Fiber · Under 100 calories · Vegetarian

Grilled Parmesan Cabbage Steaks

If you’re anything like me you’ve been counting down the days until the long holiday weekend since Monday.

I’m super excited not only for a little break from the daily grind, but to get out of town and explore a new city since my Memorial Day weekend will consist of a little travel to Ashville, North Carolina! I am looking forward to a few days filled with hiking, exploring and, of course, great food.

If you’ve ever been to Ashville and have recommendations send them my way!

Regardless if you are staying home or traveling this weekend, there is a good chance you’ll be enjoying the sweet smell that goes along with grilling, and if you aren’t, well, I would seriously recommend re-thinking your weekend plans. There is nothing that kicks off the summer season quite like a little Mem-Day Grilling- plus the smell is just heavenly.  

Slide over those rib eyes and make room for this

  • low calorie
  • fiber rich
  • MUCH more inexpensive

steak I am about to throw at you. This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser to vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Yum and a half.

Take a chance, try something different, and let me know what you think!


Grilled Parmesan Cabbage Steaks

Yield: ~6 steaks


  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Dash of salt and pepper


  1. Slice cabbage into ~ ½ to 1 inch slices, this will make about 6 slices, or “steaks”.
  2. Brush each steak lightly with olive oil on both sides.
  3. Sprinkle one side of each slice with parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.
  4. Place steaks on grill for ~3 minutes per side

 Nutrition Information per steak:  59 calories, 2.4g fat, 8.3g carb, 2.9g protein

Under 100 calories · Vegetarian

Butternut Cheese Sauce

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am guessing that your desire to cook pumpkin everything has at least diminished slightly. Am I right?

I am all about the seasonal pumpkin craze because of all the health benefits that pumpkin provides (packed with vitamins and minerals, low calorie, fiber to keep you full, etc.) Mind you I am talking about pureed pumpkin- not your PSL.

Well, let me introduce you to one of pumpkin’s close friends- Butternut Squash.

Butternut squash gives you many of the same benefits as pumpkin (vitamin A, C, Fiber, potassium—the list goes on and on) but offers a different flavor for your taste buds.

There are about a million ways to eat butternut squash, but today I am going to share with you my absolute #1 favorite, fool-proof way to eat it: Butternut Cheese Sauce.

This recipe is super simple, lactose intolerant friendly, and fantastically versatile.

Use it as a pasta sauce, as cheese in a quesadilla, dip for pretzels or veggies, a creamy pizza sauce, eaten with a spoon… I can go on if you like, but I will spare you. Boiled down: this stuff is good for EVERYTHING.


Butternut Cheese Sauce

Yield: 4, 1/3-1/2 cup servings


  • 400g Butternut squash (roughly 2 cups cubed)
  • ½-1 cup milk of choice*
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil or roast butternut squash until softened
  2. Add all ingredients to food processor
  3. Process until smooth
  4. Eat with spoon if desired (encouraged)

You can add the amount of milk needed to reach your desired consistence. For causes I would go more towards the 1 cup side, for a dip or spread, aim for close to ½.

Cakes & Cookies · Recipe Makover · Sweet Treats · Under 100 calories · Vegetarian

Low-Sugar Rhubarb Crisp

It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year… Rhubarb season! Not only is it delicious, but it signals the start of summer, YAY!


Joseph and I were in Grand Rapids this weekend visiting the fam for birthdays and for me to run the River Bank run. We were sitting on his parent’s patio drinking beer we picked up from a local brewery on our way over (Tell me that isn’t the best sentence you’ve ever heard and you’re a liar…) when his mother asked me my favorite question “Do you want to take some Rhubarb?” Yes. Please.

Speaking of “Yes, Please” *total side note* I am reading Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please”, and it’s hilarious.

Anyway, you all know my rule of dessert every night, so I whipped up this low-sugar Rhubarb Crisp. It’s the perfect amount of tart and sweet, and when you serve it warm with vanilla ice cream- to DIE for.


Low-Sugar Rhubarb Crisp

Yield: 8 servings


  • 5 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Stevia
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into c
  • 2 tbsp applesauce



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly coat 9 x 11 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl coat rhubarb with stevia and lemon juice. Spread evenly into prepared baking dish.
  3. Mix together rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and applesauce, blending until just combined.
  5. Top rhubarb with oat mixture.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (optional, but encouraged!)

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 98 calories, 3.4g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 2g protein

Right now you are probably wondering why in the world I added applesauce. I’ll tell you- Applesauce is the key to low-fat clumps. I use it in Granola religiously and it worked like a gem for this recipe too.

I have a few more photos to share- I am about to brag so either prepare yourself or stop reading.

My oldest nephew turned 3 this weekend- stop growing up!! And yes, I did make his paw patrol cake that he has been asking me for the last 6 months.

It was Mother’s Day this weekend and yes I consider myself a mother to this little fur ball. Isn’t he the cutest?!?!


Lastly, My best friend graduates from Law School and I could not be more proud. It’s isn’t a coincidence that Carley Kocks and Colleen Kokx became best friends. (tell me that isn’t crazy..)


End Brag-Rant.

Snack · Under 100 calories

Chipotle Adobo Black Bean Hummus

Since I got my food process I have been using it almost daily, which is fabulous. What’s not so fabulous is we don’t have enough counter space to keep it out. So that means lugging it in and out of the closet- which is better than up the stairs, where we first kept it.

I’ve mentioned Joe and I are saving for a house, so naturally I do a lot of Zillow-ing, and counter space is my #1. 

Embarrassing Fact: I zillow-ed so much I had to swear it off for the month of January… Oopsie.

I’m torn between an updated home and a one that might need a little DIY-ing, as long as it has good bones- I am NOT trying to blast out a wall right now, good lord. Anyone ever tackled a (specifically kitchen) reno? I would love to hear some personal experience stories.

Any who, back to the food, why you’re all here. 

Black bean hummus is a Joseph favorite. When he asked me to make it recently I was more than happy, because I had yet to make it in my favorite new toy. Usually I add the spicy-ness by using jalapeños, but when I was at the store there were none to be found- NONE! I found a small can of chipotles in adobo and decided it would make a fine substitute. It did change the flavor to be a little bit more of a smokey-spicy. Not bad, just different. 

I’ll have to agree with Jojo on this one, black bean hummus is bomb. 



Chipotle Adobo Black Bean Hummus

Yield: about 13, 2 tbsp servings (just a touch over 1.5 cups total) 


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4-5 cloves roasted garlic*
  • ~3 -4 tbsp chipotles in adobo (~1-2 peppers & 2 tbsp sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine all ingredients, minus olive oil. Pulse a few times to get it moving. Then, set to low for ~1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. Stream in the olive oil about halfway through processing. 
  2. Serve with veggies, pita, or use as a spread for sandwiches.

Nutrition Information per 2 tbsp: 45 calories, 1.7g fat, 5.7g carbohydrate, 2.4g protein

*To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350. Wrap a clove of garlic in aluminum foil, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until garlic cloves are soft.

Appetizer · Snack · Soups, salads, and sandwiches · Under 100 calories

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

I don’t know how your workplace is, but for me, we are always in the process of coordinating some sort of party/potluck- or at least that’s the way it feels. They’re nice because they break up the work day and give you something to look forward to, but I always feel like I am left with the anxiety of trying to figure out what to bring. Usually this is my own fault because I either wait until the last minute- or just plain forget.

This happened to me again just a few days ago. It was 6pm the day before the potluck and I still had no idea what I was bringing. I was not in the mood to be running to the store, so I took survey of my pantry. The result? Black bean & sweet potato pinwheels.


Pinwheels are a perfect pot-luck item. They’re just small, appetizer-like bites, so no one feels like that have to take a huge heaping, helping with portion control. Plus they stay good for a few days, so you can snack on them later in the day, send some home with co-workers, or take them for lunch yourself the next day. Also, bringing these allows you to be sure there will be a healthy option available- which may not always be the case!


Black Bean & Sweet Potato Pinwheels

Yield: 18 pinwheels


  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp each: Onion Powder, Cumin, Garlic powder,
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach


  1. Scrub and peel potatoes. Boil in a pot of water until tender.
  2. Mash soft potatoes with a potato masher. Adding in butter and spices.
  3. Lay 1 tortilla flat and spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes evenly on top
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of black beans on top of potatoes
  5. Lay a few leaves of spinach up the middle
  6. Roll tortilla rightly and cut into 6 even slices
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 with remaining 2 tortillas and ingredients

Nutrition Information Per Pinwheel: 57 calories, 1.2g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 1.5g protein

Cakes & Cookies · Snack · Sweet Treats · Under 100 calories

Frosted Chocolate Snack Cake

Chocolate is something you just can’t deny yourself. It’s just wrong. And I will admit that I have been not denying myself like I mad woman all week. Stress, fatigue, it all lead me to the community candy jars at work, usually a good ol’ Charleston Chew does the trick. But when it “does the trick” a few times a day, I can’t help but think I could be fueling my body with a little more nutrients.


I am all about incorporating sweets into your daily diet without having to feel guilty about it, so I took advantage of this weekend and spent a little time in the kitchen working on this recipe. 

It gives you the indulgent chocolate taste you want, but doesn’t weight you down. Fantastic.


I will admit it isn’t the same as your grandma’s ooey gooey, butter loaded brownies, but is a very good alternative when a chocolate craving hits instead of devouring a snickers. I would equate it to a fiber one brownie— you can tell its healthier, but more than does the trick. Plus, my favorite part… these pieces are pretty darn large, dare I say about TWICE the size of a fiber one brownie. The more the merrier indeed!



  • 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash (may also sub pumpkin)
  • 2/3 container 100cal greek yogurt (vanilla, pumpkin, or chocolate suggested)
  • 1 Egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For The Frosting

  • 1/3 container 100cal greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan
  2. Combine squash, yogurt, and eggs in a bowl. Add in remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle batter with chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  5. Allow to cool.
  6. While cake is cooling, combine frosting ingredients and mix well. (This can be done right in the yogurt container)
  7. Once cake is cooled, frost and cut into 9 slices.


Now time to round out the weekend with a trip to the dog park with my boys and some pumpkin carving. Will the carving have something to do with Theo? I would say the chances are pretty good… I just can’t NOT be obsessed with this cute guy.


Snack · Sweet Treats · Under 100 calories

Sweet N’ Salty Popcorn

I am a snacker. Big time. I can’t go more than a couple hours without eating otherwise I get Cranky– with a capitol C! It’s not pretty. Seriously though, it could be Thanksgiving and I will have had seconds thirds and I will be going back for more after a quick break.

My family has always been popcorn people. We have had this same ancient vintage popcorn popping machine since I can remember. We would always make a giant bowl before every family movie night. (It’s pretty much the only reason that 6-year old Colleen stayed in the room during “The Wizard Of Oz”– that movie terrified me… Those flying monkeys though!)

While family movie nights are not as common due to schedules and general growing up (tear, tear) the love of popcorn hasn’t faded. The Kokx family particularly likes the sweet stuff… kettle corncaramel corn.. chicago style (I may or may not be notorious for picking out all of the caramel in this kind… oopsie…) We like a little sugar.


Today I had a hankering for a new snack. Enter this recipe. It’s super simple and will keep that hanger animal in check between meals.

[gmc_recipe 2202]


The best part of this recipe? You can change the entire flavor of it by changing the type of pudding you use. I think cheesecake with a little bit of caramel drizzled over it just before baking would be divine. Give it a try and tell me what ya’ think!

Nutrition info per 1 cup

Nutrition info per cup w yield of 12

Short Story Time: I just have to share this. The other day I was working at a WIC clinic (I am in my WIC rotation of my dietetic internship) in a different city. We had a while for lunch and I had to get out of the office (I was getting a little cabin fever if you will) I decided to take a walk and came across a thrift shop… where I got 5 cookbooks for $2.39. I just LOVE a good deal! Anywho… Long story short- I’ve had my nose in cookbooks for an unbelievable number of hours lately. To many recipes to try, so little time!