Both spicy foods and foods with a high water content promote eating less while feeling fuller.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, then remove the fibrous strands from the middle, saving the seeds. Place seeds on a small baking sheet; toss with olive oil and dash of salt. Roast seeds for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Peel, then chop the butternut squash into bite-sized chunks.
In large pot, cook onion over medium heat with a splash of vegetable broth for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add cauliflower, butternut squash, coconut milk, broth, curry powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower and squash are tender. Stir in peas and cilantro. Cook uncovered a few minutes longer, until heated through. Ladle into bowls sprinkle roasted seeds on top.
Per serving: 230 calories, 6 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 651 milligrams sodium, 36 grams total carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 6 grams protein.
Balsamic vinegar adds tons of flavor while containing zero sodium, zero fat, and few carbs. It can also reduce blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and promote healthy digestion via probiotics.
In a bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients (from balsamic vinegar to salt) to create a marinade. Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish and pour about half the marinade on top. Cover remaining marinade and refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate chicken for 2 to 12 hours.
Remove chicken from fridge and let rest 15 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, slice red onion into half-moons. (Cut off ends, peel, lay on a flat end and cut in half vertically, then turn on flat side and slice into thin strips.) Trim Brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthwise. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium burner. Sauté red onion for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Set cooked onion aside and coat skillet with cooking spray again. Toss in Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are a little browned and crispy, then pour in ¼ cup water and steam uncovered until water has evaporated. Return onion to skillet with sprouts and coat with reserved sauce. Heat another minute or so, then transfer vegetables to a serving platter and serve with Russian dressing for dipping.
Using tongs, place chicken breasts flat in the hot skillet, pouring in all the marinade. Cover with lid and poach chicken for 9 to 12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes, then slice chicken breasts and place on top of Brussels sprouts. Serve hot.
Per serving: 327 calories, 12 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 67 milligrams cholesterol, 377 milligrams sodium, 27 grams total carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 32 grams protein.
Avocado in chocolate pudding might seem unusual, but avocados contain all kinds of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and their mild flavor is quickly masked by the cocoa, making this an easy, healthy, vegan, and dairy-free version of a beloved dessert.
Cut avocados in half, remove pits, and scoop the green flesh into a food processor. Add remaining ingredients (starting with ¼ cup almond milk and 4 tablespoons syrup) and blend for a few minutes, stopping twice to scrape down the sides. Add a splash more almond milk if needed to achieve desired thickness, and taste test for sweetness level. Serve chilled with your favorite toppings, like raspberries and fresh mint. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Note: Unsweetened plain soy or oat milk may be used as substitute for the almond milk.
Per serving: 275 calories, 21 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 20 milligrams sodium, 25 grams total carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 3 grams protein.
Citrus adds depth, sweetness, and sometimes a tart kick to healthy dishes. In this dish, the orange mellows in the oven, bringing a comforting warmth and lightness to the rice and chicken.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Zest and juice two of the oranges (include pulp, if desired) and whisk together with thyme, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Slice the remaining orange into half-inch rounds and lay flat in a medium baking dish. Place thighs on top of the orange slices and pour orange juice mixture evenly across the dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
Meanwhile, rinse rice in a mesh strainer and set aside to drain. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, sauté onions with olive oil for about 5 minutes. If they start to dry out or brown, pour a little chicken stock in and place a lid on top so the onions steam a bit. Locate the cooking instructions on your package of rice. Follow the instructions for amount of liquid, cook time, and cook instructions, except substitute low-sodium chicken broth for the water listed and cook the rice in the pot with the sautéed onions.
If the chicken finishes cooking before the rice, turn off the oven and let the chicken rest inside until the rice is ready. Serve platter-style or slice chicken and plate individually, spooning remaining orange sauce on top. If you’re looking for a vegetable to pair with this dish, try steamed green beans, zucchini, or broccoli.
Per serving: 489 calories, 13 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 121 milligrams cholesterol, 325 milligrams sodium, 46 grams total carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 45 grams protein.