Category: Articles

How to Make homemade Air-Fried Donut Holes

Got a serious donut craving?  Forget the deep fryer, or frying oil and use your new best friend—the air fryer. With just 2 simple ingredients—mashed banana and self-rising flour—you can whip up homemade donut holes that are golden brown on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. (And if you don’t have self rising flour, I have a solution for that too!) Ready in just 7 minutes, these air fryer donut holes are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the excess calories from oil. 

Jump to Recipe Jump to Recipe
mini donut holes in parchment cone

When I made these for my kids they asked me where I bought them!  They love a Tim Horton or Dunkin’ Donuts every once in a while so I was thrilled that these homemade donuts stack up!  I’m so excited for you to try it. 

Jump to Recipe


  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour (plus up to 1/4 cup extra if needed)

Optional Ingredients

  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • white sugar

Step-by-Step Instructions

Prepare the Banana and Flour

  • Mash 1 ripe banana until smooth.
  • Measure out 1/2 cup of the mashed banana and set it aside.
  • Measure out 3/4 cup self-rising flour.

Mix the Dough

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the mashed banana and self-rising flour.
  • Mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, gradually add up to an additional 1/4 cup of flour until you have a cohesive dough ball.

Form the Donut Holes

  • Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough.
  • Roll the dough into 8 small balls.
  • Place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Air Fry the Donuts

  • Preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
  • Spray the balls of dough lightly with avocado oil.
  • Place them in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching.
  • Bake for 7 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Final Touches

  • Remove the donut holes using a pair of tongs and place them on a wire rack lined with paper towels to cool slightly.
  • Spray with a bit more oil and roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Serve & Enjoy

  • Serve your warm donut holes immediately for the best taste. 

Serving Suggestions

  • Dip It! Serve with a side of warm chocolate ganache, caramel dipping sauce, or a citrus glaze for an extra indulgent treat.
  • Coat It! Try different coatings like powdered sugar, matcha, or crushed nuts.
  • Fill It! For a surprise twist, fill the donut holes with fruit jam, vanilla pudding, or cream using a piping bag.
  • Parchment It! ​Roll parchment into a cone and serve 3-4 holes in each one.  Serving them this way takes these air fryer donut hole s up a notch! 

Storage Tips

Store any leftover donut holes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can also reheat them in the air fryer at a lower temperature for a few minutes to enjoy warm donut holes again.

Why Air Frying?

Air frying is one of the best ways to make donuts without the need for much oil. It’s a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods and results in deliciously fresh donut holes that your whole family will love. Plus, it’s easy peasy clean up too!


​What can I use instead of self rising flour?  

You can use 1 tsp baking powder (leavening agent) in addition to your all purpose flour.  Do not use bread flour, it will absorb too much water. 

How can I make these donut holes vegan?

The beauty of this recipe is that it is vegan!  Simply ensure your coatings and fillings are dairy-free. Definitely give my Eggless Banana Muffins or 3 ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies a try.

Can I use a different fruit instead of banana?

I’ve wondered about this too.  I think this could probably be done with applesauce BUT, the ratio of flour to apples will be different.  So it needs to be tested.  

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

You can bake these donut holes in the oven. Preheat to 350°F and bake on a baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

​Is the sugar coating necessary?

Absolutely not.  You can play around with different serving options.  You could even pipe pudding or jam into the center for a fun surprise.  Maybe go with a homemade chocolate glaze instead?

Nutritional Information

The greatest nutrition benefit here is that the amount of oil used is minimal compared to store bought mini donut hole or whole donut. When you limit fat, you’re able to omit excess calories, which is a bonus if you’re trying to lose weight.  

This recipe also includes fruit, delivering fiber, micronutrients, potassium and natural sugar.  

For more tips on healthy eating, check out these 9 tips to start cooking healthier today

2 donut holes is 138 calories.

Carbs: 29g

Fat: 1g

Protein: 1g

Follow me on IG for more daily inspo in my stories: @miss_nutritious_eats

Join my next round of the FASTer Way

Tired of endless diets and no results? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and see real, sustainable changes in just 6 weeks!

Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach

Ready to enjoy some guilt-free donut holes? Scroll down to get started with your first batch today!

mini donut holes in parchment cone

Banana Donut Holes

This simple 2-ish ingredient recipe is a MUST TRY!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 4
Calories 138 kcal


  • Kitchen Aide with paddle attachment


  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • sugar and cinnamon optional


  • Mash 1 banana, measure out 1/2 cup and set aside. Don't use more or less!
  • Combine 3/4 cup flour and banana in mixer with paddle attachment. Slowly add additional 1/4 cup until dough forms smooth ball.
  • Form into 8 balls and spray with oil spray.
  • Bake in air fryer for 7 minutes at 350F.
  • Toss in cinnamon and sugar mixture if desired.


Serving: 2holesCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Nutrition Benefits of cottage cheese for good health

Move over Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is having a moment. You could even say it’s the darling of the diary aisle!  The truth is, it’s a super versatile healthy food that offers a creamy texture and a bunch of protein to keep you full and satisfied. This soft, fresh cheese is characterized by its mild flavor and unique texture of small to large curds. It’s also a staple food for health-conscious people aiming for a balanced diet. Its high protein content, rich calcium levels, and low fat make it a go-to choice for anyone looking to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, enhance muscle growth, and support overall health.  Bonus, you can find it in nearly any grocery store!

Nutritional Highlights of Cottage Cheese

A half-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese packs a significant nutrition with approximately 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, and modest amounts of fat— 2.5 grams. 


Calciumplays an important role not just in maintaining strong and healthy bones as we age, but it’s also vital for proper muscle functions and nerve transmissions. It’s like giving your body the building blocks it needs to stay strong and functional. 


Phosphorus is another hero found in cottage cheese, which works hand-in-hand with calcium to bolster bone health. It’s also critical in repairing cells and tissues — kind of like your body’s natural maintenance team keeping everything in tip-top shape.


Potassium is another star nutrient, acting to help balance fluids in your body and support heart health by regulating blood pressure. Imagine it as a behind-the-scenes operator making sure everything runs smoothly, from your heartbeat to how your muscles contract.

Vitamin B12:  

B12 is essential for creating red blood cells and maintaining brain health—a real brain booster that keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable.


Cottage cheese is a high-protein food. It’s unique composition of its protein, predominantly casein, offers slower digestion, which aids in satiety and muscle recovery post-exercise. One cup of cottage cheese has nearly 25g protein!  


Some brands are a good source of live active cultures that support gut health.  Just be sure to read labels and ingredients lists to see if a significant amount are included.

If you’re managing conditions such as lactose intolerance or high blood pressure, opting for low-sodium varieties and considering the lower lactose content in cottage cheese compared to other dairy products can be beneficial. 

Choosing the Right Cottage Cheese for a Healthy Diet:

When it comes to picking the perfect cottage cheese, think of it like selecting the best Greek yogurt – aim for options without added sugar, particularly found in flavored varieties. It’s a simple switch that keeps your meals both delicious and health-oriented.

Sodium Levels to Watch For:

Pay close attention to sodium levels if you’re monitoring your blood pressure. Many cottage cheeses on the market tend to be high in sodium. A 1/2 cup serving of cottage cheese has about 356 mg of sodium.  But don’t worry, there are ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘no salt added’ varieties available to keep your intake in check. The American Heart Association suggests a sodium limit of 1,500–2,300 milligrams daily for most adults, with an ideal goal of 1,500 milligrams or less for individuals managing high blood pressure.

The Fat Content Dilemma: 

Dairy products, including cottage cheese, come in no-fat, low-fat, and full-fat versions. Your choice should align with your health objectives. If you’re looking for something that feels more indulgent and satisfies your hunger, full-fat cottage cheese might just hit the spot due to its rich flavor and texture.

Quality Is Key: 

Top-notch cottage cheese should boast a short and sweet list of ingredients, highlighting the quality of the dairy used. At the end of the day, however, the best choice for you might simply come down to the flavors and ingredients that you and your family prefer. And that’s perfectly fine!

Does the size of the curd matter?  

Not really…

Small Curd Cottage Cheese presents a smoother, creamier consistency, making it almost melt in your mouth. Its more homogeneous texture is preferable for those who enjoy a subtle taste profile or when a dish requires a silkier cheese component. 

Large Curd Cottage Cheese, on the other hand, is all about the experience of texture and taste. The larger, chewier curds provide a more pronounced mouthfeel, often described as rich and satisfying. 

bread with cream on top

Quick ways to add Cottage Cheese to your diet

Morning Boost: Break your fast with a serving of low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese alongside fresh fruit or whole-grain toast for a balanced breakfast.

Healthy Alternative: Use it as a substitute for sour cream or ricotta cheese in dips, spreads, and baking to reduce saturated fat while increasing protein (similar to how you may use greek yogurt.

Protein Rich Pasta:  ​Mix cottage cheese into your favorite pasta sauce for a creamy sauce option.  

Post-Workout Snack: Blend cottage cheese into smoothies for a creamy texture and protein boost.

Protein-Rich Salads: Create nourishing salads by adding cottage cheese for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Savory Options: Enhance your lasagnas, casseroles, and stuffed shells with cottage cheese for a calcium-packed twist.

Dessert:  Blend plain cottage cheese into the social media favorite- ice cream!  

For more ideas check out this post for 30 high protein meal ideas that star cottage cheese.  

Cottage Cheese: A Smart Choice for Healthy Living

From aiding in blood sugar control with its low carbohydrate content to providing a good source of selenium, important for heart disease prevention and muscle growth, cottage cheese integrates well into any healthy eating plan.

Considering the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines, incorporating low-calorie, high-protein foods like cottage cheese into your diet supports weight loss and healthy weight management without compromising on taste or nutrition. Whether opting for traditional cottage cheese with its distinctive large curds or preferring the smoother texture of small curds in low-fat options, there’s a variety to suit every palate and dietary need.

Why do we avoid dairy in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

I want to address the elephant in the room. In the FASTer Way, my 6 week weight loss program, we avoid both gluten and dairy. We do this for a few reasons including reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and promoting weight loss. But I know that for many of you, giving up these two food groups can seem daunting and even scary. Trust me, I’ve been there too.

But the truth is, eliminating gluten and dairy from your diet doesn’t have to be difficult or restrictive (or forever!) There are plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives available that can still satisfy your cravings and provide the nutrients your body needs. We recommend eliminating these two things because many people are sensitive to gluten without knowing it. As a result, they are in a state of inflammation and benefit from removing it from the diet. Similarly, many people don’t tolerate dairy well, and they don’t even know it! So for the first 6 weeks of the FASTer Way, we recommend eliminating both to help reduce inflammation to support metabolism and shed fat. Then, you can slowly experiment with adding whole, unprocessed forms of both back into your diet so you can assess how you feel afterwards.

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

30 High-Protein Meals Made with Cottage Cheese

This post is dedicated to my co-worker who is OBSESSED with cottage cheese. Literally any recipe- he’s shamelessly adding it to boost his protein intake.  But I can’t blame him. It’s a whole food.  It tastes great and it’s incredibly versatile and an excellent ingredient to support weight loss.  So Scott – this one is for you!  

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, and according to the American Dairy Association it packs about 12 grams per 1/2 cup serving.1 Not only does it boast high protein content, but its creamy texture makes it a versatile ingredient for a variety of meals. Whether you’re a fan of the taste of cottage cheese or looking for ways to sneak more protein into your diet, these recipes are great additions to your meal plan. Here, I’ve compiled the best cottage cheese recipes that are gluten-free and perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, each designed to deliver at least 30 grams of protein.

1/4 cup (2 oz) cottage
1/4 cup (2 oz) cottage by U.S. Department of Agriculture


Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls: Start your day with these bowls combining cottage cheese, fresh berries, a scoop of protein powder, and a touch of honey. Blend in a food processor for a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt.

High-Protein Pancakes: Mix cottage cheese with oats, eggs, and a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Cook on medium heat for pancakes that are a healthy breakfast option and a good source of calcium.

Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl: For those who prefer savory recipes, this bowl mixes cottage cheese with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil. It’s a great way to incorporate healthy fats and important nutrients into your morning routine.  

Cottage Cheese Toast: Upgrade your toast with a spread of cottage cheese, topped with sliced bell peppers and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts for added deliciousness.

High-Protein Omelette: Whip up an omelette by adding 1/2 cup of cottage cheese into the egg mixture. Throw in fresh veggies and cooked chicken for extra protein and flavor.

Cottage Cheese Cake Overnight Oats: Combine 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with 1/2 cup rolled oats.  Mix in a touch of vanilla, and 1/2 a mashed banana and let sit overnight.  Top with fresh raspberries.  It’s one of the best ways to have cake for breakfast!  Add stevia as needed for sweetness.  


Cottage Cheese Alfredo Sauce: A healthier version of the classic alfredo made with cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh herbs blended until smooth. Serve over your favorite gluten free pasta for a nutritious lunch.

Cottage Cheese and Quinoa Salad: A filling salad that combines the protein power of quinoa and cottage cheese with fresh greens and a lemon olive oil dressing.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: Mix cottage cheese, cooked lean ground turkey, and quinoa for a filling, then stuff into bell peppers. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender.

Cottage Cheese Tacos: Replace traditional taco meat with a blend of cottage cheese, taco seasoning, and black beans, served in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.

Savory Cottage Cheese Dip: Blend cottage cheese until smooth, then mix with diced tomatoes, green onions, and a touch of garlic for a dip that goes well with tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

Cottage Cheese Egg Salad: For a refreshing twist, mix chopped boiled eggs with cottage cheese, mustard, and herbs for a high-protein egg salad.


Cottage Cheese Lasagna: Substituting ricotta with cottage cheese is a great way to boost the protein content in this classic dish. Layer with cooked pasta, your favorite sauce, and plenty of vegetables. I’ve done it several times with my baked ziti recipe!

Cottage Cheese Pizza: Swap out mozzarella for cottage cheese on your pizza for an unusual but tasty twist. Add toppings like cooked chicken breast, spinach, and bell peppers for added nutrients.

Cottage Cheese Stuffed Chicken: Stuff chicken breasts with a mixture of cottage cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, then bake until juicy and tender.

Creamy Cottage Cheese Vodka Sauce: Make a quick cottage cheese Vodka sauce to create a creamy, satisfying pasta dish paired with grilled chicken.  Zip cottage cheese with your favorite jarred marinara sauce and then heat and serve!  

You can easily replace the ricotta in this recipe with cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Burrito Bowl: Mix cottage cheese with rice, beans, and fajita vegetables for a hearty and nutritious meal.

Cottage Cheese Bolognese: Replace half the meat in your traditional Bolognese sauce with cottage cheese for a lighter, yet still protein-rich sauce.


Cottage Cheese Ice Cream: Combine cottage cheese with coconut milk and your choice of sweetener, then freeze for a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. Check out my recipe here!

Cottage Cheese Energy Balls: Blend cottage cheese with oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and a bit of honey, then roll into balls and refrigerate—a perfect pre-workout snack.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait: Layer cottage cheese with fresh fruits, a drizzle of honey, and some granola for a quick and easy snack.

Cottage Cheese Dip for Fresh Veggies: Blend cottage cheese until smooth, then season with your favorite spice mix.  I like the Trader Joe’s Ranch seasoning for a kid friendly dip that pairs well with any type of fresh vegetables.

Cottage Cheese Caprese Bites: A simple snack of a slice of tomato, topped with a scoop of cottage cheese, basil leaf, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Don’t forget the flaky sea salt!

Cottage Cheese on Toast: Just scoop your cottage cheese onto your favorite gluten free bread or seed cracker. Top withe diced tomato, chive and everything but the bagel seasoning.

Additional Meal Ideas:

Protein-Packed Smoothies: Blend cottage cheese with fresh or frozen fruit, almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder for an easy way to increase your protein intake.

Cottage Cheese-Stuffed Avocado: Halve an avocado and fill with cottage cheese, topped with salsa and a squeeze of lime, for a balance of creamy and tangy flavors.

Cottage Cheese Frittata: Beat eggs with cottage cheese, pour into a baking dish, and add your choice of vegetables and cheese. Bake until set for a high-protein, easy meal prep option.

Cottage Cheese Meatballs: Combine cottage cheese with ground meat, breadcrumbs (gluten-free options available), and spices. Basically use in place of your liquid or eggs. Bake and serve with your favorite sauce.

Savory Cottage Cheese Crepes: Fill crepes with cottage cheese mixed with herbs and shredded chicken for a delightful lunch or dinner option.

Cottage Cheese and Berry Compote: A simple dessert or snack, layer cottage cheese with a homemade berry compote for a burst of flavor.

Incorporating cottage cheese into your meals is not only an easy way to boost your protein intake but also enhances the flavor and texture of dishes. From the creamy sauce of a lasagna to the sweet satisfaction of cheesecake, cottage cheese proves to be a great ingredient for anyone looking to maintain a healthy, high-protein diet. 

Benefits of eating cottage cheese

It’s a good source of high-quality protein.  With about 12 grams of protein per half-cup serving, cottage cheese is an excellent source of casein protein. 

It’s a source of bone-strengthening minerals: Cottage cheese is packed with calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are vital for strong, healthy bones. 

Can be low in fat: Available in low-fat and nonfat varieties, cottage cheese is an excellent option for those looking to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing taste or nutritional value.

Gut Health Benefits: When produced with live and active cultures, cottage cheese can offer probiotics similar to yogurt, promoting a healthy gut microbiome. 


This is a list of ideas. You will need to play with the amounts you use to fit your macro goals. Feel free to DM or email me with questions!



About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Start making extra money with a nutrition side hustle

As a registered dietitian and all around food person, FASTer Way to Fat Loss is THE program I would recommend for anyone looking to tone up, shed fat, feel better in their clothes, have more energy, even improve cholesterol levels or simply start establishing healthy habits.  I would recommend it for all of these reasons and more – BECAUSE IT WORKS!  

It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle that delivers customized results.  No gimmicks, just a massive support system and all the tools you need to be successful.  

Read more about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss here.

But then something unexpected happened

After just a few months of starting the FASTer Way – I had a little voice in the back of my head that was nudging me to become a coach.  It was involuntary… and kind of a no-brainer.  With my corporate position as a dietitian, I don’t have the opportunity to work with clients one on one.  So in sharing a lifestyle that I already live (and know delivers results), I can help people and make significant income.  Three years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.  

There is nothing quite seeing one of your clients hit a milestone or overcome a limiting belief.  It is G-O-L-D.  

Who would I recommend become a coach with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?

  • Registered Dietitians who works in a clinical setting who want’s to diversify client base.  Or maybe you’re an RD that wants to get out of clinical all together?
  • Do you want to pivot to working with motivated clients?  
  • Are you an RD entrepreneur who is starting out and wants to make a bigger impact.
  • Wellness professionals who have the knowledge, but need the business support to get started. 
  • A personal trainer who has the fitness expertise, but needs the proper nutrition support that is correct and sound!    

If you are a nutrition or wellness professional that wants to make additional income, this post is for you!  

Blending Passion with Income 

Convergence is a beautiful thing, especially when your passion for nutrition intersects with the potential for earning income. The median annual wage for a dietitian or nutritionist is $71,000.1  That’s the median, meaning many RD’s are making much less. By becoming a Faster Way coach, you unlock a great way to do just that (and more). Not only do you get to witness incredible health transformations everyday, but you also get compensated for your commitment and expertise in coaching clients through the program.  So how much can you make?  Sky is the limit really.  Check out this income calculator tool to get an idea of what you could make in a side hustle or in a full time commitment.  

Is this passive income?

No, as a coach with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, you are paid to coach clients through the six week program and on an ongoing basis when they go into membership.  This is an active and ongoing commitment to leverage your nutrition knowledge and coach clients with healthy recipes, tweaking macros, learning balance and educating clients on a daily or weekly basis.  (Totally different than patient care!)

To empower you to become the best nutrition and fitness coach using the most effective program on the market so you can help your clients get incredible, sustainable results while you earn a significant income.

All of the right tools to do the job

Imagine having an online course, digital products like lead generators, and social media marketing strategies at your fingertips. With Faster Way, you’re not just dabbling in an extra gig; while it could be your hobby, you’re actually growing a scalable online business. When I logged into the coach portal for the first time, I was really impressed with the amount of resources available.  Literally everything I wanted to know was at my fingertips. But more importantly, the infrastructure to run a business is already set up. Once I signed on to become a coach, it’s like I received a business in a box and could hit the ground running.  

For example:  

  • coding on the back end
  • all the financials are automated from clients, and to you
  • a back office login to keep leads, income, reports organized
  • tools like macro tracker, meal plans, and workouts that synergistic and customizable
  • macro tool for nutrition analysis
  • Did I mention that the program works?  

Literally all of the little things that you need have already been thought of, and they’re at your fingertips!

Read more about the initial six week program here.  

A Source of Joy and Personal Growth 

From personal experience—I can tell you, there’s little that compares with the satisfaction of guiding real, everyday women towards sustainable health solutions and if you’re a health professional, I know you know it’s true. The FASTer Way program is technically virtual, but you can bring it to the real world in a lot of ways.  Partner with a local grocery stores, bike shop or coffee shop to add value in a small group for these businesses.  You can put as much work into it as you want to, and you have the ability as a dietitian to discuss you’re passion nutrition topics with your clients.  Some FASTer Way to Fat Loss coaches incorporate the program into their private nutrition practice offerings while others exclusively promote the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.  

Unbeatable Support

Fruit smoothie kale, arugula, berries

You’re not going into this alone. I will help you, and the FASTer Way team will support you every step of the way. Benefit from tools and resources crafted to boost your personal growth and professional development. From meal plans, workouts and a central app to a back office manager, comprehensive coach portal and ongoing trainings, you will have everything you need to succeed.  

Harness Your Expertise 

Leverage your nutrition knowledge in ways traditional dietetic roles may not allow. Personally I love that we focus on whole food nutrition while incorporating fitness and mindset.  With the FASTer Way you get the benefit of a nutrition program developed by dietitians WITH the expertise from trainers to pair diet and exercise to build healthy longterm habits with your clients.  

Flexible Schedule

Benefit from a flexible schedule that tailors to your time management needs. Whether it’s a supplement to your full time job or a transition to entrepreneurship, Faster Way gives you the control to pace your growth and client engagements on your own time.  

Is Social Media Required?

Truthfully, you don’t even need social media to get new clients.  If you’re a dietitian, you know, once you tell someone what you do – you get all the details, and inevitably you’re asked for a meal plan!  Welp- the FASTer Way offers a solution that can turn those conversations into extra income.  But it doen’t hurt to have a social media presence. Many coaches start from scratch with Instagram, a brand new youtube channel, an email list or simply dedicated blog posts.  Whichever platform you use to communicate to your ideal client, is where you will start.  And a lot of times this changes as time goes on.  

The First Step Towards a Full-Time Passion 

If that little voice is in the back of your head too. Read more about certification here.  It’s a great place to start thinking about your business plan and to find out if it’s the right place for you!  As I continue with the FASTer Way, I often think back to our ShopRite User Group days.  All 50-150 dietitians getting together once a month to share best practices and learn from each other.  The FASTer Way is user group on steroids.  IYKYK 🙂

If you’re ready to redefine your career or to become a side hustler, then this opportunity is for you!  

Your expertise is needed, wanted, and can be lucratively rewarded. Coaching with Faster Way to Fat Loss isn’t just a profitable prospect; it’s a substantial move towards a more fulfilled, impactful professional life. 



About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Low-carb & delicious Cheesy Cabbage Pizza recipe

Who says pizza can’t be both delicious and healthy? Last night, I decided to put a creative spin on pizza by using cabbage as the crust.  

Cabbage as a pizza base may sound unusual, but these thick slices of low-carb deliciousness are not only satisfying but also packed with vitamin C, aiding weight loss (because they’re low calorie) and supporting immune systems thanks to their prebiotic fiber. Plus, it aligns perfectly with a whole foods approach to nutrition that I teach in my weight loss program – The FASTer Way to Fat Loss. The fact is, this unique take on pizza is perfect for your next week’s menu rotation—especially if you’re looking to keep things tasty and nutrient-rich.  Did I mention cabbage is likely the most affordable vegetable at the market?  

Jump to Recipe

Join my next round of the FASTer Way

Tired of endless diets and no results? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss and see real, sustainable changes in just 6 weeks!

Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach


  • Thick slices of green cabbage or red cabbage (I’ve tried both and they’re great)
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce or tomato sauce per slice(Recommended brand: Rao’s)
  • 1/2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese per slice
  • Toppings of choice (we like turkey pepperoni)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: green onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, fresh basil, mushrooms, pineapple and left over ham.  Sky’s the limit!  
Jump to Recipe
image of cabbage pizzas on sheet pan

Step-By-Step Guide:

Preparing Your Cabbage Base:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray.
  2. Cut your red cabbage into 3/4 inch slice rounds that will form the bases of your pizza.
  3. Lay them on a baking sheet and spray each slice with olive oil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to infuse the slices with flavor.
  5. Roast in the oven until they reach a delectable golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Adding the Toppings:

  1. Once the first roast is done, carefully flip over each cabbage steaks.
  2. Spoon 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce over each round, creating a tomato mixture that mirrors traditional pizza.
  3. Sprinkle each with 1/2 oz of finely shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Add the turkey pepperoni or any other bite-sized pieces of your preferred toppings.
  5. Optional: For a burst of fresh taste, add green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of garlic powder or oregano.
  6. Return to the oven and bake at medium heat for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles into melted perfection.


  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  2. Serve hot.
Pizzas portioned out on plate

Why Cabbage Pizza?

The beauty of this cabbage pizza lies in its simplicity. With only three core ingredients, it takes the hassle out of dinner prep. Cabbage is a powerhouse vegetable, making these pizzas ideal for those on a keto diet, low carb or even carb-cycling, providing essential nutrients with minimal g fat.  

Because we’re baking the cabbage rather than frying, it retains much of its nutritional value. And thanks to cabbage’s flexibility, it pairs beautifully with nearly any topping. 

If you’re in meal prep mode, these pizzas are convenient to reheat and can make great quick lunches throughout the week. Plus, for anyone interested in weight management without compromising on taste, swapping your traditional pizza base with cabbage might just be the tip you’ve been looking for.

Social media platforms like TikTok have sparked a trend for innovative, health-focused recipes, and this cabbage pizza is sure to join the ranks as a great recipe for low carb meals.

Remember, when it comes to cooking, the joy is in the experiment. Swap ingredients, try new toppings, and find what works best for you and your dietary needs.

How they fit into macros

One 3/4 inch pizza with 1/4 cup marinara and 1/2 oz mozzarella cheese provides:

107 Calories

8g Carbohydrate

3g Fiber

6g Fat

6g Protein

Log your toppings individually to customize for your macros!

Pizzas portioned out on plate

Cabbage Pizza

3 ingredients and simple. Need I say more?
Cook Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 107 kcal


  • 1 Sheetpan lined


  • 1 head cabbage sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese shredded


  • Lay cabbage slices onto sheet pan. Spray both sides with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
  • Flip cabbage and layer with sauce, cheese and toppings.
  • Cook for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melted.


Calories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 420mgPotassium: 579mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 583IUVitamin C: 87mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Healthy Costco Grocery Haul with a Registered Dietitian

Do you enjoy shopping at Costco as much as I do? I visit my local Harris Teeter or Trader Joe grocery store several times a week, but there’s something special about a Costco run. The wide aisles filled with fresh produce and seasonal favorites offer a lot of healthy options if you’re aiming for a balanced lifestyle. I applied for Costco membership with the Mooresville, NC store when they opened and have never looked back.

As a registered dietitian, I make biweekly visits to stock up on family favorites and household essentials. Today, I’m sharing my favorite Costco picks that are whole foods and staples in my pantry and fridge. These items taste great and make creating healthy (& macro friendly) meals much simpler, especially on busy days. Whether you’re looking for a great source of protein, healthy fats, or whole grains, I’ve got you covered. If you’re following the FASTer Way with me, you’ll definitely want save this post to refer back to!

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Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach

In the FASTer Way program I coach, we emphasize the importance of balanced and satisfying meals. The goal is to include a mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in every meal to keep you feeling full and energized. That’s why I’ve categorized my list into healthy fats, fiber, protein, and healthy carbs. Let me know what questions you have!

Heart-Healthy Fats

For a good source of fat, which can help manage heart disease, help keep you full and on track to hit your macro targets on low carb days, I’ve got a few must-haves:

  • Avocado Mash: Squeeze some lime juice on this perfect addition to any meal! It’s full of those heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and essential nutrients; a great way to satisfy hunger.
  • Kirkland Fancy Mixed Nuts: These are chock-full of healthy fatty-acids and they make a perfect quick snack when paired with a source of lean protein.  Protein shake maybe?
  • Kirkland Basil Pesto: Toss it with some whole-grain pasta, miracle noodles or drizzle over grilled veggies; either way, you’re getting those heart-healthy fats and a ton of flavor.  I particularly love this pesto because it doesn’t have that weird aftertaste that other store bought brands have. Normally, I would make my own pesto- but this one tastes so good, I don’t have to!
  • Hummus Cups: Snacks are all set for the week’s meal prep with these protein and plant-based goodies.
  • Kirkland Nut Butters:  Whichever you choose, just be sure that there is little to no added sugar!
  • Costco Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  Whether we’re sautéing vegetables or making salad dressings, this high quality oil is always in my cabinet.  I even use it in baking sometimes 🙂

Protein Powerhouses

Looking for protein options? Here’s what I keep in my cart:

  • Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets: With enough omega-3 fatty acids to make any heart happy, Costco’s salmon is a staple for my healthy meals. I usually make these on Monday nights for a quick 14 minute meal. Read more about it here!
  • Greenridge Farms Beef Sticks: These are a fan favorite.  They remind my of the kabanos Polish sausage that my father would bring home from Brooklyn when I was a kid. My children love these for school lunches and they fit really well into my macros on a low carb day.  You can find them in the refrigerated protein section.  
  • Ground Bison: This high-quality meat with essential amino acids is a super lean substitute for your traditional ground beef.  We like to use it for burgers, taco night or chili.  
  • Rotisserie Chicken Breast:  Convenience meets nutrition with this high-protein, minimal fuss choice.  It’s ready for you to simply serve with dinner, or make chicken salad with.  Don’t forget to make your own broth after! While you can get the whole chicken already cooked, they sell the large packages of precooked and pulled chicken in the prepared foods area.
  • Bare Chicken Nuggets: These are the famous nuggets that taste like the Chick-fil-A nuggets.  My children love them and they’re my favorite to add to my signature salad too.  If you follow my IG stories, you know I eat it a few times a week!  They make for quick family meals that keep everyone happy!
  • Built Puff Protein Bars:  These are a collagen protein bar that are dipped in real chocolate, so if you have a sweet tooth like me – these satisfy it.  They have a marshmallowish type center, they’re delicious and have 17 grams of protein per serving!
  • Boiled Eggs:  I have always, always, always boiled my own eggs.  But Costco sells them already peeled and packaged in 2’s which takes less time and brainpower when packing food for the-go.

Fiber-Filled Finds

Reaching your daily value for fiber is no joke.  That’s 25 or 38g respectively for women and men.  And Costco makes sure I hit that target with:

  • Kirkland Rolled Oats: With a hearty bowl of oats; packing in grams of fiber and whole grains.
  • Black Beans:  I like to have these on hand to mix into salsa or add to taco meat for extra fiber.  
  • Kirkland Signature Quinoa: Whether you’re into brown rice bowls or trending TikTok recipes, these are fiber-rich (and protein) and full of flavor and an easy substitute for rice. I like to cook one cup of quinoa with 1.5 cups of water and then divide into 4 portions to eat sweet or savory later in the week.
  • Cauliflower Rice: Perfect for side dishes, adding to stir-fries, even to smoothies for a boost of micronutrients and fiber. Easy, delicious, and nutritious!
  • Benefiber: If you’re traveling, or if your diet is light on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains it’s not a bad idea to take a fiber supplement to support your gut health.
  • Frozen Broccoli: We actually really like Kirkland frozen broccoli. One large package has several smaller bags inside, so you can take one out, microwave it and not have extra broccoli fall out all over the freezer. One bag is perfect for our family dinner with a little extra to spare for the next day’s lunch.

Quick & Healthy Carbohydrates

Complex carbs provide our bodies with sustained energy, so I’ve got the inside scoop on the best ones:

  • Dave’s Killer Bread:  This is one of our favorite whole-grain bread options.  They sell it in a two pack, and they are easy to freeze for future use.  
  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers: Whether it’s for a sandwich or a charcuterie board, these are great options.
  • Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries (frozen): Fruits are nature’s candy, packed with vitamins, essential for those who love dried fruit and berries.

Other Costco hall-of-famers:

  • Raos Sauce:  Whether it’s for pasta night with tomato sauce or a creamy curry, these are a good addition to your next meal.
  • Kirkland Almond Milk: These boxes are very handy to have in the pantry for last minute smoothies or baking.
  • Kombucha: Stay hydrated and gut-happy with these delightful beverages.

Check these items out during your next Costco haul; and let me know what favorites I missed! Remember, the key to a balanced diet is a mix of macronutrients and flavors to keep your body nourished and satisfied.

Melanie Marcus MA RD, your guide to smarter grocery shopping and easier macro friendly meals.

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Will Tiktok’s oatzempic trend help you lose weight?

As a registered dietitian, I can’t help but share my thoughts when a new trend hits my instagram.  The latest is the rise of TikTok’s oatzempic trend for weight loss. It’s called the “Oatzempic” challenge—a catchy name for a homemade smoothie purportedly offering benefits similar to the popular weight loss drug Ozempic. So lets get into it.  Is this weight loss hack the newest weight loss tonic that you’ve been looking for?

What Is the Oatzempic Trend?

The Oatzempic trend involves blending a cup of oats with a cup of water, a squeeze of lime juice, and sometimes a dash of cinnamon to create a gel-like substance. The name “Oatzempic” derives from its comparison to Ozempic, a diabetes medication often prescribed for weight loss, playing on a “budget ozempic” alternative. Dr. Tommy Martin, a Physician, and Karina Chiddo, a TikTok influencer, are among the many TikTok users who have contributed to the trend’s popularity.

Some participants claim that drinking this oat-heavy concoction leads to rapid weight loss. They feel that swapping a high-calorie breakfast for the Oatzempic drink results in a calorie deficit and therefore pounds of weight loss.

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Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach

Dissecting the Oatzempic Recipe

Before we get into the effects, what exactly is this oat-based drink?

1.  Oats –  Whole grains that contain a type of soluble fiber, which can help manage blood sugar levels and promote gut health according to the New England Journal of Medicine. 

2.  Water

3. Lime juice

The blend of oatmeal and lime juice creates a smoothie that allegedly mimics the feeling of fullness provided by the GLP-1 hormone, which is what Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, targets.

However, the scientific evidence supporting the Oatzempic drink as a weight management tool remains as scarce as high-fiber foods in a fad diet. Longterm healthy habits will always win over the fad diets. 

Rolled oats on white background

Impact of Oatzmpic drink

Though the Oatzempic trend boasts the body’s hormonal changes and reduced food intake through a feeling of fullness, I would caution against expecting dramatic weight loss similar to clinical trials with actual diabetes drugs. While sustainable weight loss is often gradual and involves a balance of physical activity and fewer calories over time, TikTok’s latest smoothie craze promises an easy solution to a complex health issue.

Social media users are often drawn to the allure of quick weight loss. Replacing whole meals with something like the Oatzempic recipe could lead to deficiencies in other valuable nutrients found in a balanced diet, such as lean proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins.

The Verdict on the Oatzempic Recipe

Despite its popularity, the Oatzempic drink is unlikely to be a safe or healthy long term way to achieve substantial weight loss in the long term. Plus, there are much tastier ways to consume a cup of oatmeal. 

Simple 3 Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies

How to cook oatmeal in the microwave without the mess


Ultimately, the Oatzempic trend reflects the chronic desire for rapid and massive weight loss through seemingly simple and budget-friendly solutions. But as a general rule of thumb in women’s health and beyond, meaningful weight loss and health improvements come from a mixture of diet, consistent physical activity, and often, changes to long-established habits rather than a quick fix.  Incorporating well researched strategies such as intermittent fasting and carb cycling along with a healthy diet right in whole unprocessed foods is the best way to get the weight loss and health benefits you’ve been looking for.  

The Oatzempic craze serves as a reminder that engaging in social media health trends without thorough research or professional guidance can lead to more harm than benefit. Healthier choices, consulting medical professionals, especially if one has a medical condition, and setting realistic goals are the keystones for genuine, sustainable weight loss.

Remember, when it comes to managing your weight, there are no magical drinks—a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a commitment to making healthier choices in the long run are the tried and true ingredients for success.

If you want to lose weight sustainably, for the long term. Check out more about the faster way to fast loss. Just six weeks to a new you!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Kid-friendly + Easy baked Turkey Meatball recipe

If you know me, you know I love my mom’s turkey meatballs.  They’re actually called kotlety, which is Polish for “meatball”.  They’re just downright comforting and very simple to make.  I love them with sauce, sliced cold onto a sandwich or just straight out of the fridge for a quick snack.  IYKYK.  So, honestly, I’m sharing this recipe more for myself, my brother and my sister so all of my nieces and nephew can enjoy and remember these as fondly as I do.  Thanks Mom!

Jump to Recipe

Kid appeal

The best part? This turkey meatball recipe is baked and can be a delicious dinner staple for every age—from younger children with little fingers to picky eaters who only eat one food – this is a strong contender. The flavorful meatballs are a mixture of ground turkey, breadcrumbs, and the secret ingredient, Locatelli Romano, making them perfect for a childhood food and well into adulthood. 

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 3 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Locatelli Romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

About the turkey

I’ve tried this recipe with 85%, 92% and 99% lean ground turkey.  I am always happier with the texture and flavor when I use 85 or 92% lean ground turkey.  Not to mention when I use 99% only, they need much less bake time, and could be done in about 30 minutes.  So while I love a good lean protein option, this one should be saved for low carb day.  I recommend going with 85% lean ground turkey.  

The secret ingredient – Locatelli Romano

We’ve tried making this dish with parmesan cheese in a pinch, and it is simply not the same.  Locatelli Romano cheese has a deep, sharp and salty flavor that literally makes this recipe.  Don’t try to substitute it!  Buy a large chunk and grate with a box grater or microplane when you need it for this recipe.  

​Don’t skimp on the parsley

Let me tell you why.  This recipe has a lot of umami rich ingredients.  With turkey and egg and cheese, it needs the brightness from the parsley and while 3/4 cup chopped seems like a lot (I sometimes add more) and it’s really what makes it such a great recipe.  

A Few ‘Great Ways’ To Serve These Meatballs:

  • Over your favorite pasta with marinara sauce for a quick meal.
  • Paired with sweet potato fries or brown rice and broccoli for a well-balanced plate.
  • Smothered in Rao’s marinara or any tomato sauce you love served on a whole grain roll.
  • Stored in an airtight container, they make for fantastic meal prep options for a quick meal the next day.

Instructions for Making Mom’s Turkey Meatballs:

Jump to Recipe
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment sheets or parchment paper for fast cleanup.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Integrating a food processor might seem like an easy way, but some things are best done the traditional way, ensuring the turkey mixture retains its texture.
  3. Into the turkey mixture go the grated Locatelli Romano, breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, and milk. Using a wooden spoon, mix until you’ve got a consistent meatball mixture.
  4. Crack in the egg, and crushed garlic followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
  5. Time to shape these simple turkey meatballs! With clean hands or a set of scoopers, form the turkey mixture into perfect balls. For consistent sizes, use a small cookie scoop—it also makes the prep time fly by while keeping my hands clean!
  6. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet ensuring they’re spread out evenly. 
  7. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven until golden and cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees F—this usually takes 50 minutes.

Protein Options

For those who like to tinker in the kitchen, here are different ways to modify this new recipe:

  • Swap ground turkey for ground chicken or lean ground beef.
  • Turn them into paleo turkey meatballs by using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs.
  • Hide additional nutrients like finely diced red onion or grated sweet potatoes into the mix for hidden vegetables.
  • Make a double batch of these baked meatballs and store extras in the freezer for an even quicker family meal next time. For other batch cooking ideas, check out this article.

Macros and Nutrition

I broke out the serving for these to one meatball so you can create a serving of 2, 3, 4 or more meatballs to meet your individual macro needs.

When made with 85% lean turkey, one meatball has:

Carb: 1g

Protein: 14g

Fat: 2g

Other Family Favorite recipes to try

Three Cheese Baked Ziti with Meat and Hidden Mushrooms
Check out this recipe
close up photo of farfalle
Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Veggies and Pine nuts
Check out this recipe
salmon on top on lemon slices.
Why I eat leftover salmon straight from the fridge
Check out this recipe

Follow me on IG for more daily inspo in my stories: @miss_nutritious_eats

Mom’s Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 24
Calories 78 kcal


  • 1 Sheetpan
  • 1 baking dish 9×13


  • 3 pounds ground turkey 85% lean
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Locatelli Romano cheese grated
  • 3/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic I use Dorot
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Gently combine all ingredient in a large bowl.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop to form into even balls. (about 24)
  • Bake at 375 F for 1 hour.


Calories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 14gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 57mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

The Best Super Yummy Chicken Dinner Recipe ideas

What is better than a go-to chicken recipe that’s a crowd pleaser and macro friendly? I went ahead and pulled together an array of super yummy recipes catered to women looking to feed their families healthy, macro-friendly chicken dinners. These are recipes that I make on re-peat at home. Whether you’re a busy bee seeking quick meals or a picky eater aiming to indulge without the guilt, these chicken breast-centered dishes are delicious and nourishing.

Why Choose Chicken Breasts?

Chicken breasts are a wonderful source of lean protein and are incredibly versatile. If you’re tracking macros, you know lean chicken breast is a great way to hit your protein macro goals without added fat. They can be baked, grilled, pan-seared, or slow-cooked into a variety of dishes that won’t derail your health goals. Plus, using simple ingredients, you can transform this humble poultry cut into a culinary delight that everyone at the table will love.

If you want to know more about how tracking macros can help you reach your health goal, check out this article.

The Only Thing Better Than Quick Chicken Recipes? Healthy Ones!

​Here’s a roundup of a few of my go-to’s

Baked Chicken Breasts
Baked Chicken Breasts
Perfect, juicy Baked Chicken Breasts topped with crispy panko-parmesan crumbs are flavorful and delicious!
Check out this recipe
Yogurt Curry Chicken Skewers
This recipes reminds me of the chicken, salad and rice plates that I would get in New York. Even easier to make!
Check out this recipe
Everything Bagel Chicken Roll-Ups
Everything Bagel Chicken Roll-Ups
4 Servings per container
Check out this recipe
Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fried Rice
This Chicken fried rice Recipe is packed with chicken, veggies and basmati rice. This Macro Friendly dish is full of flavors and great for meal prep.
Check out this recipe
easy pulled chicken
BBQ Pulled Chicken
This one couldn't be easier. Set it and forget it.
Check out this recipe
Macro Friendly Caprese Chicken
Macro Friendly Caprese Chicken
Cook this delicious and macro-friendly caprese chicken! Believe it or not, with just four main ingredients and 30 minutes, you can make this super delicious, and incredibly healthy caprese chicken. With mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil, it tastes just like an authentic, Italian pizza but you won’
Check out this recipe
Herby Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
Herby Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
This Herby Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Tenderloin recipe is a great go-to for your favorite recipes that call for grilled chicken!
Check out this recipe
Sweet Potato Chipotle Rotisserie Chicken Skillet
Sweet Potato Chipotle Rotisserie Chicken Skillet
With this sweet potato chipotle rotisserie chicken skillet recipe, your macros will be covered and you’ll still get all the comfort you need.
Check out this recipe
Chicken Parmesan Rolls (Pizzeria Style Chicken Rolls)
Chicken Parmesan Rolls (Pizzeria Style Chicken Rolls)
These protein packed Chicken Parmesan Rolls (also know as chicken rolls) are wrapped in my homemade pizza dough with marinara and mozzarella.
Check out this recipe
No-Dairy Chicken Alfredo
No-Dairy Chicken Alfredo
6 Servings per container
Check out this recipe

Which will you choose?

Healthy dinners don’t have to be synonymous with bland or boring. With these super yummy recipes featuring chicken breasts, you can satisfy every member of the family, including the picky eater at your table. They offer a quick recipe solution when you’re short on time but still want to ensure a nutritious meal.

And remember, while chicken dinners are fabulous, the only thing that might top off your meal perfectly is a scoop of ice cream for dessert (we all need a little treat now and then, after all)!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie

A Dietitian’s Harris Teeter Grocery Haul (2024)

Adjusting to grocery shopping in North Carolina has taken some time.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that when I lived in New Jersey, I was a ShopRite girl, and could get essentially everything I needed there at a great price.  Now that I’m in North Carolina, not only are the stores different, and pricier, but I’m feeding an entire family (four of us), so I find that I make the rounds from Harris Teeter (HT), Costco, Walmart Marketplace event Trader Joe’s and Aldi depending on where my errands take me.  

But we do shop Harris Teeter most frequently, especially for those last minute dinner pick ups!

When it comes to shopping for healthy food, having a reliable grocery store that stocks a wide variety of nutritious options is such a relief (plus is seems like there is one located every 3 miles!). They have a ton of whole, minimally processed foods and I find they have most of the trending/healthy items that align with contemporary dietary trends, from maintaining blood sugar levels and following a gluten free lifestyle to supporting an anti-inflammatory diet and tracking macros of course! 

In this post I will share my go-to items for each category.  Remember, I don’t do large “stock up” shops at HT.  Generally it’s last minute pick ups, items for a special meal, or I get smaller sizes of new products that I want to try- before I buy in bulk.  

Harris Teeter Produce Department

Produce Selection

The produce section at HT is always in good shape. I shop their produce most frequently because we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and I like to get them fresh- or as we need them.  Like most grocery stores, the seasonal and sale items are always in front and they also offer organic produce as well as club size options of the most popular items.  

  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach or Spring Mix
  • Mushrooms
  • Red onion
  • Iceberg lettuce – to replace wraps or for burgers
  • Premade cauliflower rice – especially if on sale
  • Steamable green beans
  • Precut zoodles instead of pasta for low carb days
  • Pre-cut apple slices
  • Pre-cut butternut, or sweet potato
  • Pre-cut mirepoix
  • Locally grown squash, string beans, greens and more during the summer season
  • Seasonal items like sumo citrus or peaches

I also find that when I shop on Tuesday mornings, a ton of the convenience produce items are on sale. So if I need something for dinner, I’ll usually grab something precut or washed as long as I’m going to use it that day.  

Bread, Grains and Substitutions

HT’s offers a variety of whole-grain products are a staple if you’re trying to incorporate high-fiber options. From ancient grains like quinoa to hearty brown rice, to microwaveable rice options and whole grain pasta, they have it all. They also have pasta substitutes that you’ll find right in the pasta aisle.  For example, they have Palmini “pasta” which is a low carb “pasta” made from hearts of palm.  It’s an option to consider if you are following a low carb diet or want to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet.  

  • Quinoa
  • Raos or Barilla Pasta
  • The Harvest Loaf from the bakery is my favorite.  It’s loaded with seeds and toasts up well. 
  • Mission Low Carb Wraps, they’re 40 calories and loaded with fiber.

Lean Proteins 

I find that we  At HT, the meat counter is stocked with choices like skinless chicken breasts, turkey, and lean cuts of beef. If you prefer seafood, HT’s offerings won’t disappoint—including everything from salmon to shrimp offered on a daily basis.

  • Thin sliced chicken breast – for cutlets
  • Thick cut pork chops 
  • 90% lean ground beef
  • 99% lean ground turkey

Gluten-Free & Allergy Friendly products

Living with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can be a challenge, but HT makes it easier by carrying a bunch of gluten-free.  Most stores have a dedicated aisle too! From pasta to bread, you can find gluten-free alternatives that allow you to enjoy your favorite dishes, worry-free.

For example, these two Catalina Crunch products I first saw at HT and had to try them.  I also tried the chocolate squares breakfast version and didn’t care for it.  But now that I know I like them I usually get the French Toast variety at Costco.  It’s my version of try before you buy.  

  • Catalina Crunch savory snack mix
  • Catalina Crunch French toast squares

Convenient Frozen Foods

Harris Teeter’s frozen foods section is a gold mine of wholesome choices. Here are a few of my favorites.  

  • Steamable edamame
  • Pre-chopped onion
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach or collards
  • Green peas

Dairy Selection

Whether you’re a milk lover, Greek yogurt, or need dairy free alternatives, HT has options. They also have a variety of gourmet and shredded cheeses for that last minute baked ziti or lasagna.  

  • Chobani zero sugar yogurt – is a high protein alternative that is usually on my list.  
  • Fage Total fat free greek yogurt
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Organic 1% milk – if I’m out from my Costco haul
  • Barista blend Oat Milk creamer

Pantry Staples and Canned Items

Unless there’s a sale, I usually save stocking up on pantry items like beans, legumes, and tomatoes at Costco.

That said, I am usually picking up ingredients like beans for chili, canned corn for cowboy caviar, or canned tomatoes for sauce.  Basically anything that comes up in a recipe that I need in a small amount.

  • Goya chickpeas
  • Simple Mills crackers
  • 100 calories chocolate almond packs
  • canned tomatoes
  • canned corn
  • tomato paste

Kids Lunch Items

  • Boars Head (BH) Lower sodium ham
  • BH yellow American cheese
  • Kings Hawaiian Buns
  • Sun Butter
  • Chocolate covered raisins
  • Fruit snacks
  • Pre-sliced apples
  • Grapes
  • Unsweetened applesauce cups

The HT App

Personally, I like to use the grocery list function in the HT App.  It’s easy to review the weekly ad to create a shopping list or to go back to previous orders to add items you have on repeat to your current list.  Most of the time, timeslots for pick up are available the next day making it very convenient to get what you need in as little time as possible.  

As you can see, I shop for generally whole foods and to grab last minute ingredients for weekly menus.  While it’s a little bit more expensive than Walmart Market, TJ’s or Costco, it’s very convenient and always has what we need.  Which is why we shop there several times a week!  

What am I forgetting, let me know in the comments!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie