Lightened Up Lasagna Cups

Makes 6 Servings

Often times, when we think of Italian food, rich, heavy, starchy dishes with pasta and cheese come to mind. Lasagna is a perfect example, and oftentimes is accompanied by garlic bread on the side. Many recipes reduce the meat or cheese in lasagna recipes to decrease calories, however these ingredients are full of valuable protein. Protein is an essential nutrient that has many important functions, most commonly known for being the building block of our muscles. It also helps to build antibodies to protect us against infections. In addition, protein is more effective than carbohydrates in decreasing hunger and providing satiety. It promotes stable blood sugar, so it is beneficial to include some protein at every mealtime. However, many protein rich foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so be sure to choose low-fat varieties when available and avoid consuming too much protein overall. Speak with a registered dietitian to find out how much protein you need to reach your personal health goals.


1 lb. Blue Ribbon All-Natural Ground Beef
¼ cup jarred tomato sauce
2 bell peppers, assorted colors, cut into thins strips
½ yellow onion, cut into thin strips
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup liquid egg whites
1 tsp. crushed fennel
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
12 cup muffin tin
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a nonstick skillet, sauté peppers, onions, and garlic. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onions become translucent. Set aside.
2. Cook ground beef in same skillet. To reduce fat, drain beef in a colander, and then move to a plate lined with paper towels. Let sit for one minute, and blot ground beef with paper towels.
3. Move ground beef back to skillet on low-heat, and add tomato sauce and spices. Cook 1 minute or until warm.
4. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Add a thin layer of egg whites to each cup. Top with a layer of ricotta cheese, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella, and a spoonful of the ground beef. Repeat starting with the egg whites. Top with the sautéed pepper and onion mixture, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella.
5. Baked for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil, followed by 10 minutes uncovered.
6. Enjoy lasagna cups with a salad and a slice of garlic bread if desired.

Nutrition Information (per 2 cups): 250 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 35 grams of protein

Creamy Shrimp Scampi with a Twist

Serves 2

This recipe is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, and appropriate for people with diabetes. Avoiding excess carbohydrates and consuming protein and fiber can help to keep blood sugar stable, which is also beneficial for weight management. The daikon in this recipe provides fiber and the shrimp is a lean source of protein. Although this dish is low in calories, these nutrients promote satiety and can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. While cheese can be high in fat and cholesterol, feta and goat cheese have strong flavors, so you can enhance the flavor of the dish without having to use a lot.

Spiral slicer
2 large daikon radishes
10 ounces Blue Ribbon shrimp
4 Tbsp. goat cheese
½ cup fat-free feta cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. olive oil


1. Use spiral slicer to cut daikon into thin, noodle-like strands.
2. Cook daikon in a dry, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, to reduce moisture content.
3. Remove daikon from skillet and set aside. Coat skillet with olive oil and add minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 1 minutes, then add shrimp. Cook 2 minutes, then add lemon juice and wine. Cook until shrimp begin to turn opaque and curl. Add goat cheese, feta, crushed red pepper and basil.
4. Plate daikon “noodles” and top with shrimp. Enjoy!

One serving provides 347 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and 44 grams of protein

Tips and suggestions:
If you don’t have a spiral slicer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut the daikon into ribbon strips
If you want to include real pasta noodle, choose the whole wheat variety and replace half of it with the daikon
Use real white wine instead of cooking wine, which tends to be high in sodium

Roasted Bruschetta with Toasted Spiced Sourdough

Bruschetta is known for rather simple ingredients: tomatoes, basil, and toasted bread. The ingredients in this recipe don’t vary too much from the classic; however the preparation method is different. Typically, the tomatoes are diced and flavored without cooking. In this version, the vegetables are roasted for a deeper, caramelized flavor. Additionally, tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is better absorbed by the body after cooking. Lycopene is also fat-soluble, so be sure not to skimp on the olive oil called for in this recipe.


  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole head plus 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Vidalia onion, cut in half
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed with fingers
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tomatoes and onion in a baking dish, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place head of garlic on baking rack. Cook until onions and tomatoes are caramelized, about 45 minutes.

2. Remove vegetables from oven and allow to cool. Preheat broiler. In the meantime, slice sourdough into 1” thick slices. Combine ¼ cup of olive oil with minced garlic, fennel, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil mixture. Place sliced bread under broiler and brown on each side, watching closely.

3. Remove bread and place aside. Dice roasted onion once cooled. Combine with tomatoes. Remove skin from garlic and cut off one end of head. Squeeze roasted garlic out into the tomato mixture. Add basil, balsamic vinegar, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Top toasted bread with tomato mixture and enjoy!


  • Use a multigrain or whole wheat baguette for extra fiber.
  • Combine roasted tomato mixture with whole wheat pasta and low-fat mozzarella or cannellini beans for a vegetarian meal.
  • Replace baguette with grilled Blue Ribbon chicken breast for a low-carbohydrate option.

Sausage-Stuffed Peppers with Festive Olive Salsa

This time of year often calls for hearty, savory dishes that make your mouth water. It’s possible to enjoy these flavors while keeping options light and healthy. This dish uses a combination of pork sausage and lean ground turkey to provide the sensation of eating sausage while reducing the sodium and fat. Instead of being smothered with melted cheese, the peppers are topped with a colorful salsa that contains beans for fiber and extra protein, as well as Castelvetrano olives that provide a crunchy bite, fruity flavor, and a burst of bright green. Olives are a good source of monounsaturated fats. This dish will add some red and green to your dining table, as well as protein, fiber, vitamin C, lycopene and heart healthy fats.


16 ounces Blue Ribbon lean ground turkey
3 links Blue Ribbon pork sausage, removed from casing
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 red bell peppers
3 green bell peppers
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. finely minced basil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
15 Castelvetrano olives (any green olives will work), fined diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onions and garlic with 1 tsp. olive oil or cooking spray in a nonstick pan. Add ground turkey and sausage until onions and translucent and turkey is no longer pink. Add spices.

2. Combine salsa ingredients and let sit in refrigerator at least 30 minutes (overnight is recommended).

3. Broil peppers on each side for 1-2 minutes. Add turkey mixture to peppers and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are slightly softened.

4. Top each pepper with a spoonful of salsa and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice

Arroz con Pollo, simple and satisfying!

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 chicken breast


4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup green pepper, diced
½ cup red pepper, diced
2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups low-sodium tomato sauce
¼ cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 cup brown rice
1 package mixed vegetables


1. Add chicken breasts to a pan on the stovetop and cook over medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side, just long enough to brown the outside.
2. Transfer chicken to your slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.
3. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours.