Spa Blog: Articles, Tips, Best of Lists, Promotions and Recipes

Healthy Hoppin’ John Recipe

Healthy Hoppin' John Recipe

In the southern United States, eating a bowl of Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is a folksy tradition to help assure a prosperous year filled with luck.  This dish, also called Carolina Beans and Rice, is traditionally made by cooking together Black Eyed Peas, Rice, Onions, Bacon or Pork, Bell Peppers and spices.  The Black Eyed Peas symbolize pennies or coins (in fact, a coin is sometimes placed under the dinner bowls when serving), and the bowls are accompanied by southern greens (the color of American currency) and cornbread (the color of gold).  Save some leftovers and serve the dish again on January 2, and call the meal “Skippin’ Jenny.”   Serving the leftovers is frugal, doubling your chance for an even better chance of prosperity in the New Year.

As fun as this tradition is, unfortunately, southern recipes can include fatty bacon or pork to season the dish.     Lindsay Ford, a RD at Skyterra Weight Loss Spa & Fitness Resort, has created this slimmed-down version of the dish and has added healthy barley in place of rice.  Barley is rich in nutrients and minerals — the perfect addition to themed dish — so consider it a deposit into your health and wellness account for the year.


December 27, 2016 |

Light Zucchini Pea Soup

Zucchini Soup - New Life Hiking Spa

Zucchini Soups and Pea Soups are usually fat-added creamy affairs, with fatty meats, but this version served at New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont takes a new approach, using savory ingredients for a broth based, light and nourishing version.  Serve unblended if you like, or if you prefer a thick version, use your blender to make a smoother, heartier version. Easy to tote to work and school for a hydrating, comforting cool-weather meal.  


December 17, 2016 |

Biggest Loser Spicy Szechuan Noodles

This protein-rich Biggest Loser Spicy Szechuan Noodles dish is much lower in fat than your typical peanut noodle dish at your favorite restaurant.  A restaurant entree can have as much as 20 grams of fat per serving and  over 1600 mg of sodium.  This much-improved version is perfect for a spa dinner and is every bit as savory and satisfying as its higher calorie counterpart.


December 12, 2016 |

Blistered Tomato Spinach Scramble

Ranch at Live Oak Blistered Tomato Spinach Scramble

The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu assists guests in recalibrating their mind, body and spirit through an intensive week long endurance, wellness and nutrition program. Located three miles above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Monica Mountains, the 15-cottage retreat is beautifully situated on a large working ranch.    The open-air kitchen at The Ranch makes meal time a communal experience. Guests are encouraged to join the Chef during his weekly cooking class to learn the basic techniques and skills required to create a healthy plate.  These lessons are reinforced when guests return home with regular communication from The Ranch, including seasonal recipes and tips for maintaining results, like this light and healthy breakfast entree of Blistered Tomato Spinach Scramble.


November 19, 2016 |

Low Fat Seafood Cioppino


Seafood Cioppino is a very low fat and hearty fish stew, the perfect cool-weather treat.  We adapted our recipe from one created by The Oaks at Ojai, a health spa in Southern California, and at less than 250 calories per bowl, we think its a winner.  Although the list of ingredients appears rather long, it comes together in a snap if you have everything at the ready once you begin.  Ask your fish man or butcher to assemble the seafood ingredients for you. This dish is best served with a green salad and crusty slice of toasted whole grain bread for dipping up the savory broth.


November 2, 2016 |

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Broccoli Salad

Turkey Burgers and Broccoli Salad

The bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmer’s Markets and Produce Stands makes it easy to select healthy and flavorful side dishes to accompany the sizzling steaks, chicken, and burgers of Summer and Fall months.  Grilled Turkey Burgers are a terrific departure from beef, and Broccoli Slaws are popular in our home and office.  They tote well, last a long time and improve with a day or two in the fridge, but try to banish the mayonnaise and sugar coated version of this salad from your picnic table, and try this lighter, flavorful version courtesy of Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont.


October 1, 2016 |

Turkey Burgers with Fig Salsa

Summer Turkey Burgers - The Oaks at Ojai

Christine Denney, the chef for the Oaks at Ojai health spa in California, created this guest-favorite Turkey Burgers with Fig Salsa entreeThis is a versatile recipe — it can be used to make a hand-held burger, or as meatballs with dip for a nice snack and appetizer, or even as a tasty salad with fig dressing. 


August 19, 2016 |

ABC Salad – Avocado Beets and Citrus!

ABC Salad - Avocado Beets Citrus

Avocado, beets, and citrus are the key players in this salad. And, it’s almost as simple as ABC (you still have to roast the beets while you prepare the remaining ingredients). ABC Salad provides healthy fats, vitamin C, antioxidants, some fiber and stunning colors!


August 19, 2016 |

Red Mountain Spa Sonoran Fish Tacos

Red Mountain Sonoran Fish Tacos

These delicious Sonoran Fish Tacos are courtesy of Red Mountain Resort in Utah.  They are in the Sonoran Style, which in this case means a soft corn tortilla, not fried, and milder flavors. The Mexican State of Sonora shares a border with Arizona, and unlike the corn-tortilla based favorite recipes in Mexico, Sonoran Style tacos are usually soft, often in a flour tortilla, and tend to have green sauces and less heat. Here, Red Mountain keeps the corn tortilla, but features the traditional soft style and tasty green avocado sauce. (more…)

July 27, 2016 |

Rancho La Puerta Strawberry and Herb Salad

Strawberry and Herb Salad

Chef Dan Richer was nominated by Rancho La Puerta guests to teach at La Cocina Que Canta. When he came to The Ranch, Chef Dan offered hands-on culinary experiences where guests prepared farm-to-table dishes under his direction. Dan’s clean cut and approachable teaching style kept the evening light and fun.

Dan Richer is known for his fresh assembly of succulent salads and mouth-watering pizzas at his popular New Jersey restaurants, Razza Pizza Artigianale and Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria. He considers himself the anti-chef, trying to do less to the ingredients while allowing the meals he prepares to represent his philosophy of curating dishes of local, seasonal ingredients. Each ingredient is chosen for how its flavors influence its neighbor; they all must work together to form a tasty assembly. (more…)

July 6, 2016 |

Pritikin Chicken in Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Pritikin Chicken in Sweet Chili Sauce

The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends and incorporates the healthiest animal food choices — omega-3-rich fish, lean protein like chicken and turkey, and vibrant flavors with fruit and vegetables, making the most of spices and bold flavors. This popular Pritikin Chicken in Sweet Chili Sauce dish is delicious served for dinner, and makes great leftovers at work the following day. Chop your leftover entree into a large lettuce leaf for a delicious summer salad roll or wrap.


June 28, 2016 |

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sliders

Baby Portobello Sliders with Smoked Gouda

It’s finally summer! Which means for many of us, a bevy of backyard barbecues. For those of you looking for a veggie burger in place of traditional beef sliders, try this Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sliders recipe courtesy of PureRejuv Wellness Center, a health retreat in the Poconos. Portobello mushrooms are known for their “meaty” texture and can hold up well on the grill at high temperatures. Whether you skewer them for easier cooking, or for larger Portobellos, place them on the grill, these are worth a try at your next barbecue. Top with any traditional burger fixings like lettuce, tomato, and onions. For our recipe we’ve kept it simple to highlight the smoky flavor of the grill with caramelized onions and Gouda cheese. Don’t forget your favorite BBQ sauce to drizzle on top—you can’t have a proper barbecue without some BBQ sauce!


June 22, 2016 |

Grilled Chicken Chimichurri

Oaks Chicken Chimichurri

Christine Denney, the chef for the Oaks at Ojai health spa in California, created this guest-favorite Chicken Chimichurri entreeChimichurri sauce is to Latin Americans what Ketchup is to Americans.  This colorful and vibrant sauce has it origins in Argentina and Uruguay and is influenced by Mediterranean pestos. There are many variations ranging from mild to spicy and thick  (for sauces and dips) to thin (for marinades).   Here is the Spa Version! 


June 19, 2016 |

Sanivan Summer Miso Soup

Sanivan Summer Miso Soup

This summer Miso Soup recipe is popular with the guests of Sanivan Holistic Retreat, a relaxing bed and breakfast retreat amid the beautiful surroundings of the Catskill Mountains in New York, where guests relax, learn to cook healthy meals, practice yoga, and explore the Catskills.


June 17, 2016 |

Sign up for Spa Lifestyle Digest and enjoy a Welcome Gift

Spa Lifestyle Digest Free Gift

Welcome to Guide to Day Spas and Stay Spas. We spotlight the best day spas, spa resorts, spa vacations, health and weight loss retreats, destination spas, and more.    Sign up for our Spa Lifestyle Digest to get periodic features by email, and you’ll immediately receive a free welcome gift — our collection of 21 of our popular recipes for spa cuisine and DIY treatments.


June 15, 2016 |

Light Pear Cobbler


Make the most of this sweet fruit with a light Pear Cobbler made with brown sugar, reduced calorie spread and buttermilk.  This recipe is just as delicious with your favorite stone fruit, like peaches and nectarines, and of course apples and plums.   If you wish, substitute your favorite sweetener, such as agave, Brown Sugar Splenda, or even maple syrup to taste.


June 6, 2016 |

Cinnamon Banana Chips

cinnamon banana chips

Steer clear of purchased banana chips which are usually coated in sugar (for a fruit already sweet on its own!) and preservatives.  Instead, try this simple recipe for Cinnamon Banana Chips.  They are great way to satisfy sweet and crunchy cravings at the same time.  Bananas pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar, and they are officially recognized by the FDA for being high in potassium and low in salt,  which helps to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.


June 6, 2016 |

Egg White Berry Crepes

Oaks at Ojai Egg White Berry Crepes

Christine Denney, the chef for the Oaks at Ojai health spa in California, created these guest-favorite Egg White Berry Crepes, in a very unique way.  Forget the butter and flour, these use egg whites and milk powder for a thin, light, and very spa like crepe, the perfect vehicle for your favorite berries or fruit.  As an added benefit, they are naturally low-carb, gluten-free and offer protein.  Serve them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a variety of ingredients. 


May 15, 2016 |

Rancho La Puerta Strawberry Risotto

Strawberry Risotto

Inspired by a book of summer recipes from Italy, this savory Strawberry Risotto is surprisingly delicious, not at all cloying as one might suspect. The berries impart a pleasant tannic quality, as in wine-like, staining the risotto a pale rose color. Rice is traditional, but this is also delicious made with farro, an ancient wheat grain popular in Italy.


May 6, 2016 |

Rancho La Puerta Roasted Salmon with Orange Glaze

Roasted Salmon with Orange Glaze

Sous Chef Donaciano Chano brings thirty-years of experience to every meal he makes. For the past four years Chano has been the Sous Chef at Rancho La Puerta’s Dining Hall, where he leads a gifted team in carefully crafting healthy and delicious meals. The Roasted Salmon with Sweat Potatoes and Orange Glaze is one of his favorite dishes to prepare. From farm-to-table and sea-to-plate, only the best ingredients get blessed with the sharp edge of Chef Chano’s knives. He works with Executive Chef Denise to create the sweet smoothness of the glaze, and the delectable citrus flavors bring out the best in the seared salmon.


May 6, 2016 |

Dolphin Island Brown Rice and Fresh Fish Salad

Brown Rice and Fresh Fish Salad

This delicious recipe for Brown Rice and Fresh Fish Salad was presented by Michel Louws as part of the MasterChef Masterclass presented on Dolphin Island in Fiji.   Don’t be intimidated by the steps and list of ingredients.  This vibrant, healthy, colorful and fresh salad is worth every bite.  That said, we made this without the crab (not in season) and used just fresh fish, and it was superb.  


April 30, 2016 |

Gluten Free Quinoa Blueberry Muffins

Oaks Quinoa Blueberry Muffins

Christine Denney, the chef for the Oaks at Ojai health spa in California, created these guest-favorite Quinoa Blueberry Muffins.   They are both gluten-free and dairy-free, and make for a nutritious, light and flavorful addition to the breakfast bread basket.  Serve them for breakfast or tuck them in a lunch box for school or work — they freeze well and are nicely thawed by lunch time.


April 19, 2016 |

Pritikin Cinco de Mayo Ceviche

Pritikin Ceviche

The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends and incorporates the healthiest animal food choices — omega-3-rich fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout. Most other fish, plus shelled mollusks like clams and scallops, are healthy choices, too.  With Cinco de Mayo coming up, its customary to serve our favorite Latin American dishes.  Unfortunately, the most popular dishes can include cheesy, fatty appetizers, often high in fat.  Enjoy this fresh shrimp dish instead!.


April 19, 2016 |

Low Fat Oven-Baked Blackened Tilapia

Blackened Tilapia

This recipe for Blackened Tilapia is very simple — you’ll just need fresh fish from the market and a bit of your favorite cajun seasoning and dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes.  It’s more of a method than a recipe.  Start in a skillet to get that crusty exterior, and finish in an oven to avoid having to saute in too much fat.

April 16, 2016 |

Biggest Loser Sashimi Tuna Salad

This light, refreshing, and protein-rich Biggest Loser Sashimi Tuna Salad is perfect for a spa lunch.   Make sure the tuna you purchase is extra fresh.  It should be bright red, with no discoloration.  If it doesn’t seem fresh at the fish counter, check the sushi area — it’s worth a bit more to buy sashimi grade tuna for its fresh flavor and vibrant color.


April 11, 2016 |

Zesty Black Bean and Veggie Wrap

veggie wrap

Whether you’re brown bagging it, or making a quick lunch to enjoy at home, this tasty Black Bean and Veggie Wrap wrap will delight you and your family. Once they take a bite, they won’t even notice it’s chock full of good-for-you fruit, veggies, beans and brown rice!


March 25, 2016 |

Cauliflower Flatbread with Pesto

Oaks Spa Cauliflower

Christine Denney, the chef for the Oaks at Ojai health spa in California, created this guest-favorite Cauliflower Flatbread with Pesto entree as an alternative to flour based pizzas and focaccia. You can find it in the Recipes from the Heart cookbook available the spa.  Terrific for lunch or make it an entree by topping it with tomato sauce and your choice of other toppings, such as sautéed mushrooms and onions, and dusted with a bit of parmesan or cheese of your choice. 


March 19, 2016 |

Healthy Salads for Meal Planning

Healthy Salads: Kale Apple Quinoa Salad

The secret to delicious, healthy salads is blending several sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami tastes to make an appetizing combination.  Here, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts in New York two of their popular spa salads which feature superfoods, Kale, Spinach, Blueberries, and fit the bill, perfectly. (more…)

March 3, 2016 |

The Pritikin Calorie Counting Solution for Weight Loss

Pritikin calorie counting solution

The team at Pritikin Longevity Center, an award-winning weight loss spa and resort in Miami, Florida, tells us “Counting calories is often the wrong way to lose weight. That’s because counting calories leaves many of feeling hungry and deprived most of the time.”   “We need to free ourselves from chronic hunger,” counsels Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin. “Long-term success at losing weight means being able to fill up. It means enjoying satisfying amounts of food throughout the day.” In this article, Pritikin describes it calorie counting solution.


February 15, 2016 |

Spicy Kale with White Beans and Garlic

Spicy kale and white beans

This quick and flexible vegetarian Spicy Kale with White Beans and Garlic serves just you or entire family! Garlic and Parmesan cheese provide savory flavors and balance the bitterness of Kale. Beans provide a source of protein. Vinegar, kale, and red pepper flakes all help in to digest the heaviness of beans. Although processed food is contraindicated in Ayurveda, we find canned beans easier to digest.


February 13, 2016 |

Quinoa Walnut Brownies

Rancho La Puerta Quinoa Walnut Brownies

One seldom needs an excuse for chocolate, but with Valentine’s Day around the corner, these Rancho La Puerta Spa Quinoa Walnut Brownies are a tasty, hand-crafted, chocolatey, and gluten free bit of deliciousness for your favorite Valentine.


February 11, 2016 |

Ananda Spa Cheese Cannelloni

Ananda Spa Cheese Cannelloni

This vegetarian dinner entree is courtesy of Ananda Spa in the Himalayas. The executive Chef, Narenda Sharma, carefully creates recipes for guests which feature wholesome ingredients like natural cheeses, whole grains, locally sourced vegetables and hand picked herbs and spices.  In this recipe for Cheese Cannelloni, he uses an Indian type of farmers cottage cheese called “paneer” which has  a texture like firm tofu and can be sliced and pan-fried.


February 5, 2016 |

Ananda Spa Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Bolognese

whole wheat spaghetti with bolognese

This whole dinner entree is courtesy of Ananda Spa in the Himalayas. The executive Chef, Narenda Sharma, carefully creates recipes for guests which feature wholesome ingredients like whole grains, locally sourced vegetables and hand picked herbs and spices.  In this recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Soya Bolognese, he uses soya nuggets, a meat substitute and savory vegetables to create a rich and savory tomato sauce.


February 5, 2016 |

Canyon Ranch Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Soup

This flavorful classic originated in southern India and the name actually means “pepper water.”   That suggests fire on the tongue, but not so.   It is based on the use of a rich stock highly seasoned with curry and other spices.  Mulligatawny usually includes pieces of cooked chicken and often chopped fruits, vegetables, and rice. It can be served hot or cold and is delicious garnished with a dollop of chutney.


February 1, 2016 |

Chicken Salad with Spinach and Pasta

Chicken Pasta Salad - New Life Hiking Spa

This recipe for Chicken Salad with Spinach and Pasta is a guest favorite at the New Life Hiking Spa, a nationally recognized affordable destination spa located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. Known for it’s exhilarating hiking program, delicious healthy meals, and a comfortable country inn atmosphere, New Life is truly a unique vacation experience.

January 24, 2016 |

Ananda Spa Seeded Granola Bars

Ananda Granola Bars

These guest favorite Granola Bars are courtesy of Ananda Spa in the Himalayas. The executive Chef, Narenda Sharma, carefully creates recipes for guests which feature wholesome ingredients, like oats, coconut flour and seeds.  In this recipe, he uses a popular powdered sugar substitute called Natura which is a sucralose product.  In the USA, you can use Splenda, or coconut sugar crystals to taste.


January 5, 2016 |

Pritikin Caesar Salad

Pritikin Caesar Salad

The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends you eat at least 5 (and preferably many more!) servings of vegetables and greens each day for super nutrition. Plus, you’ll just naturally eat fewer calories and shed excess weight. The problem is, many salads in restaurants are calorie busters that are anything but healthy, racking up nearly 1,000 fat calories on average. Get all the deliciously tangy goodness of a Caesar but for about one-tenth the calories with this Pritikin Caesar Salad, always a hit in the dining room at the Pritikin Longevity Center. 


January 1, 2016 |

Canyon Ranch Cornbread


It’s New Year’s Eve.  It’s cold outside.  Our healthy Chicken Stew is bubbling, the fire is crackling, and while we’re feeling virtuous for having made it through Christmas without overdosing on sugars and other treats, we are sorely in need of some spa style cornbread.    Is there  such a thing?  A lower fat healthier cornbread which doesn’t require a greased cast iron skillet?    You bet there is.

December 31, 2015 |

Stuffed Mushrooms with Feta Cheese


These popular Stuffed Mushrooms are intended as a single-serving treat, but if you increase the ingredients, they can be perfect for your holiday table or Christmas Party.  While this version is vegetarian, you could easily up the protein by adding ground, sautéed Turkey Sausage — a single link for one serving does the trick.

December 16, 2015 |

Pritikin Curry Waldorf Salad

Pritikin Curry Waldorf Salad

The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends you eat at least 5 (and preferably many more!) servings of vegetables and greens each day for super nutrition. Plus, you’ll just naturally eat fewer calories and shed excess weight. The problem is, many salads in restaurants are calorie busters that are anything but healthy, racking up nearly 1,000 fat calories on average. Get all the deliciously tangy goodness of a Sweet Waldorf Salad but for about one-tenth the calories with this sweet, savory and filling Pritikin Curry Waldorf Salad, always a hit in the dining room at the Pritikin Longevity Center. 


December 15, 2015 |

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Christmas Cake by Apolonia

I was pleased to be a part of a Twitter party on the website Mompreneurs Online. The party was all about the holidays — shopping, crafts, even make-up tips from Avon.  I was there to provide advice about  making it through the holidays without gaining a lot of weight.  A topic that’s on the minds of too many of us. (more…)

November 27, 2015 |

Winter Parsnip and Coconut Soup

Grail Springs Parsnip Soup

The health benefits of parsnips are not as familiar to most people as its sister the carrot. Parsnips are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, are known to balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Parsnips can be an excellent source of folic acid for women, playing an important role with expectant moms, for reducing heart disease, dementia and osteoporosis.  Try this sweet tasting vegetable in a beautiful soup — Winter Parsnip Soup is a favorite of the guests at Grail Springs Retreat Centre in Ontario.


November 16, 2015 |

Carrot Orange Soup – Grail Springs Retreat

carrot soup

This Orange Carrot Soup is a snap to make, totes well to work in a thermos, and is both sweet and savory thanks to carrots, orange juice, and curry powder.  Experiment with other spices if you prefer Latin flavors (cumin is wonderful in place of curry).   A perfect Autumn and Winter recipe.


November 16, 2015 |

Hearty Lentil Soup

Hockley Valley Lentil Soup

It’s cooling down in the provinces and time for some Autumnal soup recipes.  Lentils are a healthy diet must, so add a little of this tasty food to your soup bowl.   From Hockley Valley Resort in Ontario, At cabin, the resort’s signature restaurant, we offer our version of a tasty, hearty and healthy lentil soup. Want to try making it yourself? We’ll share! Here’s our original recipe for a guest favorite soup.


October 31, 2015 |

Structure House Baked Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

If you’re looking for something a little different to serve as appetizers or a light lunch during the holidays, baked Crab Cakes may just be the thing!  Executive Chef John Beverly of Structure House, a residential weight loss program in Durham, North Carolina, teaches hands-on cooking classes with participants, giving them the culinary skills and confidence to continue to lose weight at home. Here is one of his popular recipes.  This savory cakes are served with a low-fat mustard sauce, but they are just as great with a squeeze of lemon.


October 29, 2015 |

Pritikin Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

The Pritikin Eating Plan recommends you eat at least 5 (and preferably many more!) servings of vegetables each day. They’re super nutritious. Plus, you’ll just naturally eat fewer calories and shed excess weight. This healthy recipe for Pritikin Pumpkin Wedges is vegetable-rich, only takes 3 ingredients, and can be a tasty vegetable and dessert, all in one. Plus, pumpkins are a bonafide super-food, so it’s triple duty recipe — easy, delicious and nutritious.


October 24, 2015 |

Helpful Hints to Prevent Overindulging this Holiday Season

Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — the holidays where we tend to snack on candy, toast with cocktails and punch and eat bountiful snacks and meals is upon us. Temptations will be plentiful this time of year: dinner parties, goodie trays, bountiful buffets—how do we enjoy ourselves yet keep our caloric intake at a reasonable and healthy level?   In this post, Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director at Lake Austin Spa in Texas, shares some helpful hints and tips.


October 13, 2015 |

Miraval Resort Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies by Miraval

Please skip those dry, artificially flavored and sweetened pumpkin treats at your coffee spot, and instead, try this recipe. These homey Pumpkin Spice Cookies by Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, are so perfect for fall and winter – the combination of pumpkin and spices says “holiday” and because the recipe makes a lot of cookies, it’s a good one for those office parties and school functions that inevitably fill out end-of-year calendars.     This recipe is courtesy of Miraval’s Sweet & Savory  cookbook.    This is a family favorite version of a cookie that is packed with ingredients more nutritious than your average recipe. You still get great flavor, with less fat calories.  In fact, one cookie is less than 1 gram of fat.


October 7, 2015 |

Chicken Asparagus Sandwich


The next time you are stuck for sandwich ideas for your brown bag lunch, assemble this fresh tasting Canyon Ranch Chicken Asparagus Sandwich from ingredients you probably had for supper — roasted chicken, asparagus, and tomatoes from a  salad perhaps.  Set just a few portions aside to be sure you have leftovers for this sandwich.  If isn’t grilling season, just substitute oven roasted chicken breast, or, breast torn from a grocer’s rotisserie chicken.  It’s also delicious with grilled leftover salmon.


October 4, 2015 |

How Smoothies Can Help with Health and Weight Loss Goals


While smoothies were once popular only among the health conscious community, they have now turned into a mainstream staple and are even available at fast-food joints and Starbucks. Aside from being delicious and refreshing, there are many reasons why people consume smoothies. Many people looking to lose weight start to drink smoothies in the morning, adding in fruits, veggies, and superfoods. While we at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts don’t promote all-smoothie diets, we do encourage you to start incorporating smoothies into your life to reap some of their many benefits. (more…)

September 28, 2015 |

Asparagus Ricotta Bruschetta

Asparagus Ricotta Bruschetta
This colorful Asparagus Ricotta Bruschetta appetizer is full of color and has a flavor terrific for brunch, spa party, or light lunch.  It can made with soft ricotta cheese, or consider a fat-free herby substitute, like Laughing Cow or Boursin.


September 2, 2015 |

Grilled Turkey Tacos

Turkey Tacos

This is a very satisfying turkey based taco, with enough density of high quality calories and flavors to make a complete meal at lunch or dinner.  Some of the healthy fats come from the nutrient rich avocado.  You can reduce the carbs and fat grams by using lettuce leaves in place of the grilled tortillas, or, use lower or fat free tortillas.


September 2, 2015 |

Low Fat Cucumber Spread


This tasty, tangy cucumber spread is wonderful with fresh vegetables or between very thinly sliced bread for tea sandwiches. For one of our personal favorite, spread it on a thin toasted bagel slice, “bagel thin” or bagel chip with smoked salmon (lox) and dill on top, with a squirt of lemon.


August 12, 2015 |

Green Mountain Carrot Cake


This morning, in a discussion about books on sugar addiction, I remembered David Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating, which has a lovely picture of carrot cake on the cover. This also reminded me that many of you have been asking for our carrot cake recipe.   With sugar addiction or food addiction one might think they cannot have cake; however, research on managing cravings has demonstrated that complete abstinence triggers cravings just as over-consumption triggers cravings. (more…)

August 5, 2015 |

Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps


You will need some napkins for this juicy burger! Serve this delicious, low-carb and naturally gluten-free version with a side of skinny potato skins or Zucchini Fries. This will surely become a family favorite in your home just as it is in ours.  Ordinarily we don’t go for cheese on our burgers — it masks great tasting beef and adds unnecessary calories. So for us, we’d leave the cheese off, but battle lines can be drawn over this issue. Either way, it’s a good low carb burger.


July 29, 2015 |

Braised Beef with Green Beans | Movara Fitness Resort

Braised Beef with Butternut Squash

This lower fat but rich and hearty meal of Braised Beef with Green Beans and Butternut Squash is perfect after a long day spent hiking and biking.  The butternut squash “noodles” are sweet and creamy and the green beans from your summer garden or produce stand are crisp and fresh tasting.  This recipe is courtesy of the Executive Chef Sam Baker of Movara Fitness Resort in Utah.  Sign up for the Movara Newsletter to enjoy tasty and nutritious recipes every month.


July 17, 2015 |

Mountain Trek Thai Chicken Salad

Mountain Trek Thai Chicken Salad

This vibrant Thai Chicken Salad is bursting with flavor and lean, grilled protein.  It’s a perfect summer lunch or dinner.  Don’t be discouraged by the lengthy list of salad dressing ingredients.   Asian flavored dressings fare very well with a “touch of this and a touch of that” and can be cobbed together from your favorite flavor profiles in your pantry.  Use your own favorite purchased Asian dressing if you prefer, or just lime juice and seasoned rice vinegar. (more…)

July 15, 2015 |

Red Mountain Spa Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

strawberry shortcake

Summer means strawberries, red and juicy from your local fruit stand.  Red Mountain Spa’s lower calorie version of  Strawberry Shortcake is a delicious way to use this nutrient dense summer fruit.   As with any recipe, you can substitute the whipped cream with another topping of choice, including coconut cream or non-dairy topping, and you may use alternative sweeteners if you don’t wish to use white sugar.    Try it with peaches and other berries, or a mix of your favorites.


July 10, 2015 |

Banana Chocolate Mousse


This fruit filled dessert is a tropical take on traditional Chocolate Mousse, and is suitable for vegans and those avoiding dairy and soy.  It’s very creamy and satisfying — a little goes a long way.  Although we have not tried it yet, we think it would work well in an ice cream freezer.  That goes on the to-try list!


July 6, 2015 |

Blueberry Orange Honey Syrup

Blueberry Orange Honey Syrup

When blueberries are in season, stock up on these super food beauties, good for just about everything you have — skin, body, and health.  You can make fresh blueberry recipes all summer, but you can also freeze your berries to have fresh flavor all year.  This syrup has no refined sugars. It relies on ripe berries, honey, and the natural sweetness of the orange, so it’s important to use good fruit.   This Blueberry Orange Honey Syrup is splendid on French Toast, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, as a dip for fruit, and even as an add-in flavor booster for a morning smoothie.

June 26, 2015 |

Biggest Loser Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Griilled Chicken and Tomato Parmesan

Traditional Chicken Parmesan can be a calorie nightmare.  Chicken breasts are dredged in egg, flour and breadcrumbs and pan or deep fried, are covered with a thick tomato sauce and copious amounts of cheese.  Here, Biggest Loser eliminates the breading and grills the chicken.  We have adapted this recipe to use either low sodium low sugar marinara sauce, or, fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden. Both are delicious and we don’t miss the bread crumbs.


June 25, 2015 |

5 Healthy Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

healthy ice cream

Few things are more refreshing on a 90-degree day than a melting, double-scoop ice cream cone. But after a few 300-calorie-plus servings (i.e., one-half cup of Ben and Jerry’s Brownie Batter), you might see the difference on the scale. These DIY ice cream recipes are invigorating, light, and chock-full of bone-healthy calcium.  (more…)

June 21, 2015 |

Scallops with Grapefruit Avocado Salsa


This is one of our favorite summery seafood entrees.  It is rich tasting from the dense scallops and made lively with a salsa of creamy avocado, red grapefruit sections, and chives and cilantro.  Chop up the salsa roughly, or plate it as a salad. We don’t always have grapefruits on hand, and with peeled and sectioned grapefruit in their own juice readily available in our market (a convenience we truly love), we are able to make this quickly. 


June 14, 2015 |

Miraval Caprese Flatbread

Mirval Caprese FlatBread

This beautiful and robust recipe is from Miraval’s Mindful Eating Cookbook. Serve it for lunch, brunch, or cut up as appetizers with light mocktails.  When using tomatoes in any season other than summer, we use Roma tomatoes from the grocer, but during the summer months, our favorite tomato for this is heirloom “currant” tomatoes (as pictured on the vine) which are quite tiny and can be scattered, whole. They are not overly wet, but burst into tiny, sweet nuggets of incredible flavor.


June 14, 2015 |

Lake Austin Spa New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp by Sura Nualpradid

Terry Conlan is a chef at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas and author of Fresh: Healthy Cooking and Living from Lake Austin Spa Resort (Favorite Recipe Press, 2003).  She developed this recipe for spicy style barbecue shrimp with a wonderful sauce.  There is no fatty cream or yogurt in the sauce, but you’ll be surprised at the thick and rich texture of this low calorie entree. This is a messy peel-and-eat style meal, so serve it outside on the patio, with plenty of napkins and glass of cold cucumber water.


June 10, 2015 |

Mountain Trek Cedar Planked Teriyaki Salmon

Teriyaki Salmon

The right food combinations at the right time of day can create high energy and metabolic levels. Mountain Trek chefs and nutritionist together create meals that work, including this Mountain Trek Gluten Cedar Planked Teriyaki Salmon served to guests for dinner.    This delicious recipe is perfect for a summer barbecue. Serve it for Father’s Day or a special occasion dinner.  Leftovers are delicious served on top a cold salad.


June 7, 2015 |

Canyon Ranch Taco Salad


This simple salad by Canyon Ranch is a wonderful entree for a Southwestern luncheon. It is even easier and faster to make if you buy already baked corn tortilla chips (but watch to assure they are not high fat) and prepared fresh salsa at the supermarket or farmer’s market. Serve the salad with spa guacamole on the side and fresh tropical fruit for dessert. (more…)

June 7, 2015 |

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Movara Fitness Resort - Dining

Pumpkin Seed Pesto is a delicious variation on the traditional green pesto you may already love.  Serve it over steamed veggies, drizzle it on a nutritious flat bread pizza, or float a spoonful in your vegetable soup.  It is courtesy of the Executive Chef Sam Baker of Movara Fitness Resort in Utah.  Sign up for the Movara Newsletter to enjoy tasty and nutritious recipes every month.


June 4, 2015 |

Cold Oatmeal with Yogurt and Fresh Berries

muesli - cold oatmeal

We first learned to love cold oatmeal in Hawaii, of all places. We were intrigued by the cold, creamy scoop of what locals were calling muesli after the dish of soaked grains and dried fruits made popular at the turn of the century by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital.  (more…)

June 4, 2015 |

Mountain Trek Gluten Free Cinnamon Granola

cinnamon granola

The right food combinations at the right time of day can create high energy and metabolic levels. Mountain Trek chefs and nutritionist together create meals that work, including this Mountain Trek Gluten Free Cinnamon Granola served to guests for breakfast.    This delicious recipe is perfect for breakfast because it’s easy to make and can be stored for weeks.


June 2, 2015 |

25 Detox Tips by Grail Springs Retreat

25 detox tips by grail springs retreat

What exactly are toxins? Toxins are substances that have harmful effects on the body. They come from food, water, air, from chemicals used to grow and process food, coffee, sugar, pre-packaged foods and junk foods.   Normally, a person can process these toxins in the liver, kidneys and other organs and eliminate them in the feces, urine, and perspiration.


June 2, 2015 |

Cal a Vie Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Cal a Vie Bloody Mary Gazpacho

This bright, colorful and savory dish is a classic chilled soup perfect for a warm Spring or Summer Spa Lunch.   Bloody Mary Gazpacho is zesty enough to waken the tongue, without the alcohol of the popular breakfast cocktail.  It was developed by Cal-a-Vie Spa’s executive chef, Curtis Cooke, and is a guest favorite entree.  If you have a green thumb or access to a Farmer’s Market, it is best with fresh picked summer tomatoes. 


May 27, 2015 |

Greens and Herbs Frittata

Greens and Herbs Frittata

Savory, aromatic, and light, the Greens and Herbs Frittata is a rustically nourishing way to begin your spring morning. Transport yourself to a wide, tiled-floor kitchen overlooking lush Italian countryside as you dig into this hearty, yet light dish. Bright, fresh herbs awaken your sleepy cells as eggs provide the energy you need to make it through a busy day. Deceivingly simple, a frittata gives the impression that you spent the morning slaving away in the kitchen. 


May 24, 2015 |

Peach and Rosemary Sorbet

Peach and Rosemary Sorbet

The hearty warmth of rosemary olive oil is a stirring contrast to the bright and cheery essence of peach in this dashing Peach and Rosemary Sorbet. The aromatic rosemary is sharp and full of invigorating passion. It’s warmth collides vividly with the refreshing peach sorbet, whose rosy hue offers plush sweetness. One bite will fill you with the feeling that “everything’s perfect, just right, like a peach.”


May 20, 2015 |

Zucchini, Cranberry and Walnut Cake

Zucchini Cranberry Walnut Cake

This slightly sweet loaf of Walnut Cake is perfect with a cup of tea, or as part of a light lunch with a salad and iced tea.  It fits the bill for both something bread-like and dessert-like and it isn’t difficult to have these ingredients on hand if you use “craisens” or dried cranberries.  The lemon glaze is, of course, optional. 


May 18, 2015 |

Raspberry Banana Chia Seed Protein Blast

Raspberry Banana Chia Seed Protein Blast

If you have an activity filled day ahead and you need a good start, or the heat gets you beat and you need an afternoon pick-me-up after a work-out, try this protein filled Raspberry Banana Chia Seed Protein Blast which guests of Red Mountain Resort in Utah enjoy.  Bright, thick, creamy and sharp!


May 16, 2015 |

Pritikin Berry Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Berry Balsamic Salmon

This beautiful entree looks impressive, no?  It’s so simple to create both from fresh salmon and berries, or even a frozen fillet and a bag of frozen berries you keep on hand! This Berry Balsamic Glazed Salmon is both an elegant dinner or a wonderful lunch entree for a spa day.   Serve it with a tangle wilted spinach, which pairs well with both the berries and the balsamic flavors.  Another tip? Save the leftovers and toss the fish and glaze over fresh baby spinach leaves for a berry balsamic salmon salad.


May 16, 2015 |

Ginger Basil Limeade

Ginger Basil Limeade

If the heat gets you beat, try this enlivening Ginger Basil Limeade chilled to feel light and bright. Refreshing sour lime mixes with spicy-sweet fresh ginger. Fresh basil cuts through with its light, bright pungent herbal taste. This limeade will clear your mind, stimulate digestion, take care of a gassy stomach and even cool you down.   Bright, refreshing, sparkling and sharp!


May 13, 2015 |

7 Super Foods to Combat Stress

orange segments

Life has a way of getting the best of us some days. Whether it’s working too many hours, being tethered to too many digital devices that never seem to let you “turn off”, shuffling your children all over town for their activities, taking care of your household, or dealing with personal or family matters, stress can take its toll on you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There are simple steps you can take to combat stress, starting with the foods you eat.  (more…)

May 9, 2015 |

Pritikin Mustard Glazed Salmon

pritikin mustard glazed salmon

So simple but so gourmet! This Mustard Glazed Salmon entree can be either a weeknight dish that makes you feel it’s the weekend, or, a special meal for Mother’s Day or a Birthday Celebration! Serve with a quick-and-easy whole grain like quinoa or couscous, or a microwaved baked potato, plus a nice big green salad.


May 8, 2015 |

Pritikin Citrus Fennel Mango Salad

Pritikin Citrus Fennel mango Salad

This Pritikin Citrus Fennel Mango Salad is proof positive that healthy food can be as enticing to the palate as expensive red wine! You’ll love this recipe’s complex blend of citrus zest, licorice-flavored fennel, tropical mango, and fresh cilantro.


May 8, 2015 |

Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing

Mountain Trek Afterglow Almond Butter

The right food combinations at the right time of day can create high energy and metabolic levels. Mountain Trek chefs and nutritionist together create meals that work, including this Mountain Trek Gluten Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing served with salads or as a veggie dip.   This is the most requested recipe at Mountain Trek and for good reason: it’s delicious and makes you want to eat salads!


May 3, 2015 |

Mountain Trek Power Shake

Green Smoothies

The right food combinations at the right time of day can create high energy and metabolic levels. Mountain Trek chefs and nutritionist together create meals that work, including this Mountain Trek Power Shake served to guests for breakfast. It is filled with required nutrients and packed with strong protein to help begin a balanced morning. 


May 1, 2015 |

Spring Green Vegetable Minestrone | 80 Calories

green minestrone soup

This is my nourishing vegetable soup of the moment.  I absolutely love eating it, not only because it tastes so good, but because I can instantly feel the goodness and the benefit to my body.   I love it straight from the pot and often top it with chopped avocado and a generous drizzle of salsa verde. If I want to pump up the protein, I’ll add some chicken or creamy white cannellini beans.” — Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter (more…)

April 23, 2015 |

Smoked Turkey Hummus Wraps

Turkey Wrap

This recipe for Smoked Turkey Hummus Wraps is courtesy of Everyday Recipes by Ste Anne’s Spa in Ontario, Canada.  Wraps are almost always a family favorite for lunch as they are easy to pack, don’t tend to get as soggy as sliced bread, can be customized in a variety of ways with the fillings staying put, and providing the wrapper is a modest size, are lesser in calories than two slices of sandwich bread.  Feel free to doctor this wrap with your favorite vegetables, taking advantage of seasonal offerings (for instance, thinly sliced raw zucchini in place of the peppers, and even shaved carrot and celery makes a delightful “crunch.”


April 21, 2015 |

Miraval Trail Mix Cookies

Miraval Trail Mix Cookies

This recipe for a hearty and chewy trail mix cookie is courtesy of Mirval Resort in Arizona and appears in Sweet & Savory, the resort’s newest cookbook.    This is a family favorite version of a cookie that is packed with ingredients more nutritious than your average chocolate chip recipe, although it does have some chips, too.  By using mini chocolate chips, a smaller amount goes much further.  You still get the great flavor, with less fat and calories.  In fact, one cookie is just 2 grams of fat.


April 21, 2015 |

Low Fat Turtle Pie – 150 Calorie Per Serving

Spa Turtle Pie

Assembling individual ramekins of Low Fat Turtle Pie means you get a whole dessert to yourself — for under 150 calories each.  The recipe for this creamy dessert is courtesy of Movara Fitness Resort in Utah. Sign up for the Movara Newsletter to enjoy tasty and nutritious recipes every month.


April 1, 2015 |

The Grail Springs Alkaline Diet for Health and Wellness

Grail Springs Cuisine

The Alkaline Way – pHact or pHiction?
Madeleine Marentette, Grail Springs, Canada

With all the debate going on about detoxing and the benefits of adopting a pH balanced diet, healthy minded individuals are at a crossroads as to what to believe and what regime to follow in their quest for optimum health. So let’s look at some facts with a trip to the biology lab of our high school years and a little lesson in Acid-Alkaline 101. (more…)

March 31, 2015 |

Pritikin Lush Berry Pie

Berry Pie

Would you eat a cheeseburger for dessert? Well, that burger has roughly the same amount of artery-clogging saturated fats as regular slice of cherry or berry pie from a bakery.   Try this beautiful and tangy Pritikin Lush Berry Pie instead, and enjoy zero saturated fat but lots of lip-smacking flavor.


March 29, 2015 |

Fennel Kale Slaw

Fennel Kale Slaw Recipe
Full of color, texture and flavor – this recipe for Fennel Kale Slaw is a highly nutritious salad, especially when it is topped with mung bean sprouts! By the way, the longer it marinates the better it tastes!  It was developed by Marni Wasserman for Grail Springs Retreat in Ontario, where it is a guest favorite salad — and no one misses the mayonnaise.


March 26, 2015 |

Mountain Trek Roasted Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing

roasted vegetables

The right food combinations at the right time of day can create high energy and metabolic levels. Mountain Trek chefs and nutritionist together create meals that work, including Mountain Trek Roasted Vegetables served to guests for dinner.    This delicious recipe is perfect in fall when winter squash comes available, but also for a summer meal outside. Take advantage of your spring and summer harvest and swap out any of the vegetables for ones you prefer.


March 14, 2015 |

Canyon Ranch Burger

Canyon Ranch Light Burger

Spa Cuisine doesn’t automatically mean deprivation. With this simple recipe for a hamburger, Canyon Ranch reminds us that you can remain committed to healthy eating while still enjoying your favorite burgers simply by  not going overboard on high fat toppings.


March 8, 2015 |

Turkey Meatballs Al Forno

Turkey Meatballs

This recipe for Turkey Meatballs Al Forno is a perfect cold weather comfort food dish. Courtesy of California Health & Longevity Institute® near Los Angeles, the Institute offers a holistic approach to healthy living that unites renowned experts in the fields of Medicine, Nutrition, Fitness, Life Balance and Spa.


March 7, 2015 |

Peanut Butter Ricotta Spread


This is delicious and creamy way to enjoy the flavor of peanut butter, but a little less fatty version of it.  Peanuts and Peanut Butter are strongly flavored foods so a little goes a long way in flavoring this spread, which makes use of low fat or fat free ricotta cheese as another protein source.  Together, they make a fluffy peanut spread which is terrific on rice cakes or used as a dip for celery sticks and apple slices — and it’s popular with children and teens.


February 25, 2015 |

Heartland Spa Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

pb muffins

Heartland Health Spa is located just 90 miles south of Chicago, in Gilman, Illinois.  Once a busy dairy farm this destination health spa stays true to its roots by providing a welcoming, unpretentious, and nurturing environment for guests to relax, unplug and focus on lifestyle goals.      Chef Barb Peters and its registered dietitians are committed to providing you with a maximum level of nutrition, presented in delicious and satisfying ways. The Heartland Spa Recipe Collection is available for purchase.  Here is one of the popular recipes for Peanut Butter Banana Muffins, from the collection.


February 11, 2015 |

Italian Bacon Dumpling Soup

Bacon Dumpling Soup

This unique Bacon Dumpling Soup is a favorite of guests at the Adler Thermae Spa Resort in the Tuscany Region of Italy.   It is adapted from a favorite regional dish called Tyrolean Dumplings commonly served in the Dolomites, a mountain range located in northeastern Italy.  This lighter recipe is intended to be your soup and bread in one dish.  Make the dumplings petite (they plump up!) and you can divide this dish easily to keep the nutritional stats within your goal, and still enjoy rich flavor.


February 6, 2015 |

Jillian’s Biggest Loser Reuben Sandwich

reuben sandwich

The typical Reuben Sandwich is a hearty two-hand two-napkin affair, served hot with corned beef, Swiss cheese, usually dripping with Russian or Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. These ingredients are grilled between slices of rye bread.    A spinoff exists — the Rachel sandwich, which is a variation using pastrami instead of corned beef and coleslaw instead of sauerkraut.


January 28, 2015 |

Canyon Ranch Whole Wheat Quick Bread


 “We have been serving this coarse-textured, low-fat bread since the day we opened in Tucson. It is so popular with our guests that many of them order loaves of it to take home with them when they leave. It is especially good toasted and spread with a little of our Fitness Cheese or Fresh Apple Butter.” — Bringing the Spa Home | Canyon Ranch


January 25, 2015 |

Sweet and Spicy Wings | Movara Fitness Resort

Sweet and Spicy Wings

If you are an Hot Wings fan, you will love this healthier version with a savory sweete and spicy glaze, courtesy of the Executive Chef Sam Baker of Movara Fitness Resort in Utah. These Sweet and Spicy Wings are just 88 calories each and great for Super Bowl parties, picnics, pool-side snacks, or even to tote to work for lunch — they reheat well.   Sign up for the Movara Newsletter to enjoy tasty and nutritious recipes every month.


January 15, 2015 |

Roasted Pears and Raisins

Roasted Pears and Raisins

Roasted Pears  and Raisins with Star Anise makes for a delicious dessert suitable for all Ayurvedic doshas.  It satisfies your sweet tooth while offering a departure from refined sugars.  The spices enhance the sweetness and stimulate a sluggish winter metabolism. Cloves directly stimulate blood flow to the extremities, revitalizing the muscles, brightening and moistening the skin. 


January 13, 2015 |

Broadmoor Sweet Potato and Pear Soup


The original recipe for this decadent cold weather soup from the Broadmoor Resort relies on heavy cream as both its primary liquid and its creamy ingredient. Using our VitaMix blender which delivers superbly creamy and velvety textures to blended foods, we adapted this recipe and reduced the calorie content by using a mixture of 1 quart of chicken stock and 1/2 quart of whole milk in place of 1.5 quarts of heavy cream.  You can reduce the calories further by using non-fat milk, or, a dollop of Greek Yogurt for a tangy substitute, or no dairy products at all, although your soup will be thinner.  The key to the velvety texture in the lower calorie version is thorough blending.


January 10, 2015 |

Stuffed Green Chilis with Hominy Coulis


This is a terrific savory vegetarian entree from Red Mountain Spa in Utah.  It has a lengthy list of ingredients, so while not a quick entree, it’s worth the effort. The colors and depth of flavor make it very satisfying, and with two chilis per person, it’s filling.  It’s also a recipe which is fun to prepare with friends and family.

January 6, 2015 |

Cornmeal Walnut Waffles

Cornmeal Walnut Waffles

This recipe for Cornmeal Walnut Waffles is already health-conscious, but can also be easily converted to gluten-free if you are using GF oats and cornmeal, and it’s suitable for vegans as well (without even using the V word around your suspicious families, friends or guests).   We think that makes this recipe a perfect Christmas Morning breakfast option, particularly if you DO have dining companions with special dietary needs.    Everyone dines on the same delicious, warm and hearty fare.


December 24, 2014 |

Beet and Orange Salad

Beet and Orange Salad

Here is a delicious and vibrant recipe for Beet and Orange Salad from our vegetarian menu at the Cliffs of Moher Retreat. It’s one of the popular entrees with guests.    This retreat is set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher and the beautiful countryside of County Clare, Ireland.  We are located on the west coast of Ireland and Europe just about the mid-point of The Wild Atlantic Way, a 400 Kilometre stretch along the Ireland’s rugged western coastline.


December 12, 2014 |

Low Fat Lime Coffee Cake

lime juice

This is a wonderful low-fat coffee cake, great for breakfast, luncheons, and as a tea bread.  It isn’t overly sweet, but you can tone down the cup of sugar to make it less sweet and more tart.  By all means experiment with your favorite sweeteners, including Splenda for Baking, to reduce the calorie count. This cake does not need (and is not served with) a glaze, but if you desire an attractive topping, try it with a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut for added texture and flavor.

December 9, 2014 |

Kale Caesar Salad


This twist on the classic Caesar salad by the  Blum Center for Health is heartier and healthier. Kale contains essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Instead of anchovies, garlic and lemon give this salad a vibrant Italian bite while the naked goat cheese gives it a Parmesan-like flavor. Any of the available varieties of kale will taste delicious. If you can’t find naked goat cheese, use regular Parmesan. To make this a vegan dish, skip the cheese all together.

December 2, 2014 |

Black Dog Ginger Cookies

Black Dog Bakery Ginger Cookies - Martha's Vineyard
The signature ginger cookies from the famous Black Dog Bakery on Martha’s Vineyard are spiced up with fresh cinnamon and cloves, and molasses adds an even deeper richness. Ginger, believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, is an immune booster: perfect for cold season.   — AARP
November 25, 2014 |

Chocolate Dipped Rice Cakes

Chocolate Dipped Rice Cakes

This dessert is so simple, and isn’t restricted to the holidays.  With just three ingredients (and sometimes 2) you can have a crunch, sweet, low-fat treat. Use your favorite rice cake or puffed corn cake, melt semi-sweet good quality chocolate chips (or your favorite carob or peanut butter chips), add a drop of two of extract if desired, and you’ve got a light, satisfying dessert.

November 23, 2014 |

Fat Free Pumpkin Spice Cake

Fat Free Pumpkin Spice Cake

Many recipes which are fat-free often make up for the lack of flavor or texture with added sugar.  Many low-sugar recipes often make up for by adding fat.  It’s wise to study the ingredients carefully to make sure you’re trading one issue for another one.  With this Fat Free Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe, we save both fat and sugar calories.  The main binding ingredient is egg whites and canned pumpkin, and the sugar is just 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar for the entire recipe.   This recipe requires no frosting (just a dusting of sugar will do) and it  travels well, so take it to work parties, family dinners and holiday events.


November 16, 2014 |

Turkey Chili Con Carne with Vegetarian Option

Chili con carne and red peppers

Does your family serve Turkey or Ham for your holiday dinner?    In my family, my youth was spent eating Turkey on Christmas evening.  As we grew older and began to have a voice in the matter, we realized we were essentially creating the same meal for Christmas, as we’d created for Thanksgiving — a Turkey, Stuffing, and Yam dinner — so we changed it up and while we still go with tradition, its Turkey for Thanksgiving, and Baked Ham for Christmas.

What do you do with leftovers besides sandwiches?  Well, Turkey Soup was always a big one, and Ham Sandwiches.  We’re going to mix it up a bit this year — we’re sharing a healthy recipe for Turkey Chili and also a Ham and Spinach Quiche.


November 8, 2014 |

Curried Salmon Meatballs with Coconut Sauce

salmon meatballs

 This tasty seafood recipe was created by the Chef of The Narrows Restaurant at the Shore Lodge & Spa in McCall, Idaho, for it’s first ever April 2014 Shore Lodge Culinary Festival. The three-day event celebrated all things epicurean and saw acclaimed chefs competing in a Chopped-style “Culinary King of the Mountain” competition.  This recipe is one of the best results. (more…)

November 6, 2014 |

No Bake Avocado Chocolate Pie | Eden Health Retreat

avocado chocolate pie

This is a creamy, delicious and rich avocado chocolate pie recipe courtesy of the Eden Health Retreat Destination Spa in Queensland, Australia.   It’s easy as can be with ingredients made in your food processor, and relies on dates and almonds for the crust, and avocados, coconut oil and cacao for the rich filling.


November 2, 2014 |

Healthy Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casserole

Vita Vie Retreat is a wonderful Boot Camp Fitness and Wellness program in Delray Beach, Florida.  Here, they share a recipe for a Healthy Breakfast Casserole“I like to make this casserole not only because it tastes really good but also because it’s really convenient in the mornings. This feeds 2 of us for 3 mornings. I usually make 2 casseroles each week and mix up the veggies that I include in each way. Great way to get protein, fat and veggies all in one breakfast!”

October 23, 2014 |

Three Sisters Succotash


Corn, beans and squash are the principal foods of many Native American tribes. They’re called “the three sisters” because they support one another as they grow. The corn grows tall, allowing the bean vine to twine around her stalk. The bean fixes the nitrogen in the soil, and the squash has big leaves that hold in moisture.

October 13, 2014 |

Banana Vanilla Porridge – Eden Health Retreat

banana vanilla porridge

Cool weather has its own special reward though and generally it’s a time to balance out that summer activity with a little restorative balance. It’s also time to change over from our cooler summer foods to our warming winter ones which is nature’s way of making sure we nourish our bodies in a seasonally appropriate way.   I have the perfect recipe for starting your day.   This Banana Vanilla Porridge is warm, nutritious, health-giving and hearty!   High fibre, great for cholesterol and super for energy.


October 10, 2014 |

Lasagna Roll Ups

lasagna roll ups

Autumn always signifies comfort cooking, to us. We take the slow cookers out of storage, pour over casserole and pasta recipes, lay in a cord of firewood, and read cookbooks, nestled under a throw during the evening’s cooler temperatures.  Green Mountain at Fox Run in Ludlow, Vermont, has a Lasagne recipe that is fit and healthy, and still lets us taste the best of Autumn.

Green Mountain is the only all-women’s healthy weight loss program promoting long-term weight management through healthy lifestyle change. It also offers intensive type 2 diabetes programs to help women prevent or manage diabetes through lifestyle change.

October 4, 2014 |

Golden Door Australia Green Juice

Golden Door Spa Green Juice

A stay at Golden Door in Australia gives your body a rest from red meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and saturated fat. We find our guests are less likely to go back to their usual excessive levels once they have had the opportunity to have a break from these foods and then reintroduce them sensibly and in moderation.  One of our guests’ favorite recipes is this refreshing juice cocktail — Golden Door Green Juice.  A nice refreshing and cleansing drink to enjoy during the day or as a light meal. Nutrient packed and a good source of fibre.


September 29, 2014 |

Mango Ricotta Cheesecake Mousse – Golden Door Australia

mango ricotta cheesecake

A stay at Golden Door in Australia gives your body a rest from red meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and saturated fat. We find our guests are less likely to go back to their usual excessive levels once they have had the opportunity to have a break from these foods and then reintroduce them sensibly and in moderation.  One of our guests’ favorite dessert recipes is this refreshing Mango Ricotta Cheesecake Mousse.  A nice dessert with a tangy cheesecake flavor.  Wonderful on warm days when served chilled.


August 29, 2014 |

Canyon Ranch Cold Pea Salad

Peas Fresh

This unique salad is wonderful for entertaining because it can be made ahead of time. In fact, we like it even better the day after it is made. Because it is so easy to serve it is perfect for buffet-style service, a delightful addition to holiday menus, and great for picnics and tailgate parties. — Canyon Ranch


August 19, 2014 |

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Dressing

roasted beet salad

This delicious, rich and earthy Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Dressing salad was one of the fresh, organic meals served at the now-closed Aveda Spa Retreat, which sprawled over 300 acres in Osceola, Wisconsin. It was created by Aveda’s Chef Jim Kimberg and Head of Food Operations Betsy Nelson.  The retreat closed in 1998, but some of the recipes from its  restaurant, Organica, live on, including this salad.  This salad is good year round, but especially nice in Summer and Autumn — beets are at their best from June through October.

August 14, 2014 |

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint Recipe

watermelon salad

During what can be stiflingly hot, summer days, everyone craves cool refreshment, for both the body and tongue, whether it be by swimming in the sea, lakes, rivers or swimming pools, sipping iced tea and flavored waters, or staying indoors with the air conditioning and a cooling body treatment or facial. One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with chilled cuisine, and a particularly refreshing dish is a unique, Watermelon Salad with Feta and  Mint, served by a Virginia B&B — the Iris Inn — to its guests.


July 28, 2014 |

Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

 This summery BBQ Chicken Pizza relies on prepared gluten free pizza crusts, however, it’s just as easy to make it with other light crusts for those who can tolerate wheat.  For instance, two small whole wheat pita breads can stand in for the pizza crust, here, or a piece of whole wheat Naan bread.


July 3, 2014 |

Smothered Chicken Burrito

Smothered Chicken Burrito

This guest favorite savory dinner entree is a satisfying meal after a day of vigorous activity.  Now that we are in the summer months with swimming, hiking and biking ruling the day, you can afford a hearty supper like this Smothered Chicken Burrito.  While the list of ingredients looks longish, it actually isn’t if you take advantage of a summer barbecue and the bounty from your summer garden or local Farmer’s Market.  If you have friends and neighbors with extra squash and peppers, take them!   Just grill a few pieces of extra chicken and vegetables from your BBQ night and set them aside for this dish, and then just make the sauces to go along.  Couldn’t be easier.


July 3, 2014 |

Cardamom Banana Lime Smoothie

Cardamom Banana Lime Banana Smoothie

Bananas are the ideal delight on a hot summer afternoon for restoring electrolytes, and great for your skin. If you are feeling a little sluggish, its natural sugars will restore your energy levels as well. This Cardamom Banana Lime Smoothie has a nice sharp twist on the usual smoothie.


June 13, 2014 |

Fruity Spa Popsicles

frozen fruit popsicles

Trisha Shirey, the Director of Flora and Fauna at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas for the past 29 years, often turns to the resort’s award-winning organic gardens for inspiration as she spends much of her time caring for the vast amounts of herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and flowers that grow along the shores of the 19-acre lakeside retreat in the Texas Hill Country. (more…)

May 24, 2014 |

Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Caramelized Onions and Herb Dressing


As we’ve stated in other posts, a table laden with sweets at the holidays (or any time, really) can actually be tiresome if there are not other, clean-eating options to nibble on.  Our office building tenants in San Francisco socialize in a rooftop lounge area frequently and we always bring a savory dish, not a sweet one. This recipe, courtesy of  Dr. Mark Hyman, was met with rave reviews.  We served it as  part of a great antipasto, and is best made ahead of time, which is all the better for toting to a party.  We received many requests for both the recipe, and, for us to bring it again.


May 7, 2014 |

Pritikin Lighter Hummus Dip


Next time you want to nibble on a healthy dip, skip the dairy based varieties which can pack on extra calories.   This lighter but full-flavored version of hummus, a traditional Mediterranean dip, is a great source of of heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat and lean protein.  It’s made without all the salt and extra calories from the usual ingredients of oil and tahini (what you often get in store-bought varieties), and comes together in mere minutes.

April 25, 2014 |

Southern Style Greens


Greens are an excellent source of iron, calcium and vitamins. Instead of a kettle of greens simmered in pork fat all day, which can be high fat and high sodium, try this spa-style light version.   We love greens so much, we make them in place of chicken soup when we are ill.  Always what the doctor ordered. Serve with black beans and our spa style Corn Custard for a striking combination of colors and flavors. 


April 22, 2014 |

Crostini with Lima Bean and Pecorino Puree

lima bean puree

Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch (now closed) was formerly home to cowgirl chef, Paula Disbrowe, who spent time cooking in Tuscany and Provence. At Hart & Hind, she had access to locally grown produce (think citrus fruit, vibrant greens, fragrant peaches), fresh herbs, grains, beans, and lean proteins played a starring role on the menu. This appetizer is based on the fava bean purees enjoyed by Paula, in Tuscany. If you can find fresh fava beans, they are well worth the effort (the peeling them is a labor of love). Fordhook lima beans have a similar flavor and color, and they are available all year round. The garlic and cheese add a delicious, savory flavor while the lemon and mint add freshness. This puree is an unexpected bread topping and a wonderful appetizer with sparkling wine or sauvignon blanc.


April 13, 2014 |

Cucumber Mint Salad with Chives and Sesame

cucumber mint salad

This is a beautiful spring salad with fresh, bright, green flavors.  It can be customized any number of ways by substituting your favorite herbs.  It’s a wonderful side salad for a spa party or reception.  Don’t make it too far ahead, however — the cucumber ribbons tend to wilt after a time.


April 8, 2014 |

Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal

Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of our favorite comfort foods. It is delicious savory or sweet, thick or thin, sweet or unsweetened, and can be used in a myriad of different recipes to add fiber, texture, and heft. Is it a health food? Yes. The number of benefits afforded by incorporated oats in your diet would require a lengthy post, indeed.


March 16, 2014 |

Canyon Ranch Pumpkin Crunch

pumpkin crunch

From Canyon Ranch Health Spa comes this very fast Pumpkin Crunch recipe.   Use it as a breakfast cereal, or eat out of hand or top your yogurt with it. We like to keep a baggie in the car on long road trips — it’s an excellent trail mix.   Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated oils besides being a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.  Maple Syrup is a natural sweetener which turns a wonderful bronze color.  Use it to taste.  The cranberries add a tart flavor.  If you prefer something sweeter, tried dried cherries, blueberries, apricots, or even raisins.

March 11, 2014 |

Vermont Spa Style Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Vermont Spa Baked Sweet Potatoes spotlight wonderful ingredients from Vermont, but can easily be made wherever you are from, as well.   New Life Hiking Spa advocates a respect for the nutritional value of food as well as it origin, seasonality, availability and freshness.  Whenever possible, it serves food that is raised locally, using sustainable techniques by farmers and purveyors who have a respect and love of the land on which we live.


March 11, 2014 |

Jicama Slaw with Pink Grapefruit and Citrus Dressing

Jicama Grapefruit Slaw

Beneath its rough skin, jicama is pearly white, mildly sweet, and addictive juicy and crunchy, especially with a squeeze of lime. Slice it into elegant julienne and mix it with red cabbage and shredded carrots from the garden. Limes and grapefruit sparkle in the exotic citrus-based dressing. Use this recipe to inspire sea­sonal variations throughout the year—our Chef often substitutes cucumbers or zucchini in summer and small kohlrabis in fall. In class, she uses this recipe to teach knife technique and how to cut fine shreds (julienne.) — Kate @ Rancho La Puerta

March 9, 2014 |

Canyon Ranch White Bean Soup with Pesto

Canyon Ranch White Bean Soup with Pesto

Both the bean soup and the pesto in this recipe can be served separately. The soup is good served cold with chopped leftover vegetables added to it and the pesto is a wonderful sauce for pasta. This simple faux pesto sauce has fewer ingredients than the recipe for Pesto Sauce in Canyon Ranch cookbooks, which also contains Miso and pine nuts. It can be served for vegan-vegetarian menus at Canyon Ranch because it does not contain cheese.


February 25, 2014 |

Pritikin All Purpose Seasoning

Pritikin All Purpose Seasoning

The Pritikin Eating Plan is all about serving guests healthy, nutritious dishes which sate, and never deprive.  It’s all about the flavor and nutrition, and less about calories and counting.   In its cooking classes, and in recipes shared on its blog and with our readers, you’ll see references to Pritikin All Purpose Seasoning quite often.  Guests can buy a jar of this salt and preservative-free seasoning to take home, it can be ordered from Pritikin’s website, or, you can whip up a batch of your own.  


February 14, 2014 |

How to Host Spa Parties

Houstonian Spa Bridal Party

Admit it. You’ve attended enough bridal shower parties with corny games and cheesy prizes to last a life time. You secretly wilt at the thought of one more interminable afternoon slumped back in lumpy furniture watching the guest of honor open her gifts of tea towels, cake stands, and storage containers. You despair at the thought ingesting one more spoonful of the omnipresent marshmallow and mandarin orange gelatin salad or something with the name “Trash” in the name, followed by the “fruit punch” chaser, which looks alarmingly nuclear in origin and consists of a rapidly melting brick of pastel colored sherbet floating in ginger ale.

Fortunately for everyone involved, it’s your turn to host this gig and no one is eating Warehouse Store salads on your watch. You vow to plan something creative, fresh, tasty, and FUN, and we are here to help you do just that. (more…)

February 8, 2014 |

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

white chocolate cheesecake

This recipe  for White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake — a variation of the favorite served at Green Mountain at Fox Run — makes a special treat for your loved ones. As you can see, it doesn’t contain a lot of special low-fat ingredients; Green Mountain advocates portion control as the key to fitting this treat into a healthy eating plan.  The Spa Index Kitchen has baked this cheesecake with SPLENDA and reduced fat cream cheese with wonderful results, and we’ve often substituted other berries or fruit we have on hand. (more…)

February 6, 2014 |

Heart Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa Chef Drew Rosen has a passion for cuisine that is both heart-healthy and palate pleasing, and consistently garners rave reviews from Pritikin guests for rich, savory entrees, dishes that are all the more impressive considering that each follows Pritikin Eating Plan guidelines and is prepared without artery clogging fats like butter and cream and no added salt.


February 3, 2014 |

Broccoli Mushroom Quiche with Saltine Crust

This recipe for Broccoli Mushroom Cheddar Quiche is very simple and has good balance of protein, carbs and fat.  It’s delicious for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, and reheats well to take to work or casual pot luck.   We were very happy to learn about the crust tip  — we never thought to crush saltines in place of bread crumbs or flour. Bonus:  We had Whole Wheat Saltines!
January 31, 2014 |

Low Fat Coffee Creme Brulee

coffee creme brulee

This recipe for low fat coffee creme brulee is worth the effort of baking and caramelizing with  torch.   It incorporates both instant coffee granules and Kahlua, skim milk, eggs, reduced fat cream cheese, and more.  Perfect for a romantic dinner.


January 24, 2014 |

Seared Scallops and Radicchio Salad


This entree salad is a riot of flavor and may sound both fattening and complicated, but it comes together fairly quickly, and we reduced the fat of the dressing by decreased the amount of bacon.  We are in the “We Love Cilantro” camp, but many are not.  Adjust the herbs to your own taste (parsley is good albeit peppery) accordingly. (more…)

January 22, 2014 |

Low Fat Orange Maple French Toast

Maple Orange French Toast

Orange Maple French Toast is perfect for a special breakfast or brunch. Grated orange peel provides a real depth of flavor and with the maple syrup, it’s just sweet enough to feel indulgent.  It’s simple but so good, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Top with real Vermont maple syrup or a very light dusting of confectioners sugar, yogurt, pureed fresh berries for sauce, or combination of these.

January 20, 2014 |

Dijon Balsamic Chicken

Dijon Balsamic Chicken

This recipe for Dijon Balsamic Chicken, a guest favorite at Structure House in Durham, NC, is very simple and most of us have these ingredients in our pantry. Although it is written for the oven, it’s just as delicious over a backyard grill in warmer months.


January 17, 2014 |

Smoked Salmon and Beet Salad


This vibrant Smoked Salmon and Beet Salad courtesy of the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is a guest favorite.  It combines smoked salmon and roasted beets with cranberries, fennel and a honey balsamic vinaigrette.   Best of all, it requires no cooking if you can find smoked salmon at your grocer or specialty food market.   Try the thicker cuts you find vacuum sealed in a pouch in the seafood department.  If all you can find is thinly sliced lox, that will be just as delicious.


January 15, 2014 |

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Custard Cups


This beautiful breakfast of Oatmeal, Chocolate Chips and Egg Custard is courtesy of Jules Food.  We loved her idea of a portable breakfast which can be made ahead. The recipe makes six servings, and you can lid them and keep them for a breakfast each morning at the office or at school.  Heat slightly in a microwave if you prefer. It’s terrific warm, but is also quite good at room temperature.

January 13, 2014 |

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Muffin

Heartland Health Spa’s Chef Barb Peters and registered dietitian are committed to providing you with a maximum level of nutrition, presented in delicious and satisfying ways. The Heartland Spa Recipe Collection is available for purchase (Call 1-800-545-HTLD). Heartland would also like to offer you some recipes to try while you’re waiting for your Recipe Collection to be delivered, including this one.


January 10, 2014 |

Spinach Salad with Flax Seed Crunchies


This bright and festive salad is full of flavor, nutrition and anti-oxidants from the pomegranate, spinach and flax.  The Flax Seed Crunchies have butter and sugar, but only a small amount is needed to top this salad — you can omit if you need to eliminate sweets. (more…)

January 8, 2014 |

Miraval Honey Cornflake Chicken Fingers


The food at Miraval Resort & Spa in Arizona is healthful and flavorful. The pioneer for mindfulness in every aspect of life, one of the pillars of Miraval’s success is that healthy food can taste good. Long celebrated for delectable masterpieces in spa cuisine, Miraval’s culinary team has created a compilation of balanced recipes, representing an invitation to continue eating the Miraval way—by expanding and mixing and learning more about one’s needs while bringing diet into balance.

January 1, 2014 |

Homemade Chai Tea


Enjoy the exotic flavor of Chai Tea without leaving the comfort of your own home with this easy recipe courtesy of Splenda.  Once you’ve had Chai Tea brewed from your own tea with added spices, you’ll understand why the popular boxed concentrates just won’t do.


December 30, 2013 |

Avocado Walnut and Crispy Bacon Salad


Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring when you focus on bright, colorful meals. To get you started on the color palate, here is a deliciously interesting salad: Avocado, Walnut & Crispy Bacon.  While  all three of these foods are considered high fat, they are very satisfying when modest portions are measured out and will keep you sated.  This is a terrific Winter Entree Salad, when heavier, more calorie-dense meals are the norm.


December 23, 2013 |

Healthy Chef Skinny Dips


It’s time for a little skinny dipping over the holidays so I’ve given you my favorite healthy dip recipes.  There are 4 purely delicious dips to choose from and what I love about them is that they are easy to make and much healthier then store bought versions.  They all keep for about 4 – 5 days in the fridge, any leftovers are perfect to serve along side summer salads, dollop over steamed vegetables or pan roasted salmon or use as a sandwich spread in place of butter.

December 18, 2013 |

Almond Milk Cake

almond milk cake

This Almond Milk Tea Cake is a guest favorite at Red Mountain Spa.  It is best served for lunch, spa parties, and receptions.   The recipe has a fair amount of fat from the cream cheese, egg yolks and almond paste,  but it can easily be customized to use sugar substitutes.  Portion control is the reason guests are able to enjoy this dessert.


December 11, 2013 |

Rancho La Puerta Spa Chocolate Banana Bread

chocolate banana bread

Rancho La Puerta Spa is the original and oldest Destination Spa in North America, founded by Deborah Szekely in 1940 in Baja, California Mexico, just south of the US Mexican border, near San Diego.   Rancho La Puerta is called the “birthplace of spa cuisine” and deservedly so — it’s renowned for freshly picked produce and nutritious natural foods low in fat, sodium, and refined flour and sugar — while high in energy, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Lori of the popular RecipeGirl blog agreed to share her adaptation of the spa’s popular Chocolate Banana Bread recipe with us (pictured).   She tells her readers:  “This is a healthy, spa-version of chocolate-flavored banana bread… really different, I thought. I liken it to an energy treat you might try before a big hike. My family thought it was great!”

December 10, 2013 |

Canyon Ranch Spanish Onion Soup

Spanish Onions

Canyon Ranch Spanish Onion Soup uniquely differs from its French counterpart with its sightly creamier and thicker chicken stock base, white wine and garlic, and savory tortilla strips.  Spanish onions are more commonly called Yellow Onions in the USA.  

December 7, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Beef Stew


There isn’t a person among our families who doesn’t love this hearty stew.  Beef, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions and carrots are simmered until tender.  Perfect lunch, perfect dinner, perfect leftovers.  Young persons particularly like the sweeter flavor of the sweet potatoes over white, but all means substitute regular spuds if you have them on hand.


December 6, 2013 |

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

PB Love

These cookies are closer to shortbread in texture, and a nice treat when a sweet craving hits. The quantity, nutritional stats and such really depends on the size you roll them, and what type of peanut butter you use. Even vanilla extracts have different carb counts. Thus, the stats can vary greatly. Whatever your method, it’s a protein sweet with good fats and one or two are plenty.

November 25, 2013 |

Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies

It’s hard to go wrong with this classic cookie, and this recipe is especially easy — just five ingredients, including sunflower oil instead of butter, which means less saturated fat. Oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and is full of antioxidants.  Good with a glass of milk as an after-school snack, or as part of a packed lunch or picnic.   — AARP


November 25, 2013 |

Cantucci Almond Cookies

cantucci cookies

These twice-baked, biscotti-style almond cookies are native to Tuscany and excellent with post meal coffee or dessert wine. They have only 3 grams of fat per cookie, because, like amandines, they are made without butter or oil. — AARP


November 25, 2013 |

Raisin Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies

A healthful cookie for breakfast? Sign us up! Orange juice and prunes or applesauce, rather than butter, play the major role in moistening these cookies, which have enough fiber to be satisfying. And enough flavor to disappear fast.  — AARP

November 25, 2013 |

Amaretti Cookies


Anyone who knows Italian sweets knows that amaretti are quite popular. These cookies, a sweet flourless treat, can also be made with hazelnuts. A serving has 5 grams of protein, thanks to the nuts.  They freeze well, so you can make them ahead of time and then take them out an hour before serving.  — AARP


November 25, 2013 |

Old Fashioned Almond Cookies


These delectable almond cookies, also called amandines, are a specialty of Arnaud Larher’s Montmartre patisserie. They are low-fat (no butter or oil), sophisticated and versatile — the ideal accompaniment for coffee, tea, hot chocolate or ice cream. — AARP


November 25, 2013 |

Ginger Drizzle Cookies

ginger drizzle cookies

For the past 20 years, Janice has been part of a neighborhood holiday cookie swap. Her best pal, Mary, always bakes gingersnap cookies, and they’re the first cookies Janice’s girls look for when she brings home her holiday bounty. To health-ify Mary’s “famous” recipe, we swap half the white flour with whole wheat, use canola oil in place of (gasp!) shortening, add some ground flaxseed, and create a simple sugar glaze. These cookies are great for the holidays—or for any time of the year. Just don’t tell Mary our secret. — AARP


November 25, 2013 |

Baked Oatmeal Custard


Isn’t this a beautiful breakfast?   We love oats in all forms, from baked goods to granola to hot cereal, but this baked oatmeal custard is a new favorite on the breakfast table, and what’s more — it has great nutritional stats (the version with protein powder has protein from eggs, cottage cheese and whey).   Best of all, it keeps well and may be quickly reheated in the microwave for a weekday warm morning meal. This will come in handy now that the Autumn mornings are cooler.   (more…)

November 11, 2013 |

Gluten Free Almond Blueberry Muffins

gluten free blueberry muffins

Blum Center for Health (located just moments from Doral Arrowwood Hotel Conference Center in Rye Brook, New York) uses their expertise in Food as Medicine, Mind.Body.Spirit and Functional Medicine to custom design your treatment program. Classes offered include Nutrition in the Kitchen as well as cooking gluten free, and cooking with children.   Guest favorite recipes includes Gluten Free Almond Blueberry Muffins.

November 5, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Raspberry Jelly Rolls

Jelly Rolls

These Raspberry Jelly Rolls are excerpted from The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook by Chef Devin Alexander and the Biggest Loser Expert and and Cast, with Melissa Roberson.     “I included a recipe for Better Blueberry Pancakes in the first Biggest Loser Cookbook that I continually receive fan letters about,” says Devin. “Since they’ve been so well received, I’ve created these not-exactly-jelly-rolls using that pancake batter as a base instead of buttery, sugary cake batter.” (more…)

November 5, 2013 |

Vegetarian Collard Greens


One of our staples during all of our holiday meals is Collard Greens.  I wanted to create a tasty vegetarian option because the holiday season would not be the same without them on my plate.  They have been endorsed from my family members from the south so you know they are good!  Enjoy.

November 4, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Pumpkin Creme Brulee


This healthy and delicious holiday Pumpkin Crème Brulee recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef Cameron Payne of Biggest Loser Resort.  Pumpkin is a nutritional superstar, of course.  It is high in fiber and low in calories, packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.  Mori Nu pudding mix a popular product which, when mixed with silken tofu, makes a creamy, low fat and healthy pudding dessert.  (more…)

October 28, 2013 |

Grilled Prawn Salad with Avocado Aioli

grilled prawn salad

Prawns are similar to shrimp but are a bit larger in size. If you can’t find prawns at your local grocery store or fish market, you can use fresh or frozen jumbo shrimp. This Grilled Prawn Salad provides plenty of potassium, folate and heart-healthy fats. It makes for a delicious light lunch.  The Avocado Aioli is also a wonderful dip for appetizers or to use in place of salad dressing, or, as a topping for some of our light taco recipes.


October 23, 2013 |

Spa Biscuits and Gravy

Skinny biscuits

Biscuits and Gravy on a spa menu?  Yes, Canyon Ranch adapted this hearty breakfast favorite for its guests.   It relies on lower fat chicken sausage and its light white sauce, lower in fat than a traditional bechamel (white sauce gravy) served over whole-wheat biscuits.  What it loses in fat it more than makes up for in the savory herbs and flavors. Best of all, each serving has a satisfying portion of a half-cup of gravy.

October 21, 2013 |

Red Mountain Green Chili Pork Posole

Red Mountain Destination Spa

Posole is a traditional latin american dish with ancient origins. Maize was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and others in  Mesoamerica, and pozole was created as a celebratory meal for special occasions.  The Aztecs included human-shaped dumplings out of masa dough.   Posole is now a favorite entree in many Mexican restaurants.  The maize is represented by hominy kernals.  Often, you will see it garnished with avocado.  This is a healthy fat, so if you can spare the calories, by all means add it. 


October 11, 2013 |

Green Valley Mushroom Soup

Mushrooms, sliced

This Green Valley Spa recipe for Mushroom Soup can easily be made vegan by omitting the skim milk and replacing it with soy milk or veggie broth.  With either version, however, you’ll taste the mushrooms, and not the inside of a tin can.  This is not a thick soup, although sometimes we like to puree it for a silky version.  We find we need to season it to taste with fresh herbs (thyme is particularly good in the Spring), as this soup is quite basic. 


October 10, 2013 |

Broccoli Bacon Mac and Cheese


If you are trying to get your family to eat healthier or get the kids to branch out from just pasta and cheese for dinner, this dish may make the transition easier. When my daughter was young, we called this dish “Goulash” and she loved it. As a side dish this can be served alongside a chicken breast, burger patty, or other protein choice. For a Goulash-style complete meal, add protein to the dish:   chopped chicken, Canadian bacon, ham, ground meat, etc. Substitute broccoli with cauliflower or eliminate bacon and replace with turkey bacon or pancetta. The choices are endless.

October 7, 2013 |

Canyon Ranch Crepes with Fruit

Fruit Crepes

Crepes are a terrific alternative when you have a craving for pancakes.  The batter is thinner and lighter than pancake and waffle batter, and makes a delicate wrapper for fillings, which can include fruit, ricotta cheese, or even cottage cheese.  The end result with a few fruit filled crepes in a breakfast rich in nutrients and fiber (and added protein if you use ricotta or Greek yogurt), and not that “heavy” feeling so common with a heavy pancake and syrup breakfast.


September 27, 2013 |

Vegan Vanilla Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream


I created this ice cream for my brother-in-law who was musing on his fond childhood memories of butterscotch ripple ice cream. I served it yesterday at lunch and everyone was thrilled with my creation.  It harkens back to that rich creamy butterscotch ripple ice-cream that had the perfect combination of smooth caramel sweet with a touch of salt to balance the flavor. I used medjool dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla and crushed dark chocolate with almonds to add a rich crunch and sweet healthy flavors.   Marian Tobin-Hardy, Naturally Well By The Sea Health Retreat, Florida


September 26, 2013 |

Super Food Pumpkin Pancakes


Think of the word pumpkin and images of jack-o-lanterns and whipped cream covered Thanksgiving pies will probably pop into your mind. Pumpkin is traditionally considered a holiday food and is a staple in our kitchen pantries and freezers during that festive time of the year. However, did you know that pumpkin is actually one of our Super Foods?

September 19, 2013 |

Peanut Butter Ricotta Cookies


This recipe for healthy ricotta cookies is from Shaun T, creator of the Insanity Workout. Made with ricotta cheese, they are high in calcium and one serving is only 50 calories and 2.6 grams of fat – a perfect midmorning snack that will tide you over until lunchtime.  Makes five cookies (1 per serving).


September 18, 2013 |

Fudgy Fig Nut Brownies


Moist, chewy and so easy, this recipe for Fudgy-Fig-Nut Brownies is made with rich dark chocolate, crunchy toasted walnuts and surprise-sweet — figs. Taste and health have joined together with simple directions to deliver brownies fit for every day or special occasions such as Spa Parties, Office Pot Lucks, Father’s Day, Fourth of July and Birthdays.

September 17, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Bon Bon Chicken Salad

bon bon chicken

As any fan of Asian takeout knows, most items on the menu go heavy on oil, sodium and portion sizes.  Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander found a way to create the flavors you crave without breaking your calorie budget.  This tasty bon bon chicken salad is made of poached chicken with a savory Asian Peanut Sauce, cucumbers, scallions and sesame seeds.   “I love serving this dish in lettuce cups when I’m looking for a super-satisfying, low-carb meal,” says Devin.   “As an alternative to poaching the chicken as directed below, you can use up any leftover grilled, roasted or baked chicken you have on hand.”


September 15, 2013 |

Quick Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros  — or “Ranch Eggs” — is a popular breakfast of eggs and tortillas.   Savory egg dishes such as this one are typically served in Mexico at “almuezo”  — the second breakfast served to hard-working ranch hands and farm workers after their early-morning chores — they need to build more energy after a morning of hard work.  The most basic version of huevos rancheros consists of fried corn tortillas, topped with scrambled or fried eggs, and a tomato–chili sauce or salsa.   Common toppings include refried beans, avocado, chili peppers, and even fried potatoes.

While this can be a high-fat entree, it doesn’t have to be, and best of all, it is nutritionally balanced and nutrient dense. 


September 13, 2013 |

Low Sugar Apple Crisp

Recent studies have shown that phytonutrients in apples may help balance blood sugar.  This is great news for diabetics because this recipe can help them satisfy their sweet tooth.  Apples have been shown to help regulate blood fats with the pectin they contain and reduce heart disease, as well..


September 12, 2013 |

Apple Endive Salad


I just love the autumn flavors of fresh, crisp apples, walnuts and endive mixed with some delicious Gorgonzola cheese.  Toss this salad with some greens for a holiday salad or add some turkey from Thanksgiving for a scrumptious lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!


September 4, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Sesame Asparagus


Just after Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander wrote “The Biggest Loser Flavors of the World Cookbook,” she had a few of the contestants over for dinner to enjoy some of the Asian takeout favorites from the book.     “After planning the menu,” she says, “I went to the grocery store. The asparagus looked amazing and happened to be on sale, so I threw together this dish at the last minute to serve with the other Asian dishes. It was such a hit that all of the contestants wanted the recipe – so I figured you would, too!


September 3, 2013 |

Calming Creamy Tumeric Tea

tea ingredients

Dr. Sanjay Gupta drinks a creamy cup of turmeric tea every night to help calm his nerves, but the benefits of this colorful drink don’t end there: A recent study suggests that curcumin, a brain-boosting chemical in turmeric, could help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by helping hippocampal brain cells grow.


September 1, 2013 |

Avocado Aioli


This creamy, garlicky Avocado Aioli is a topping for a delicious Grilled Prawn Salad, but is a wonderful dip for appetizers or to use in place of salad dressing, or, as a topping for some of our light taco recipes, and even as a spread on sandwiches. Try it with a Light BLAT — a bagel thin or pita bread spread with Avocado Aioli, a few slices of turkey bacon, and fresh tomatoes with mixed greens.


September 1, 2013 |

Saffron Orange Pine Nut Bread

saffron bread

This is Rancho La Puerta’s agave-sweetened take on a traditional Swedish treat — Saffron Buns.   The buns are also popular in the UK and are baked for special occasions, including festivals, feasts, and receptions.   Unfortunately, most commercial saffron buns and cakes are artificially colored because saffron is such an expensive spice. Fortunately, a little goes a long way, and the flavor is unique, so find the good stuff if you can.


August 30, 2013 |

Grilled Turkey Saltimbocca


This delicious high protein and low fat Grilled Turkey Saltimbocca makes a wonderfully quick weeknight supper, and leftovers are a delicious sandwich or wrap the following day.  You can find thin sliced turkey breast cutlets in many major grocery stores, so buying a whole turkey isn’t necessary. If you can’t find them, substitute thinly sliced or pounded chicken cutlets. With a few elegant side dishes, it can easily be presented for a romantic meal.  The flavor is greatly enhanced by the thinly sliced prosciutto. A little goes a long way, which is so rewarding when cooking light.


August 30, 2013 |

Zucchini Fries


Serve this delicious, low-carb and low-fat version  of “Fried Zucchini” with your favorite burger or sandwich.  Here, it is served with lite Sour Cream. This will surely become a family favorite in your home just as it is in ours.

August 29, 2013 |

Skinny Stuffed Potato Skins


The potato side dish you’ve been waiting for! This updated version of an old time favorite is just as good but is much lower in carbohydrates . Serve as a meal with a side salad or scale it down for a snack or appetizer.  Using meat, each serving contains approximately 30 grams of protein, 22 grams of net carbs and 12 grams of fat.

August 29, 2013 |

Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark


Chocolate. I know I am not alone in my feelings when it comes to this much coveted delight. The question is, how do we indulge this guilty pleasure without sinning too much? The secret is in the quality and purity of the ingredients we choose that will determine its benefits and pleasure.

I believe I have come up with the perfect recipe which combines all the health-giving benefits of this food without sacrificing taste or pleasure. This raw cacao bark is very low carb and is sweetened with stevia powder or agave.  The ingredients are few and the recipe very fast and easy.   Enjoy and indulge your passion for chocolate the healthy way! Marian Tobin-Hardy, Naturally Well By The Sea Health Retreat, Florida


August 26, 2013 |

Sake Lime Vinaigrette – 20 Calories

sake with lime

The Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui offers a legendary menu of Pacific Rim cuisine.  This dressing is served with its Ahi Tuna entrees, but it melds nicely with any lighter-fare seafood salad because a little bit goes a long way, which is usually the case with intensely flavored, sharp flavors.  You’ll use less if your tastebuds are “alive” with sufficient flavor.  We like this drizzled over sashimi, sushi, and canned albacore tuna flakes, in place of mayonnaise.


August 26, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Crispy Peanut Butter Squares


This dessert is perfect for bake sales and school lunches and are sure to become favorites in your home. Kid and Family Approved, not to mention coworkers and neighbors.  There is never a time our tray of these crunchy squares doesn’t disappear immediately.  One of our staff’s teenage daughters said “I’m all for testing the spa recipes, but it’s nice when you make a regular treat like these!”   We waited until after she’d enjoyed them before telling her she was eating a Biggest Loser endorsed treat.


August 23, 2013 |

Super Salmon Blueberry Salad


 This salad is a power house of super foods!  Super Anti Oxidant Blueberries and Omega-3 rich Salmon are simply dressed with sweet onions, red wine vinegar, a little seasoning, and olive oil. It’s simple and perfect.


August 20, 2013 |

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Orange Glaze

Zucchini season is in full swing and if you have a garden, you’ll likely have a bumper crop of squash by now.  While it’s great on its own, zucchini also provides wonderful texture and moistness when added to cakes and breads. This chocolate zucchini cake with a hint of orange is a very popular dessert at Green Mountain at Fox Run, Vermont, a health retreat for women.  Taste it and you’ll know why!
August 19, 2013 |

Orange Pekoe Iced Tea Popsicles

Orange Pekoe

This summery tea popsicle is such a nifty way to serve “tea” and can be made full-calorie (with orange juice and sugar), or lower calorie, as modified.  Orange Pekoe is a black tea — it has no orange flavoring. The “orange” refers to the bright color of the oxidized tea leaves.   This recipe, however, adds that orange flavoring!

August 6, 2013 |

Golden Door BBQ Chicken

Golden Door Spa Cuisine

Chef Michel Stroot, author of the best-selling Golden Door Cookbook, uses Golden Door’s own four-acre organic garden for his mostly vegetarian dishes, and he adorns the menu with classic summer fare, like this low-fat recipe that he calls “an outstanding example of a simple American favorite.”


July 12, 2013 |

Green Bean Potato Salad

green bean potato salad

The bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables at Farmer’s Markets and Produce Stands makes it easy to select healthy and flavorful side dishes to accompany the sizzling steaks, chicken, and hamburgers of summer months.  Banish the mayonnaise coated potato salad from your picnic table, and try this light, flavorful Green Bean and Red Potato Salad instead, courtesy of Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont.


June 13, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Raspberry Sorbet


 The sky’s the limit for flavor possibilities with this frozen sorbet recipe, because you can use different berries or fruits, such as peaches or mango. We think it’s best as it is, but for a variation we added one big dollop of sugar free fat free non-dairy whipped topping to the blender to make a dark pink “ice cream.” You could do the same with a few spoonfuls of fat free half and half (it does have it uses) or even soy milk or creamer.


June 11, 2013 |

Greek Ribbon Squash Salad


Isn’t this a beautiful salad? We found it browsing the  McCormick’s website and thought it was a perfect Summer Spa Salad.  Ribbons of summer squash are dressed in a Greek vinaigrette for an appealing summertime salad. For effortless, paper-thin squash ribbons, use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin.  We enjoyed this salad with grilled Halloumi in place of the Feta, for an entree-salad.

June 10, 2013 |

Kiwi on Snow


Chef Michel Stroot created this recipe for Golden Door Spa, Escondido, CA.   Although Kiwi fruit are lovely in salads and as a garnish, they are not terribly interesting to us as far as flavor.  We prefer fresh berries from our market.  You can call it Berries on Snow, Cherries on Snow, or any fresh, sliced or dried fruit you like! 

June 7, 2013 |

Strawberry Parfait with Orange Custard Sauce


Spring and Summer is the time for strawberries.  One glamorous way to show them off is in a parfait.  You can make a Strawberry Parfait with frozen yogurt, ice cream, pudding or custard — all relatively easy and pretty to serve.  This version calls for a made-from-scratch soft custard.  We’ve given a stovetop or microwave method.


June 7, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Breakfast Burrito


Breakfast burritos are an easy, wholesome and portable breakfast, and while most will have a decent number of protein calories, the frozen or fast-food variety are usually laden with cheese and fatty meats.  This version lightens the whole affair without sacrificing any flavor. They freeze well, so can be toted to work for a quick breakfast before your day begins.


April 8, 2013 |

Canyon Ranch Teriyaki Steak

teriyaki steak

When we were teenagers, going out for dinner to have teriyaki steak was fun and a novelty.  This was in the hey day of the Polynesian influence in restaurants and decor in sunny California, with flaming cocktails served along side entrees that only had a modicum of authenticity, but were colorful and fun.   As we grew older and began to appreciate a fine steak sans toppings, teriyaki steak, with its thick sugary glaze,  became a thing of the past.   Fortunately grilling and cooking has evolved again and now you get the both of best worlds — a grilled steak with ample flavor and a less sugary glaze which compliments, rather than hides, your meal.     We don’t have tiki decor on the patio anymore, but we still light torches to serve this entree.


March 29, 2013 |

Breakfast Bread Pudding

bread pudding with raisins

This easy-to-make bread pudding freezes very well (after baking and cooling) and therefore can be made ahead of time and popped in the microwave to reheat for a fast and healthy breakfast. It can also be made into muffins. Just mound the mixture into each of 12 sprayed muffin tins or custard cups and shorten the baking time by about 5 minutes.  This makes it also a portable breakfast.  Take it to work and leave it in the freezer so you have something nourishing in a few minutes time.


March 25, 2013 |

French Canadian Spring Pea Soup

Pea and Lettuce Soup

Nothing tastes more like a Spring Garden than a bowl of this Spring Pea Soup with a vegetable sandwich and a light smoothie. It works well as both a warming bowl in colder months, but it’s also the perfect entree for a “Ladies’ Spa Lunch” in the Spring.

March 25, 2013 |

Spa Orange Almond Brown Rice Pilaf


At Hilton Head Health weight loss spa, guests enjoy a meal plan with delicious flavors and realistic portions.  The Chef and Culinary Team have created a low-calorie, healthy gourmet cuisine with an emphasis on local and natural ingredients to ensure a well-balanced weight loss diet.   One of the popular recipes served at the Institute is this Orange Brown Rice Pilaf.

March 19, 2013 |

Pear Apple Honey Souffle


This was a guest favorite dessert at Hart and Hind Fitness Ranch in Texas, which is now, sadly, closed.  “Hands down, the favorite dish of the week at Hart & Hind – a vote that ensured it would become a staple – was a pear, apple, and honey soufflé. The striking dessert couldn’t be easier to prepare. Organic pears and apples are peeled, cooked down, then blended into a thick puree (imagine the world’s best apple sauce). The mixture is flavored with a drop of Mexican vanilla, then folded into whipped egg whites and baked. It’s a revelation to discover that so few – and such lean – ingredients can create such a satisfying dessert.”   — Chef Paula Disbrowe, formerly of Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch

March 14, 2013 |

Coconut Honey Granola

Coconut Granola

This tasty high fiber granola gets it natural sweetness from coconut and honey, instead of brown or refined or artificial sugars. We liked it with chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds, but you can substitute sunflower seeds, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds as well, which goes well with coconut.

Granola tends to get a bad rap from those who want to remind everyone it isn’t a health food.  In the sense that it isn’t a low calorie food, that’s true, but it’s a good calorie food with the “satiety” factor.   You can eat a bowl with almond milk, but as often as not, we only need a 1/2 cup serving, with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sliced fruit, to hold us all morning, or a spoonful over plain yogurt as a topping. (more…)

March 4, 2013 |

Chicken Tenders DiSpirito


Chef Rocco DiSpirito shows how to make this Southern favorite Chicken Tenders, without the fat.   Your family will love this recipe, and it totes well to pot lucks, lunches at work, picnics in the park, and road trips.  No one doesn’t love chicken fingers.

March 1, 2013 |

Creamy Kiwi Dressing

Kiwi Fruit

This dressing can be used on salads of all types, or as a sauce on cold fish, poultry, or meat. Also, by substituting white wine or pineapple juice for the rice vinegar called for, it can be served as a dessert or a chilled fruit soup. The exotic sweet-tart flavor of the kiwi works equally well in both sweet and savory dishes, making it an exceedingly versatile ingredient.


February 28, 2013 |

Structure House Shrimp and Salmon Pasta

Shrimp Mushroom Pasta

Structure House in Durham, North Carolina is a respected residential weight loss program founded upon the philosophy that achieving and maintaining weight loss goals is the result of changing the way overweight individuals think about nutrition, exercise and the role food plays in their lives.   This recipe is popular with guests as a hearty pasta and seafood lunch ideal for after a morning of exercise, hiking, or swimming.

February 13, 2013 |

Structure House Wellspring Baked Oatmeal


Structure House in Durham, North Carolina is a respected residential weight loss program founded upon the philosophy that achieving and maintaining weight loss goals is the result of changing the way overweight individuals think about nutrition, exercise and the role food plays in their lives.   This recipe is popular with guests as a hearty breakfast with great “staying power.”

February 2, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Carne Asada


This steak cooks very, very quickly,” says Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander. “Be sure to watch it carefully so that you don’t overcook it. One full minute per side on my grill resulted in a well-done steak when I used 2 1/2-pound pieces.”

January 31, 2013 |

Black Bean Salad

black beans

This is a simple bean salad from The UltraMetabolism Cookbook 200 Delicious Recipes That Will Turn on Your Fat-Burning DNA. Dr. Mark Hyman, The UltraWellness Center.   Like any bean salad, this one is best made ahead of time, so the flavors can reach their full potential before serving.  The dressing is equally good on garbanzo beans or kidney beans.


January 30, 2013 |

Jet Fuel 5 Calorie Salad Dressing

Spa Index Herbs

This fat-free salad dressing used at Canyon Ranch is from a book called Jet Fuel, The New Food Strategy for the High Performance Person, published in 1984.   Don’t worry about the vintage origins — this isn’t one of those old recipes from a musty thrift-store cookbook your grandmother used.  This dressing has remained so popular with guests at Canyon Ranch that they keep it on the menus — and still call it Jet Fuel Dressing.    The flavor is better if the combination is made the day before you plan to use it, allowing the flavors, especially optional add-ins,  to marry.

January 30, 2013 |

Harvest Quinoa Pilaf


We adapted this version of a similar recipe for Three-Grain Pilaf with Dried Apricots & Cherries which appeared in USA Weekend in 2005.     Quinoa (“keen-wah”) is highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (14% by mass) and is source of complete protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.


January 24, 2013 |

Vegetarian Chili


This is a great one-pot meal that you can whip up for a party or stash in the freezer for those chilly winter days. The mix of beans make this high in protein and fiber and the spices are loaded with healing properties. Top the chili with slices of avocado for some healthy fat or serve it over brown rice. (more…)

January 23, 2013 |

Ginger Elixir

ginger elixer

Ginger is an ancient Asian remedy for digestive problems and can ease an upset stomach.  At La Costa Resort and Spa in California, their Ginger Elixir, a non-alcoholic “ayurvedic cocktail” from the Legends Bistro and the Spa Café, is best served before a meal.


January 21, 2013 |

Hilton Head Health Institute Chicken Poached in Orange Spice Tea

orange tea

At Hilton Head Health weight loss spa, guests enjoy a meal plan with delicious flavors and realistic portions.  The Chef and Culinary Team have created a low-calorie, healthy gourmet cuisine with an emphasis on local and natural ingredients to ensure a well-balanced weight loss diet.   One of the popular recipes served at the Institute is this poached chicken, which uses the inventive ingredient of Orange Spice Tea.

January 21, 2013 |

Apricot Kale Smoothie

The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu

The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu assists guests in recalibrating their mind, body and spirit through an intensive week long endurance, wellness and nutrition program. Located three miles above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Monica Mountains, the 15-cottage retreat is beautifully situated on a large working ranch.    The open-air kitchen at The Ranch makes meal time a communal experience. Guests are encouraged to join the Chef during his weekly cooking class to learn the basic techniques and skills required to create a healthy plate.  These lessons are reinforced when guests return home with regular communication from The Ranch, including seasonal recipes and tips for maintaining results, like this Apricot Kale Smoothie.


January 18, 2013 |

Biggest Loser Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

The translation of the French term “Cordon Bleu” is “blue ribbon” — something special and of top quality.  The blue-ribbon method for Chicken Cordon Bleu (although Veal Cordon Bleu is more traditional),  calls for a chicken cutlet , pounded very thin and wrapped around a thin slice of ham or prosciutto, a thin slice of Swiss Cheese, and then breaded and pan fried in butter or oil.

This combination of flavors is a winner indeed, but this dish can be a calorie power-house. Fortunately, this is an easy dish to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, and Biggest Loser Resorts have done so, in their Biggest Loser Cookbook collection.


January 14, 2013 |

Red Mountain Spa Shrimp Diablo

shrimp diablo

The Essential Retreat at Red Mountain Resort in Utah includes daily guided hiking, three healthy gourmet meals from a full menu, fitness classes,  wellness discussions and cooking demonstrations, use of the resort amenities, including bikes and the inspiration trail, and complimentary Wi-Fi.    Can’t visit just yet?  Try one of the resort’s popular recipes. Shrimp Diablo Red Mountain Spa is a fiery dish sure to warm you up on a cold or rainy evening.  

January 11, 2013 |

Low Fat French Onion Soup

Low Fat French Onion Soup

This is a classic soup belonging in every collection.   Here, though, we eliminated some of the fat calories but reducing the amount of cheese and  the type. Here, its reduced fat Jarlsberg, which gives a nice nutty flavor and retains a cheesy consistency, or reduced fat thinly sliced Sargento Swiss, which is so delicate it’s like cheese paper (see our note), but very flavorful.  Although it calls for thinly sliced baguette or French bread, we’ve also made it with toasted wheat pita bread with great success.

January 3, 2013 |

Sweet Potato Mushroom Wrap Recipe

Sweet Potatoes

Here’s a great way to get your vegetables and love every bite!  This tasty sweet potato mushroom wrap recipe is courtesy of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a for-women-only health retreat in the green hills of Vermont.  It may look complicated, but it really goes quickly and is worth the time you invest. If some of the vegetables aren’t your favorites, experiment with those you love.  For instance, fresh spinach, shredded carrots, kale, and even parsnips, which are very sweet, will all make a wonderful sweet potato mushroom wrap.


December 17, 2012 |

Quick Egg Drop Soup

Quick Egg Drop Soup

The groaning table of Thanksgiving has been cleared, the leftovers are hopefully gone, and the question what do fix that’s light, flavorful, quick and easy — Quick Egg Drop Soup is the answer.   This light but nutritious Egg Drop Soup is  easily customized to your personal preferences. It’s gentle on the stomach, ideal for bariatric patients or those recovering from an illness, and a good way to hydrate with a meal after a workout.   We like to use homemade broth, but store bought will work fine provided it’s low sodium.  It’s particularly nice with a handful of chopped steamed asparagus.


November 26, 2012 |

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie

cream cheese Pumpkin-Pie

 This diabetic friendly recipe was submitted as a holiday dessert. As an occasional recipe, it is quite tasty, albeit we normally don’t use so many artificially sweetened products in one recipe. If you don’t have an issue with sucralose based products, you’ll enjoy this recipe, as we did.


November 22, 2012 |

Lake Austin Spa Grilled Turkey Cristo Sandwich

Grilled Turkey Cristo Spa Index

This simple spa style grilled turkey cristo sandwich is from the kitchens of the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas.  Simple and wholesome, this sandwich features turkey, tomato, and Swiss cheese, and is dipped in egg white before grilling.  This is a lower fat cousin of the calorie-dense “Monte Cristo” which traditionally would be sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with fruit preserves for dipping.

October 29, 2012 |

Pomegranate Ginger Elixir


Pomegranates are a new superfood:  They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.   Take advantage of a SuperFood with this lively elixir, perfect for breakfast or in place of a cocktail at parties.  We use 1/2 package of seeds for this recipe from the La Costa Resort & Spa in Southern California.  You may also buy 100% pom juice, and proceed, starting with approximately 1 cup, and adjusting to your taste.

October 29, 2012 |

Biggest Loser Breakfast Sausage

Breakfast Sausage

Think making your own sausage is complicated, with special sauces, casings, and appliances?  Nope!  This recipe for healthy breakfast sausage is courtesy of Chef Devin Alexander and The Biggest Loser Cookbook. You’ll be surprised how easy it is, and being able to control the quality of your ingredients is worth the few minutes it takes to whip up these flavorful patties.


October 4, 2012 |

Biggest Loser Roast Beef Roll Ups


This savory roll up sandwich is portable for work, school or play, or for serving at a party or reception.  We made these for a holiday party in our office building.  The table was laden with sweet treats, but almost nothing savory (unless you count purchased carrot sticks with ranch dressing, and chips and salsa).  Our plate of roast beef roll ups was cleared first.   This recipe uses whole wheat tortillas, reduced fat cream cheese, roasted peppers, and fresh basil.   Plus, a tip for why you should roast your own bell peppers.


October 3, 2012 |

Gigante Bean Salad with Black Olive and Pesto Recipe

Gigante Bean Salad

Nestled in the sand on the Santa Monica coast in California, Shutters On The Beach is a favorite luxury seaside resort, serving up fresh and delicious food with style year-round.   In The Summertime Anytime Cookbook, Dana Slatkin shares 130 irresistible recipes from her family’s celebrated hotel for any day or night at the beach, including this delicious salad.


September 24, 2012 |

Spa Bechamel Sauce

Onions Garlic

There is no getting around the calorie content of a traditional Béchamel Sauce, also known as white sauce, and one of the “mother sauces” of French Cuisine.  White Sauce is made from a cooked roux (butter and flour cooked in whole milk), to which cheese is added to make Mornay Sauce.   In this version, Canyon  Ranch offers a lightened white sauce which can stand in for the more caloric Bechamel. The texture is so similar it stands in well for your heartier casseroles and gravies.


September 23, 2012 |

Turkey Sage Walnut Salad Sandwich

Turkey Pitas

This is a terrific recipe to use left over turkey from your holiday roast.  High in protein from both the poultry and the Greek Yogurt, and full of flavor.  The bites of cranberry add a sweet and tart flavor, but you can substitute raisins if you prefer them.  The walnuts add a nice crunch.


September 3, 2012 |

Whole Wheat Lemon Berry Muffins

Lemon Berry Muffins

For a healthy alternative to all-too-common oversized, high-fat muffins, try these guest favorite Whole Wheat Lemon Berry Muffins from the Green Mountain kitchens. It’s made with a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, which gives it a heartier texture and lots more nutrition! Don’t forget the lemon zest for extra zip. If you like them sweeter, try sprinkling each one with a pinch of brown sugar.     Photograph by  Torrey Drum, winner of a  $50 gift card from and a copy of  “Recipes for Living” by Green Mountain at Fox Run, as part of our Recipes for Healthy Living Contest.


August 27, 2012 |

Grilled Pineapple Skewers with Raspberry Sauce


 This recipe for Grilled Pineapple is the best summer dessert when you are cooking outside. No fancy ingredients, quick and easy, and a great ending to a grilled chicken and vegetable meal.  Grill the pineapple with your entrees, and then let them cool while you enjoy your dinner.  Once cooled, the grilled fruit is topped with sauce. Delicious!


May 14, 2012 |

Almond Red Tea Custard


This custard of red tea, almond milk, eggs and egg whites is adaptable – it may also be made with black, green or white tea, and may be topped with berries or diced peach, nectarine, kiwi, or lychee instead of mango.   It was developed by the Portfolio Eating Plan, which creates recipes designed for lowering cholesterol. 

May 3, 2012 |

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti


Our recent Recipes for Living cooking and eating tour of Italy with our Green Mountain friends inspired us to try our hand at making authentic Italian dishes. One traditional food we sampled many times was biscotti — a favorite treat with an afternoon coffee or after dinner with a glass of Vin Santo. While this recipe no doubt came from Italy originally, this version came from one of our friends on the tour.  —  Green Mountain at Fox Run, Vermont

March 12, 2012 |

Lentil Orzo Salad


This salad can be made ahead and keeps very well, making an ideal candidate for toting to work during the week.  We found the dressing very astringent, so be sure to season and taste as you go, or, use your favorite vinaigrette.


January 16, 2012 |

Fire Roasted Tomato Fennel Soup


Jessica Taft is the head chef and founder of New York Food Coach.  Her mission is to show you how healthy eating and in proper portions will improve your health, fitness and physical appearance. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to generally feel better by making sensible food choices, eating green and clean, NYFC can help you learn how to incorporate healthy cooking into your busy lifestyle while using the foods and ingredients you enjoy most.


January 2, 2012 |

Old World Black Bread

Black Bread

This is a dense, whole wheat dark bread which stands up well to veggie toppings.  A slice of this bread, toasted, is excellent with a  topping of blended cottage cheese, herbs and vegetables.  Avocado Toast is a natural.  It’s also good mixed with a lighter whole wheat dough recipe to make a swirl bread. 


December 19, 2011 |

Crab Pot Pie

Crab Pot Pie

Not all of our recipes are necessarily geared to low calorie, low fat, or other dietary restrictions.  Sometimes a hearty meal at a spa hotel is comfort food, such as this one.  While this is not a low-calorie entree, it doesn’t have the heavy cream typical of many pot pies, and, you can easily adapt by using reduced calorie butter spread in place of the butter, and, philo dough or puff pastry sheets (as shown) in place of the more fat lade pie crust. It is a reader favorite dish at a popular Northern California spa hotel — the Little River Inn.


November 28, 2011 |

Dr. Haas Detoxifying Cinnamon Apple Cider


One of our favorite Autumn detox recipes from our good friend Dr. Elson Haas, America’s Detox Doc.  Maple syrup is alkalizing for the body, an excellent substitute for white sugar.   Ginger is a digestive cure and immune booster.  Cardamom detoxifies and cleanses the system of toxins and harmful bacteria.  Cinnamon contains high levels of iron, fiber, calcium and manganese, and is thought to prevent the accumulation of some fats.


October 16, 2011 |

Rancho La Puerta Chilled Cucumber Soup

Sliced Cucumbers

Cucumber Soup is a quintessential menu item for a Spring spa party, reception, or to take to work when it’s overly warm outside. This version has creamy avocado so you feel just a bit more sated than you would without it.  You’ll always feel refreshed after eating this cool soup.  


August 22, 2011 |

Cantaloupe Orange Tofu Smoothie

Cantaloupe Smoothie

Using cantaloupe and orange juice is a nice change the traditional smoothie of berries and  bananas, and the silken tofu is a nice creamy addition and adds protein.  The one-two punch of this melon and the orange juice makes it super high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. This Canyon Ranch recipe is terrific as is, but we often doctor this smoothie with fresh spinach or other mild greens.  As with most smoothies, drink this immediately, without storing.


August 8, 2011 |

Biggest Loser BLT Burger

blt burger

Who doesn’t love the classic combo of bacon, lettuce and tomato?  Add it to a hamburger and this is a keeper recipe for a BLT Burger, rich in taste and nutritious.  Here, the lettuce is swapped out for spinach which has more nutrients, but mix spinach and lettuce together if you need that extra crunch.


July 18, 2011 |

Biggest Loser Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups


Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you from making this savory wrap.  It’s worth it, plus, it has great protein calories and is very satisfying.   It’s fun to make with friends.  Buy a bottle of white wine and settle in to make this as a fun friends in the kitchen party. Use very cold and crisp lettuce to give a nice crunch to this hand-held lunch treat.


May 16, 2011 |

Biggest Loser Indian Chicken Salad Pockets


Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander is a big fan of mixing low-fat mayonnaise with stronger flavors to give it the richness of a full-fat mayonnaise. Here, she’s coupled low-fat mayo with curry paste, which is found in the international aisle in most major grocery stores. Just be sure you don’t go crazy with these pastes in other dishes—most are insanely full of fat and sodium. But they also have very strong flavor, so in a dish like this where 1/2 teaspoon does it.


May 2, 2011 |

Citrus Pots de Creme

Citrus Pots De Creme

Here is a rich, delicious and decadent mouth-feel of a dessert.  Consider using tangerine juice, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, pineapple juice, or grapefruit juice for your favorite flavor of Citrus Pots de Creme. Keep in mind that orange and pineapple juices in season are sweet and you’ll need less sweetener. Perhaps none!


April 4, 2011 |

Raspberry Custard Brulee


Talk about the most useless but popular present for the holidays, and cooking enthusiasts might tell you about the kitchen torch (or torches J) they received from well-meaning friends. Just how often is anyone really going to use it? If you’re wondering whether you should have sent it right back to the store for a refund, try this simple but elegant “Brulée” recipe to impress your family and friends. It’s a light and tasty raspberry custard topped with a caramelized sugar glaze – an impressive Valentine’s dessert.   Also, put that torch to good use flaming your breakfast grapefruit.  That’s a winner, too!


March 28, 2011 |

Mexican Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic

lentil soup

Hart and Hind Fitness Ranch was a wellness facility in the Texas Hill Country, sadly now closed.  Fortunately, the healthy recipes created by its cowgirl chef, Paula Disbrowe, live on, including this favorite Mexican Lentil Soup.  We make this several times each winter season — it tastes just as wonderful the next day.


February 7, 2011 |

Mini Meat Loaves


 Mini meatloaves tick off a lot of boxes. They are a good protein source, they appeal to all members of the family, portion control is built in, they taste just as good the next day, they pack well, they make great sandwiches,  and you can customize them so that some family members who don’t like onions can have without, some can have with, and so on.  A winner.

January 10, 2011 |

Not Your Everyday Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Relish

turkey sandwiches with relish

This recipe for a wonderful sandwich will make use of the copious amounts of turkey you’re certain to have on hand this month.  While not a typical recipe for “spa cuisine”, we’ve lightened this recipe up with Splenda or honey in place of sugar, and lower-calorie cream cheese in place of full-fat cream cheese.  The end result is a a sandwich bursting with flavor, interesting textures, and making the most of its calories.  It’s the perfect “holiday leftovers” treat.  Enjoy.


November 10, 2010 |

Canyon Ranch Five Onion Bisque


The combination of so many kinds of onions gives this soup a depth of flavor which is truly satisfying. This bisque is so low in both fat and calories that it is an excellent first course for many meals and ideal for dinner parties.


October 18, 2010 |

No Sugar Added Nine-Grain Pancakes

Nine Grain Cereal

Built before the turn of the century, the Yardley Inn and Spa in Manti has all the warmth and charm of an old English Country Inn with European-style Spa Amenities. Elegantly furnished with antiques combine the convenience of today with the ambiance of yesteryear, but updated with an intimate spa, outdoor garden, library, fitness room, and solarium.  These pancakes made with nine grain cereal are a guest favorite.


September 20, 2010 |

Peach Salsa


“It’s summertime and that means plenty of fresh peaches. This year, they seem especially tasty. Here’s a new way to feature this sweet, juicy fruit. Pair it with a simple grilled chicken, meat or fish, and you not only have a very impressive entrée, you have one that’s a snap to make. This salsa recipe is a variation of the Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa recipe found in Green  Mountain Recipes for Living.”


June 28, 2010 |

Grilled Portabello Mushroom Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

mushroom burger and sweet potato fries

With this Memorial Day weekend upon us, and grills fired up in rapidly warming Spring afternoons, consider this Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich as a more healthful alternative to typical hamburgers and fries. Watch the toppings, though. Our guests opted for a slice of provolone cheese on the sandwich , which we served with baked sweet potato fries and a side of low sugar ketchup, but typically toppings and sides can quickly ramp up fat calories.

May 24, 2010 |

Biggest Loser Turkey Meatball Soup


We’ve never been fans of soups or stews that called for ground meat.  It tends to turn an unpleasant color, gets too chewy, and doesn’t have the satisfying “bite” cubed meats provide.  In this recipe, however, the use of ground turkey shaped into meatballs solves the dilemma — lean protein from the turkey and a nice mouth feel from a tender meatball.    It is family approved, as well. The teens and husbands love it and don’t complain they are testing “spa food.”


April 26, 2010 |

Spinach Ham Quiche with Vegetarian Option

Spinach Quiche

This started life as a Vegetarian Spinach Quiche recipe for the now closed Mandala Wellness Retreat in Georgia. Each Monday night the hosts gathered with friends to make a Vegetarian Supper and this was voted the best spinach quiche recipe. We updated it with fresh spinach leaves in place of frozen and chopped cooked ham, but either with meat or vegetarian, it’s a winner.


April 19, 2010 |

Canyon Ranch 1000 Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island dressing is versatile in any number of ways:  Use it as a dip for raw vegetables, as a salad dressing, or spread it on sandwiches or burgers. With our low-calorie version you can enjoy it often, but be careful with commercial varieties. Some of them pack in a whopping 120 calories for 2 tablespoons For a dairy-free rendition, omit the yogurt and double the amount of fat-free mayonnaise.


March 8, 2010 |

Baked Fennel in Roquefort Sauce


Many years ago I used to have facials from Catherine DeMarco Spa in Los Angeles — this was the 1970s and she had the spa in her bungalow and it was for private members, very hard to find.  Like a Secret Salon, actually.  I remember a nearby restaurant or cafe used to deliver wonderful lunches we’d eat on Catherine’s patio, with big jugs of aqua fresca.  It is hopeless to even ask if  SpaIndex can find her and the recipe for Fennel in Cheese Sauce?” — Amelia Windahl, La Quinta, California

February 22, 2010 |

Bubba Q Sauce

bbq sauce

This sweet and tasty low carb barbecue sauce was contributed by one of our post-bariatric WLS readers, but we found an original version (only slightly different) which was created by Perk’s Low Carb Recipes. It is sugar free (although it relies on artificially sweetened substitutes) and very savory. You can reduce calories further by using a low calorie butter substitute or other fat.


February 19, 2010 |

Roasted Garbanzo Beans


Roasted Garbanzo Beans are easy to make and really tasty.  This version is from Canyon Ranch Spa and is a popular substitute for high-fat nuts at parties and a nutritious solution for both brown bag lunches and after-school snacks. In fact, they are so simple to prepare that even young children can do it with just a little supervision. And, of course, if the kids make them they are much more likely to want to eat them. (more…)

February 1, 2010 |

Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancakes


 This is quite a simple recipe, shared with us by the chef of the former Coolfont Resort & Spa.  It’s basically doctored pancake mix, so use either a natural grocer bought version, or, add the lemony ingredients to your own  prepared mix.  The result is a family approved pancake that won’t have anything thinking “cottage cheese.”  Just “creamy goodness.”  Delicious topped with crushed blueberries, which pair wonderfully with lemon.


January 18, 2010 |

Grail Springs Elixir Detox Drink

grail elixir

This drink is so tasty it has been highlighted on Entertainment Tonight, served at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Genie Awards and the Bell Celebrity Classic! Besides being delicious, it’s health benefits: raises alkalinity, detoxifies, and  builds up the immune system.

January 4, 2010 |

Spa Style Baklava


Baklava is normally prepared in large pans holding many layers of phyllo dough with copious amounts of melted butter, syrup and chopped nuts — usually walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios — added to the layers.  The syrup is a concoction of honey, rosewater or orange flower water, and is poured over the layers until it has soaked the entire pan.  Once baked, it is cut into diamond and other shapes, and served at room temperature.

December 21, 2009 |

Chicken and Grape Salad

Chicken and Grape Salad

The Chicken and Grape Salad is a favorite of guests at The Heartland Spa in Wisconsin. It’s sure to please and makes the perfect addition to a summer lunch menu. Serve it on top of fresh lettuce leaves, stuffed inside whole wheat pita bread, or along slide a sliced tomato.


June 1, 2009 |

Orange Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bowl of Oranges

This salad dressing by Rancho La Puerta is a lovely citrus vinegar and oil recipe perfect for your summer salads, fish and seafood.  It combines orange juice, oil and vinegar and wonderfully flavorful herbs — basil, cilantro, and thyme.  If you are not a fan of cilantro, substitute parsley — the other herbs are flavorful enough to make up the difference.


May 24, 2009 |

Pearson’s Pond Hot and Healthy Ham Quiche

Ham Quiche

Prize-winning quiche from the kitchen of Pearson’s Pond Luxury Bed and Breakfast Inn and Garden Spa in Juneau, Alaska — used in their Healthy Start Spa Program in Alaska. This is especially good for those with low tolerance for lactose, cholesterol, and fat. This is very quick to fix and holds over well. Delicious served at any meal (with fruit at breakfast or salad for lunch and dinner). Can easily be used as appetizer when cut in cubes or formed in bite size muffin pans.


June 25, 2008 |

Lite Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch Baby

I think pancakes are hard. Not the recipe. Not the batter.  It’s the browning. I want them to be a perfect diner-style brown. Not mottled and uneven, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t master the technique.   I used to make pancake bars by baking the batter and then cutting, brownie style, and that worked great. But now it’s all about the Dutch Baby.


February 14, 2007 |

Green Mountain Country Style Frittata


This healthy frittata recipe makes an easy and appealing lunch or brunch dish. Start with eggs and cheese, then add vegetables and herbs from the late summer’s garden for an endless number of combinations. Green Mountain says “Garnish this frittata with Chunky Tomato Salsa and serve with a mixed green salad or Waldorf Salad and a whole grain roll for lunch, or pair it with a fresh fruit cup and an Oat muffin for a Sunday brunch.”    Courtesy of Green Mountain at Fox Run — a for-women-only health retreat in the green mountains of Vermont.   Be sure to visit the site to print recipes of the month.


September 17, 2006 |

Thai Beef Salad

thai beef salad

This summer, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand introduced  Ginja Cook,  a contemporary learning facility introducing rich Thai cuisine heritage to all age groups visiting the resort and spa.   Ginja Cook’s “Everyone is Welcome” approach offers personalized individual, family and group culinary courses. The courses aim to provide an insight into the unique art of Thai cuisine, demonstrating simple preparation techniques for traditional dishes, and to respect the culinary past while embracing the future with contemporary life-style twist.


June 10, 2006 |

Spa Style Easy Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casserole

Take the stress out of entertaining with this great do-ahead dish for your next breakfast or brunch get-together. Our Easy Breakfast Casserole can be made 1-2 hours ahead or even the night before. Also, the recipe can be doubled easily for bigger crowds. Experiment with other vegetables such as sliced mushrooms or chopped tomatoes and/or other fresh herbs.


April 23, 2006 |

Mushroom Zucchini Frittata

Fritatta by Apolonia

The Wooden Door Spa was a working woman’s health and diet retreat (the name was in gentle and fun response to the  much more glamorous Golden Door Spa, in California) located on the shores of Lake Geneva, north of Chicago, in the 1980s. Although it has long since closed its “wooden doors”, many of its recipes have survived, much to the delight of our food staff who still make recipes from its collection from time to time.


April 4, 2006 |

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

oatmeal blueberry pancakes

Oatmeal pancakes are good all year around, but summer is the time of year to make a blueberry version. These sweet juicy berries, high in fiber and antioxidants, are at the peak of their season.    Green Mountain at Fox Run, Ludlow, Vermont, is the country’s foremost women-only healthy weight loss program. It offers a practical, livable healthy lifestyle approach with which, for the past three decades, women have discovered how to lose weight and keep it off.  They maintain a complete collection of recipes from their book “Recipes for Living” on the website. We highly recommend you visit.


September 15, 2005 |

Zucchini Soup with Curry and Cilantro

Zucchini Soup with Curry and Cilantro

Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch was a fitness ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  It has sadly closed now, but its recipes live on.  The ranch chef, Paula Disbrowe, created this recipe for its guests.  To retain their vibrant green color, the zucchini is blanched, and simmered for a short time. Onions and shallots lend sweetness, and serrano chile, mint, and cilantro give the soup a bright, herbaceous edge.

August 17, 2005 |

Cucumber Citrus Fresca

citrus cucumber water

The Indian Springs Spa in Calistoga, California, serves a refreshing Cucumber Citrus infused Mineral Water to its guests during its Classic Mud Bath Treatment. In Mexico and Texas, refreshing “CucumberAde” or “Fresca” is popular, and although odd sounding can become addictive. It is the perfect summer spa refreshment.


July 13, 2005 |

Ham and Egg Cups

ham and egg cups

This basic comfort food breakfast is actually perfect spa fare.  High in protein, low in fat, and adaptable to a variety of tastes — adding salsa and chili powder for a south of the border taste, adding spinach and ham for a florentine taste, or adding swiss cheese and bacon for “Quiche Lorraine” inspired egg cup.  Whatever your taste, this little cup of breakfast is attractive and comforting for one, for the family, for a brunch or shower, or part of healthy eating day.


March 16, 2005 |

Ricotta Frittata


Similar to its cousin Cottage Cheese — but much lighter — Ricotta is creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet in taste, and contain around 13% fat.  It makes a great protein source for our post-WLS readers, and is featured in this frittata.

February 19, 2005 |

Cherry Tofu Protein Smoothie

cherry tofu smoothie

While delicious, we thought the original version of this Cherry Tofu Protein Smoothie  by the United Soybean Board was too high in the carbs to protein ratio. With a few simple modifications which didn’t detract from the wonderful summer flavor at all, we made this a much more healthful breakfast.


July 3, 2002 |