Skinny-Size It: 101 Recipes That Will Fill You Up and Slim You Down

Skinny-Size It: 101 Recipes That Will Fill You Up and Slim You Down

by Molly Morgan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373892983
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/25/2014
Edition description: Original
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, counsels individual and corporate clients on good nutrition through her company, Creative Nutrition Solutions. She has been featured on CNN and in national magazines like Fitness, Shape, Women’s Health and many more. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt

ife has gotten so busy that for many people, that meals are primarily purchased and consumed at _^ restaurants and drive-throughs or feature premade foods taken out of bags and boxes at home. Meals eaten out at restaurants are typically higher in fat, including saturated fat, salt and sugar as compared to what you would make at home. Sometimes restaurant dishes seem like a healthy choice, yet when they arrive at the table, you find that they are swimming in a pool of melted butter or are loaded with salt.

Preparing and eating meals at home gives you control over the quality of the foods you consume and the quantity of fat, sugar and salt added. In addition, when you cook, you burn calories: approximately thirty minutes of cooking translates into ninety calories burned, and the cleanup burns another fifty calories, for a total of 140 calories burned (based on 150-pound person). By preparing just three meals per week and doing the cleanup, you could burn 21,840 calories a year, which equals six pounds' worth of calories. And if you prepared Skinny-Size It recipes—creating healthier alternatives by skipping and swapping out high-fat, high-calorie ingredients and avoiding certain cooking methods—you would consume fewer calories.

After writing The Skinny Rules, I was so excited to write Skinny-Size It, because eating healthy can taste great and you can make meals that fill your plate! This book is not about cutting down portion sizes to keep calories in check. Rather the recipes in Skinny-Size It call for plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and spices to maximize portion sizes while focusing on flavor from aromatic vegetables, herbs and spices, allowing you to enjoy a full plate of food for a much lower calorie price tag. I am always on the lookout for recipe ideas: I snap pictures of dishes I find appealing, and I read recipes in cooking magazines. Then I head to the grocery store for the ingredients, return to my kitchen and re-create the recipes in a way that makes them as healthy as can be.

You may notice there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout this book. While I have always worked a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds into my eating routine, for over a year I have been gone mostly meatless and have limited the amount of processed foods, high-fat dairy foods and eggs in my eating routine. Why did I revise my eating plan in this way? Research has proven the health beneits of a plant-based diet: weigh less and have a reduced risk for certain types of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In general, Americans overdo protein and animal foods, consuming too much. Have you ever stopped to consider that nearly every dish on most restaurant menus (and perhaps even your own home dishes) contains either meat, eggs, cheese or other dairy products, and some even feature a combination of all four? Never eating meat, eggs, cheese or other dairy products may not be right for you. However, eating more minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds would certainly be beneficial for everyone, since most people do not eat enough of these foods. Every recipe in Skinny-Size It incorporates them.

Perhaps you were wondering why there are no dessert recipes in this book. The reason I decided to exclude dessert recipes is that while removing a few grams of fat or adding a bit of fiber to a dessert recipe certainly would "health it up," at the end of the day, it would still be a dessert. I figured that my energy was best spent on developing recipes that could serve as more of a foundation for eating routines, rather than just as icing on the cake. If you're really craving something sweet at the end of your meals, this book offers a few delicious and satisfying options, such as Baked Apple Pie Parfaits and Apple Cinnamon Chia Swirl Pudding, both in the Snacks and Appetizers chapter.

It is always important to keep the bottom line in mind when it comes to meals: food is fuel. Would you put a type of gas in your car that would stop it from working eficiently? Probably not. Think of foods as fuel for your body, and consider that the right mix certainly can help you to feel and look your best. Last but not least, incorporating the fresh flavors of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and spices and herbs can make healthy recipes taste great. So with that in mind, what are you going to cook today?


Having a supply of certain ingredients and tools on hand makes it much easier to pull together Skinny meals. Check your cupboards to see which of the ingredients listed here you keep on hand and which ones you need to add to your shopping list.

Fresh herbs and spices

Fresh herbs, like dill and parsley, are too delicate to stock up on in large quantities. On the other hand, fresh gingerroot, a spice that is a necessity when it comes to Skinny cooking, is hearty and holds up well when stored in the refrigerator. If you like having plants, try keeping potted herbs that you use routinely in cooking, such as basil, mint, oregano, parsley and rosemary. I like to keep a rosemary plant growing in our kitchen year round, and seasonally we grow the other herbs in an herb garden. I have to say that herbs are relatively simple to grow. Two that I especially like to keep on hand during the summer months are mint and basil.

Aromatic vegetables

The foundation of flavor in many Skinny-Size It recipes comes from aromatic vegetables including garlic, onions, peppers and celery. These vegetables are full of flavor and deliver vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium and vitamin A. Consider aromatic vegetables like these staples of Skinny cooking!


To add great lavor to sauces and dressings, keep a variety of vinegars in your pantry, including balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar and rice vinegar.


The quality of oil varies, and you definitely get what you pay for. For example, extra-virgin olive oil is more expensive than other olive oil versions because it comes from the first press of the olives and is the most nutrient rich and has a rich olive flavor! In comparison, light olive oil is more processed oil that is lighter in flavor (but has the same amount of calories and fat). In addition, oils have different smoke points (the maximum temperature to which they can be heated before they break down) and lavor proiles.

The best oils for baking, oven cooking and stir-frying are canola oil, grapeseed oil, extra-virgin olive oil and peanut oil. The best oils for light sauteing, for making sauces, and for cooking over low heat are sesame oil, sunlower oil, walnut oil and coconut oil. Keep on hand oils that are suitable for all these tasks. If I were to pick my top two favorite oils, they would be extra-virgin olive oil and sesame oil.

Specialty oils, such as ish oil and laxseed oil, offer health benefits but do not hold up well when used with heat, so stick to adding these only to smoothies and or drizzling on a finished recipe. When it comes to these oils, if some is good, more is not better. In large doses (over three grams per day), both fish oil and flaxseed oil can have a thinning effect on the blood and can cause bruising, nosebleeds, nausea and other health issues.

Meat substitutes

There are two meat substitutes that are Skinny staples: tofu and tempeh. Several varieties of tofu are commonly available, including:

Silken tofu: has a soft texture and a high water content, and is excellent in smoothies and dips and as a swap for eggs.

Firm tofu: has been slightly pressed but still retains some water, and is perfect for stir-frying and sauteing.

Extra-firm tofu: is well pressed and has less water, and thus is suitable for marinating and grilling.

Tempeh is made through a natural fermentation process that binds soybeans, and this fermentation process results in a higher protein, iber and vitamin content. Four ounces of tempeh contain twenty-two grams of protein and twelve grams of fiber. The firm texture of tempeh makes it excellent for marinating and using on sandwiches.

Dairy and eggs

Many foods from the dairy aisle, like plain nonfat Greek yogurt and light cheddar cheese, are essential Skinny ingredients , and once you start working them into your recipes, you won't turn back,. Generally, when it comes to dairy foods, such as yogurt, cheese, cream cheese and cottage cheese, always select low-fat (1 percent) or light products. Typically, I do not suggest fat-free dairy products, because they often don't melt or perform as well in recipes. The one exception to that rule, however, is plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Because of the way Greek yogurt is made, the nonfat version holds up well in recipes and you almost do not realize that the fat isn't there.

When it comes to eggs, paying extra for omega-3 eggs is worth it, as these eggs provide a boost of heart-helping omega-3 fats.

Butter or margarine? Both are high in fat: butter is high in saturated fat, while margarine, which is made with vegetable oils, and is lower in saturated fat. It really comes down to your personal flavor preference. Since both are high in fat, a limited amount of either should be consumed. If you do choose margarine, make certain to choose a brand that meets two criteria: it has zero grams of trans fat and it does not have partially hydrogenated oil, a trans fat, listed on the food label. This is important because food-labeling laws allow companies to declare on the Nutrition Facts panel that foods with less than half a gram of trans fat have zero grams. To be certain that a particular food really has zero grams of trans fat, you should review the ingredient list, looking for the words "partially hydrogenated oil" If the words "partially hydrogenated oil are listed, this means trans fat and although a food may contain less than half a gram of trans fat per serving, over time that amount add ups, and the goal is to avoid trans fat completely because of its negative impact on heart health.

Flavor boosters

There are ingredients, such as dried herbs and spices, that add great lavor to recipes, and you will want to keep these in your Skinny cupboard. Having a variety of dried herbs and spices on hand is a must. These include dried basil, celery seed, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, dry mustard, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, parsley, paprika, black pepper and white pepper. If you make a Skinny-Size It recipe or one of your own that you feel needs more flavor, before you reach for the salt shaker, try adding an herb or a spice, as it will boost the lavor without adding sodium.

Table salt or sea salt? The biggest difference between table salt and sea salt is in how they are processed. Table salt is mined from salt deposits and then processed, while sea salt is made by evaporating ocean water and usually not processed. Both have the same amount of sodium by weight, which keeps the playing field level. When it comes to adding some salt to a recipe, my personal preference is to add sea salt because the coarser texture packs a bigger sodium taste and can result in less overall salt added for the same taste impact.

A word on sodium: A majority of sodium intake comes from processed foods; in fact about 75 percent of sodium comes from processed foods or from the salt added to foods in restaurants and other food service locations. Basically, all Americans consume more sodium than they need, with an average intake of about 3,400 milligrams per day. The goal for healthy adults is to consume 2,300 milligrams or less sodium per day. The goal for adults who have high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes, and for those who are African American, is to have 1,500 milligrams or less sodium per day. Note: if you are very active for more than one to two hours per day, your sodium needs may be different because of your rate of sweating. All the recipes in Skinny-Size It skip salt or skimp on the amount of added salt to keep the overall sodium content low. Another key is adding the salt to a dish just before serving, which keeps the salty taste at the top of the dish, instead of dispersing it throughout the dish when it is added during cooking.

Other lavor boosters to keep on hand are healthier alternatives include lite soy sauce, light coconut milk, low-sodium broth and liquid smoke.

Nuts, seeds and dried fruit:

Some Skinny-Size It recipes contain nuts and seeds, which provide healthy (unsaturated) fats and crunch, as well as dried fruit, which lends sweetness. These include walnuts, almonds, raw cashews, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried mango and raisins.

The nuts, seeds and dried fruit you include in a recipe is up to you, so keep on hand those you like best.

The sweet stuff

Skinny-Size It recipes skimp on the amount of sugar added. Making salad dressings and sweet sauces, such as barbecue sauce, from scratch allows you to control the quantity of sugar added. It is a good idea to keep a mix of sweeteners on hand and to select the one that works best in each recipe. Sweeteners include granulated sugar, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, honey and brown sugar.

Is agave nectar a health food? Agave nectar is a mix of fructose (90 percent) and glucose (10 percent), though the amounts of each vary based on how the sugar is processed. Agave nectar is produced from aguamiel, that is, the sap—of the agave plant, and is processed until it reaches more or less the consistency of maple syrup. It has a very light taste, and one of its perks is that it is about one and a half times sweeter than table sugar. However, it also has more calories compared to table sugar: sixty calories per tablespoon versus forty calories per tablespoon for sugar. So while agave nectar is used in some of the Skinny-Size It recipes to avoid adding table sugar, it should still be used in moderation.


The recommendation set forth in the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010) is to make at least half your grains whole grains. The Skinny-Size It goal is to make almost all your grains whole grains, as they not only are more nutrient rich than their stripped-down counterparts, but also add excellent flavor and texture to recipes. Whole grains and whole-grain products to stock up on include brown rice, steel-cut oats, rolled oats (also called old-fashioned oats), quinoa (red, white, black/purple), whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, oat flour, whole-wheat flour, white whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pasta, soba (100 percent buckwheat) noodles, wheat bran, cornmeal and buckwheat flour.

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