My Favorite Snack Bar-Grab the Gold

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I am always searching for a great-tasting and nutrient-rich protein bar that is not too high in fat and calories. This is just in case I am in too much of a hurry to eat and need something on the run. One of my favorites is the “Grab The Gold Snack Bars”. Made with peanut butter, oats, chocolate, whole grains and crunchy soy nuggets, they taste fresh and are high in fiber, protein and potassium. With 195 calories, 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, I think they’re hard to beat. And if you’re counting your Weight Watcher’s points, they only have 4 points. There’s only one catch: they can be tricky to find, but you can check their website to see where they carry them in your area or purchase them online at http://www.grabthegold.net. My friend, and dietician consultant Sandra Koulourides, of Fuel Plus Fitness recommends these to all of her clients. Trust me, she knows what she’s talking about. Look for our joint cookbook coming in the near future.

Eat Right-Healthy Mediterranean Salad

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Here is a healthy, simple salad recipe which has a few of my favorite ingredients: basil, mint, dried cranberries, almonds and Israeli couscous. Israeli couscous is a small, round semolina pasta which is very versatile, and kids love it. It works great in this combination served over romaine lettuce leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Feel free to substitute dried cherries for the cranberries, pine nuts or walnuts for the almonds and any of your favorite lettuces or spinach for the romaine. Here’s to a healthy fresh start to the New Year!


Prep: 10 minutes 

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

11/2 cups Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preparation

1. Bring broth and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a boil; pour over couscous; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes until still firm to the bite.

2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, zest and pepper; let cool.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil.

4. Toss romaine lettuce with fresh herbs, dried cherries, and almonds, tossing gently to combine. Top with couscous and drizzle with balsamic dressing.