recipes from ellipse fitness

6 Classic Favorites with a Healthy Twist!

Happy Mother’s Day!

This week we honor Moms of today and generations past! Many popular recipes from generations before were often comfort food type meals and laden with heavy creams, cheeses, and sauces. We’ll be looking at recipe makeovers for some of the most common recipes “Mom always used to make!”. What was a recipe YOUR mom always made that you would like to see a makeover for? Comment below and maybe we’ll come up with something for you!

#1 - Meatloaf

An undeniable classic! What dish better captures the essence of American households of generations past than the meatloaf? Turkey, fresh herbs and marinara sauce meld together perfectly for this delicious Ellipse Fitness recipe.

Italian Meatloaf by Ellipse Fitness

#2 - Mac 'n' Cheese

A classic comfort food that many of us grew up with and may still eat! That cheesy sauce and mass of white noodles can quickly fill a good portion of a day’s worth of calories, carbs, and fat! Instead, try this healthy alternative loaded with spaghetti squash, cheese, and spinach…but don’t worry! It still has some cheese, milk, and the base feel of Mac and Cheese.
(PS Have you ever tried Nutritional Yeast? Get that flavor of cheese with FAR less calories! Try it out and leave your comments on the blog!)

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

#3 - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Now, THAT’s Amore! One of the challenging parts of this meal is often the lack of vegetables – not to mention many serve it with butter laden garlic bread. Carbs on top of heavy carbs! Lighten up with chickpea or lentil-based noodles, toss in a few handfuls of spinach (it cooks down such that you hardly know it’s there), mushrooms, and other finely chopped vegetables, and loads of FRESH herbs to add some micronutrients to your dish, as well as great flavor!

Consider skipping that garlic bread or replace with a Wasa Light Rye Cracker. Check out the blog post from last week for zucchini noodles and meatballs for a fresh take and a major health boost!

#4 - Tuna Casserole

According to Wikipedia “Casseroles became a popular household dish in the 1950s mainly because the ingredients were cheap and easy to find at the store. Tuna casserole is a common dish in some parts of the United States, prepared using only nonperishable (AKA never expires!) pantry ingredients: egg noodles, chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, frozen green peas, canned and drained tuna, condensed cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup, sliced mushrooms and crushed potato chips.

Try giving that ol’ casserole an updated healthier flare with this SIMPLE and FAST Ellipse tuna white bean salad: tuna, white beans, sweet peppers, and onion served over lettuce. Have more time? Jazz it up with a little olive oil and fresh herbs!

Tuna White Bean Salad by Ellipse Fitness

#5 - Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes typically contain loads of butter, cheese, and sour cream which can quickly crush any attempt at balancing your meals. Instead, try an updated version by pureeing cottage cheese and egg yolk in a food processor. Add scooped out potato flesh, scallions, dill, salt and pepper; pulse until just blended. Mound filling into potato skins and place in a baking dish. Bake at 400 until heated through, 20 to 30 minutes. You will not be disappointed!

Twice Baked Potatos by Ellipse Fitness

#6 - Shepherd's Pie

Historically created to use up leftover meats (doesn’t that sound delicious?? haha), Shepherd’s Pie has a lot of varieties but can often be loaded with butter (like an entire stick!) and less healthy meat options. Try lightening it up and adding some additional nutrients to your next pie with this version containing zucchini, red potatoes, and ground turkey!

Shepherd’s Pie by Ellipse Fitness

Rock Thanksgiving With These Drinks and Apps!

Well Thanksgiving is nearly here, and if yours is anything like most friends and family will descend upon an agreed upon location, all hauling heavy, over-the-top dishes that almost universally contain extra sweetness and a higher-than-usual volume of carbohydrates!

It’s a celebration meal designed for giving thanks, but instead we often find ourselves crying, “uncle!” at the hands of a feast low in quality nutrition and very high in sugar and calories. Either that, or you find yourself getting inquisitive stares from across the table as they notice your plate isn’t piled high enough to block your view!

BUT NOT THIS YEAR WE SAY! Start planning now to freshen up the variety and the quality of the meal, and most at the table will probably thank you for it!

Appetizers!

Time to get your appetizer vocabulary up to speed! Crudites (kroo-dee-tay) is a French word that means a vegetable that can be cut into sticks, thin slices, or bite size pieces and served with a cold dip. Try this easy, healthy, avocado hummus dip! Blend 2 avocados, 1 can drained chickpeas, ¼ c lemon juice and olive oil, and 1.5 TBSP tahini (optional). Salt/Pepper to taste.

Prep double the veggies and double down on another dip with this excellent version of spinach dip! No Mayo, no cream cheese or sour cream!

Check out the recipe here!

Baked Blooming Onion! Who can resist snagging a piece of a blooming onion?? Try a healthier version by baking and plating with a greek yogurt based dip. Cut the base off an onion, cutting into 12-16 sections (not cutting all the way through) and “flower” the petals, dredge in 2 egg white wash, and coat with ¼ c panko + ¼ c ground almonds + 1/8 c parmesan and spices. Bake 40-45 minutes at 375.
Find the recipe here!

Want a dip with a kick? Combine 8oz plain greek yogurt + 1 tsp sriracha sauce + 1 tbsp parsley.

Drinks!

Add 1 shot of vodka over ice, mix 16 oz water with an “on-the-go” packet of Crystal Light or Similar powder. Pour half the mix over the vodka/ice and add a splash of lemon-lime or ginger ale soda. Toss in a blender for a blended drink! Get creative with your favorite flavors. Only about 110 calories: Cheers!

Combine a packet of Swiss Miss 25 Calorie hot chocolate mix, 3/4 Cup Hot Water and 1 Peppermint Stick. Ready to kick back with something a little more? Add a quick shot of vodka, but keep in mind that will set you back an additional 100 calories. You decide what it’s worth!

Leftovers!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving? This year, buy a BIGGER turkey and rock those leftovers (or snag unwanted leftovers from the host)! Check out these great Ellipse Fitness recipes to use that leftover turkey!

Turkey Enchiladas

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Quick and Easy Mediterranean Bake Cod

Place 4 oz. cod in a baking dish sprayed with olive oil. Surround with sliced red onions, sliced bell peppers, and broccoli. Drizzle with a mixture of a teaspoon of olive oil and a Tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh garlic and oregano (can use dried, but fresh tastes better!). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through!

Ellipse Holiday Salad

Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Ingredients
1 lb. mixed baby greens (16 cups)
¾ cup pomegranate seeds
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced shallot or red onion
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
1. Toss together greens and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, shallot, zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Allow dressing to sit for at least 10 minutes
3. Just before serving, whisk dressing, pour over greens and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Makes 8 2 cup servings
Nutrition per serving: 80 calories; 6g fat (0.5g saturated fat); 2g protein; 7g carb; 2g fiber; 0mg sodium

Ellipse Fitness Thanksgiving Leftover Enchiladas

Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa and Cilantro

Ingredients:

12 oz. shredded turkey

4 9 inch low-carb tortillas

2/3 cup fat-free spicy black bean dip

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 ounce jar tomatillo salsa

1 cup reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Toast tortillas lightly under a preheated broiler. Keep tortillas warm by covering them with a clean kitchen towel as you go.

3. Stir the black bean dip into the shredded turkey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Lay the tortillas on a work surface and divide the turkey mixture among them. Fold the sides of the tortillas in over the filling an d roll the tortillas up tightly to encase the filling. Lay them side by side in a 9×13 inch baking dish.

5. Spoon the salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese. Back until the cheese is bubbly and the enchiladas are hot throughout, 10-12 minutes.

6. Sprinkle the cilantro over the enchiladas and serve.

Nutrition – 314 calories; 10g fat; 38g protein; 32g carbohydrate; 18g fiber

 

Ellipse Fitness Thanksgiving Cranberry-Orange Compote

Cranberry-Orange Compote

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 Tbsp. grated orange zest

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup water

1/2 cup Truvia

Instructions:

1. Place cranberries, zest, cinnamon and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine

2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until berries have popped and compote has thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar substitute to taste.

4. Let compote sit—serve at room temperature.

Makes 8 (3 Tbsp) servings

Nutrition

Per serving: 20 calories; 0g fat; 6g protein; 5g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 0mg sodium

 

Couscous & Fruit Salad from Ellipse Fitness

2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Shallots
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
2 Cups Cooked Whole-wheat Couscous
1 Cup Chopped Nectarine
1 Cup Mixed Fresh Berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 Tablespoons Sliced almonds

Directions:
Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.

Serves: 2
Exchanges: 2 Carbs, 1 Fruit, 1 Fat

Tuna Burgers from Ellipse Fitness

1 Can Low-Sodium Chunk White Tuna in Water
2 Tbsp. Chopped Onion or Dried Onion Flakes
2 Egg Whites
½ Cup of Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs
½ Tsp. Pepper
Cooking Spray
2 Light Buns (or bread of choice)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form into two patties and fry in a pan sprayed with cooking spray for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked as desired. Eat alone or on a toasted bun. (Good options for buns are: Sara Lee De-Light Wheat Buns, Village Hearth Light Buns, Arnold’s Sandwich Thins, or ½ of a Whole Wheat Pita Pocket.)

Serves: 2
Exchanges: 3 Extra Lean Protein, 2 Carbs