Light, delicious recipes to help shed extra winter weight

Beef stew (Getty Images)

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — It’s easy to pack on a few pounds during the cold winter months. So, on this Recipe Wednesday, we will make some delicious and light dishes to help shed the extra winter weight. The chefs from GTCC shared some great recipes with Shannon Smith.

No-Bake Power Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus ⅓ cup for topping
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons natural almond or other nut butter
  • ½ cup ground flax meal
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (70% or more cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon stevia extract
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Roll into two-inch balls, then roll in shredded coconut. Set balls on wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow to rest at room temperature for five minutes before eating. Serves 20 – 25 (one ball each)

Berry Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 scoop unsweetened protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup crushed ice

Directions:

Combine first five ingredients in a blender. Add ice. Blend until smooth. Serves one.

Crunchy Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild caught shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ⅛ large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 8 kalamata or black olives
  • 2 tablespoons antioxidant salad dressing: see recipe
  • ⅓ cup crunchy chickpeas: see recipe

Directions:

Brush shrimp with grape seed oil. Grill in a hot grill pan for about two minutes on each side or until bright pink. Chop lettuce, spinach, and parsley into bite-size pieces. Chop tomato and cucumber. Combine all vegetable ingredients in a bowl. Toss with two tablespoons of the salad dressing. Top with grilled shrimp and crunchy chickpeas. Serves two.

Antioxidant Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive, grape seed, or coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon grated zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Ground black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Briskly whisk together vinegar and oil until mixed well (or you can put them in a closed container and shake vigorously). Add remaining ingredients, and whisk (or shake) together until well incorporated. You can vary this dressing to suit your taste by adding other herbs and spices such as basil, tarragon, rosemary, and dill. Serves three to four.

Crunchy Chickpeas

  • 4 cups garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 12 (one ounce each)

Crockpot Beef and Veggie Stew

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chuck roast, cut into
  • 2-inch cubes
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups red-skinned or purple potatoes, chopped (turnip or sweet potato can be substituted)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

On a plate, spread a thin layer of cornstarch. Roll beef chunks until lightly coated. In a large skillet, heat oil. Brown meat with onions, about six to eight minutes. Add tomato paste and beef broth and combine until well incorporated. Transfer mixture to crock pot with vegetables and seasonings. Cover and cook over low heat for about eight hours or on high for four hours. Serves four to six

Savory Oven-Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 12 natural chicken legs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper Salt

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix buttermilk and mustard, immerse chicken pieces in buttermilk, and soak for at least 30 minutes or up to eight hours. Combine flax meal with herbs and spices on a flat plate. Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk, and shake off excess liquid. Roll chicken pieces in flax meal crumb mixture until thoroughly coated. Place chicken in a lightly sprayed baking pan or on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 ° for about 40 minutes, covered with foil to keep moist. Remove cover for final 10 – 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.Internal temperature of chicken should be at least 165 degrees. Serves six.

Whole Grain Spaghetti Alla Lucca 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pound lean chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 ½ cups tomato puree
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan option)
  • 1 pound whole grain spaghetti (or gluten-free pasta, quinoa, or brown rice)

Directions:

Coat in a large skillet with oil and place over medium-low heat. Add the onion and crushed garlic, cook and stir until translucent, about five minutes. Add the sausage. Cook and stir for five to 10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Place a separate pot over medium-low heat; add the tomato puree, bell pepper, basil, and black pepper. Season with a dash of sea salt. Add the beans. Cover and gently simmer for about 15 minutes. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, give it a stir, and cook until al dente (firm, not mushy). Drain and set aside.In a large bowl, combine the meat mixture and tomato puree mixture. Toss with pasta until uniform. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve. Serves four.