7 quick and delicious recipes that help trim your waistline

You’ve made a resolution to eat healthier. Make it easier on yourself with these diet-friendly foods that are simple to make and don't skimp on flavor.

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  • You've made a resolution to eat healthier. Make it easier on yourself with these diet-friendly foods that are simple to make and don't skimp on flavor.

  • 1. Banana-Cashew Breakfast Smoothie

  • What makes it easy

  • An entire breakfast in a glass.

  • What works for your waistline

  • Every single ingredient! Flax, Dates and Oats: (high fiber), Banana (4-12g resistant carbohydrates), honey (natural antibiotic) and Cashews (protein). Optional: almond milk (dairy-free).

  • 1 Banana

  • 2 Tablespoons cashews

  • 1 cup milk (or almond milk)

  • 3-5 dates

  • 1 Tablespoon flax

  • 2-3 Tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 3 oz. Greek Yogurt

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • Ice cubes

  • Blend until smooth.

  • 2. Butternut Squash Soup

  • What makes it easy

  • No pots and pans, make it all in the blender and microwave.

  • What works for your waistline

  • Butternut squash and onion (get those veggies in!), apple (fruit and fiber).

  • 1-2 cups heated chicken stock

  • 1 small butternut squash

  • 1/2 medium apple

  • 2 T chopped onion

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp rosemary

  • 1/8 tsp Herbes de Provence

  • 1/4 cup cream

  • Split Squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave 8-10 minutes. Scoop out contents and place in blender. Add chicken stock, apple, onion and spices. Blend on high for 5 minutes. Gently stir in cream.

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  • 3. Chicken and Avocado open-face sandwich

  • What makes it easy

  • You buy the rotisserie chicken already cooked. Meal ready in 5 minutes.

  • What works for your waistline

  • Rotisserie chicken (lean protein), whole grain bread (fiber), avocado (healthy fat that makes you feel fuller longer), romaine (leafy green)

  • Toast one slice of whole wheat bread.

  • Spread with butter or olive oil mayo (optional) and/or swiss cheese

  • Add slices of rotisserie chicken and avocado.

  • Give it a few grinds of salt and pepper.

  • Top with sliced romaine lettuce.

  • Optional: garnish with sliced heirloom tomatoes.

  • 4. Slow-cooker Steel-cut Oats

  • (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • What makes it easy

  • You throw it all in the night before, and wake up to the smell of a delicious breakfast, ready to eat.

  • What works for your waistline

  • steel-cut oats (optimal fiber), apples (fruit), nuts (protein)

  • 1.5 cups milk

  • 1.5 cups water

  • 2 apples, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • canola oil cooking spray

  • 1/4 cup pure Grade B maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

  • Coat inside of 2.5 quart slow-cooker with cooking spray. Bring water and milk to a boil. Place in slow cooker. Add apples through sea salt. Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours. Top with syrup and chopped nuts, and additional milk if desired. (Note: this will burn if you try it in a 5-6 quart crockpot. I learned this the hard way.)

  • 5. Perfect Roasted Asparagus

  • What makes it easy

  • simple, fool-proof, and cooks in 15 minutes

  • What works for your waistline

  • Green vegetable, lemon zest and olive oil

  • 1 lb. asparagus

  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Lay asparagus in alternating directions in baking dish (this creates its own steamer effect). Drizzle with olive oil. Add lemon zest and salt and pepper. Add 2 T water to bottom of pan. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. (Lengthen time for bigger asparagus spears, shorten for narrower spears.) Serve immediately.

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  • 6. Baked Salmon

  • What makes it easy

  • package it up in foil and toss it in the oven.

  • What works for your waistline

  • Salmon is rich with healthy omega-3 oil, good for your mental health as well as your physical health. Topped with lemon and herbs.

  • 2 lb. salmon fillets

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp dried basil (triple amount if fresh)

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  • 3 T light olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

  • Mix garlic, light olive oil, basil; salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley in glass baking dish. Place salmon fillets in dish and cover with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator for an hour, if time allows.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 for convection)

  • Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with extra marinade, form a loose tent, and seal all edges. Place sealed tin foil tent/s in glass baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes, until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

  • 7. Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

  • (adapted from Jamie Oliver and Luisa Perkins)

  • What makes it easy

  • Simmer in one pot, then blend.

  • What works for your waistline

  • a creamy rich soup…with no butter, cream or roux. All the comfort-food creaminess comes from pureed cauliflower and cheddar cheese.

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 ribs celery

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 medium potato

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 cups chopped cauliflower

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4-6 cups chicken stock, boiling

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

  • sea salt

  • black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1 teaspoon English mustard

  • nutmeg (optional)

  • Peel and chop all the veggies and put them in a large pot, with olive oil in the bottom. Cover loosely and simmer on low for 20 minutes, until brightly colored and lightly softened. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer another 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add seasonings, mustard and cheese. Using a hand or stick blender, blend until smooth. (Can also be done in batches in a traditional blender or food processor.)

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Jana Winters Parkin is an artist, writer, and adjunct faculty at UVU. She co-hosts a popular podcast for women: "The Living Room" (bit.ly/TLRSHowiTunes) and spends every day possible exploring mountain trails. Contact her at

Website: http://fromthelivingroom.com

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