Healthy Recipes

Healthy Downriver

Clean-the-Fridge Sesame Ginger Stir FryBy Laurie PawlaczykThese days, the last thing you want to do is throw food away. But what do you do with those less-than-desirable vegetables that just won't work in a salad or as a side dish because they are a little too past their prime? I’m talking about a wrinkly skinned green pepper, or droopy asparagus or green onions. There are also those bags of veggies at the back or bottom of the freezer you had intended to cook, but now they are just a frozen block or maybe a little on the dehydrated side. These veggies can get a second chance in a stir fry or stew. The colors may not be as bright or vivid as they might have been once upon a time, but they can still be tasty and nutritious. The beautiful thing is almost any combination will do. So put on your mittens, go digging in that freezer, and save yourself a trip to the store.! I have included some food preparation tips in the directions. Let’s work together to reduce food waste!
Easy Curried Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot®By Laurie PawlaczykThis creamy and hearty soup has a delicious twist from a traditional split pea soup because of the warm and flavorful spices. The natural sweetness in the peas makes this a wonderful addition to your soup collection. My future son-in-law, who hates pea soup, absolutely loves this version. If you have an aversion to eating green soup, no problem! I use the yellow variety here which is more pleasing to the eye because it allows the colors of the other vegetables to be seen. This hearty soup comes together quickly & very easily and is customizable to your taste. By using the Instant Pot®, or other Pressure Cooker, you can have dinner in an hour total with no fuss. If cooked on the stove pea soup takes hours to cook down to a creamy consistency. This comes together quickly. Just mix everything in the pot, start the timer, go take a nice walk and dinner is hot and waiting for you when you return.
Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Mustard Dipping SauceBy Laurie PawlaczykPretzels are easier to make than you would think. The two step process isn't too difficult. The dough is very forgiving so you can take your time with each step of the process. The pretzel bites can easily be frozen after the first step so they can be baked just prior to serving. They are best served warm with a dipping sauce. Try the spicy mustard recipe included for a low calorie snack or stir a little stout beer into your favorite cheese sauce at your next party.
Hoppin’ JohnBy Laurie PawlaczykBlack Eyed Peas are often served on New Years day to bring good luck & prosperity throughout the year. Sometimes cooked with pork, this is a vegetarian version. The peas & kale represent coins & paper money and the addition of yellow pepper symbolizes gold. Serve over brown rice for a healthy main dish. This is a warm & comforting meal. A great way to start out the year and what the heck, add some cornbread because who couldn't use a little more gold!
Stuffed Acorn SquashBy Laurie PawlaczykThis attractive dish makes a nice presentation for a special meal. The wild rice and toasted pecans give a pleasant nutty flavor that nicely pairs with the sweetness of the dried cranberries and the roasted squash. Serve this stuffed acorn squash as a hearty side dish or the entrée along with your other holiday favorites.
Pumpkin Penne RigateBy Laurie PawlaczykIt's pumpkin spice season and we are seeing pumpkin everywhere. This pasta sauce is rich & creamy and is a perfect way to celebrate the fall season. It has all the warm flavors you expect with pumpkin with a hint of coconut & rosemary. If you've never thought of using pumpkin in a dinner dish you will be pleasantly surprised!
Sparkling LemonadeBy Laurie PawlaczykEnjoy a refreshing sparkling drink this summer. The combination of lemon & carbonation gives this beverage a nice little zing which makes this lemonade feel more like an adult beverage. Of course you could add a shot of rum or vodka if you would like. I've used a simple syrup here but liquid stevia can be used instead to make this sugar free. This is the perfect opportunity to break out that carbonated water machine. Continue reading to see flavor variations and make your own signature drink.
Triple Berry Lemon Angle CakeBy Laurie PawlaczykThis is a delicious light refreshing dessert for a warm summer day! Just prepare the fruit in advance and top over store bought angle food cake just before serving. This fat free dish is perfect as a treat for your next gathering. Loaded with fruit and a refreshing lemon glaze, it is sure to be a hit at your next get together.
Southwest Quinoa SaladBy Laurie PawlaczykThis light refreshing salad makes a wonderful side dish and can also be eaten for a light meal. The recipe can very easily be doubled to make a large volume for a picnic or party. It stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Adapt to your personal taste by adding avocado, diced tomatoes, diced chicken or hot sauce.
Energy BallsBy Laurie PawlaczykPut a little "Spring" in your step with these Energy Balls. They are perfect for a quick pick me up snack or enjoy as a healthy cookie. These delicious little gems would even work for a grab & go breakfast. You can adapt this recipe by adding coconut or cocoa powder. Change out the peanut butter for almond or cashew butter and/or substitute the chocolate chips for nuts,seeds or raisons. Use your imagination and come up with your own creations. This recipe freezes well so you can make extra and save for later.
Savory Irish OatsBy Laurie PawlaczykIrish oats, or steel cut oats, are an excellent way to start the day! Traditionally oatmeal is made with brown sugar and fruit but many of us are trying to reduce our sugar intake. It may sound unconventional to have onions or mushrooms in your oats, but give it a try and I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. Savory oats are delicious and can be made with much more variety than sweet oats. It's also a great way to get a couple of extra servings of vegetables in. Also, steel cut oats hold up well in the fridge so they can be made up in advance and heated without getting mushy or gooey like rolled oats can. They are also lower on the glycemic index so they are a better choice if you have blood sugar issues.
Sausage & Jumbo Shrimp JambalayaBy Laurie PawlaczykCelebrate your Marti Gras with a version of Jambalaya that has all of the flavor with much less fat and fewer calories. The flavors are developed in layers by caramelizing half the onions at the start of cooking. This builds a richness and sweetness without adding any sugar. Then more onions are added with peppers and celery in the holy trinity of Louisiana cooking. This compliments the dish by imparting a different flavor. Adding in the shrimp at the end gives you perfectly cooked shrimp every time! Put on your beads and get your bottle of hot sauce ready. Enjoy!
Deep Dish Pan PizzaBy Laurie PawlaczykThis Detroit Style Pizza rivals take out and yields a wonderfully crisp crust that is soft in the center. The dough is super easy to work with and no kneading or rolling out is necessary. The trick is a sticky dough that does its final rising right in a cast iron skillet. Heating up the skillet on the stove top first with the pizza right inside guarantees a crispy crust. Finishing it off in a very hot oven ensures a airy soft inside. I've used 1/2 sprouted whole wheat flour in this recipe to ramp up nutrition and fiber without compromising taste. Enjoy with a salad for a tasty nutritious meal.
All Natural Sugar ScrubBy Laurie PawlaczykWinter is very hard on our hands. This all natural sugar scrub helps to exfoliate your skin and moisturize without feeling greasy. Just keep a jar on your counter near your hand soap and rub into the back of your hands after you have washed them. Then simply rinse your hands and pat dry. Your hands will feel soft and smell nice but not feel oily.
Can’t Get Enough ChiliBy Laurie PawlaczykThis delicious versatile chili is so thick and creamy that you will want leftovers for a baked potato, loaded fries or nacho's. You may be disappointed because it goes fast! The addition of creamed corn gives it a rich creamy texture as if has cheese without the added fat and calories. You can easily make a smaller batch or make extra to freeze for another day. If you keep frozen peppers & onions on hand along with cans of the other ingredients this makes a quick meal if you have unexpected guests.
Gluten Free Taco SeasoningBy Laurie PawlaczykI have a favorite taco seasoning mix that I had used for years until I became more of label reader. My sister-in-law couldn't eat it because it wasn't gluten free. Additives such as caramel color may contain gluten. Others such as spices, yeast extract & natural flavors, just to name a few, have MSG or excitotoxins that can be problematic for many people. They can cause digestive issues, attention problems or anxiety among other symptoms. Mixing your own blend is easy and ensures you control exactly what you are eating. You can omit the salt if you eat SOS free (salt, oil, sugar). This recipe, from Evolving Table, is the best that I've tasted. Try it for your taco mix or as an addition to soups and chili's.
One Pot OrzoBy Laurie PawlaczykDon't feel like washing too many dishes? This one pot, very simple dish, comes together easily with little prep work. Its as fast ad most take out, and better for you too. Serve with a large salad for a simple weeknight meal.
Golabki “Cabbage Roll” StewBy Laurie PawlaczykIf you love Cabbage Rolls but hate the work, this is the recipe for you. No more burning your fingers pulling cabbage leaves off boiled cabbage in this healthier version simplified into a stew. The addition of extra spices makes it a flavorful comfort food for a cold winters day. I've even included a couple shortcuts to make it even simpler to throw together. Top it off with a little sour cream and you're in Polish heaven.
Tortilla SoupBy Laurie PawlaczykJanuary is National Soup Month! To celebrate, try this light but filling tortilla soup weighing in at a mere 200 calories. The addition of quinoa adds extra protein and fiber and is satiating to keep you full longer. Top it off with baked tortilla strips, lime, avocado and cilantro and you'll have a surprise in every bite!
Bean Soup StarterBy Laurie PawlaczykPut together your own blend of beans, legumes, and grains for your bean soup. Store-bought varieties of bean soup mixes often contain artificial flavors, preservatives and anti-caking agents such as silicon dioxide. By making your own, you can control what goes in. You can make it gluten-free by switching out the barley for lima beans, chickpeas, millet or any of your favorites. Divide this mix-up and use it in our New Year Bean Soup recipe. Makes an excellent gift too! Just put in a mason jar and attach the recipe to the jar! Use in this New Years Bean Recipe.

New Year Bean SoupBy Laurie PawlaczykThere are many traditions for New Years Day one of which is eating black-eyed peas. Eating peas, beans, or lentils on New Years Day symbolizes coins or wealth. We've got it all covered in this hearty bean soup recipe that can easily be adapted to make it vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Its loaded with fiber & protein to start your new year with health and good fortune! Serve with cooked greens (because they're the color of money!) and cornbread (because it looks like gold!) or your favorite crusty bread (just because)!
Sugar Cut-Out CookiesBy adminThis healthier version of a sugar cut-out cookie recipe uses white whole-wheat flour, honey, and lemon zest to make a delicious cookie perfect for decorating. Pull out all your cookie cutters and decorate these adorable cookies with natural decorating sugar and icing....without the guilt at only about 100 calories per cookie!
Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch DipBy adminTake your veggies and dip to the next level with this colorful crudité wreath. This vegetable appetizer is a stunner with white cauliflower, red tomatoes and green broccoli, green beans, snap peas, kale and Brussels sprouts. It's also a delicious way to start your celebration with veggies (which there are rarely enough of at parties and holidays). The homemade ranch dip, which uses nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, takes just a few minutes to make, or you can use a healthy store-bought dip.
Spicy Sesame Orange ShrimpBy adminAre you looking for a delicious entree to serve for dinner? Try our Spicy Sesame Orange Shrimp Recipe! This Asian-inspired meal is delicious, sugar-free, and low in carbs, leaving you with a delicious dish that won't weigh you down.
Easy Greek SaladBy adminSalads are an obvious healthy choice, but sometimes they end up being heavy on calories due to the fatty cheeses and the heavy dressing. Our Easy Greek Salad recipe shows you how to create your own low-fat dressing for a delicious salad that's heavy on taste but light on calories.
Pumpkin Thyme BreadBy adminAre you craving a sugar-free sweet bread with fall flavors? Try our Pumpkin Thyme Bread Recipe! Packed with tasty pumpkin and protein, the Pumpkin Thyme Bread is both healthy and delicious.
Spinach Greek Yogurt DipBy adminOur Spinach Greek Yogurt Dip Recipe is a perfect dish to pass at a party or eat for a snack. Loaded with vegetables and creamy greek yogurt, this recipe is bound to be a fan favorite.
Southwest Turkey Meatball Stir Fry RecipeBy adminThis Southwest Turkey Meatball Stir Fry Recipe is a delicious, filling dinner option that is a tasty meal that will appeal to the whole family. Loaded with veggies and packed with protein, the Southwest Turkey Meatball Stir Fry is perfect for lunch or dinner!
Broccoli Apple SaladBy adminAre you bored of traditional salads? Then this Broccoli Apple Salad recipe is for you! It is an irresistible blend of fruits, veggies, and nuts that is both filling and delicious.
Breadless Pumpkin French Toast RecipeBy adminAre you looking for a way to jumpstart your day without the carbs? Our Breadless Pumpkin French Toast Recipe is a unique way to enjoy all of the flavor of a big breakfast with less calories!
Turkey Veggie Chili RecipeBy adminAre you looking for a cozy meal to feed the whole family? Our Turkey Veggie Chili Recipe is loaded with vegetables, packed with protein, and low on calories, plus it is sugar- and oil-free!
Black Raspberry Protein Fluff RecipeBy adminAre you looking for a tasty way to get your protein in? This Black Raspberry Protein Fluff Recipe is a healthy blend of berries, almond milk, and whey protein that is nutritious and BERRY delicious!
Copycat Chang’s Chicken Lettuce WrapsBy adminOur Copycat Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe is a delicious, low-carb way to satisfy the whole family! This Asian-inspired entree is low-carb, sugar-free, and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Grain-Free BrowniesBy adminAre you looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? This grain-free brownie recipe is a low-carb, sugar-free dessert that will fulfill your need for a sweet treat!
Cappuccino MousseBy adminLooking for a morning pick-me-up? This cappuccino mousse recipe is a delicious way to start your day without all of the extra sugar and calories.
Lemon Chicken Asparagus SoupBy adminThis Lemon Chicken Asparagus Soup recipe makes for a mouth-watering soup that is low-carb and oil- and sugar-free. Discover Downriver is home to the best recipes to encourage healthy living and tasty eating!
Green Creamsicle SmoothieBy adminAre you looking for a fresh take on a classic smoothie? This green creamsicle smoothie recipe is a great gluten-free way to start your day!
Basil Chicken SoupBy adminBasil chicken soup is a healthy, hearty soup that is perfect for this brutal Michigan winter. If you are craving comfort food, the basil chicken soup is a must-try.
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