16 Fish Recipes for a Fresh and Filling Dinner

16 Fish Recipes for a Fresh and Filling Dinner

A weight loss plan calls for fresh and filling dinners. What better way to satisfy your hunger than with flavorful fish recipes? Whether you fry it on Friday or eat it on any other day of the week, putting fish on your dinner plate could help you live longer, get healthier and even lose weight.

Though they”;re not quite as celebrated as they once were for protecting your heart, fatty fishes still have benefits for your ticker: A study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that higher fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake can reduce the risk of cardiac-related death by 10 percent, says Science Daily. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, fatty fishes also pack in more vitamin D than any other food, activating calcium for stronger bones and boosting immune system function.

Eating fish can also help with weight loss: A study of 481 postmenopausal women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that eating more fish meant losing more weight. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating two servings of fish per week for better health. According to the AHA, fish is a low-calorie source of high-quality protein that”;s the perfect addition to a dieter”;s menu.

Seafood like fish is a wonderful PowerFuel for your Nutrisystem plan and Flex meal recipes. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), three ounces of cooked tilapia delivers a whopping 21 grams of protein and just 108 calories! A high-protein diet has been shown to decrease hunger and appetite while increasing muscle mass and metabolism, says Healthline. It’s a weight loss win-win!

Put that protein-packed power to good use: Schedule a weekly fish night and make it delicious–;and Nutrisystem-friendly–;with one of these nutritious and delicious fish recipes.

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Here are 16 fish recipes for a smart and satisfying dinner:
1. Shrimp-Stuffed Fish >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 228

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 ½ PowerFuels and 2 Extras

Double your protein–;and your decadence–;with this stuffed fish recipe. It”;s got a flavor that”;s straight out of a high-end seafood restaurant, but oh-so-easy to make at home. Complete with lemon-y flavor and rich creaminess from a homemade cream cheese stuffing, you”;ll never believe this stuffed fish fillet is only 228 calories per serving! Pair it with your favorite SmartCarb for a perfect Flex Meal.

2. Air Fryer Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce >

air fryer recipe

Calories per Serving: 273

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 ½ PowerFuels and 1 Extra

Air fryer meals and fish recipes belong together. The magic of an air fryer makes these fish sticks as crunchy as anything you”;ll find in the freezer case. The natural tang from nonfat plain Greek yogurt means the homemade tartar sauce tastes better than bottled–;and with more protein and fewer calories. These fish sticks will be a hit with your whole family! At just 273 calories per serving, they”;re a comfort food that only feels like a cheat meal.

3. Miso Salmon with Kale and Beets >

salmon

Calories per Serving: 236

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel, 3 Extras and 1 Vegetable

This dinner is a plate filled with superfoods: Salmon delivers fatty acids and vitamin D, kale comes in with filling fiber and beets bring along several vitamins and minerals. Even the miso packs a probiotic punch! The best part? This meal is also loaded with one more thing: Flavor. It”;s great for your health but even better for your taste buds!

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4. Blackened Fish Sandwich >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 302

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

Flaky cod fillets, Cajun spices and crunchy cabbage slaw come together to make this perfect, protein-packed sandwich. You”;ll create your own seasoning mixture for the fish–;don”;t worry, it”;s easy! Plus, you’ll whip up a creamy, yogurt-based sriracha sauce that’s great for many fish recipes. It”;s a colorful, filling meal that you”;ll love to make again and again.

5. Fish Tacos >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 363

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Vegetables and 3 Extras

Who doesn”;t love fish tacos? This recipe hits the spot, with spicy flavors from a simple fish marinade, zesty citrus juices and creamy avocado. To top it all off, a secret sauce–;a homemade tomatillo drizzle with onions, jalapeno and garlic. It”;s a salsa that”;s perfect for these tasty tacos and may even become your go-to for chips, burrito bowls and more.

6. Open-Faced Tuna Melt >

tuna salad

Calories per Serving: 293

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 PowerFuels

This tasty take on a customer favorite transforms a package of Nutrisystem Tuna Salad into a magnificent, melty meal with just five ingredients and a few minutes under the broiler. Just top sourdough with the tuna salad, tomatoes, red onion and a slice of reduced-fat provolone for a delicious dish that”;s perfect for lunch or an ultra-quick, no-fuss dinner. Click here to stock up on our tasty Tuna Salad! >

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7. Sushi Tuna Tower >

sushi tower

Calories per Serving: 295

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

Sushi calories usually add up quickly: From the sticky rice to sauces on the side, a little meal can put a big dent in your daily diet plan. This tuna tower solves it all–;you get the sushi you love in a portion that satisfies, all for just 295 calories. It”;s not magic…; it”;s math: Swapping in light mayo for full-fat and reducing the amount of rice in favor of high-protein fish saves calories without sacrificing flavor. Just press the ingredients into a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes and dig in to this towering treat.

8. Air Fryer Fish and Chips >

air fryer fish and chips

Calories per Serving: 391

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 SmartCarbs, 1 ½ PowerFuels and 1 Extra

More miracles from the air fryer! This time, it does double-duty: In less than 15 minutes, the little countertop wonder will cook both impossibly crisp fish and crunchy potatoes worthy of any pub. The only difference is the calories–;instead of using oil to add loads of fat to this delicious meal, the air fryer circulates super-heated air to create the same crunchy exterior without any added guilt. Want to make this meal even more diet-friendly? Swap out the chips for veggies–;by itself, the fish clocks in at just 205 calories per serving.

9. 3-Step Tuna Patties >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 125

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

In just three simple steps, you can elevate canned tuna from humble pantry staple to a gourmet meal worthy of fancy dinner. To make these perfect, flavorful patties, you”;ll just mix together drained tuna with some simple ingredients like Dijon mustard, egg and parsley, then pan-fry hand-formed patties for three minutes on each side. They”;re perfect for a sandwich, on top of a salad or paired with roasted vegetables for an easy, low-calorie centerpiece that will make any dinner delicious.

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10. Air Fryer Catfish >

air fryer recipe

Calories per Serving: 230

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 PowerFuels and 1 Extra

We”;ve said it before: Our members and followers are geniuses, and this recipe proves it. Barbara, a Leaf reader, created this delectable dish that you need to try ASAP! In just 20 minutes, your air fryer turns catfish, a little bit of oil and some spices into a flavor-packed main course that pairs perfectly with crunchy coleslaw, roasted green beans and your other favorite go-to vegetables.

11. Avocado Tuna Melt Panini >

tuna melt

Calories per Serving: 344

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras

Swapping out mayo for creamy avocado in tuna salad is a calorie-saving, weight loss classic: The avo adds flavor and healthy fats that make the salad even more satisfying. This Tuna Melt Panini cranks it up to a whole new level, featuring melty, reduced-fat cheese and a crunchy exterior created by a panini press. You can also use a countertop grill or even just a frying pan–;by placing another heavy pan on top of the sandwich, you”;ll get the same panini press effect.

12. Salmon Sushi Bowl >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 425

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 3 Extras

The recipe says “;sushi”; but the fish is cooked–;you can use pre-cooked salmon or bake some of your own to top this protein-packed power bowl. And you”;ll have much more than fish to enjoy: The recipe has crunchy carrots and cucumber, spicy sushi ginger slices and an easy, flavorful ginger soy sauce that comes together with just four simple ingredients. Make two bowls–;one for dinner tonight and another to take for lunch tomorrow for a perfect grab-and-go meal. This is one of our favorite fish recipes for meal prepping!

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13. Spicy Teriyaki Tuna Steak >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 120

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

Tuna steak is flaky, hearty and incredibly easy to make well: Just bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees and it”;s ready for the dinner plate. Topping it with a mixture of teriyaki sauce, honey and a few other ingredients gives this steak a tasty bonus–;a sticky, slightly sweet glaze that makes the fish even more delicious. At an astoundingly low 120 calories per serving, it”;s a perfect start to a filling, well-rounded meal. Pair it with brown rice or potatoes and a heaping helping of your favorite non-starchy vegetables for a colorful, flavorful dinner.

14. Crispy Salmon with Pomegranate Salsa >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 232

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 PowerFuels and 2 Extras

This simply-prepared salmon takes on a unique, tangy flavor from a simple pomegranate salsa that”;s a snap to mix together. Don”;t be intimidated: You don”;t even need to cut the pomegranate yourself. If you haven”;t seen them, your grocery store has pomegranate seeds (or arils) in the refrigerated area with sliced fruits–;so you can get the zip of the antioxidant-loaded superfood without the mess. Mix it with spicy jalapeno, crunchy jicama and a few other ingredients for a salmon topper you won”;t soon forget.

15. Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Mango Salsa >

fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 182

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

This homemade salsa will give you a taste of vacation, even if you can”;t leave home: With pineapple and mango mixed with jalapeno, cilantro, red onion and lime, the fruity salsa in this dish is like a trip to a bar with tables in the sand. But you don”;t have to go far–;or be on a cheat day–;to enjoy this dinner. In just eight short minutes, you can get the taste of vacation fast…; and guilt-free.

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16. Instant Pot Salmon with Chili Lime Sauce >

Instant Pot fish recipes

Calories per Serving: 342

On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras

Your Instant Pot makes fish recipes easy as can be! This recipe really is almost done in an instant: In just three minutes, the Instant Pot will cook your salmon to perfection, making it ready for the recipe”;s real star: a simple, low-calorie, homemade chili lime sauce. By mixing together a little oil, honey, lime juice and fresh herbs and spices, you”;ll have a simple sauce that goes perfectly with your ready-already fish and vegetables. It”;s a citrusy, spicy accompaniment that loads up the flavor without packing your plate with extra fat or calories.

The post 16 Fish Recipes for a Fresh and Filling Dinner appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

How to Make a Healthier Ice Cream Sundae

How to Make a Healthier Ice Cream Sundae

Ice cream sundaes are the best summertime treat any day of the week. Each spoonful treats you to cool, sweet ice cream plus gooey chocolate or caramel sauce and other fruity, nutty or salty flavors. There”;s something for almost every taste in an ice cream sundae. Unfortunately, standard versions also come with excessive calories, fat and sugar: According to FastFoodNutrition.org, a small hot fudge sundae from a popular chain ice cream shop contains 300 calories, 10 grams of fat and 36 grams of sugar.

Legend has it that the first sundae was created in the 1880s at a drug store where sales of ice cream sodas were restricted on Sundays, says What’s Cooking America. A customer asked for chocolate syrup on top of a dish of vanilla ice cream instead. The result, later named a “;sundae,”; was an instant sensation and is still popular today. You can embrace the spirit of invention that lead to the first sundae to create your own version that”;s as good for your waistline as it is satisfying for your taste buds!

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Keep reading for our step-by-step guide on building a healthier ice cream sundae:
1. First Base

banana dessert

Start your healthier sundae by making up a batch of our delicious “;nice”; cream. It”;s quick and easy–;no special equipment or tedious churning needed. You simply put a frozen banana in a food processor or blender with unsweetened almond milk. For extra creaminess, throw in some non-fat plain Greek yogurt. After whipping the ingredients together, you get a thick, cool, creamy base for your sundae. If you like “;soft-serve”; style ice cream, it”;s ready to eat right away. For a firmer texture, put the “;nice”; cream in the freezer for an hour or so.

Get the recipe for our 4-Ingredient Banana Nice Cream here! >

2. Blend Ins

nice cream

While you”;re making your base, you can punch up the flavor with other ingredients. Add a few drops of vanilla extract for a classic taste. Give it a minty flavor with either mint extract or fresh mint leaves. Mix in frozen blueberries or strawberries, which not only give your blend a flavor boost, but also supply you with valuable antioxidants. Try out our recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream here! >

3. Sugar-Free Solutions

how to make ice cream

Just like in that drug store all those years ago, it is the chocolate syrup that transforms a dish of ice cream into a sundae. You can enjoy a traditional chocolate or caramel sundae if you go with sugar-free syrups. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tablespoon of a popular brand”;s “;lite”; sugar-free chocolate syrup has less than 10 calories as well as no added sugar. If you love caramel as much as we do, try our Salted Caramel Nice Cream with the sugar-free sauce in the base and drizzled on top

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4. Fruity Flavors

how to make ice cream

Fresh or frozen, whole fruit adds flavor and natural sweetness to your sundae. Bonus: whole fruit is loaded with fiber and nutrients to keep you satisfied and healthy. In addition to berries, you can try lemon zest (which we added to our Blueberry Lemon Sundae), pineapple chunks, sliced peaches or chopped mangoes. Fresh figs are an uncommonly good addition to sundaes because they are so sweet on their own. Do you love an old-fashioned banana split? We”;ve reinvented it so you can dig in without hesitation. Get the healthy recipe here! >

5. Nutty Ideas

how to make ice cream

Peanuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts give your sundae a shot of savory flavor, a light crunch and a bit of healthy fats and protein. Be sure to use unsalted raw or dry roasted options, so you don”;t pile on extra oils or sodium. A sprinkle of unsweetened dried coconut flakes can give your sundae a tropical taste without adding lots of extra calories or sugar.

6. Crunchy Choices

how to make ice cream

When you”;re craving crunch in your sundae, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of ordinary unsweetened rice puff breakfast cereal on top. You can also crumble up our crunchy Nutriflakes Cereal into little pieces! Along with the satisfying crunch, you also pick up fiber to keep you full for hours to come.

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7. Cookies on the Side

cookies

Here”;s another benefit to making your own “;nice”; cream: it”;s so healthy, you can pair it up with one of our indulgent snacks! When we made our Caramel Toffee Crunch Sundae, we took it over the top by blending a packet of Toffee Crunch Cookies into the base and it became an instant favorite. We have many other scrumptious cookie choices so you can get exactly the flavor blend you love. Try out our Lemon Cooler Cookie in our Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream Sundae. Get creative with our Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickerdoodle Cookie or Peanut Butter Cookie.

8. Topping it Off

how to make ice cream

Classic whipped cream comes with loads of excess calories and saturated fats. Instead, top your healthier sundae with a bit of light or non-dairy (coconut or almond based) whipped cream, which tend to have less calories, fat and sugar than regular whipped cream. According to Cooking Light magazine, one popular coconut whipped cream contains only 10 calories in a two-tablespoon serving. Hold the maraschino cherry and finish your sundae with a fresh sweet cherry. Dig in!

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The post How to Make a Healthier Ice Cream Sundae appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

9 Easy Air Fryer Dessert Recipes to Enjoy on a Diet

9 Easy Air Fryer Dessert Recipes to Enjoy on a Diet

When you”;re eating healthy, you deserve to be rewarded with sweet treats. However, a sweet treat doesn’t have to mean an unhealthy treat. You can easily enjoy delicious, diet-friendly desserts while staying on track with your weight loss plan. Using everyone’s favorite countertop appliance, the air fryer, you can make delicious dessert recipes in minutes (with no messy clean-up!). We”;re talking about chocolaty donut bites, chewy cookies and fresh fruit that tastes like pie. To get you started, we”;ve gathered nine easy recipes that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

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Here are nine easy dessert recipes that can be made in your air fryer:
1. Air Fryer Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies >

air fryer recipes cookies

Calories per Serving: 149

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

With these soft and chewy cookies, you get two great tastes in every bite: peanut butter and chocolate. They”;re made with filling, fiber-rich oat flour combined with a sweet maple syrup that gives them an extra boost of flavor. Even if you”;re an inexperienced baker, these cookies come out of the air fryer in just eight minutes, warm and delicious every single time.

2. Air Fryer Peanut Butter Cookies >

peanut butter cookies

Calories per Serving: 121

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

If you love peanut butter (we do!), these cookies are sure to be a new favorite dessert for you. They have just six ingredients, so they”;re ready to go in minutes. Give them a personal touch by adding chopped nuts to the dough or by turning them into peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies with sugar-free jam or jelly.

3. Air Fryer Stuffed Peaches >

air fryer recipes peaches

Calories per Serving: 97

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Fresh-picked peaches are one of summer”;s sweet treats all by themselves. However, they”;re even better when they”;re flavored with brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. “Bake” them in your air fryer until they are warm, tender and juicy. Granola adds a little crunch, making this a simple “;peach crisp”; that anyone can whip up in minutes. Don”;t have an air fryer? You can heat them on your grill, too.

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4. Cinnamon Sugar Grilled Pineapple >

grilled pineapple

Calories per Serving: 94

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb

Want to take the sweet-yet-tart tropical flavor of fresh pineapple up a notch? Cut the fruit into two-inch long sticks, coat them with brown sugar and cinnamon, then heat them in the air fryer until warm and tender. Kick up the taste even more by adding the spicy zing of chili pepper or ground ginger to the mix.

5. Healthy Air Fryer Peaches >

air fryer recipes peaches

Calories per Serving: 58

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarbs

You don”;t have to wait for firm supermarket peaches to soften. With the air fryer, you not only tenderize them in just a few minutes, but also bring out their best flavor and juiciness. As they heat and caramelize, they develop that distinct aroma of peach pie in the oven. You can enjoy them alone or slice them up and use them as a topping for “;nice”; cream (Check out these recipes! >), yogurt or even Nutrisystem Buttermilk Waffles.

6. Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes >

air fryer recipes donut

Calories per Serving: 142

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Skip the stop at your local bakery and whip up a batch of these chocolate-y bites instead! With an air fryer, you can turn your kitchen into your own healthy bakery at home. The dough is easy to prepare with high-fiber whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and a packet of our dietitian-approved NutriChocolates. Shape the batter into bite-size balls, pop them into the air fryer and wait 10 minutes for them to “bake” to perfection–;crisp on the outside yet warm and soft on the inside.

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7. Apple Chips >

air fryer recipes chips

Calories per Serving: 98

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb

You get just about everything you want from a treat with crispy Apple Chips. They have a satisfying crunch, natural sweetness and the warm flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, you don”;t need a food dehydrator (or hours of waiting!) to make them–;they come out of the air fryer in just eight minutes.

8. Air Fryer Baked Apple >

baked apple

Calories per Serving: 139

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1/2 SmartCarb, 1/2 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

If you turned apple pie inside out, it would kind of be like this Air Fryer Baked Apple. The filling of buttery raisins and walnuts, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, comes together with the caramelized sweetness of the apple. The result? A healthy dessert that tastes just like your favorite pie. You can also mix it up and make this recipe with pears instead!

9. Air Fryer Apple Fritter >

air fryer recipes

Calories per Serving: 128

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Combine a slice of apple pie with diet-friendly donut! These rustic fritters can get away with their less-than-perfect shape because they are filled with fresh apples, pillowy dough and the delicious flavors of cinnamon and sugar. Watching your sugar intake? You can easily swap in the white sugar with a zero-calorie substitute like stevia or monk fruit! Feel free to also dust your apple fritters with a little more cinnamon as soon as they come out of the air fryer.

Looking for more air fryer recipes? Check out the link below for fried food made healthy!

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Get easy, delicious meals delivered directly to your door! Learn more about the Nutrisystem meal delivery service >

The post 9 Easy Air Fryer Dessert Recipes to Enjoy on a Diet appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic

5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic

Planning on a staycation this year because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Join the crowd in not joining the crowd. Not going to the beach, the lake, the mountain or the water park puts a lot of pressure on your backyard to be the place you want to be, especially for fun summertime activities. Now is the time to plan for a summer picnic… and to have a plan to keep it healthy and diet-friendly!

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Here are five fun ways to enjoy backyard summer picnic food and still lose weight:
1. Load some veggies on that grill.

grilled vegetables

Even veggie haters find grilled vegetables to be irresistible. That’s probably because this particular cooking method brings out their inherent sweetness. Slice up some onions, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and even cabbage “steaks,” then grill them up as a healthy side.

To keep your meal diet-friendly, load up half of your plate with veggies. Trending now: the carrot “hot dog.” Cook whole carrots on the grill and serve them on a whole wheat frankfurter bun with all the fixings. You can also use veggies in another way: in some grilled vegetable recipes, vegetables are layered between cubes of chicken, a firm fish like tuna or swordfish, shellfish such as shrimp or even lean beef. Vegetable kebabs can help you keep your meal balanced between higher calorie protein and lower calorie veggies with a fiber-friendly twist.

Check out these seven foods that taste better on the grill! >

2. Make sides that are the star of the meal.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Forget the mayonnaise-laden potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw that crowd every summer picnic table across the land. They’re as ho-hum as they are fattening. Instead, focus on some of the farm fresh produce that’s readily available this time of year.

Consider replacing slaw with a Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad that takes minutes to prepare and can sit in the fridge for hours, just getting more and more savory the longer it marinates! You also don’t have to nix slaw completely from the menu—just liven up a cabbage-carrot mix with a dressing of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter. This Spicy Peanut Slaw recipe supplies one PowerFuel and two Vegetables to your daily count.

Love pasta salad? Broccoli, bell pepper strips and cherry tomatoes turn a simple Creamy Pasta Salad (mixed with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise) into a work of art. Plus, it clocks in at only 228 calories per serving, even with the chopped turkey bacon added for crunch and protein. One serving counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Vegetable. Click here for the recipe! >

You also don’t have to banish potato salad if you make it the Nutrisystem way, using reduced fat mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt or even a piquant vinaigrette. Think outside the summer picnic basket too: Eliminate half of the potatoes from the recipe and mix in turnips, cauliflower or parsnips. Add fun and flavorful ingredients like dill, green onions, chives or capers. Then throw in some of your favorite vegetables, like fresh peas, bell peppers or radishes for a flavorful bite. Make a healthier potato salad for your summer picnic with these five tips. > 

3. Add Nutrisystem foods to the mix.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

How good would your Nutrisystem Hamburger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich taste if you made it on the grill? What about the Chicken and BBQ Beans? Yes. THAT good. End your picnic meal with a Nutrisystem Ice Cream Sandwich or, as just about everyone does, with s’mores. Well, with our own S’mores Pie made with a graham cracker crust, ooey gooey marshmallow and real melted chocolate tucked inside. Mmmmm—and it’s only 140 calories!

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4. Plan active backyard fun and games.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Exercise off any excess calories from your summer picnic by planning outdoor activities for young and old. If you have enough yard, set up a volleyball or badminton net. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy backyard games like tag, freeze tag or dodge ball, particularly if you incorporate water balloons into the fun. You can even do a riff on the egg-and-spoon relay race with filled water balloons and a wooden spoon. Throw Frisbees back and forth or set up a game of cornhole or horseshoes. Organize a post-picnic walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park.

5. Hydrate wisely.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

While you can always turn to light beer and wine coolers to save some calories, don’t forget that studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate the appetite center of your brain and make you eat more, says the United Kingdom National Health Service.

Both wine and beer come in non-alcoholic versions. You can also whip up some delicious and satisfying “mocktails” that will wow your guests. Try a non-alcoholic Strawberry Daiquiri that combines fresh and frozen strawberries with water and lime juice in the blender. It’s only 55 calories per serving and counts as one SmartCarb on Nutrisystem. Find this mouthwatering non-alcoholic drink recipe and four more mocktails right here! >

Avoiding alcohol at your backyard picnic can help you avoid unnecessary calories. However, you can still enjoy alcohol in moderation on your Nutrisystem program. If you’d like to have a drink, check out this article on 10 Low Calorie Beers That Actually Taste Good! > You can also brush up on your Nutrisystem knowledge and learn more about alcohol on our program right here. >

Be sure to explore The Leaf for more tips to enjoy this summer season with family and friends, including expert fitness and nutrition tips as well as delicious seasonal recipes for your weight loss journey!

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The post 5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

Healthier Comfort Food: 10 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes

Healthier Comfort Food: 10 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes

This scientific fact is probably not going to surprise you at all: Comfort food is comforting.

In study after study, both animals and humans who eat in response to stress tend to feel less stress, says Evidence for Action. They explain that this comfort eating actually suppresses the chemical stress response–;the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is responsible for many of the physical feelings we experience when we”;re stressed out. There is other evidence that certain foods may reduce anxiety and help trigger the production of feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, says Harvard Health Publishing.

What also won”;t surprise you is that comfort foods tend to be high in fat, refined carbohydrates, salt and sugar, according to Psychoneuroendocrinology. In excess amounts, these can lead to weight gain, particularly around your middle. Almost no one reaches for a sprig of broccoli to calm their nerves!

Mac and cheese ticks all the boxes. Plus, in a survey of over 1,000 people, mac and cheese made the top five list of favorite comfort foods for both men and women, says Treadmill Reviews. Women even rated it above chocolate!

The good news: There are at least 10 ways to make mac and cheese that are healthy, diet-friendly, delicious and comforting. The great news: It”;s easy to make healthier comfort food that won”;t leave you stressing over weight gain and meal prep.

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Here 10 mac and cheese recipes for a healthy comfort food meal:
1. Buffalo Blue Cauliflower Mac and Cheese >

comfort food

Technically, there”;s no “;mac”; in this dish. However, it’s so cheesy and delicious, you won”;t be able to tell. Instead, cauliflower florets swim in a creamy, cheesy, spicy sauce made of fat-free half-and-half, shredded cheddar, blue cheese crumbles, low-fat creamy cheese and spicy buffalo sauce. One serving of this low carb mac and cheese recipe is only 169 calories and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and two Extras.

2. Zoodle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies >

comfort food

No mac to be found here either! We replace the pasta with low carb by spiralized zucchini. If you don”;t have your own spiralizer, many stores now sell packaged spiralized veggies in the produce or frozen food sections! The roasted veggies include broccoli, bell pepper, red onion and sweet potato. It”;s all tossed together with a sauce made from a wheat flour and light butter roux, nonfat milk, vegetable broth and reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese. This dish is only 156 calories per serving and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.

3. Bacon Jalapeno Cauliflower Mac And Cheese >

comfort food

Cauliflower may be the star of this show but turkey bacon and jalapeno definitely play best supporting roles! We serve it up in a creamy mix of low-fat cheddar and cream cheese You”;ll never miss the macaroni in this flavorful and easy-to-make casserole. It”;s only 178 calories per serving and counts as one PowerFuel, one Extra and half of a Vegetable serving.

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4. Beefy Mac and Cheese >

comfort food

We do half of the work for you in this easy, cheesy recipe! Order a package of Nutrisystem Frozen Mac and Cheese and heat according to the package’s directions. Then brown up three ounces of lean ground beef, mix and enjoy! It”;s that simple. One serving is 326 calories and counts as one Nutrisystem entrée and one PowerFuel.

5. Buffalo Mac and Cheese >

comfort food

There is no easier recipe than this one! It starts with Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese to which you add two ounces of prepared rotisserie chicken and one teaspoon of buffalo hot sauce. That”;s it! Count this spicy mac as one Nutrisystem Lunch and one PowerFuel.

6. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese >

cauliflower mac and cheese

You can create a creamy, dreamy bowl of cauliflower with just six simple ingredients. Even better, you probably already have them all in your kitchen! This comfort food recipe starts again with cauliflower, everyone”;s favorite macaroni substitute. We bake it in a sauce made from almond milk and low-fat cheddar cheese, seasoned with garlic powder and pepper. One serving is 114 calories and counts as one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.

7. Broccoli, Bacon Mac and Cheese Cups >

mac and cheese muffins

These little mac and cheese muffins are perfect to carry to work for lunch! They start with a package of Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and feature turkey bacon and broccoli (or your favorite non-starchy vegetable). Simply pour your mac mixture in muffin cups, top them with panko breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. What could be easier? Plus, they”;re only 278 calories per serving and count as one PowerFuel, one SmartCarb and one Extra.

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8. Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese >

comfort food

The very versatile Nutrisystem White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is easily tweaked to become a delicious, veggie-centric meal. This recipe calls for spinach and cherry tomatoes. However, you can add whatever non-starchy veggie strikes your fancy. Count this dish as one Nutrisystem Lunch and one Vegetable. One serving is only 236 calories.

9. Green Mac and Cheese >

comfort food

You don”;t have to wait for St. Patrick”;s Day to enjoy this green dish! It combines broccoli and zucchini with whole grain elbow macaroni in a creamy sauce made from almond milk, reduced fat white cheddar cheese and spinach. One serving is only 290 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and one Extra.

10. Crabby Mac and Cheese >

crab mac and cheese

Crab plus mac and cheese? On a diet? You heard us right! Plus, this healthy recipe is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Start with a package of Nutrisystem Mac and Cheese as the healthy shortcut. We then add two ounces of crab meat and top with Parmesan cheese before baking. Decadent? Yes,. However, you deserve it. One serving is only 288 calories and counts as one Nutrisystem Dinner, one PowerFuel and one Extra.

Looking for more comfort food made healthy (and easy)? Learn more about the Nutrisystem meal delivery service! >

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The post Healthier Comfort Food: 10 Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipes appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com