Pilates and fitness instructor Cassey Ho—a YouTube sensation with nearly 340,000 subscribers and more than 32 million video views on her “Blogilates” channel—knows that exercise is only part of the equation when it comes to trimming down. Here, she shares her favorite healthy dishes (including dessert!) so you can make these tasty, good-for-you meals at home.
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1Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin
“Quick and easy, this berry-filled muffin will get you going in the morning without wasting any time!” says Ho.
1/4 cup quick oats
Sprinkle brown sugar or Stevia
1 tablespoon plain soy or almond milk
Take a little less than a quarter cup of quick oats, one egg, a small handful of blueberries and some brown sugar or Stevia if you like things sweet, and mix it all up in a coffee mug. If you want your muffin a little moist, add a tablespoon of plain soy milk or almond milk.
Place mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. Watch it carefully since this could overflow.
If the muffin top does not look firm, place back in the microwave 30 seconds at a time.
Once ready, flip mug upside down onto a plate and slice some fresh strawberries to decorate.
2Vegan Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
“At only 28 calories a cookie, I make these guilt-free treats to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings!” says Ho.
3/4 cup dry oats
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Stevia
2 tablespoons Craisins
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons organic vanilla soymilk
Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Mold into balls and then press into cookies. Place in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The result? Cookies that are crispy on the outside and not too sweet, tender and chewy on the inside.
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3Creamy Cilantro Avocado Salad Dressing
“Greek yogurt is the perfect way to add a creamy texture to salad dressings without the extra fat,” she says.
1/2 ripe avocado
3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, quartered
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor and once all mushed up, serve or keep in your fridge for up to three days.
4Healthy Falafel Lettuce Wraps
“Try substituting falafel for meat,” suggests Ho. “It’s just as hearty and has far less fat.”
Ingredients for falafel pockets:
2 1/2 whole wheat or high-fiber pitas
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, well drained
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika, or more to taste
black pepper, to taste
2 two-second sprays olive oil non-stick spray
Ingredients for tzatziki dip:
6 ounces plain fat-free yogurt
1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped (or another small cucumber, peeled, deseeded and chopped)
1 teaspoon dried dill
3/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients for falafel (except for pitas and non-stick spray) in a large bowl and give them a good stir. Using a potato masher, mash well. Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth. Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with a two-second spray of olive oil non-stick spray. Take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil non-stick spray, for a total of about a two-second spray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for dip in a blender or food processor and pulse until blended. Season to taste with black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes. Cut the whole pitas into halves, toast or warm all pita halves slightly and then fill each with three falafel balls and 3 tablespoons of dip. Enjoy!
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5Super Healthy, Ultra Clean Meatball Recipe
“Throw meatballs into a muffin tin for easy cooking and a quick clean up,” suggests Ho.
(Makes about 20 large meatballs)
2.5 pounds ground chicken breast
3 egg whites
1 cup dried quick oats
2 medium green bell peppers
1 purple onion
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce or flavor with a pinch or two of salt
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray a muffin tin (or regular pan) with non-stick spray. Mush the mixture into balls and place them in the muffin tin. Cook at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.
“A colorful meal is not only fun, but it usually also means you are getting tons of healthy vitamins and minerals in, too!” says Ho.
½ cup red pepper
½ cup carrots
½ cup purple (or white) cauliflower
½ cup corn
½ cup edamame
½ cup quinoa
Extra virgin olive oil
Soy sauce to taste
Sriracha to taste
Steam all veggies except for red pepper. Cook the quinoa with 1 cup of water (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water) in a rice cooker. In a separate pan, fry eggs with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté all vegetables, quinoa and eggs together on medium heat to combine flavors. Add soy sauce to taste. Plate and top with sriracha to spice things up.