Healthy Conversion: Pepperoni & Sweet Pepper Pizza

Pepperoni and Sweet Pepper Pizza

We HIGHLY encourage you to read the below DJD post on dieting to get the ‘big picture’ perspective on how these recipes may just save your waistline and health.  As promised, here is the first installment of Delicious Health.  Who doesn’t love pizza?

  • 1 Flatbread from Trader Joe’s*
  • 12 slices turkey pepperoni
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 5 small sweet peppers sliced thin
  • ½ cup fat free mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup mix of oregano, parsley, basil, black pepper, and crushed red pepper


Note: This is not a prop.  Last night’s dinner and it was unbelievably delicious!

Regular Pepperoni Pizza Flatbread Pepperoni Pizza
Serving size 2 slices 1 flatbread pizza
Calories 814 390
Total fat 36 g 4 g
Saturated fat 16 g 1 g
Carbohydrates 86 g 48 g
Sugar 8 g 6 g
Glycemic index 51 30
Glycemic load 43 14

* If you are not fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s by you, your local supermarket may have flatbreads but beware of regular pre-made pizza crusts that often have upwards of 1,000 calories (compared to only 220 for these!).  Bake in the oven (right on the rack) at 350 for around 10min until you can see brown around the edges for a nice crisp.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned and stay healthy!

Healthy Conversion: Big Mac

Big Mac

Like McDonald’s but concerned about nutrition?  Try this healthy Big Mac recipe               by Don’t Just Diet:

  • 1 whole-grain bun (sometimes I indulge in a potato roll b/c they’re just so delicious)
  • 1 Boca burger patty (note: contains large amounts of gluten)*
  • ¼ cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 slice fat-free American cheese
  • 2 slices dill pickles
  • 2 tbsp healthily adapted special sauce (1/8 recipe below):
  •         1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  •         3 tablespoons fat-free French salad dressing
  •         2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (no sugar added)
  •         1 teaspoon sugar substitute (e.g., stevia)
  •         1 teaspoon dried, minced onion
  •         1 teaspoon white vinegar
  •         1 teaspoon ketchup

Boca Big Mac

McDonald’s Big Mac DJD Healthy Big Mac
Serving size 1 burger 1 burger
Calories 550 295
Total fat 29 g 2 g
Saturated fat 10 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 46 g 34 g
Sugar 9 g 6 g
Glycemic index 51  38
Glycemic load 23 13

* I happen to like Boca burgers b/c they are very low-fat, low-calorie and high-protein, but MorningStar Farms also makes a decent healthy burger.  These are also great with extra lean ground beef or turkey but, with a very tight schedule, I appreciate the convenience of pre-made burger patties.  Find what works best for you but be careful when selecting a burger patty- many turkey and veggie burgers contain just as much fat and as many calories as regular ground beef!

Healthy Conversion: Hot Fudge Sundae

Hot Fudge Sundae

  • I cup Frozen Vanilla Greek Fat Free Yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons calorie-free fudge topping
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free whipped cream

healthy hot fudge sundae

With the nutritional breakdown below, this hot fudge sundae may be healthier than some commercial weight loss program meals!!

Regular Hot Fudge Sundae Healthy Hot Fudge Sundae
Serving size 1 sundae 1 sundae
Calories 480 215
Total fat 26 g 0 g
Saturated fat 18 g 0 g
Carbohydrates 55 g 18 g
Sugar 42 g 17 g
Protein 1 g 12 g

Notes on the ingredients

Frozen Greek yogurt: Key is to get a quality GREEK frozen yogurt b/c of its low calorie and high protein content.  Beware of ones that say ‘Greek’ but have the same poor/mediocre nutritional content as regular frozen yogurt.  Trader Joe’s carries a good one but it does taste like yogurt.  Adonia makes one that is almost as healthy and tastes like ice cream but costs a little more.  Many regular supermarkets and most specialty food stores now carry it.

Calorie-free topping: Not only does this exist but it actually tastes good.  The brand I use is Walden Farms (they also make a calorie free strawberry syrup that I will feature on a killer strawberry crunch sundae).  Check specialty food stores and even some regular supermarkets- refrigerated section.  Note- it’s sweetened with sucralose (Splenda).

Enjoy and stay healthy!

Healthy Conversion: Spicy Rotini Bolognese

Delicious healthy Italian that even grandma will love!

Spicy Rotini Bolognese

  • Whole wheat pasta (serving = 2 cups cooked)
  • Shredded fat free mozzarella cheese (serving = ¼ cup)
  • Bolognese sauce (serving = 1/16 below)
    • 64 oz Regular pasta sauce
    • 1.5 lbs extra lean (99%) ground turkey
    • ½ cup diced sweet onion
    • 2 Tbsp red wine
    • 2 Tbsp sweet BBQ sauce
    • 2 Tsp balsamic vinegar
    • ½ cup mix equal parts Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, ground black pepper


The sweet elements work with the spiciness of the red and black pepper to create an almost addictive flavor.  For the sauce base, obviously use your own if you have time to cook, otherwise just use your preferred jarred sauce.  Prego is good if you like it a little sweeter.  Francesco Rinaldi is good if you like it less sweet.  Both come in large containers from warehouse stores and some local supermarkets.  Trader Joe’s carries the extra lean ground turkey at a very good price.

Here’s the key: most recipes will tell you to cook the meat first and then add the sauce.  Totally silly b/c you wind up double cooking the meat and it winds up dry even sitting in a vat of sauce.  Particularly when using lean meat, be cautions about overcooking.  I add everything at the same time and slow cook the sauce with a low flame over an hour or so- the meat is always plenty cooked but still moist.

As most people, I’m busy so I usually make 2lbs of pasta and store that and the sauce in an air-tight containers in the fridge.  This way, I have a delicious and super healthy meal in minutes anytime I want for the rest of the week!


Restaurant Rotini Bolognese Healthy Rotini Bolognese
Serving size 275 g 275 g
Calories 460 320
Total fat 22 g 2 g
Saturated fat 10 g 1 g
Trans fat 1 g 0 g
Cholesterol 70 mg 10 mg
Fiber 5 g 12 g
Protein 22 g 26 g

Stay tuned and stay healthy!