7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ

7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ

Backyard barbecues are a real minefield when you”;re trying to lose weight and stay healthy. First, most of them are a carnivore”;s delight–;lots of steak, burgers and bratwurst sizzling irresistibly on the grill. Second, cookouts redefine salad as “;something soaking in high-fat mayonnaise.”; And the desserts? Fuggedaboutit, even if you do have room after that outdoor feast.

But if you choose to step away from your diet plan to take in the festivities, you can till successfully stay on track at the BBQ by making good choices and doing a little prep. First, know which foods to stay away from (or at least to keep to a teeny tiny portion size). Click here to get our list of the 5 Worst Calorie Bombs at the BBQ. Then, be smart about the food choices you make while there. Here’s how to keep winning at weight loss without missing out on the fun:

1. Volunteer to Bring the Apps
If you don”;t want your only choice to be chips and high-calorie onion dip or a cheese and sausage tray, offer to bring a gorgeous cut veggie plate with low-fat dip, or baked chips with salsa or hummus.

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2. BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat)
Easy enough to do when you”;re hosting and much appreciated by your hosts when you”;re not, since meat is the most expensive part of the meal. Check first that your host is okay with it. If he or she is planning a gourmet feast of kobe beef or individual quail, you may just want to exercise portion control. But it”;s just as easy to throw a turkey or veggie burger or hot dog on the grill when the grillmaster is cooking regular burgers and brats. Friends are usually happy to accommodate you.

If you have the choice, go for grilled chicken, fish or lean beef. Even a regular hot dog is less fatty and calorie-laden than other kinds of sausage. Save a load of calories and carbs by saying no to the bun and cheese. Avoid mayo. Stick to mustard, dill relish or a little ketchup (just a little since it”;s full of sugar which can stimulate your appetite).

3. Take a Small Scoop of Coleslaw
Even if it”;s made with high-fat mayonnaise, one serving (around three ounces) is only about 172 calories and has two grams of fiber (thank you cabbage!), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Better yet, make your own–;just substitute low-cal mayo for the regular or do a vinegar-based dressing and you can cut the calories by as much a two-thirds.

4. Have Some Baked Beans
Stick to half a cup or less because they”;re high in calories. One cup has more than 300 of them, depending on the brand. But they”;re high in satisfying fiber–;half a cup of Bush”;s Original, for example, has five grams of fiber for only 150 calories.* Be sure to opt for low-sodium varieties if you’re the bean-bringer.

5. Load Up on Green Salad
This time of year, produce is abundant. Bring your own green salad (add lots of low-cal veggies) to share as well as bottle of low-cal dressing. Or, opt for grilled veggie kebabs, which are full of fiber and go light on calories.

6. Have Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
The chances of someone making this? Pretty slim. But you don”;t have to be much of a cook to throw together an awesome pasta salad. Pick a fun shape, like corkscrew (fusilli), wagon wheels, bowties or gemelli. Add some veggies, like halved cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, snapbeans (blanched a little to soften them), grated carrots, edamame (soybeans), corn, scallions, peppers, onions or whatever you have fresh. Punch up the flavor with fresh herbs, like basil, oregano or mint or even shavings of ginger with a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic or flavored vinegar with a touch of Dijon mustard to bind it. A sprinkling of fat-free feta adds some protein with very few calories.

7. For Dessert, Think Fresh or Frozen
End your meal with a slice of watermelon, a scoop of fruit salad or fruity sorbet, or a healthier frozen fruit bar like Outshine brand*, which has 60-80 calories, depending on the flavor, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener research suggests may put you at risk for obesity and diabetes.

The post 7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

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

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we”;ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.

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Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:
1. Reset your habits.

September

We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they”;ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that”;s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >

2. Practice positivity.

September

You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “;People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,”; says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it ’til you make it!

3. Give yourself goals.

September

Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “;fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding”; or “;calling one friend every week.”; Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!

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4. Accept setbacks.

September

No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we”;ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.

5. Try mentoring.

September

People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides–;mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “;connector”; database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.

6. Widen your circle.

September

If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “;The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,”; says ScienceDaily.

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7. Make time to read.

reading

We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you”;re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.

8. Try new apps.

new apps

Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >

9. Learn a second language.

September

Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it”;s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.

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10. Fix your posture.

September

Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you”;re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.

11. Meditate daily.

September

Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that”;s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.

12. Cook often.

healthy cooking

When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don”;t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don”;t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.

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13. Sleep more.

sleep

You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.

Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >

14. Lose weight.

weight loss

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. The all-new Nutrisystem program provides you with a personalized weight loss experience and perfectly portioned meals delivered to your door. You take a quiz and we provide you with a plan that’s tailored to you. Click here to learn more! >

15. Be grateful, be happy.

September

Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives–;food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends–;improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.

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The post 15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

20 Zucchini Recipes to Celebrate Summer Squash Season

20 Zucchini Recipes to Celebrate Summer Squash Season

Summer is peak season for zucchini recipes. This tender green summer squash has a delicate, mild flavor that’s delicious in any form, both cooked and raw. It”;s the perfect veggie for a healthy diet because it blends so well with many other foods. Zucchini is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, making it the perfect low-calorie ingredient for your weight loss plan. Plus, zucchini is considered a non-starchy vegetable on the Nutrisystem program, so you can eat as much of it as you’d like without worry.

These days, many people are trying zucchini noodles in their recipes, which you can easily make yourself with a handy spiralizer tool. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also pick them up in the produce or frozen food sections of many grocery stores. “;Zoodles”; make an ideal substitute for standard pasta, which tends to be loaded with unwelcome carbs. This veggielicious alternative to pasta has the same texture and satisfying slurp-ability as other noodles.

To inspire you to take advantage of summer”;s bounty of green squash, we put together this list of our favorite recipes that feature zucchini. It includes whole meals, sides and snacks that are easy to make and just right for hot-weather eating.

Celebrate summer squash season with these 20 healthy zucchini recipes:
1. 3-Step Chicken Zucchini Nuggets >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and ½ Extra

These easy-to-prepare chicken bites are crispy on the outside yet tender and juicy on the inside. They come with a half-serving of vegetables that”;s good for everyone at the table. Don”;t be surprised if these nuggets become a new family favorite!

2. Vegetarian Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 2 Vegetables and 1 Extra

Whether you”;d rather not eat meat or just want a meal that”;s filling but won”;t weigh you down, vegetarian meatballs are easy to make and delicious. Pair them with quick-cooking zucchini noodles and you”;ve got a hearty meal that will satisfy the biggest appetite.

3. Zoodle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

Mac and cheese can be a part of your healthy eating plan when you make it with zucchini noodles and low-fat cheese. We added some flavor and texture variety by tossing in roasted broccoli, onions and sweet potato cubes, but you can make it with any non-starchy veggies you like.

4. Carrot and Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 2 PowerFuels, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras

Pad Thai may sound exotic, but it”;s a simple dish made with lots of veggies, juicy shrimp, crunchy peanuts and sauce that”;s sweet and as spicy as you like it. To cut down on the calories and excess carbs you get in the takeout variety, we used zoodles, which you can enjoy to your appetite”;s content.

5. Rainbow Vegetable Skewers >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

Fire up the grill and let the flames bring out the flavors of tender chicken breast and your choice of fresh summer vegetables, including zucchini, onions and potatoes. We gave this dish a tropical flair by including chunks of sweet and juicy pineapple.

6. Italian Lovers Zucchini Boats >

zucchini boats

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

Zucchini boat recipes are another popular way to enjoy this non-starchy veggie. Sausage, marinara sauce and ricotta cheese are the makings of a classic Italian dish. Mix them up along with peppers, onions and fragrant seasonings, then load them into zucchini boats for a simple but filling meal.

7. Easy Zucchini Bread >

zucchini bread

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Zucchini bread recipes are a popular way to sneak some veggies into your diet. So many people love this sweet summer classic, so we had to come up with a simpler and healthier way to make it. This version has all the tastes you love–;including honey, cinnamon and nutmeg–;plus applesauce and an egg to ensure it comes out of the oven moist and scrumptious every time.

8. Mega Marinated Roasted Veggies >

roasted veggies

Counts as: 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Load up a serving of summer veggies with flavor but not excess calories. Start with coins of zucchini, broccoli florets, chunks of peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes. Marinate them in a simple dressing, then grill or roast them until they begin to brown at the edges and become as sweet as can be.

9. Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

These fritters are like crispy and savory pancakes, only with a healthy serving of vegetables baked right in. Dip them in a quick-and-easy sauce that hits all the flavor buttons, from sweet to salty.

10. Mexican Zucchini Boats >

low carb

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable

With this one-dish meal, you can enjoy the zesty flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine without all the fats and excess calories. We scooped out whole zucchini and refilled them with a spicy mixture made with beans, jalapenos, salsa and shredded cheese. Heat them to melt the cheese and tenderize the zucchini, then serve with all the extra salsa you want (it”;s a Free Food).

11. Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto >

zoodles

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable

Pesto is easy to make but packs a powerful punch of flavor. We whip it up using farm-fresh basil, protein-rich pistachios and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Toss it with roasted veggies like sweet peppers, artichoke hearts and a hearty serving of zoodles.

12. Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Pasta >

shrimp scampi

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels and 1 Vegetable

Start with succulent shrimp seasoned with garlic and red pepper flakes to your taste. Add fresh veggies of your choice and serve atop of a steaming serving of tender zucchini noodles ready for twirling. Now you”;ve got a restaurant-worthy meal you can enjoy at home.

13. Air Fryer Sausage, Potatoes and Veggies >

air fryer

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

The air fryer lets you turn raw ingredients into rich, flavorful meals in minutes. You can forget about piling on extra fats and cleaning up a messy kitchen. This one-dish recipe makes a satisfying breakfast or dinner any day of the week.

14. Zucchini Noodles and Meatballs >

zoodles

Counts as: 1 Nutrisystem Dinner and 2 Vegetables

Are the Meatballs in Marina Sauce from Nutrisystem on your list of favorite meals? Take these protein-rich meatballs to the next level by serving them with a bowl of tender zoodles coated in our savory sauce. “;Spaghetti Night”; has never been so good and good for you.

15. Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Cheese >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 PowerFuel and 3 Vegetables

If you like Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, you”;re going to love this lighter version. You get plenty of cheese, a serving of protein-packed chicken breast and a pile of zucchini noodles for only 386 calories per serving.

16. Napa Mint Slaw >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: ½ SmartCarb, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Instead of the usual fat-laden summer sides, try this crunchy slaw flavored with a sweet-and-tangy dressing and a spark of fresh mint. It”;s made with napa cabbage, often stocked with the Asian vegetables in supermarkets.

17. Simple Shrimp and Veggies Foil Packet >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

Get a taste of a beach vacation in your own kitchen with this easy “;seafood bake.”; Just toss together fresh shrimp, potatoes, zucchini, onions and your favorite herbs. Heat and eat inside crimped and folded foil. Summer eating made easy!

18. Green Zucchini Muffins >

zucchini recipes

Counts as: 1 SmartCarb

Yes, you can enjoy homemade muffins and stay on track with your weight loss plan. These lean, green muffins are moist and lightly sweet but packed with nutrition, featuring applesauce, cinnamon and bananas.

19. 4-Ingredient Stuffed Zucchini Buffalo Boats >

zucchini boats

Counts as: 2 PowerFuels, 2 Vegetables and 1 Extra

Zesty buffalo sauce and the gooey goodness of melted cheese transform simple ground turkey and fresh zucchini into a flavorful meal. It”;s loaded with protein and fiber yet low in calories, so you stay full for hours after you finish.

20. Shrimp and Scallop Kebabs >

zucchini recipes

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, ½ Extra and 1 Vegetable

Nothing says summer like summer squash! Throw that summer squash on a kebab and you’ve got the perfect seasonal dish for warm weather and sunshine. These Shrimp and Scallop kebabs pack in the lean protein and fiber-rich veggies for a nutritious dish that satisfies.

The post 20 Zucchini Recipes to Celebrate Summer Squash Season 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.

6 Ways an Air Fryer Can Help You Lose Weight (and Be Healthier)

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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.

4 Sweet Reasons Peaches Are the Best for Summer Weight Loss

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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.

3 Delicious Donut Recipes You Can Enjoy on a Diet

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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!

Healthier Fried Chicken & 13 Other Amazing Air Fryer Recipes

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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