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A Healthy You: Healthy Recipes

Jill Devine

I have a feeling that many calories will be consumed this Sunday!!  If you think this applies to you, don’t beat yourself up too much.  Try to stay on track all week to make up for the calorie intake on Sunday.  Here are three healthy dinner recipes to try this week:

Chicken and Black Bean Tacos

Serves 4



  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ c low fat plain yogurt
  • ½ c cilantro – chopped
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 14 oz can black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 2 c salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast – shredded


  1. In a small bowl, mash together avocado with yogurt, ¼ c of the cilantro (save remaining for garnish) and lime juice.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a non-stick pan to medium high heat and coat with non-stick spray.
  4. Sautee onions for 5-6 minutes with a pinch of salt to bring out juices.
  5. Add cumin, paprika and cook another minute.
  6. Stir in black beans and salsa; stir. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes until fully heated.
  7. Heat corn tortillas in paper towel for 30 seconds to soften and top with equal parts black bean mixture.
  8. Top with shredded chicken and a dollop of the avocado yogurt mixture.
  9. Garnish with extra lime juice and cilantro.

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 4



  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, at room temperature
  • 4 small sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges


  1. Using a food processor, finely chop the garlic. Add the parsley, 1/4 cup olive oil, the onion, thyme, vinegar, mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse to combine. Coat the steak with 2 tablespoons of the chimichurri sauce and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat a grill for both high and medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on an oiled grate over medium heat, cover and grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the steak on the oiled grate over high heat, cover and grill, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing. Serve with the remaining chimichurri and the sweet potatoes.

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Greens

Serves 4



  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch spinach, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. Place a squash half, cut side down, in a large, microwavable dish. Add 1/2 cup water and microwave until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining squash half. Discard the seeds. Using a fork, comb the squash into strands into a bowl. Toss with the parmesan and season with black pepper.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach and crushed red pepper and cook until wilted.

Disclaimer –  I am not a dietician!  I cannot recommend what diet is best for you.  That is something that you need to work on with your doctor and/or personal trainer.  I’m giving you ideas based on what has worked for me.  You may notice that I may or may not put the calorie count on the recipe.  I don’t count calories, so that is not a factor for me.  When eating healthy foods, the calorie count is higher than what you may think. So, some people choose a meal that is lower in calories, but it’s actually less healthy than a meal with all natural ingredients with higher calories.  Again, I am posting all recipes that have worked for me and have been approved by my trainer.

Also, don’t automatically turn your nose to a recipe that doesn’t sound good.  You may actually enjoy it.  AND be open to trying new foods.  I have been really good about that.  For example, I have never liked sweet potatoes, but I am trying them in new recipes and I am really starting to like them.  I’m glad I am introducing them into my diet because there are so many health benefits to eating sweet potatoes.  Some include (courtesy of care2.com):

  • They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies.  Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
  • They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula­tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.

Your daily diet should have healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can incorporate those foods into your main meals or as snacks.

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More from Jill Devine

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