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peppers



5 Ways to Add Big, Low-Calorie Flavor with Roasted Red Peppers

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Both smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers add instant oomph to any dish. While it’s easy to make your own (remember to turn on the hood fan as even sweet red peppers can make your eyes sting), the jarred versions can also be good. For instance, I just discovered Trader Joe’s house brand, which are dead ringers for homemade.

Here are five ways I like to use them, and you’ll no doubt enjoy, too!

roasted peppers
Add to salads, just as you would any other vegetable. This Balsamic Tomato and Red Pepper salad recipe includes instructions for roasting the peppers.

Purée in dips, like the red pepper and walnut-based muhammara from Syria that’s popping up in Middle Eastern restaurants, or this lower calorie Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
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Fire Up the Grill for Bayou Kabobs, Featuring Applegate Andouille Sausage

Warm up the grill and your taste buds because this new recipe is going to light a fire under your next cookout! Some are lucky enough to spend a summer along the Gulf Coast soaking up the sun, and waves, and the dynamic culture that defines the region. Some of us have to phone in a good ‘ole Cajun cookout from our backyards. Whether you’re summering in the South or in the North, these Bayou Kabobs need to be on the menu.

bayou kabobs

The big flavor on these simple-to-assemble kabobs are the Andouille sausages from Applegate. Known as the makers of the “cleaner weiner,” this company is committed to organic, hormone-free, humanely-raised animals to craft quality meats you can feel good about eating and serving.

applegate farms-andouille sausage

These Andouille sausages are made with only a few ingredients – all of which you’ll recognize, all of which are organic. Because Applegate uses turkey and chicken, the meat is leaner, meaning less fat and calories. But they don’t skimp on flavor. The package says spicy and they mean it. It’s not overwhelming, might not make you sweat, but it’s got a tasty bite.
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Homemade and Fat-Free Creamy Feta Salad Dressings Two Ways

If I told you that you could have big salads tossed with a creamy dressing and it would be fat free, would you believe me? Not only fat free, but extremely low calorie, fresh flavor, and maybe the best dressing you’ve ever had. Let me show you the way.

I prepare a big entree salad for dinner for my family once or twice a week. I swore off grocery store salad dressings years ago because they’re terrible, and frankly, I can whip up a vinaigrette on demand with a flavor that perfectly complements my meal. But I recently grew tired of the vinegar and oil and craved the creamier variety I used to douse my salads in. Inspiration struck.

Picking through the refrigerator, I found feta crumbles, Greek yogurt, and the strawberries and basil I usually add to vinaigrette. These were blended together, without the oil, and the sweetest pink dressing adorned our salads that night. And with that, my creamy feta dressing fixation began.
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How to Grill Perfect Vegetables

Either as a side dish or the main event, grilled vegetables are a fresh, healthy way to celebrate the summer season.

Not only is it important to eat more vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but if you’re eating more vegetables, chances are you’re eliminating higher-fat foods in favor of colorful, plant-based foods.

Opt for Veggies that Grill Well

Just like meats, different types of vegetables stand up to heat differently. Eggplant, summer squash, button mushrooms, peppers, corn on the cob and onions are all excellent on the grill. To serve them in a more creative way, opt for kabobs or a grilled vegetable salad.


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Healthy Recipes for Your Mardi Gras Celebrations

New Orleans might be the hub for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations on Tuesday, March 8, but you can easily get into the spirit of  this holiday no matter where you are. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival in some countries, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian faith.

The kickoff of Mardi Gras is known as “Fat Tuesday,” which for some, might imply that it’s hard to celebrate without loosening your belt or spending some extra hours at the gym. Instead of overindulging, recreate some of your favorite Cajun and Louisiana recipes for Mardi Gras this year — but with a healthier twist.
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