Category Archives: Sides

Parmesan Zucchini Fries

I have been on a mission to include more vegetables in my day as I noticed I was only getting 1-2 servings in on average. My goal has been to get that up to 3-4 servings. With a husband and kid that can be picky with veggies this mission has not been the easiest, but with lots of experimenting I’m starting to find what they enjoy. These zucchini fries are a HUGE hit in the house! The boys gobble them down and mama is happy they are getting in lots of nutrients. I don’t think we’ll ever have potato fries in the house again. Happy flexible dieting!

Ps. For a delicious dipping sauce mix equal parts plain Greek yogurt and ketchup!


  • 3-4 zucchini (600g) quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl mix olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place zucchini quarters on baking sheet. Pour olive oil mixture over zucchini and then toss zucchini to coat evenly. Sprinkle parmesan over zucchini. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Macros (per serving of about 8 fries, recipe makes 6 servings): 69 calories, 4.5g fat, 3g carbs, 5g protein, 1g fiber

Low Fat & Low Carb Stuffed Mushrooms

This isn’t an original recipe, this is something I actually found off of Tasty to bring to Christmas dinner last year. Instead of using the full fat cream cheese I used 1/3 of the fat and they were a huge hit. They’re actually quite macro-friendly, too! I’ve made them several times since and just had to share. Happy flexible dieting!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut of steams of the mushrooms and chop them. Heat oil over pan on medium to high heat. Add chopped steams, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and in a bowl combine cooked stems with cream cheese, breadcrumbs, half the parmesan, and parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste and mix. Spoon a generous amount of cream cheese mixture into each mushroom cap and place onto a baking sheet. Top each mushroom with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Take out and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Macros (per stuffed mushrooms, recipe makes 15):  87 calories, 5g fat, 7g carbs, 5g protein, 1g fiber

Lightened Broccoli Cheese Soup

Winter has arrived! Well, at least so I hear. In our little town in sunny Southwest Florida it’s record heat for the first day of winter. 88 degrees and humid as can be! Pretending I am in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, I decided a comforting meal would be some good ol’ broccoli cheese soup. This soup reminds me of Panera Bread’s but fresher and half the calories! The secret to getting the protein up without the fat is using Fair Life milk as it has double the protein as regular milk. Give this a try on your stove or slow cooker. Happy flexible dieting!


  • 2 cups fat free Fair Life milk
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 5 cups broccoli florets, chopped (frozen or raw)
  • 3 cups 2% cheddar cheese, shredded (can use 2% Velveeta- will slightly change macros)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add broth and milk to a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Add in flour, onion, carrots, and broccoli. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Reduce to simmer and allow soup to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and remove from heat. You can also do this recipe in the slow cooker. Just throw everything in except the cheese and set on low for 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before eating add the cheese in and cover. Enjoy!

Macros (per about 1 cup serving, recipe makes 8 servings): 175 calories, 7.5g fat, 7g carbs, 15.5g protein, 2g fiber

Light Buffalo Dip

I tried this buffalo dip from the Publix deli and fell in love. Unfortunately the macros on the Publix version isn’t great considering they use full fat cheese so I set out to make a lighter version with less fat. I saw that the Publix version uses Neufchatel cheese and was like, what the heck is that? Haha! I checked in the cream cheese section of the store and there it was! One single brand, Organic Valley, but it was there! After a few variations tested this final one came out fantastic. Served it with some crackers and veggies and everyone loved it! Would be perfect for a football snack and can I just mention it has 9 grams protein PER SERVING? Happy flexible dieting!

macro-friendly light buffalo dip for iifym


  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Danon)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (I used Daisy)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot sauce depending on how much heat you want (I used Frank’s)
  • 8 oz Neufchatel cheese 1/3 less fat, softened (I used Organic Valley)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and put in a baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes or until the top is bubbley. If you have a small slow cooker this would work great too. Enjoy!

Macros (per 30g, recipe makes about 30 servings): 75 calories, 3g fat, 1g carb, 9g protein

Lightened Spinach Artichoke Casserole

I was searching for a way to sneak some vegetables in my husband’s diet (seriously, he never eats vegetables. Gr!). We were also having guests over for dinner so I was in the mood to make something fancy. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to do some kind of cheesy, delicious casserole. A few ideas popped up but didn’t excite me enough. Then it hit me, Thomas loves spinach artichoke dip! Let’s make it a casserole! This spinach artichoke casserole is stuffed with ooey gooey Parmesan cheese, but it won’t stick to your thighs. It’s a huge hit for the whole family and a great dish to be made at a large dinner event! I made it with grilled chicken and smashed potatoes.

lightened up macro friendly spinach artichoke dip casserole


  • 4 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 8 oz package low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the spinach and artichokes in a large bowl. Microwave cream cheese unpackaged in a microwave safe bowl until soft, about 1 and 1/2 minutes. Stir the cream cheese into the spinach and artichokes then add sour cream, grated Parmesan, and garlic. Season to taste. Spoon the casserole into a 9×11 baking dish. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minute, uncover and bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 more minutes.

Macros (per serving, 16 servings): 9g fat, 8g carbs, 10g protein

Light Mac and Cheese

I don’t think I have ever met a person who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese. Mac n cheese is certainly one of my favorite comfort foods, but 1) I’m not a fan of the box kind and 2) I wanted to be able to eat it more often and not get huge ;). So I set out to make an easy homemade recipe that I could enjoy on the reg. It’s also included in meal plan #2!

Lightened Mac & Cheese



  • 1 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 4 tbsp light cream cheese
  • 2 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside. While the pasta cooks add flour and salt to saucepan and mix, then add milk and whisk together. Turn on heat to medium-high and add cream cheese, stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat, add cheddar cheese, and stir. Add into pasta and toss well. Enjoy!

Macros (8 servings, about 1 cup): 310 calories, 8g fat, 28g carbs, 16g protein, 3g fiber

Low Fat Scalloped Potatoes

I love my slow cooker. Or Crock-Pot. Whatever you call it, I’m in love. I love the smells that escape it all day. I love that making meals with it is almost effortless. Ugh. For tonight’s dinner I made steak and scalloped potatoes using the slow cooker. For the steak I do what I always do and always will, I cover it with salt and allow it to marbleize (steak should be room temperature), then I cover in minced garlic, and then I grill it to perfection. Here’s what I did for the potatoes…

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  • 8 medium potatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz cubed or diced ham
  • 10 3/4 oz low fat cream of celery
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped

Mix everything together in the slow cooker. Season to taste. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Macros (per 9 servings): 201 calories, 33g carbs, 3g fat, 10g protein, 3g fiber

Light Crab Rangoon


Crab rangoons are the BOMB, but they are typically fried and filled with fat. This recipe is baked and uses low fat cream cheese. They are only 5g carbs and 3g fat each. Serve with a sweet chili sauce and please the whole family!


  • 8 oz light cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Wonton wrapped (I made 24)
  • Sweet chili sauce

Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Combine the cream cheese, crab meat, Greek yogurt, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce in a bowl. Lay out a few wonton wrappers at a time, wet two sides, and fill with a tbsp of the mixture, then fold. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with a sweet chili sauce. Enjoy!


Macros (per serving of 24): 50 calories, 4g carbs, 2g fat, 3g protein