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Devin Alexander’s Plate for National Nutrition Month

When it comes to a typical healthy and balanced meal, my Italian heritage often shines through! An ideal dinner plate could contain “Three Cheese Spinach Lasagna” from The Biggest Loser Flavors of the World Cookbook, New Favorite Meatballs from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook with Main Event Marinara Sauce from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook, and Lemon Arugula Salad from The Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook. And then I recommend eating the pictured blood orange for a snack a couple hours before or after dinner when hunger strikes. This whole plate (including the orange) contains less than 450 calories!

The lasagna is great because it’s made with whole grain pasta, lower-fat cheeses and even boosts your veggie numbers with the spinach and sauce.  The meatballs, as pictured here, are twice as big as the recipe typically calls for (so you’re consuming 4 small meatballs, according to the recipe instructions). They’re made with 96% lean ground beef. Not only do they provide plenty of lean protein, but they contain zinc and iron, which are particularly important for women. The simple arugula salad keeps you from slaving in the kitchen and eliminates the needs for a bottled salad dressing, many of which are full of sugar or preservatives. And the blood orange perfectly rounds out the meal (or provides a great snack) with a bit of flair. The best part, the dish is hearty and comforting (no “take a few bites” here), lean, relatively low in sodium and adds plenty of fiber to your diet, so you’re nice and satisfied.

My plate (including the orange) has: 440 Calories, 33 g protein, 57 g carbohydrates, 20 g sugar, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 11 g fiber, 544 mg sodium.

- Devin Alexander is a celebrity chef and New York Times Best Selling Author of the Biggest Loser Cookbook Series. See her 10 healthy cooking substitutions and try some of her other healthy recipes.

 

March 9th, 2012

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