I need some help over here.

Maybe it has something to do with the pollo fundido entree I ordered last night, complete with fried tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese, then topped with sour cream and more (you guessed it) cheese, which followed three baskets of chips and salsa.

Pollo fundido indeed.


I kind of think I’m having a heart attack.

Not even joking.

I was about to post my third bacon-infused recipe this week when it hit me that I’ve been a little too friendly with the pork lately. Didn’t think it was possible? Me either. My jeans say otherwise. Ho.Ly. Cow.

I just can’t do it.

Hallllllp me.

Not that I’d ever envision taking a break from a crispy slice of heaven, but I’m in need of something refreshing today that doesn’t make me feel like a triple stent is in my near future. That dinner did a number on me last night because just the thought of cheese and pork and cheesy pork is sort of making me cry. And while they are mostly tears I’m joy, I’m really just craving a juicy apple.

That never happens. Maybe this is the end of me?

The only options floating around iPhoto include bacon, butter, cake and mass amounts of panko + cheese. No can do today my friends. I need my space. Like an entire couch of space. And some sweat pants. And a sewing kit for my pants. What the hell, I’m going to order some pajama jeans.

While I’m doing that, enjoy some of my favorite lighter fare.

Crunchy Honey Chicken

Bourbon Glazed Salmon

Strawberry Mango Basil Salsa

Healthier Cashew Chicken

Tropical Avocado Smoothie

Cilantro Lime Hummus

Strawberry Yogurt Granitas

Green Bean Fries

Sweet and Spicy Banana Kiwi Salad

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread Muffins

Crispy Shrimp Tacos

Nectarine Mint Milkshakes

Ummm… how did those get in there?


What healthy recipe are your faaaaves right now? I need some lightened up goodness. And please don’t say kale chips or bananas whipped into ice cream. I like those things too, but… enough already people.

share:    Pin It    

128 Responses to “Lighten Up.”

  1. #
    Jessica — May 20, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    Yum! This look great! Thank you for all the other recipes too!


  2. #
    WenDee Riffe — May 20, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    jessica~~i love this recipe!! i am gonna try it this weekend!! you know what i would like for you to do??? not that you really care mind-ya!!! create a section for lighter or lower-fat recipes!!?? i am sure that you have a bunch!! you never let me down with the flavors and tastes etc…so i know you could really come up with some hum-dingers!!!LOL!!!


    • Jessica — May 20th, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

      I will do that friend! :)


  3. #
    Anne @ Baking Me — May 20, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    Pajama jeans? Do they make such a thing? If not I think you might be onto something:)


  4. #
    Jessica — May 20, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    I am obsessed with red wine vinaigrette salads right now, so I make this Greek Orzo salad….love that I can add chicken or chickpeas for additional protein and make a complete dinner out of it!



  5. #
    thehealthyapron — May 20, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    hahaha let’s see healthy? Have you ever made a veggie burger? I would love to see what you come up with. I made a Guy F… (the dude from diner’s drive in’s and dive’s) recipe and it was awesome! Just curious if you even liked these!


    • Jessica — May 20th, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

      I haven’t but I am planning on making one soon!


  6. #
    Sophiegoose — May 20, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    Summer always makes me in the mood to eat light and healthy. I tend to always have a big mixed fruit salad and a big bowl of mixed roasted veggies in the fridge. The fruit can go on yogurt or cottage cheese, the veggies tossed with some lettuce and balsamic in a salad or wrap. Nice, quick, and easy!


  7. #
    Megan (Braise The Roof) — May 20, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    I know the feeling- I left my leftover enchiladas at home and am going to get a salad for lunch. I’ve been eating a lot of veggie burgers lately (when I’m not drowning everything in cheese)- no bun, with avocado. It’s happy food.


  8. #
    ashley — May 20, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    why don’t you post recent pics of you cooking/baking ‘in action?’ i’m sure everyone would love to see some pics of you!!!


  9. #
    Cindy Coniglio — May 20, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Jess- That all looks delicious!!


  10. #
    Amanda — May 20, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Ha ha, you make me laugh Jessica! All of those recipes do look delicious. This is a great veggie recipe that has delicious feta cheese in it, which partially counterbalances the health factor… ;)



  11. #
    Erin — May 20, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Risotto! It is perfect because it gives the illusion of cream and cheese with out tons of it. Some times I even make it vegan (yuck!), but it magically still tastes good! I put in tons of fresh veggies – the yummy ones. Artichoke hearts (from TJ’s), roasted red peppers, leeks, maybe with some summer-y roasted asparagus on the side.

    These are also really really good! I almost want to start blogging again. :)



  12. #
    Sahar — May 20, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    Hmm…I made your BBQ Chicken Nacho Salad last night. I had never baked my own tortilla chips before and it kind of changed my life. I think the secret is to use lots of olive oil hehe but I would still consider it super healthy :)


  13. #
    KosherCorvid — May 20, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Lamb stuffed pita. Red wine poached salmon. Cucumbers dipped in tahini. Baked eggplant with miso paste. Healthy can be fun!


  14. #
    Jocelyn — May 20, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    Amen about the kale chips. Very trendy right now, but still gross. If I am going to eat chips I am certainly not putting anything made with kale near my mouth.

    Just saying.

    Something light… how about a veggie pad thai, or stir fry, or go with bruschetta. That will make you feel better.


    • Jessica — May 20th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

      I actually LOVE kale chips, but they do NOT taste like potato chips!


  15. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — May 20, 2011 @ 2:59 pm


    I always feel the need for some lighter food when the weather gets warmer. We actually make this Spicy West African Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup every week and LOVE it. Still satisfying but super healthy :)


    Have a great weekend! :)


    • Jessica — May 20th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

      You too Jenny! :)


  16. #
    Ashley — May 20, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    We recently made this chicken dish, it has pineapple and asparagus with it. It was incredibly good, and the pineapple juice was refreshing. I highly recommend it! Plus it comes from Healthy Cooking magazine so it has to be good for you right?



  17. #
    amy — May 20, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    i havent had a pollo fundido in forever…but those are amazing! probably the worst thing ever for you…but so worth it!


  18. #
    Erica — May 20, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    This one:
    I leave out the polenta (it tastes like nothing to me, so why waste the calories?) and add about a cup (I’m guessing) of cooked quinoa. I also often include a little bit chevre over the top. DE. LIC. IOUS.


  19. #
    Moni'sMeals — May 20, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    this is heaven to me! Thanks for putting in the time and wow, they all look so great!


  20. #
    Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous — May 20, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    LOLOL…I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s seen the pajama jeans commercial and thought, “I might need some of those.” as I lick the ice cream spoon. But….don’t do it!! Choke down some veggies and call it a day. :)


  21. #
    Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen — May 20, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    This salad! http://chocolatecoveredkristen.blogspot.com/2011/05/strawberry-goat-cheese-salad-with-honey.html I’m so obsessed with the dressing that it inspired a salmon dish I’m probably posting next week. The highlight is the mustard… and I don’t even really like mustard.

    I’m digging any sort of roasted veggies, too. Everything is better roasted.


    • Jessica — May 20th, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

      That salad sounds amazing.


  22. #
    Mellie — May 20, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    I love fresh fruits and vegetables. These recipes look amazing! Especially the salsa.


  23. #
    april — May 20, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    I’m almost stumped by the light part.. try some grilled veggies & chicken wraps with a thin slice of provalone. Or some veggies marinated in a light Italian dressing & make a panini. Summer is the time for grilling & lighter food if you ask me. And don’t forget to go here http://WWW.baconsalt.com you can have the delicious flavor with out wearing sweat pants. It’s not a replacement but rather a sub once a wk :)


  24. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — May 20, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    LOL, pajama jeans! Too funny.

    I love that salmon. It looks so delicious and healthy.


  25. #
    Tori (Fresh Fruition) — May 20, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE overnight oats… or anything with nut butter.

    Can’t go wrong with nut butter!

    And that cilantro lime hummus you have listed there has sparked my interest! Yum!


  26. #
    Courtney — May 21, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    Hahah PJ jeans!! I just crack up every time the commercial comes on!
    I am loving lettuce wraps using buttercrunch lettuce! Light, cool, and crisp!
    Put some grilled chicken, quinoa, black beans, salsa, and avocado for a Mexican twist! Or the other night I came in and just did goat cheese, sandwich meat, and pesto!


  27. #
    Katrina — May 21, 2011 @ 4:25 am

    Oh man. I am having serious issues with the extra pounds since food blogging. I need hellllpppp!!!


  28. #
    Lisa — May 21, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    We are also eating alot of stir fry and few carbs!


  29. #
    Barb in Palm Beach, FL — May 21, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    Hi Jessica –
    I love, love, love your writings, blog, and otherwise. I long to go to Trader Joes with you sometime, we only have whole foods – just not the same. However, I do link up my menu’s each week – why? I am not sure, maybe accountibility that my family will eat each week. My husband drills me on it as he sees it networked through facebook when I blog. Anyhow, the link below has two of my all time favorite lower fat/carb recipes where I don’t feel deprivation. Unlike the cupcakes I keep creating (newest post). Check out the link below and let me know what you think on the Alfredo – possibly the best ever, and the crustless spinach/feta dish.


    I needed the kick in the butt this morning as I read your post. I am starting the MADE TO CRAVE book today so I can stop focusing on food! I am surprised after being a foodie I don’t weigh 300 pounds!

    Thank you-keep up the great blog!


  30. #
    Amanda — May 21, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    I love your blog.. not only are YOUR recipes wonderful, your readers have amazing suggestions as well! :) You get the award for best food blog in my book. A total package!


  31. #
    chutneyandspice — May 21, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    HI jessica, I know exactly what you mean! I always get that feeling after Christmas – please don’t show me one more bit of ham/turkey, roast potato, pork pie ever ever again!!
    I always love a fresh bright thai curry when I have overdone it a bit on the food front. I love a salmon thai with bamboo shoots and spinach made with coconut milk, ginger, chillies, coriander.
    Or a really zesty salad – chicken baked with lemon zest with watercress and a light oily dressing. Hmmm, getting hungry now!


  32. #
    GA Peach — May 21, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Okay, I’m dead serious here– I actually saw Pajama Jeans in Walmart the other day while standing in the checkout line! And what’s worse, I picked up the box and gave them a once over!
    But for some lighter fare, I sometimes make a Spinach Quesadilla, which is basically a spinach salad in quesadilla form. I marinate my mushrooms in my favorite vinegrette (just balsamic, olive oil, garlic and a pinch of herbs de provence), then saute them- no extra oil needed, then take one large whole wheat tortilla, a big handful of spinach, some sliced red onion, the mushrooms, and sprinkle of parmesan.Brown that up in a lightly sprayed pan. I recently made your strawberry salsa and it was the amazing touch this needed. Also, Peas and Thankyou just recently (like this week) posted about her green smoothie that tastes like cake batter– yum, I’ve had one everyday this week!
    Love, love, love your recipes though. That chicken with mushrooms and spinach has become a new family favorite.


  33. #
    Emily — May 21, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    Hi Jessica,

    I have been studying abroad in Italy the last 4 months, so I definitely feel your too-tight-jeans pain! I go home in just a few weeks and cannot wait for fresh grilled kabobs! Chicken or shrimp with lots of peppers and onions sounds like the perfect summertime meal that will leave you satisfied and not weighed down!



  34. #
    jenn — May 21, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    oooh, i’m hooked on chicken roasted at high temp with skin, eaten without skin. 150 cals per serving, a zillion flavor points, amazing…and trying valiantly to avoid making it into nachos ;)


  35. #
    Hannah at FleurDeLicious — May 21, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    hahahaha pajama jeans. Feels like a second skin! Look just like designer jeans!

    And don’t forget that free tshirt you get with them.

    That bourbon glazed salmon sounds fantastic. No worries about the pork and cheese. Summer is still a couple weeks away :)


  36. #
    Serena — May 21, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    Seriously love that cashew chicken. I make it all the time!
    Anyway, asian stir fry is what I’m enjoying mostly, with a side of sweet potato fires. I also love zucchini fries, which is just sliced zucchini, egg white, and dried parmesean/panko mix, baked for a while. It is so good!
    Try this recipe, it’s worth it!


  37. #
    Londa — May 21, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    Healthy and easy – Kabobs are a fav of mine this time of year. I prepare them and the man of the house gets to cook them :-) plus easy clean up…


  38. #
    Adalia — May 21, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago, but I’m glad I did. I think it is one the best food blogs I have EVER seen. And I love how excited you are about EVERYTHING. I have a blog about fashion if you ever want to take a look at it. Can’t wait to try this smoothie!


  39. #
    Madeline - Greens and Jeans — May 21, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    My boyfriend just declared it Speedo Season (dear god, help us all) and we’ve started eating a lot of salmon and salad. If I don’t die of mercury poisoning, I’m going to look amazing in a swimsuit this summer


  40. #
    Samantha — May 22, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    At the moment this is my favourite recipe http://flavorator.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuesday.html

    Enjoy :)


  41. #
    foodwanderings — May 22, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    wow what a fantastic collection of healthy recipes the broccoli there pops up. Gorgeous!


  42. #
    Stacy — May 22, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    My comment has nothing to do with healthy recipes! Two words for you…THANK YOU! My sister, Vann, made your Better-than-crack-brownies for me as my post figure competition gift and oh. my.GOSH! They are sooo good! I’m sure they tasted extra good because of all the loved baked in by my sister, but THANK YOU for posting that insanely delicious recipe!


  43. #
    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy — May 22, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    This is what I am eating even as I type. Super light and super delicious!



  44. #
    Lisa — May 22, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    haha this blog is GREAT! I love your “voice” and your humor, and the photography is great!! :) Fortunately, im not a big bacon (or meat for that rather) eater, but I have definitely been there. last week? total sugar overload. OOPS. :)


  45. #
    Kat — May 22, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m on a tomato-dill-goat cheese (light on the cheese!) sandwich kick right now. I love how the bread absorbs all the “dill”icious (ha!) tomato juices. Ahh, healthy heaven!


  46. #
    Ashley — May 22, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    Pajama jeans…bahahahaa Chris jokes about ordering those!! ;) Love your photos..mmmm


  47. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — May 23, 2011 @ 12:40 am

    I’ve been cooking up various farro, quinoa and wheat berry salads to keep things lighter. Toss with toasted nuts, greens, dried fruit and fresh herbs to make a substantial meal. That strawberry salsa looks delicious :)


  48. #
    Johanna — May 23, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    First of all, I must tell you how much I love your site… and how much I wish I was trying to gain weight rather than lose it so I could try chocolate covered bacon! Anyway… I wanted to tell you about the test fake tan… I have super fair, super sensitive skin and am in love with Bare Escentuals Faux Tan. It goes on easy, doesn’t streak and looks natural! I mixed mine with lotion because I didn’t want to scare people who aren’t used to seeing me with any color! I am always looking for a way to look tan- I shade the sun and refuse to fake bake- so this works for me!! :) Keep those recipes coming…


  49. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — May 23, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    I have a current obsession with broccoli slaw. Have you tried it? Add some almonds and dried cranberries, with whatever dressing you like, and it’s so delicious.


  50. #
    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — May 24, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    I’m LOVING lentil sheperd’s pie http://yellebellyboo.blogspot.com/2011/05/poor-mans-vegetarian-shepherds-pie.html

    SO good and inexpensive!!


Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *