Meal Ideas 18 September 2019

Busy Season Solutions

Quick and tasty meals and snacks

(Family Features) For those who are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time to whip up meals and snacks that are both nutritious and tasty. However, with some simple changes – and timesaving recipes – you can create delicious dishes and meals that will keep you feeling energized to fuel your busy lifestyle.

For example, these quick and easy recipes for a main course, snacks and even desserts are all part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

An On-the-Go Morning Treat

Busy mornings can lead to breakfast being put on the backburner or skipped altogether. However, with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake, which is made with real fruit, you can enjoy the most important meal of the day on-the-go or anytime you need a snack break.

A beneficial source of B vitamins, these protein-rich shakes can satisfy hunger with 5 grams of fiber and provide steady energy all day long. Made to easily fit into a busy lifestyle, they’re also gluten-free with no artificial colors or preservatives, and low-glycemic with 4 net carbs and 2 grams of sugar.

Kickstart a nutritious eating plan at Atkins.com

Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups frozen cauliflower rice
  • 3          tablespoons canola oil
  • 3          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4          teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
  • 2          teaspoons ginger paste
  • 6          cups pre-cut coleslaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • 1          cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced scallions, root and tips trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1/4       cup tamari soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons mirin rice cooking wine
  • 1          pound cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed
  • 4          teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. In microwave, steam cauliflower according to package instructions.
  2.  
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, warm large, nonstick skillet with lid over medium heat. Add oils, swirl to coat pan and, when shimmering, add garlic and ginger. Sauté until sizzling and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add coleslaw, bell pepper and scallions; continue sautéing, stirring frequently, until cabbage just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle on five-spice blend and stir to incorporate. Add soy sauce and mirin rice cooking wine to pan and stir to evenly coat cabbage. Add shrimp to skillet; toss to evenly distribute. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and allow shrimp to warm, about 3 minutes.
  6. Measure about 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice into bottom of four bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and cabbage mixture, about 1 cup vegetables and 9-11 large shrimp per serving, drizzling with pan sauce evenly. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and serve while hot.

Notes: To help meal come together quickly, use frozen cauliflower rice, pre-grated ginger paste, pre-minced jarred garlic and bagged coleslaw mix. Green onions and bell pepper can also be pre-sliced.

Parmesan Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use large cup or mug to draw six roughly 4-inch circles on parchment paper. Fill each circle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, smoothing shreds out and creating slightly thicker outer edge. Sprinkle each with pinch of Italian seasoning and bake 7 1/2 minutes, or until outer edges and bottoms are golden but not burned.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool at least 1 minute before eating. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Servings: 4

  • 3          avocados
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2       cup sugar-free chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2    tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2          tablespoons Erythritol (low-carb sweetener)
  • 3          teaspoons stevia-based sugar substitute
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  1. Mash avocado and place in blender with coconut milk. Blend until smooth.
  2. In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 20 seconds, stir well and heat in 10-second intervals until melted, stirring in-between. Once melted, add to avocado mixture and continue to blend while scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. Add cocoa powder, sweetener, sugar substitute, vanilla and salt. Blend and scrape down sides of bowl until all ingredients are well combined and mousse is smooth and creamy. Add additional sugar substitute 1/4 teaspoon at a time if sweeter mousse is desired.

Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature to make blending smooth and easy.

Yogurt Parfait

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 13        pieces Atkins Honey Almond Vanilla Crunch Bites
  • 1/4       cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4       cup plain, unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon almond butter
  • 1          pinch cinnamon
  • 1          pinch sugar substitute
  1. Roughly chop crunch bites.
  2. In small glass, layer blueberries, crunch bites and yogurt. Swirl almond butter on top and finish with sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar substitute.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp, Parmesan Crisps and Avocado Chocolate Mousse)

Source: Atkins

Holiday 02 November 2018

Light Bites for Healthier Holidays

(Family Features) For those who are always on the go leading up to the holidays, the season can feel more like madness than merrymaking. From planning get-togethers to building out a perfect menu for the events, there can be difficulties for hosts and guests alike to ensure proper nutrition is still top of mind.

Instead of sacrificing taste or eating less, aim for simple changes that give you the energy to power through the busy season. For example, instead of opting for a carb-loaded breakfast in the morning, try a low-carb Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin, which takes just a few minutes of prep and microwave time. The quick cook time leaves you with ample opportunities to run errands or divvy up precious seconds toward other activities, while the protein can fuel you for the day ahead.

Almost nothing beats warm soup on a chilly day, and this Butternut Squash and Pear Soup provides feel-good flavor without weighing you down. Finally, when snacks are on the mind – as it tends to happen when constantly on the go – Coconut Muesli Clusters are simple to make and won’t undo the nutritious efforts you’ve made throughout the day.

This full menu of tasty recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect,” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

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An On-the-Go Energy Boost

As a hectic holiday season unfolds, it can be difficult to maintain energy while making dishes for get-togethers and keeping up with the festivities.

To stay fueled and energized throughout the season, try incorporating Atkins Plus Protein and Fiber Shakes. Sweet and creamy, they make for ideal snacks, containing 30 grams of high-quality dairy protein and 7 grams of fiber. To help ensure steady blood sugar levels, the shakes also have a low glycemic impact and are made with 20 vitamins and minerals.

Available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors, the ready-to-drink shakes provide hunger satisfaction for those who are on the go and seeking to maximize production with a busy schedule.

Find more ways to live healthier during the holidays and learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb lifestyle at Atkins.com.
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Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Servings: 1

  • 2          tablespoons full-fat cream cheese
  • 1          egg
  • 3          tablespoons Atkins Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          dash salt
  1. In microwave-safe mug, heat cream cheese 10-15 seconds to soften. Add egg and blend briskly using fork. Add protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth.
  2. Microwave on high 1 minute; muffin will puff up then deflate slightly once done. Remove from mug and enjoy warm.

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Coconut Muesli Clusters

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1          cup plain protein powder
  • 1/2       cup unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1          cup whole raw pecans
  • 1          cup unsweetened whole flake shredded coconut
  • 1/2       cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 1          tablespoon stevia
  • 2          teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1          tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1          tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1/4       cup water
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, coat with olive oil spray and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, chia seeds or flaxseeds, stevia, cinnamon and turmeric.
  3. In large skillet, combine coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract; melt completely then stir in nut mixture. Turn heat off and add eggs and water, tossing well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread mixture in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture starts to brown and clumps together to make clusters. Cool completely on baking sheet then store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.

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Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          medium (2 1/2-inch diameter) onion, chopped
  • 2          pounds butternut winter squash, cubed
  • 1          medium pear, sliced, plus additional, for garnish (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5          cups chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • nutmeg (optional)
  1. In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add squash, pear, curry powder, salt and white pepper; saute 3 minutes. 
  2. Increase heat to high and add chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low; simmer 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until cubed squash is very tender. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir soup over low heat until hot. Garnish with additional sliced pears and sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin)

Source:  Atkins

Meal Ideas 16 November 2017

Happier, Healthier Holidays

(Family Features) The holidays are filled with temptations and opportunities to over-indulge, and if you’re managing your health and weight, the season can feel anything but merry.

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Depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats isn’t only unpleasant, it’s also unnecessary. Many experts recommend that instead, you focus on building a healthier lifestyle through a well-balanced, long-term eating plan. For example, Atkins offers a balanced approach with foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates, as well as good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. When preparing your holiday menu, look for recipes that contain adequate protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbohydrates, and you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of the season without guilt.

Less is not more
If you’re looking for more inspiration, tips and recipes, try finding additional resources such as “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook For Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” Filled with 100 whole-food, low-carb recipes and simple solutions, the new book contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach to eating at Atkins.com.

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Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound boneless pork loin
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons fresh rosemary, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In small skillet over medium heat, cook pork loin, fatty-side down, 4-5 minutes to brown top and render some fat.
  3. Coat 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place pork loin in dish.
  4. In small bowl, combine mustard, garlic and rosemary; stir well. Spoon mixture over pork. Transfer to oven and bake 45 minutes-1 hour, until loin is cooked through but still slightly pink in center.
  5. When pork is cooked, let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree

Recipe courtesy of Atkins.com
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • 3          large egg whites
  • 5          tablespoons sugar substitute, divided
  • 1/2       cup half pecans
  • 1 1/2    pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter stick
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 15        ounces pumpkin (without salt, drained, cooked and boiled)
  1. Heat oven to 250° F. Lightly butter baking sheet.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet and spread with spatula to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake 35 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringue stand in oven 45 minutes. Crush meringue and place in bowl. Add pecans and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
  3. While meringue is resting, place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes and bring to boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain. Return saucepan to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, butter, cream, remaining sugar substitute, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Heat through, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer potato mixture to serving dish and cover with meringue topping.

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 18

  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 2          tablespoons stevia
  • 6          ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3       cup chopped almonds or macadamia nuts
  • 1          tablespoon sugar-free caramel syrup
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt or sea salt flakes
  1. In large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream with protein powder and stevia. Whisk until smooth. Add cream cheese, almonds or macadamia nuts, caramel syrup and vanilla extract; blend until smooth. If cream cheese clumps slightly, mix with rubber spatula, breaking up bits of cream cheese against side of bowl.
  2. Sprinkle mixture with xanthan gum, if desired, and mix about 30 seconds. Mixture will thicken slightly.
  3. Cover tray that will fit into freezer with sheet of wax paper. Using soup spoon, scoop mixture onto tray, making 18 mounds. Alternatively, use two silicone candy molds or empty ice cube tray coated with olive oil spray and press cheesecake mixture into 18 molds. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Freeze at least one hour before serving.

Note: Can be stored in freezer up to 1 month.

Tip: Switch up flavors by using sugar-free hazelnut syrup in place of caramel and hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin, Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree)

Source: Atkins

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