One of the best things about high calorie and fattening foods is that they can be made-over into healthy options by switching in ingredients like shredded zucchini, sweet potato or beets. It's not a new concept however-my mom used to make zucchini bread all the time! But the concept was made into a really fun Lifetime show called Cook Yourself Thin. I was totally addicted to the first season and it made me change my approach to some classic dishes. So now that it is holiday season, and people are baking a lot, cooking a lot and eating a lot, it's important to try and stay on track with healthy eating.
Through December 14th, MyLifetime.com is releasing exclusive online-only recipes from the authors of the Cook Yourself Thin cookbook. If you visit the site now, you'll find No-Guilt Desserts, Easy Weeknight Dinners and Starters & Sides. Coming up:
- 12/7: Healthy Holiday Breakfasts
- 12/14: Spicy Dinners.
Here's an example of how you can take a calorie-rich family classic like Baked Ziti and turn it into a healthy meal by using Cauliflower:
Calories per serving: 310
8 ounces whole-grain ziti
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook the ziti in a large saucepan according to the package directions. After draining, return ziti to the saucepan.
3. Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper together on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes. Stir basil and tomatoes into cauliflower and bake 10 minutes longer.
4. Add the cauliflower mixture to the ziti and stir well. Divide the mixture among four 4-ounce ramekins. Top each with a tablespoon of mozzarella. Bake until cheese browns and bubbles, about 5 minutes.
The fun doesn't end there. If you visit the community forum for Cook Yourself Thin, you'll see a chance to win the new follow-up book: Cook Yourself Thin, Faster. I'm sure there is a foodie in your family who would love that as a gift!
The next time you find yourself looking online for healthier options for popular holiday treats, click over to MyLifetime.com for the CYT recipes or just choose from the yummy list below:
For more on Cook Yourself Thin including cast bios, full episodes and healthy tips, visit http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/cook-yourself-thin