We love this family friendly soup for the holidays! It is a perfectly bariatric friendly soup to warm up to on a chilly December evening. It’s made with mini turkey meatballs, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, spinach and the chef’s secret ingredient for the best tasting soup – a parmesan cheese rind! It also makes great leftovers and can be frozen if you want to make this ahead for the month. Enjoy in confidence!
For the Meatballs:
20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast 93% lean
1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs*
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
For the Soup:
32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
8 oz zucchini, diced
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
extra parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Chef’s Tip: Keep the rind of a parmesan block in the freezer just for making soups like this!
*Preheat oven to 400°F.
*In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, onion, garlic, salt and cheese. Using your (clean) hands, gently mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined. Form small meatballs, about 1 tbsp each, you’ll get about 42. *Bake in the oven about 12 minutes.
*Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
*Add the broth, tomatoes, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley, cover and cook on low 40 minutes.
*Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and drop the meatballs in along with the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes, season to taste with salt and black pepper if needed. Serve with extra grated cheese on the side if desired.
Makes 11 cups.
Servings: 7, Size: 1 1/2 cups
Protein: 21 grams
Carb: 14 grams
Fat: 9 grams
We love this delicious and easy high protein frittata during the holidays because this healthy meal will keep your stamina up for your holiday cheer! The spinach, scallions, feta and eggs make a great breakfast or a delicious low carb lunch served with a salad on the side. Enjoy in confidence!
2 whole eggs
8 large egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 scallions, chopped
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2oz crumbled feta
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
*Squeeze all water from spinach.
*In a 9 inch non-stick sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
*Add the onion and scallions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
*Meanwhile in a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
*Add salt, pepper, cheeses and spinach and mix well.
*Pour the mixture into the skillet and cook until the bottom sets, about 5 minutes.
*Hold a large plate over the pan and invert the frittata onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan.
*Cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 1/4 of frittata
Amount Per Serving:
We love these perfectly portioned, bariatric friendly bite sized desserts for the holiday! These decadent pumpkin cheesecake shooters are a delicious compromise for your healthy bariatric lifestyle! Enjoy in confidence!
3 (1.5 oz total) whole chocolate graham crackers
4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 oz light whipped topping (Truwhip light or Fat free Cool Whip)
*Crush graham crackers in a food processor. Set aside.
*In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well combined and creamy.
*Use a spatula to fold in 5 oz (1-1/2 cups) of the whipped topping; combine until no streaks remain. Place in a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.
*Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of each shot glass. Pipe a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the graham cracker crust (about 1 tbsp) followed by a layer of whipped topping. Repeat a second layer and finish with another sprinkle of crumbs. Insert small spoons and refrigerator until ready to serve.
Chef’s Tip: These can be made ahead and kept chilled until ready to serve.
Servings: 16, Size: 1 shot glass
Protein: 1 gram
Carb: 11.6 gram
Fat: 4.2 gram
*Each shot glass has 2 tbsp pumpkin cheesecake, 1 tbsp whipped topping, 1 tsp graham cracker crumbs total.
We love this bariatric friendly Thanksgiving turkey recipe because it is moist and tender as well as beautiful! Garnish this protein powerhouse with fresh herb sprigs and citrus wedges. Enjoy in confidence!
1 10-12-pound turkey
1/4 cup fresh herbs, plus 20 whole sprigs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano and/or marjoram, divided
2 tablespoons canola, oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Aromatics, onion, apple, lemon and/or orange, cut into 2-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups water, plus more as needed
*Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.
*Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for making gravy. *Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place aromatics and 10 of the herb sprigs in the cavity.
*Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. *Add 3 cups water and the remaining 10 herb sprigs to the pan.
Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes.
*Remove the turkey from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to conform to the breast. *Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting for 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water. The turkey is done when the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F.
*Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and cover with foil. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes.
*Remove string and carve.
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours
12 servings, each serving 3 ounces
Calories: Per serving (without skin) : 155
Protein: 25 grams
Carbohydrate: 3.5 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Equipment: Large roasting pan, roasting rack, kitchen string, thermometer
A Thanksgiving table is never complete without the cranberry sauce! We love this bariatric friendly recipe because it sneaks in sweet autumn pears that complement the flavor of the tart cranberries without too much sweetener! Enjoy in confidence!
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
2 ripe pears, peeled and cored, cubed small
1/2 cup agave (or honey to taste)
1 cup water
*Bring all the ingredients to a boil on high heat in a medium saucepan.
*When boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens.
*Remove from heat and let it cool before refrigerating.
*Serve chilled or room temperature. Makes 3 1/4 cups.
Servings: 13, Size: 1/4 cup
Protein: 0.2 grams
Carb: 16.3 grams
Fat: 0.1 grams
We love this perfect low carb alternative to mashed potatoes with its creamy buttery taste! This bariatric friendly accompaniment for your holiday meal is so delicious, it will become a staple in your home for an “anytime meal!” Enjoy in confidence!
1 medium head cauliflower, cut up into florets
4 cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup 1% buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp light butter
*Steam or boil cauliflower and garlic until soft. Drain, add buttermilk, light butter, salt, pepper and purée with a hand blender. If you don’t own a hand blender, you should consider getting one. It is one of my most used gadgets in my kitchen, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. A regular blender would work fine as well.
Servings: 4, Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Protein: 3.7 grams
Carb: 8.6 grams
Fat: 2.4 grams
If you don’t have buttermilk, light sour cream also works great. Per Misti Gueron, low fat milk works great too!
We love this savory holiday soup because coconut is all the rage and the curry and cumin really compliment the flavor of the butternut squash! Loaded with vitamin A this soup also utilizes curry which many consume for its healthy anti-inflammatory properties! Gluten free, low fat, vegan, and high fiber, this recipe satisfies many different diet restrictions even during the holidays. Savor in confidence!
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp madras curry powder
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz (about 2 cups) chopped peeled butternut squash
1 cup light coconut milk
3 cups fat free vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
*Add oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When oil is hot add onion, garlic and sauté. Add roasted cumin, masala and madras curry powder and mix well cooking another minute.
*Add broth, light coconut milk, butternut squash and cook covered until squash is soft, 12-15 minutes. Remove cover and using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Season with salt and fresh pepper and serve with fresh cilantro.
Servings: 4, Serving Size: 9 fl oz (a little more than 1 cup)
Protein: 2.1 g
Carb: 14.6 g
Fat: 4.9 g
Chef’s Tips: Use a bag of cut and peeled butternut squash to save time if you like!
Pumpkin bowls from Pier One
Baby Spinach Salad with Honey Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, Gorgonzola and Dried Cherries
We love this healthy holiday meal because the colors just scream Fall and it’s delicious for your Thanksgiving menu! We all need added vegetables this month to balance out the decadent eating traditions and this one is yummy and festive. Enjoy in confidence!
1 1/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced 3/4-inch
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the vinaigrette:
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh black pepper
For the salad:
5 oz baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp dried cherries
1/4 cup reduced fat crumbled gorgonzola
*Preheat the oven to 400°.
*In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, salt and fresh ground pepper.
*Place on a baking sheet and roast in the center of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, turning half way, or until tender.
*When done, remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
*Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, shallots, remaining honey, mustard and whisk in oil, pinch of salt black pepper.
*Divide the spinach on 4 plates and top each salad with the roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, and the crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve immediately.
Servings: 4, Serving Size: 1/4th of salad
Protein: 7.4 grams
Carb: 26.6 grams
Fat: 13.7 grams
Chef’s Tips: Cook the butternut squash ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to assemble!
We love this creative way to celebrate the healthy tastes of Halloween. Who would have thought we’d be recommending a recipe of brains, fingers, eyeballs and blood! Yet as grossed as you may be, these appetizers are refreshingly delicious. Enjoy in confidence this Halloween!
Cucumber, sliced in big chunks, patted dry
Green olive, sliced
Tofutti cream cheese
natural red food coloring (made from beets)
Apply a glob of cream cheese in the middle of the cucumber and stick the olive on top.
With a toothpick, carefully dip into food coloring to make lines that look like veins on the eyeballs.
1 bag baby carrots
small cutting knife
Carefully use the knife to cut out 3 lines in the middle of the “finger” for knuckles and carve out a fingernail at the thinnest point of the carrot.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, patted dry
natural red food coloring (beet-based)
Using the toothpick, dip in coloring make squiggly lines for the brains.
1 bag corn tortillas
*If you have a tombstone cookie cutter, this will come in handy. I didn’t so I just hand carved out one and used it as my base.
*Cut out tombstones from the tortillas.
*Heat oil in skillet on medium heat until hot. Place tortillas, batches at a time, into skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Drain oil on a paper towel.
*Place all your ingredients on a platter with a salsa-filled skull bowl and enjoy!
No nutrition facts provided.
We love this fall recipe because it swaps pasta for nutrient rich butternut squash and it is layered with a chicken sausage meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella for a whopping 29 grams of protein! This is truly a fall comfort food that’s healthy. And, you won’t miss the pasta! Enjoy in confidence!
14 oz Italian chicken sausage, casing removed (Al Fresco)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes (tuttorosso)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Black pepper, to taste
1 large butternut, peeled (3 lbs)
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 large egg
16 oz (4 cups) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
*In a large deep nonstick skillet, brown the sausage breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon until cooked, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and black pepper. Simmer on low, covered 15 to 20 minutes.
*Meanwhile, slice butternut into 1/8″ thick rounds with a good quality spiralizer such as the Inspiralizer with Blade A. To do this, you have to slice the butternut lengthwise halfway through to the center, careful not to cut deeper than that. You can also use a mandolin (be careful) or a sharp knife.
*Preheat oven to 375°F.
*In a medium bowl combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley and egg, mix.
In a deep 9×12 casserole dish spread 3/4 cup of sauce on the bottom and layer 12 rounds of butternut slices to cover. Spread 3/4 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1 cup sauce. Second Layer: Lay 12 more rounds of butternut, 3/4 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup sauce. Third Layer: 12 slices butternut, 1 1/2 cups sauce and cover with foil.
*Bake covered 30 minutes.
*Remove foil, cook uncovered 30 minutes (this helps dry out excess moisture). Top with remaining cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 5 minutes.
*Let stand about 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
8 servings, Serving Size: 1/8th
• Calories: 402
• Total Fat: 19g
• Saturated Fat: 10g
• Cholesterol: 109mg
• Sodium: 918mg
• Carbohydrates: 30g
• Fiber: 5g
• Sugar: 5g
• Protein: 29g
Misti’s Tip: Reduce the cheese to half portions and you will cut down calories and fat without cutting down on “comfort food” flavor!
The information presented in the blog pages of Khalili Center is for educational and informational purposes only and should not considered personal medical advice. Consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your own personal medical care.