Category: Recipe

Step-By-Step Guide to make 3-ingredient banana ice cream

If you’re craving a creamy, guilt-free dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth, I have the recipe for you! This 3-ingredient banana ice cream comes together quickly and the best part is – you don’t need an ice cream maker!  With simple ingredients such as frozen bananas, a little milk, and your favorite flavorings, you’ll be serving this banana ice cream in minutes. 

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I’ve even made this with just bananas as a first food for my kids during the summer.  

Possible bonus, you’re kids will love it.  Shhhh, don’t tell them that it’s a healthier dessert.  

banana on white knit bag

Ingredients and substitutions

Frozen Bananas

Large whole bananas.  Overripe bananas work best.  Do not use room temperature bananas, the consistency will not have the texture of ice cream.  

Dairy of Choice

Options include cream, regular milk, coconut milk, coconut cream or almond milk. If you’re on the cottage cheese train, you can use that here too!   Or check out this recipe for cottage cheese ice cream. Greek yogurt can also be substituted if necessary.

Flavoring Agent

1-2 teaspoons; choose from cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or peanut butter

Equipment needed

All you need for this is a high speed blender or food processor to get that creamy soft serve consistency.  Vitamix blenders are a perfect tool to use if you have one.  A regular blender can work as well, you just may need to scrape side the sides a few times as you blend.  

Preparation Steps

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Step 1: Slice and Freeze the Bananas

  1. Slice the Bananas:  Start by peeling the bananas and slicing them into coins. Place the banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Freeze Until Firm:  Freeze the banana slices until they are firm, which usually takes about 1-3 hours. If you find that you’ll be making this one on the fly, keep a stash of ripe large bananas in the freezer.  Just peel them first and freeze them at least overnight, or until you’re ready to use them.  

Step 2: Blend the Ingredients

  1. Add to Blender:  Once the banana slices are frozen, add them to a food processor or a high-powered blender. 
  2. Add Dairy and Flavoring Agent:  Pour in your chosen dairy (such as coconut milk) and add your preferred flavoring agent (like a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a dollop of peanut butter).
  3. Blend Until Smooth:  Pulse the mixture until the ingredients are combined. Then blend continuously until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to ensure everything is evenly mixed. This should only take a few minutes.  

Step 3: Enjoy or Store

  1. Serve Immediately: For a soft-serve consistency, enjoy your banana ice cream right away.
  2. Store for Later:  If you prefer a harder ice cream, transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze for an additional 1-2 hours until it reaches your desired consistency.
Chocolate. Original public domain image

Flavor options for homemade banana ice cream:

  • Chocolate ice cream:  Add 2T cacao powder
  • Almond chocolate chip ice cream:  Make the basic recipe and then swirl in 2T almond butter and chocolate chips.  
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream:  Add 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves to the banana mixture before blending.  Fold in chocolate chips before serving.  
  • Peanut butter swirl ice cream: Swirl in unsweetened creamy peanut butter before serving.
  • Vanilla ice cream:  Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Enhance any flavor by topping with a pinch of salt.  Flakey sea salt works best to give you a pop of flavor with each bite.  Let me know if you try these.  I’m excited to know which flavor combinations are your favorite.  

Serving Suggestions

Elevate your banana ice cream with these tasty additions:

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts or dark chocolate chips for extra crunch.
  • Drizzle honey or maple syrup for added sweetness.
  • Add fresh banana slices and a sprinkle of coconut flakes for a summery treat.


How does it compare to real ice cream?   

While banana ice cream may not have the exact same texture and taste as traditional ice cream, it is a healthier alternative.  That said, if you use a few tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half, you will get a more traditional ice cream consistency and mouthfeel. 

Caloric Content

A typical serving of traditional ice cream can range from 200 to 300 calories or more, depending on the flavor and brand. In comparison, a serving of frozen blended banana usually contains around 100 calories, making it a lighter option.

Fat and Sugar Content

Traditional ice cream is rich in saturated fats and added sugars, contributing to higher cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, frozen blended banana is fat-free and contains natural sugars, which offer a healthy energy boost without the crash.

Nutritional Benefits

Bananas are packed with beneficial nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. These nutrients support heart health, boost the immune system, and aid in digestion. Traditional ice cream lacks these natural vitamins and minerals, instead often containing artificial additives and less nutritional value.

One serving of this dessert is just 125 calories, 2g protein, 1g fat, 31g carbs. Totally doable. Especially if you’re being mindful of macros, as we are in the FASTer Way.

Dietary Restrictions

For those with dietary restrictions, frozen blended banana is a versatile choice. It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance, whereas traditional ice cream usually contains dairy and gluten, limiting its accessibility.

By choosing frozen blended banana over traditional ice cream, you can enjoy a delightful dessert that’s not only delicious but also aligns with a healthier lifestyle.

How do I know if my bananas are ripe?  

Bananas have several stages of ripeness.  For this recipe I recommend using yellow bananas that have some brown spots, or bananas that are entirely brown will offer the most sweetness.  Do not use green bananas for this homemade ice cream.  


Store for another day by pouring into an airtight container.  Smooth out into one layer and top with plastic wrap.  Push wrap down to the top layer of the ice cream so ice crystals don’t form.  Pop on the lid and store in the freezer.  

Creating this 3-ingredient banana ice cream is as easy as it is delicious. Whether you’re indulging in a soft-serve treat or enjoying a scoop of firmer ice cream, you’ll find this dessert to be a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream.

Banana Ice Cream

Save this healthy dessert for literally anytime you're in the mood for a sweet treat!
8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 125 kcal


  • 1 high power blender food processor


  • 2 large bananas frozen
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • Vanilla or cocoa powder


  • Freeze bananas, if not already frozen.
  • Add bananas and milk to the base of your Vitamix or food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add milk 1T at a time if more is needed to get the blender going.
  • Add flavoring agent of choice!


Serving: 2gCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 42mgPotassium: 487mgFiber: 4gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 87IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, healthy
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

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?  

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  • 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!  
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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

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!

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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:

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  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

Best macro friendly Waldorf chicken salad recipe

Whether you’re looking for easy lunches, a quick low carb meal, or you’re into meal prep, this Macro Friendly Waldorf Chicken Salad will quickly become your favorite way to satisfy hunger.

This delicious chicken salad harnesses the efficiency of canned chicken, without sacrificing the creamy texture we all love in traditional chicken salad recipes. The great recipe I’m sharing with you today is lean and offers that perfect balance of sweet and crunchy too.  

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But what makes it macro friendly?

When a food item is considered macro-friendly, it generally means it is composed in a way that helps you meet your macronutrient needs in a balanced and healthful manner. Macronutrients, commonly referred to as macros, are the nutrients required by the body in large amounts, which include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Being “macro-friendly” could indicate that the food:

  • Has a balanced amount of carbs, proteins, and fats.
  • Is versatile and can be easily incorporated into different dietary regimens without overly skewing the balance of macronutrients.
  • Is calorie-dense and provides nutritional benefit without excessive sugars or unhealthy fats.
  • Can be portioned effectively to meet individual macro tracking goals, often relevant for those tracking their intake for body composition goals, such as fitness enthusiasts and athletes.

This recipe in particular is macro friendly because it is easy to modify the recipe ingredients to meet your macro goals whether you are following a low carb or regular macro day.

A macro-friendly food helps you nail your specific dietary targets based on your personal goals, whether that be weight loss, muscle gain, or maintenance of general health.


This recipe makes one large serving. It’s a lot of food. I like to have most for lunch and finish the rest as an afternoon snack. I serve with seed crackers, romaine leaves, celery, carrots or on Ezekiel bread!

Calories: 474 kcal

Carbohydrates: 22g

Protein: 36g

Fat: 29g

Fiber: 3g

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Melanie Marcus FASTer Way to Fat Loss Coach


  • Canned chicken breast
  • Crunchy celery
  • Walnuts (toasted for the best flavor)
  • Mayonnaise (light mayonnaise for a low-calorie option)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh dill (or other fresh herbs for an aromatic twist)
  • Green or red grapes
  • Green apple
  • Lemon juice, optional (for some zesty flair)
  • Onion powder and garlic powder, optional (to spice things up)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Quickly drain the canned chicken breast. I find the Costco brand offers great quality, perfect as the main ingredient for this recipe.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with 1.5 Tbsp of light mayonnaise, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 ounce of crushed toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup halved red grapes, and 1/2 cup of chopped crunchy celery, 1/4 cup chopped apple for that classic flavor profile.

Preparing Your Salad

When you’re finished mixing up this easy chicken salad recipe, store it in an airtight container in your fridge. It’s a super easy way to dig into a macro friendly meal throughout the week, especially if you’re looking to reach your macro goals on a low carb day. Serve this salad as lettuce wraps, which is not only a great option for a gluten-free dish but also keeps it low carb and fresh. 

And if you’re counting macros, here’s a healthy salad recipe tip for you: before digging in, measure the total gram weight of your serving to stay on track. If you’ve served yourself a 100g portion, simply enter 100 as the serving size when logging your meal.

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The Best Things About This Chicken Salad

  • Versatility: You can enjoy it on a bed of lettuce, stuffed in avocado halves, or as a filling for bell peppers.
  • Convenience: It’s the perfect make-ahead lunch to enjoy throughout the week.
  • Customization: Feel free to add hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, and fresh parsley to add more flavors and textures.
  • Ease: If you want to use freshly poached chicken breast:  With the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, shredding chicken becomes effortless, giving you the creamy texture without much fuss.
  • Nail Fat Macros:  If you follow the FASTer Way to Fat Loss you may notice, there are some days that fat macros may be difficult to reach.  This recipe will help you get there!
  • Family Friendly: While it will help you reach your goals- your family will probably like it too! Check out this post for how to prepare macro friendly foods they all will love.

Above all, the best way to discover this great recipe is to try it yourself! Enjoy the process of mixing and matching, maybe even adding a bit of tangy buffalo sauce if you’re looking for that kick. 

Bonus: Looking for an easy chicken salad recipe that feels gourmet? Add a hint of poppy seeds and apple cider vinegar to the mix and experience a new take on a beloved classic!

Nutrition, flavor, and satisfaction – it’s all here in this Macro Friendly Waldorf Chicken Salad. Enjoy and happy healthy eating!

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Macro friendly and perfect for a low carb day.
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 1 person
Calories 474 kcal


  • 8 ounces Kirkland Chicken Breast
  • 1.5 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup grapes halved
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1/2 ounce walnuts toasted
  • 1/4 cup green apple


  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix.


Serving: 1gCalories: 474kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 36gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1071mgPotassium: 383mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 313IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chicken, macro friendly, protein
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

Why I eat leftover salmon straight from the fridge

Atlantic salmon is a weekly staple for us when it comes to healthy eating.  (I’ll save why this is my preference for another post!) It’s a delicious fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways whether you’re buying fresh or frozen salmon from the grocery store.  

Leftover salmon from the day before is delicious protein source. Have you ever tried eating cold salmon? Personally, I think it’s the best way to eat it for convenience, taste and avoiding that fishy smell! Read on, and I’ll explain 🙂

The fastest way to prepare salmon

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Before Kids

I used to roast fresh salmon or defrosted salmon in my toaster oven or in a 400 F oven.  I would remove any excess moisture with a paper towel, coat with a bit of olive oil spray, season with Seasonello and top with lemon slices and roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Still a great way to prepare salmon, (and I still do when cooking for a large crowd), but on a normal weeknight, every minute counts.

After Kids

While the above method seems pretty quick and painless, I now have even less time and this is BY FAR, my favorite way to prepare salmon – bonus my husband even likes it too!  

  1. Take a 6-8oz frozen salmon fillet out of packaging and place directly in 400F bucket air fryer.  
  2. Spray with olive oil spray, season with salt and pepper or Seasonello and top with lemon slices.  
  3. Cook for 14 minutes (from frozen) and serve!!  
  4. Salmon should look opaque and golden and reach an internal temperature of 145 F with a food thermometer when done.

When it’s cooked at a high temperature like this, the outside gets a little color to make it appealing and the inside is flakey and moist.  

I can usually fit 3 salmon fillets in my air fryer and I usually try to make at least one extra piece of salmon for lunch the next day.  

How to store cooked salmon properly

Storing leftover salmon properly is crucial to ensure food safety and to maximize its shelf life. After cooking salmon, let it cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container or wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Why I eat cold leftover salmon straight from fridge

Now, back to the topic of why I eat cold leftover salmon straight from the fridge. There are a few reasons why this is a great choice.


Eating cold leftover salmon is a great way to save time and effort. You don’t have to worry about reheating it or going through the whole cooking process again. I like to eat it as is, make salmon salad out of it, add it to a salad or even make a sandwich. 


As strange as it may sound, leftover cold-cooked salmon can taste even better than the first time you had it. The flavors have had time to meld together, and your taste buds may pick up on different nuances that you didn’t notice before. Because salmon is a fattier fish, it maintains a moist flaky texture too which makes it very satisfying to eat.  My kids prefer salmon cold too.  

No Fishy Smell:

There’s something to be said about office kitchen etiquette about salmon.  When you’re eating it, everyone knows it because of they fishy odors!  When you have it cold with your meal, it still tastes great, and won’t smell up the whole kitchen the way reheated fish does.  

Roasted salmon pinterest pin

Nutritional benefits: 

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain function and overall health. Eating cold leftover salmon is an easy hands off way to get more of these beneficial nutrients in your diet.

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids: Seafood, especially oily fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for heart and brain health.

High in protein: Seafood is a great source of lean protein, making it an ideal option for those looking to increase their protein intake without consuming excess calories or unhealthy fats.

Low in saturated fat: Compared to other animal proteins, seafood contains lower amounts of saturated fat. This makes it a healthier option for those looking to maintain cardiovascular health.

Contains essential vitamins and minerals: Seafood is rich in vital nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, iodine, and zinc, which play crucial roles in maintaining overall health.

Helps prevent chronic diseases: Regularly consuming seafood has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression due to its high nutrient content.

Supports healthy growth and development: Seafood is especially important for children and pregnant women as it provides essential nutrients for proper growth and development.

Lowers inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to many chronic diseases.

Aids in weight management: Due to its high protein content and low calorie density, seafood can be beneficial for weight management by promoting satiety and reducing overall calorie intake.

To enjoy cold leftover salmon straight from the fridge, simply take it out of the container and enjoy, or let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes and top with lemon juice. 

Other salmon recipes

I know my roasting method is basic, but it works and it’s delicious.  I’m not a fan of coating with cream cheese or feta cheese because it is already a good source of healthy fats.  And for basic weeknight meals, balance is important.  We talk a lot about that if you enroll in the FASTer Way and are focused on health too!  

Quick High Protein Salmon Salad
Use canned or leftover salmon to make this recipe.
Check out this recipe
Tuna poke in a blue bowl
Tuna Poke Salad
If you're loving salmon, use sushi grade salmon in this recipe instead of tuna!
Check out this recipe
salmon on top on lemon slices.
Baked Salad
Top this with salmon – it's soooo good!
Check out this recipe

You can easily turn leftover salmon into salmon cakes by combining with a bit of bread crumbs, chopped bell peppers, red onions and mayo or egg.  Form into salmon patties and cook over medium heat with a little olive oil on stovetop until brown and cooked through.  

One recipe I do really love is this simple salmon salad, which you can make with canned or cold cooked salmon.  It would also be phenomenal over baked salad too!

Roasted salmon on plate.

Air-fryer Roasted Salmon

Use salmon straight from the freezer.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 242 kcal


  • 1 basket style air fryer I have found if I use my other toaster oven style air fryer, I need to add a few minutes to cook time. And it tends to make a mess.


  • 6 oz Atlantic Salmon fillet, frozen I like Costco fillets
  • Seasonello or salt and pepper


  • Preheat air-fryer to 400F.
  • Place frozen salmon on parchment liner in air fryer basket and let cook for 14 minutes.
  • Should reach an internal temperature of 145F with a meat thermometer when done.


Calories: 242kcalProtein: 34gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 833mgVitamin A: 68IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer, easy, fast, protein, simple
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 Ultimate Yellowfin Tuna Poke Salad Recipe

If you like sushi – then this recipe is for you. I recently tested this recipe originally from and made a few tweaks and it is my new obsession.

Poke (pronounced “POH-kay”) has surged in popularity, becoming a staple of healthful eating for many. A traditional Hawaiian dish that has leaped from the islands to the mainland, poke bowls are known for their fresh fish, vibrant sauces, and the sheer satisfaction of customizable, bowl-based feasting. Today, I’m sharing a Yellowfin Tuna Poke recipe. 

Jump to Recipe

Once you make you’re own fresh poke, I think it’s safe to say – you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients & Substitutions for yellowfin tuna poke

  • Red wine vinegar: substitute with a splash of another acidic component like apple cider vinegar for a similar tangy kick.
  • Honey: for a different type of sweetness or if honey is not on hand, try using agave syrup or a dash of sugar.
  • Lime juice and zest: lemon in combination with orange juice would be nice.
  • Garlic: I would consider using frozen pureed garlic for this if fresh wasn’t available.
  • Fresh parsley and mint: cilantro would offer a similar freshess.
  • Crushed red pepper : optional
  • Sushi-grade Yellowfin tuna:consider using other types of sushi-grade fish such as Ahi tuna, salmon or cooked shrimp
  • Pineapple and watermelon 
  • Red Onion: sweet yellow onion 
  • Green Onions
  • Pine nuts: macadamia nuts would be a great alternative.
tropical poke in blue bowl pin

How to make yellowfin tuna poke

  • Combine vinegar, honey, lime zest and juice, garlic, parsley, mint and red pepper in medium bowl. Add tuna and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.
  • Stir together pineapple, watermelon and red onion, in large bowl. Spoon over tuna. Sprinkle with green onion and nuts.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your tantalizing Yellow Fin Tuna Poke with:  

unrecognizable cook putting onigiri into container
  • white rice
  • cauliflower rice
  • brown rice 
  • avocado slices
  • sriracha mayo
  • black sesame seeds 
  • nori sheets

Crafting the Perfect Bowl of Yellowfin Tuna Poke

Now comes the fun part. Poke bowls are a great way to use up a variety of items from the fridge or freezer.  

Step 1: Sushi-Quality Yellowfin

A sushi-grade quality is non-negotiable as we will be enjoying this dish on the raw side. sushi-grade tuna can usually be found in specialty or high-end grocery stores, I found mine at Whole Foods in the freezer section – it was even on sale! You can also purchase sushi grade fish from many grocery store sushi counters.  

Step 2: Cube with Care

Handling tuna, especially when it’s to be enjoyed raw, deserves attention. Think precision and uniform cubes of about 1/4-inch in size. This not only aids in even marination but ensures a pleasant mouthfeel.  I recommend cutting the fish when it is still frozen to prevent tearing.  

Step 3: The Marinade Matters

When crafting a Yellowfin Tuna Poke, the marinade is the soul of the dish. This recipe combines honey, red wine vinegar and lots of lime juice and zest and red onion.  

Step 4: Add More Produce

Every great dish has a produce sidekick, and the Yellowfin Tuna Poke is no exception. Sky is the limit.  Add daikon radish, cabbage slaw or crunchy carrots for color.  

Step 5: The Bowl Build

Take a large bowl and layer the base with a sticky grain, whether that’s traditional white sushi rice, or a health-conscious substitution like cauliflower rice or brown rice. Place the marinated poke salad on top, then artfully arrange your toppings.  Think – avocado, seaweed salad, or edamame.  

Step 6: The Final Splash

Some extra drizzles of the marinating sauce, a dollop of spicy mayo, a couple of dashes of sesame seeds, and perhaps a wedge of lime to brighten the flavors, and your ultimate Yellowfin Tuna Poke bowl is ready to be relished in all its healthful glory.

Tips and Tricks for the Freshest Poke Bowl Experience

Tip 1: Keep It Cool

Yellowfin Tuna Poke is at its prime when its components are cool and freshly assembled. Keep it chilled until the moment of serving.

Tip 2: Spice Sensibly

Use spice to enhance, not to dominate. The same goes for the spicy mayo—less can certainly be more in this case.

Tip 4: Serve with the Right Sides

Traditional sides include edamame, pickled ginger, or even kale for those seeking a heartier accompaniment. Choose your sides wisely to complement the dish and your preferred taste.

Tip 5: The Deconstructed Roll

Transform the poke experience into a deconstructed sushi roll by serving the ingredients alongside a bed of leafy greens or even in a nori wrap for a handheld taste adventure.

Is Raw Tuna Safe to Eat?

Addressing the question that often stops poke enthusiasts in their tracks—Is raw tuna safe? Here’s the raw truth. When sourced from trusted vendors, and prepared and stored properly, the risks are minimal. Always look for the word ‘sushi-grade’ to ensure a certain level of safety in handling and quality.

Cooling in Confidence

Rapid and sustained cooling prevents bacteria growth. If the fish is not to be consumed immediately, keeping it in an airtight container, placed on top of ice, ensures it stays out of the temperature danger zone.

pinterest pin for poke

The Health Check

For those with medically restrictive diets or concerns, it’s best to consult a professional before including raw fish. But for average, health-conscious consumers, the occasional inclusion of Yellowfin Tuna Poke can be a fantastic addition to a well-rounded diet.

​Nutrition Benefits

Lower in sodium

This recipe relies on the natural salinity from the yellowfin tuna and does not used added soy sauce or coconut aminos for flavor.  This makes this recipe a great fit for anyone who is concerned with sodium, blood pressure or overall heart health.  

Heart-healthy fat

Tuna is a natural source of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. These fats have been shown to improve heart health, reduce inflammation in the body, and may even help with cognitive function.

Lean protein

Yellowfin tuna is a great source of lean protein, making it an ideal choice for those looking to build muscle or maintain a healthy weight. It also contains essential amino acids that our bodies need for various functions, including tissue repair and hormone production.

Macro Friendly

This recipe delivers protein and carb macros with little fat. It’s made with whole foods and is perfect on it’s own for a low macro day, or it can be combined with more macro dense foods for regular macro or feast day. Check out this post to learn more about macros and the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.

Tuna poke in a blue bowl

Yellowfin Tuna Poke

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 8
Calories 118 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey optional
  • Grated peel 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 pound sushi-grade Yellowfin tuna cubed
  • 3 cups fresh DOLE® Tropical Gold® Pineapple cut into chunks
  • 2 cups watermelon cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped DOLE Red Onion
  • 1 tablespoon DOLE Green Onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts


  • Combine vinegar, honey, lime peel, lime juice, garlic, parsley, mint and red pepper in medium bowl.
  • Add tuna and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.Stir together pineapple, watermelon and red onion, in large bowl. Spoon over tuna. Sprinkle with green onion and nuts.


Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 11gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 22mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 425IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword low macro, poke, protein
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

Two ingredient soup hack (creamy + nourishing)

As a mom and dietitian, I’m always on the hunt to make something wholesome and easy to feed myself and my kids – and this one hits the mark for both. You can warm up your soul with this quick and easy two-ingredient soup hack that is perfect for those busy weekdays or whenever you need a quick dinner fix. It also happens to be an excellent way to get your kids to eat vegetables! Plus you can add to it to create a macro balanced meal or snack.  It is literally the easiest soup recipes I have ever tested.

This recipe is built on the convenience of frozen mirepoix and chicken broth from the grocery store, making it a great go-to meal when you’re short on time.

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients and Alternatives:

For this basic recipe, you will only need two main ingredients, frozen mirepoix and broth, but you can add additional ingredients to customize the soup to your own preference. 

Frozen mirepoix

  • This is a combination of pre-diced celery, onion and carrot.  I usually have a bag in the freezer.  
  • This soup is equally as good with fresh mirepoix, my local Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter always have it available in the produce aisle.  When I buy fresh, I generally try to cook it the same day.  
  • You could always use 3/4 cup each of diced carrots and celery with 1 cup of diced onion.  
Chopped onions, carrots, leeks and turnips for soup.

Chicken stock

Bowl of broth herbs and spices to make chicken soup
  • Vegetable stock is a perfect alternative if you’re vegan, vegetarian or trying to follow a more plant based lifestyle.
  • Beef stock will add a deeper umami flavor to this soup.
  • Turkey stock is a great alternative to chicken stock.
  • Bone broth may also be used.  This option will offer a more protein rich soup.  

​Make it your own

  • Feel free to add fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to elevate the soup’s flavor, or hot sauce to add an extra kick.
  • Try adding a can of tomatoes to make a tomato-based soup.
  • Grate or add a cube of fresh ginger to the mirepoix for a nutrient and flavor boost.
  • Serve with poached shrimp for an elegant starter or light lunch.
Jump to Recipe

Steps to Make It:

  1. Start by heating up a large pot on medium heat and adding a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add the frozen mirepoix mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes until it’s soft and fragrant.
  3. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, enough to cover the mirepoix, and let it come to a boil.
  4. Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. If you want a thinner soup, add more warm chicken or veggie stock and blend.  
  7. Serve hot with toppings of your choice.
Home blender

The beauty of this recipe is that it is perfect for anyone looking for a warm and hearty soup without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This is perfect for those who are seeking a healthy option but don’t want to sacrifice flavor.

Interesting Ways to Serve It:

Bowl of creamy soup decoreated with crema and herbs

If you’re looking to mix things up, try serving this soup as a base for a poached egg. 

You can also roast sweet potato cubes and add them to the soup for a seasonal twist. 

For extra creaminess, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, (heavy cream or sour cream work too!) 

 Serve with crusty bread, green onions, and black pepper.

Top with croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.

This two-ingredient soup is an easy favorite during any time of year and is perfect for children and adults alike.

How to store It:

You can pop any leftover soup in the freezer in an airtight container for a quick and easy lunch. I recommend pouring into pint containers for easy meal prepping and portioning.

Nutrition & Macros:

This soup is packed with nutrients from the vegetables and broth. Mirepoix, made from a mix of carrots, celery, and onions, is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. It is also great for hydration.

It has about 100 calories per serving and is made with real whole food ingredients.

  • Carbohydrates 5g
  • Protein 6g
  • Fat 3g

These values may change if you use a different broth such as bone broth or vegetable broth.

If you’re following the FASTer Way, save this recipe for low macro day. It’s will definitely help you feel full and hit your macro targets.

If you’re in a soup mood, you should try this split lentil soup recipe. It’s high protein and fiber gets better with time.

Don’t hesitate to make it your own by adding your own twist to the recipe. Happy cooking!

delicious pumpkin soup in ceramic bowl

2 Ingredient Soup

This recipes is so easy and comes together quickly for a cozy soup.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 109 kcal


  • 1 blender


  • Frozen Mirepoix
  • 32 ounces chicken stock


  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in stock pot.
  • Add frozen bag of mirepoix and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft. About 10 minutes.
  • Add broth or stock to vegetables and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer hot soup to blender and blend until smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy


Serving: 4gCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword easy, kid friendly
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

Mom’s Best Ever Whole-Wheat zucchini bread recipe

I enjoyed this delicious zucchini bread recipe frequently during my childhood. It was a go-to option for quick breakfast, an after-school snack, and as an adult, a sweet(ish) after dinner treat. One of our family favorites was the blueberry zucchini bread, baked to perfection in a bundt pan. During prime zucchini season, the irresistible aroma of freshly baked loaves would fill the air, waiting to be packaged and frozen for later indulgence.  What a great memory – and now I share it with my children.

Jump to Recipe

Now that I have my own garden, growing zucchini plants successfully has been quite the challenge.  I’ve learned first hand that squash bugs can take out your crop within a week if you’re not prepared – and to grow them in North Carolina is a labor of love.  After three years of watching my plants die, this year I was ready and have been able to grow amazing zucchini through August! If you are a successful gardener, bookmark this page so you can make this wholesome zucchini bread recipe anytime.  You won’t regret it!

Ingredients and Substitutions for Walnut Zucchini Bread

  • Walnuts – preferably toasted!  Always store walnuts in the fridge to maintain freshness.  
  • Eggs – It’s best to use room temperature eggs.  Also, you can use up to two flax eggs in this recipe if you want.  
  • Sugar – the original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar. If you want to limit sugar, you can go down to 3/4 cup instead – which is what I do! Coconut sugar can be used instead of white sugar if you like.  I don’t recommend using honey or maple syrup because they’ll add extra moisture.  
  • Vegetable Oil – any oil will work.  I’ve used canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil and rapeseed oil and they all turned out well.  Keep in mind that certain oils will impart flavor and potentially more saturated fat than others.  
  • Apple Sauce – I use unsweetened apple sauce to help keep the bread moist.  You can also use plain greek yogurt or mashed banana. 
  • Unsifted White Whole Wheat Flour – You can use half whole wheat (whole grain flour) and half white flour to  bump up nutrients from whole grains.  All purpose flour or AP flour will also work well.
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Powder 
  • Zucchini shred using food processor or box grater.  This recipe calls for two cups of grated zucchini, I tend to use about 2 1/2 cups or one large zucchini. But remember to remove the seeds!!  Smaller zucchini are more desirable for their smaller, more digestable seeds.  If your zucchini is large, you will need to scoop them out.  
  • Vanilla extract
  • Optional mix ins :  blueberries, raisins, chocolate chips, lemon zest
Jump to Recipe

It’s so good that I’ll even make it in winter!

About white whole-wheat flour

White whole wheat flour is a healthier alternative to traditional all-purpose flour because it is made from whole grains rather than refined grains. Unlike other types of whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is made from a variety of wheat that has a lighter color and milder flavor, making it more appealing to those who are used to the taste of white flour. White whole wheat flour retains the bran and germ of the wheat, which are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for our health. 

How to make the best zucchini bread

I love a short and simple quick bread recipes, and this one is my favorite.  

  • First things first, preheat oven to 350F and line two bread pans (aka loaf pan) with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.  You can also use one bunt pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs (plus flax eggs) if you’re using, sugar, applesauce and oil. I like to do this by hand, but you can use your stand mixer with paddle attachment.  
  • Next, in a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.  Whisk flour mixture well before gradually adding to wet ingredients.  
  • Now mix in zucchini.  
  • Last stir in walnuts and vanilla.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan or divide batter into two loaf pans and bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cooking time may vary slightly depending on the moisture content of the zucchini.    
  • When it comes out of the oven, set the pans on a cooling rack and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

How to freeze this classic zucchini bread

  • For best results, let your breads rest on a wire rack until cool to touch. This helps ensure that excess moisture has evaporated and doesn’t get trapped inside.  
  • Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Then label freezer-safe bag with date they were made.  
  • One loaf will fit into one gallon size plastic bag.  
  • Freeze completely in the coldest part of the freezer.  
  • When you’re ready to enjoy your zucchini walnut bread simply take out of the freezer the night before so you can have it the next day.

When to eat zucchini bread

1.  Serve for breakfast instead of store bought muffins.  

2.  Bring a loaf of zucchini bread to the office to share with co-workers

3.  Enjoy a warm slice with a little butter. There’s nothing like it.  

4.  Cut into individual slices and wrap with plastic wrap.  Store in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for a healthy snack anytime.  

The best part about this whole wheat zucchini bread recipe is that it makes two loaves!  It’s a quick bread batter that is sure to rival your favorite banana bread or pumpkin bread. For me, there is just something incredibly satisfying about this homemade treat – perhaps it was the inclusion of toasted walnuts, adding a perfect crunch to every bite.

Let me know if you try it for yourself!!  

Mom’s Walnut Zucchini Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 288 kcal


  • 4 each eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3.5 cups white whole wheat flour unsifted
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped


  • Mix eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  • Fold in zucchini and walnuts
  • Pour into 2 prepared loaf pans, or 1 bundt pan.


Serving: 16gCalories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 343mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 3gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 36IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 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

Sleepy Girl Mocktail recipe + tart cherry substitutions

I had 4 people ask me about the Sleepy Girl Mocktail within 5 days so I thought I should offer my two cents as a registered dietitian. This recipe has been making its rounds on social media, thanks to wellness influencer Gracie Norton and her popular TikTok video. It even had Good Morning America talking about it’s sleep-inducing properties! But what makes this viral drink potentially the perfect beverage to have before you go to bed? Lets break down how the beverage can improve sleep quality and add some zhuzh to your bedtime routine.  

Interested in a lower calorie version? Jump to the bottom for my version that is about half the calories of the original.

Jump to Recipe

What you need to make the Sleepy Girl Mocktail

The main ingredients are : 

  • pure tart cherry juice
  • magnesium powder
  • prebiotic soda – Olipop soda is a popular brand

Add a few ice cubes if you want it on the rocks.  

Jump to Recipe

Why does the combo work?

Tart cherries are a source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote deeper, more restful sleep. 

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the nervous system and has calming properties, making it a key ingredient for a good night’s sleep.  It helps regulate certain hormones including the stress hormone cortisol which has a positive impact for better sleep.  

While it’s not a magic potion, it does contain ingredients that have been shown to support a peaceful night’s sleep.  I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.

Melanie Marcus MA RD

Prebiotic soda provides a bubbly texture with a touch of prebiotics. It also promotes gut health and can offer relief from digestive discomforts.  

I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.  It feels a little more elevated than water and without the effects of alcohol.

Ingredients substitutions

Tart cherry juice: 

Well known for it’s melatonin content, tart cherry juice isn’t the only fruit that supports melatonin levels. Pineapple, banana, and grapes have also been observed to increase blood melatonin levels.  You can cut your tart cherry juice or replace it all together with pineapple or grape juice.  


If you’re worried about taking ta magnesium supplement, add a teaspoon or two of chia seeds.  Just 1 ounce has 95mg magnesium.  If you generally don’t tolerate magnesium well, you can try magnesium glycinate.  It is generally better tolerated and doesn’t result in upset stomach like other forms of magnesium.

Prebiotic soda: 

You can replace prebiotic soda with regular soda water. Don’t skimp on this because it needs a little fizz. If tonic water crosses your mind, remember, it will add calories, just like regular soda will. Could taste good though!

Does the type of magnesium matter?

Magnesium is available in several forms, each with different effects on the body. One of the most common forms, magnesium citrate, is  often used to treat constipation, and could lead digestive issues like diarrhea.  This happens when unabsorbed magnesium salts stimulate bowel movements by drawing water into the intestines and colon. If you want to avoid this, magnesium glycinate might be a better option since it’s more easily absorbed and as a result less likely to cause these troubles.

The average scoop of magnesium powder has about 200mg per scoop.  

That said, don’t forget that magnesium is widely available in natural food sources like nuts, beans, rice, seeds, and leafy greens. For example, chia seeds are a fantastic magnesium source, providing 111mg an impressive 26% of your daily value in just one ounce. Meanwhile, almonds and spinach are also rich in magnesium, offering nearly 20% of your daily recommended intake each. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help you reap the benefits of magnesium and avoid unwanted digestive complications that may come with certain magnesium supplements.

This drink may not be for you if:

Blood sugar is a concern

I want to start by saying that 100% juice does count as a serving of fruit.  Just 6 ounces once daily counts as a serving (not more!). That said, juice is a simple form of natural sugar and can result in increases in blood sugar if consumed without fat, fiber and protein.   

You are calorie conscious

If you are tracking macros or following a lower calorie diet, for example, consuming liquid calories and fruit juices in general may leave you with fewer calories to eat throughout the day.  One cup of tart cherry juice has 159 calories, 37g carbohydrate with 33g sugar, 1g protein, 1 g fat.  While it is packed with nutrients, liquid calories don’t register the same way in your stomach.  Plus that’s more calories than your average glass of wine or low calorie beer.  

Signs of too much magnesium

​Healthy people don’t have to worry about getting too much magnesium because excess is filtered and excreted by the kidneys.  Consult with your physician before adding this mocktail to your routine.  

That said, the the USDA established 350mg/day as a tolerable upper limit for magnesium for adults 19 years or older.  Taking more may result in abdominal cramping and diarrhea.  

Do I recommend the Sleepy Girl Mocktail?

While it’s not a magic potion, it does contain ingredients that have been shown to support a peaceful night’s sleep.  I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.  It feels a little more elevated than water and without the effects of alcohol.  If you’re already taking a magnesium supplement, this may be a combo to try.  Otherwise be sure to speak with you healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine.  

What other questions do you have about the sleepy girl mocktail trend? 

On a mocktail kick?

Check out this winter sangria recipe for a refreshing option. Or if you’re just into trending beverages, you won’t want to miss this blue cloud smoothie recipe. Check them out to be in the know!

Lightened up Sleepy Girl Mocktail

Course Drinks
Servings 1
Calories 80 kcal


  • 2 ounces Tart Cherry Juice
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 1 tsp chia seed
  • 1 scoop magnesium powder optional


  • Combine all ingredients in glass and mix well.
  • Serve over ice if desired.


Serving: 6ouncesCalories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 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