Make: Toasted Pita and Tomato Salad with Chicken and Feta

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

I’m always on the look out for creative salad ideas because, in my opinion, there’s no tastier way to get your day’s requirement of veggies. I’ve eaten fattoush before, which is essentially the Lebanese cousin of the Italian panzanella. It’s a tomato and vegetable salad that contains a crunchy, bready ingredient.

Our featured recipe this week is a healthier play on fattoush; you get what you expect from the pita and feta cheese, but the mixed greens, light dressing and protein-packed chicken turns this salad into a healthy, happy and, most important, easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

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Recipe: How to Make Your Own Homemade GU Energy Packets

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Those of you who attended last month’s Be Well Philly Boot Camp may have already stowed away this handy recipe, but for everyone else: Consider this your opportunity to stow.

At Boot Camp, I participated in an awesome running discussion with Black Girls Run! ambassador and 2013 Health Hero Leslie Marant and Unite Fitness nutrition director and VP Juliet Burgh. Juliet was kind enough to share her tried-and-true homemade GU recipe for a mid-race energy boost. The mix is meant to give you a nice, natural carb jolt, without all the unpronounceable stuff in a GU Energy Gel.

It occurred to me recently that such an awesome (and simple!) recipe deserves to live on the Internet for the enjoyment of all. And so I give you: Juliet’s Homemade GU Energy Packets.

Check it out.

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Make: Low-Cal Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I eat a lot of salad. I eat a lot of almonds. I eat probably too much fruit. I don’t, however, eat a lot of cake, and I’m betting you probably don’t either. Let me be clear: It’s not because we’re healthy eaters who consistently make the “right” diet choices; it’s simply because, outside of the occasional birthday party, we aren’t offered cake very often. Let’s remedy this crisis, shall we?

Today, I have for you a cake that’s 100 percent whole grain, made with natural sweeteners and topped with fresh fruit. Best part: It clocks in at around 250 calories a serving.

Since angel food cake is virtually free of fat, adding a moderate amount of freshly whipped cream is pretty much a given. (Aside: You can also make coconut milk whipped cream, which is to die for.) It’s cake–real cake!–minus the guilt.

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Make: Buttery Bulgur with Corn, Tomatoes and Fried Eggs

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Let’s talk food trends. As I’m sure you’ve sussed out, the food world has trend cycles just the fashion and pop culture worlds. One example, of course, is kale. I’d be willing to bet the word “kale” is googled at least a bazillion more times than, say, escarole. They’ve got a similar nutritional make-up, but one is clearly enjoying a moment in the sun.

Quinoa is another example. I taught my high school students about quinoa more than five years ago, but now I find I’m ready to mix things up. This is where bulgur comes in.

I know, I know, it’s a weird-sounding food (Does anyone else think “bulgur” sounds like some kind of bodily growth? Ew.), but it’s worth trying. My latest recipe uses the less popular bulgur wheat—nutty, slightly sweet and perfectly chewy as well as lower in calories and higher in fiber than brown rice—along with familiar veggies like bell peppers, corn and tomatoes.

Served with a fried egg on top, you’ve got a breakfast-for-dinner-type option that, assuming you’re not cooking for eight, will provide you with healthy lunchtime leftovers. Enjoy!

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Make: Lightened-Up Mushroom, Arugula and Parmesan Crostini

crostini

Photo by Becca Boyd

I find that appetizers tend to fall in one of two camps. On the one side, there are the myriad mayonnaise- and cheese-loaded dips that taste delicious but leave you with the sinking suspicion that you just ate a day’s worth of calories. On the other side, you have to healthy choices like crudités with yogurt dip—definitely lower in calories but also lower in fun.

Like everything in life, I find the middle ground to be the happiest place. I want to be drawn to that appetizer table and itch to go back for seconds while knowing that not only will my mouth be pleased, but my body will benefit. This crostini is heavy on the veg but with the crisp, garlicky toast and the bit of sharp melted cheese, it feels indulgent. Bring this to your next soiree and you’ll steal the show.

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