g, Iron: 2 mg

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Nourish your body, aid your digestion and increase your energy with these comforting and nutrient-dense soup recipes.

Chicken soup can be a panacea for both colds and fevers. It’s warm and hydrating and appears to prompt anti-inflammatory activity to help you rebound more quickly. Warm up to these delicious chicken soup recipes this fall.

Veggie-licious Chicken Soup

Makes: 10 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup shelled edamame
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans
  • ½ cup corn (frozen, fresh or canned)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 (15-oz) cans low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp seafood seasoning
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

DIRECTIONS

Slow Cooker

  1. Place all ingredients except chicken in a slow cooker, stirring to blend. Lay chicken on top and push down slightly to cover with soup. Cook 5 hours on low heat.
  2. Remove chicken from soup. Let chicken cool slightly, then shred. Stir back into soup and continue to cook 1 hour.

Stove-Top

  1. Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except chicken and simmer until veggies are tender.
  2. Add cooked, diced chicken to soup and simmer until chicken is heated through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 160, protein 17 g, carbs 19 g, fat 2 g, fiber 5 g, sodium 200 mg

Quinoa Chicken Soup

Quinoa Chicken Soup

Makes: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and ½ teaspoon salt; heat 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Creole or Cajun seasoning, and thyme; heat 30 seconds. Place broth and quinoa in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in chicken and warm through.
  2. Place soup in serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 315, protein 29 g, carbs 29 g, fat 9 g, fiber 5 g, sodium 283

Chicken and Parsnip Soup

Makes: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ tsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • ¾ shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-oz) package gourmet mushroom blend, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2½ cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add olive oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high.
  2. Add parsnips, shallots, mushrooms and garlic and saute 3 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley and bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, or until parsnips are tender.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 204, protein 17 g, carbs 25 g, fat 4 g, fiber 5 g, sodium 607 mg

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Refuel your body with this clean, protein-rich meal postworkout!

You know it’s important to refuel after your workout. Here’s a recipe that fits the bill for meal number one: post-weight workout. We’ve taken a classic New Orleans dish, jambalaya, and gave it a clean makeover. Toss in different fresh vegetables for a good dose of carbs, fiber and immune-boosting antioxidants. Here are three clean tweaks:

  • Quinoa is a quick-cooking, high-protein, fiber-rich whole grain.
  • Fatty andouille sausage is replaced by lean chicken sausage.
  • Extra protein and zinc comes from the super-lean, omega-3-rich shrimp
Healthy Quinoa Jambalaya Recipe

Quinoa Jambalaya

Ready in: 30 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 low-sodium chicken sausage, sliced into 6 rounds (try: Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic and sausage slices for 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and toss to coat, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth and tomatoes to skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp and cover the pan. Cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and place onto plates. Top with green onions. Serve.

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 400, Total Fats: 15 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 125 mg, Sodium: 500 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 39 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 9 g, Protein: 24 g, Iron: 4 mg[/colored_box]

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Don’t skip the most important meal of the day, especially if you train in the a.m. These whole-food breakfast ideas will boost your energy and performance.

In an ideal world, you’d eat a solid meal or snack 60 to 90 minutes before your early-morning workout, but if your schedule is crazy or you simply can’t stomach food first thing in the morning, you’re likely to skip breakfast. This could mean reduced energy and faster burnout as you eat up your available energy stores, leading to a lesser-than workout. These quick and easy whole-food options are carb-forward for optimal energy and performance, and they are lower in fiber and protein, which can delay digestion and cause cramping and lethargy.

¼ Cup Granola

Choose a product with less than 10 grams of sugar per quarter cup for the ideal early-morning energy boost.

½ Banana + 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter

Here, you get all three macros in balanced proportions so you can wake and break a personal record. 

½ Cup Orange Juice

Just a half cup of OJ delivers 13 grams of quick-digesting carbs for high-octane energy on the go.

Whole-Wheat or Sourdough Toast + 1 Tbsp Jam

This wake-up treat provides plenty of available glucose to power you through that circuit.

8 oz Chocolate Milk

This nutrient-dense protein and carb combo is also an awesome craving crusher.

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Dare to try this zesty low-carb entrée recipe from Next-Level Lifting Coach Candice Lewis-Carter.

Who doesn’t love a savory, low-carb dish that’s also easy to make? Because I maintain a keto lifestyle to help manage my symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), I’m always looking for tasty dishes that focus mainly on protein and vegetables.

I’m including one of my go-to recipes below: Mexican stuffed peppers. Feel free to get creative with the ingredients — for instance, I often use a mix of bison and beef, and I love playing around with different spices, too. Sometimes I’ll even reheat any leftovers for breakfast and add an egg on top. I never get sick of this dish!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 24-ounce jar restaurant-style salsa
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2¼ cups water, divided
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, divided
  • 6 bell peppers, stems and tops removed, seeded
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend or cheddar
  • ¼ cup sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Brown ground beef in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until cooked almost through.
  3. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Stir in jarred salsa, chili powder and cumin.
  5. Add white rice and 2 cups water, season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, adding more water, if necessary.
  6. When rice is tender, fold in ¾ tablespoon chopped cilantro, reserving the rest for garnish.
  7. While meat and rice are cooking, cut off tops of peppers, spoon out the ribs and seeds, then rinse. Lightly sprinkle the inside of peppers with kosher salt and place in a microwave-safe dish with ¼ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 5 minutes, or until they soften but still hold their shape.
  8. Transfer peppers to a 3-quart baking dish. Fill peppers with hot meat and rice mixture.
  9. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese and heat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sour cream, if you’d like, and serve.
Candice Lewis-Carter, your coach for Next-Level Lifting.

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