Lightened Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Lightened Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Lightened Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

I think it’s clear by now that when it comes to my recipes you can count on three things: easy to make, tastes great, and a lightened version. I am not disappointing with these Lightened Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars! I’ve swapped the butter/cream for my favorite, protein-rich Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt and WOWZA it’s amazing!  

My quick tip on lightening recipes: always keep a quart of Stonyfield Organic yogurt in the fridge!  You’ll have the perfect ingredient to whip up last minute dressings, marinades, dips…or cheesecake bars! I sometimes just mix in some fresh fruit and cinnamon and the perfect snack is served! Plus, you can rest easier knowing that it’s made from the highest quality ingredients and contains no harmful persistent pesticides.  

Check out the ingredients and instructions below and ENJOY!  

Ingredients:  

Crust:  

5 full sheets (10 half sheets) graham crackers  

4 tablespoons melted coconut oil  

Filling:  

3/4 cup Stonyfield Organic Plain Greek Yogurt (I used 0% fat)  

1 8-oz packaged reduced-fat cream cheese (softened)  

2 tbsp honey  

2 tbsp lemon juice  

Zest of one lemon  

1 tsp vanilla extract  

2 tbsp almond flour  

2 egg whites  

1 cup fresh blueberries  

Instructions:  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.   

To make crust:  

  1. Using a food processor, chop the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the melted coconut oil and pulse until well combined.   
  2. Scoop the graham cracker mixture into the baking pan and press down. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.   

To make the filling:  

  1. Beat yogurt and cream cheese until smooth (I used a handheld mixer). Beat in the honey and mix until combined. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, almond flour and egg whites one at a time and mix until fully combined.   
  2. Gently fold in blueberries into cheesecake mixture.   
  3. Pour the filling over the crust and return to the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  
  4. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours then cut and devour!  

Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Advice from a mushroom: Be down to earth, keep a low-profile, know when to show up, start from the ground up and most importantly be a fun-guy (or gal)! Seriously though, did you know that mushrooms are jam-packed with so many nutritional benefits? Aside from the fact that they’re low in calories, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, fat-free and extremely low in sodium; they also contain a variety of nutrients like Vitamin D, B Vitamins and Selenium.  

In honor of the @MushroomCouncil initiative to spread awareness about the many positive nutritional benefits of mushrooms, I wanted to share with you one my favorite mushroom recipes: Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms. Just like other fruits and vegetables, mushrooms can play a positive role in supporting your healthy immune system. Of course, in my normal fashion, this recipe is both delish and easy to make:  

Ingredients:   

4 large Portabella Mushrooms  

1-2 tablespoons olive oil  

1 cup marinara sauce  

1 ½ cups light ricotta  

1 egg  

1 ½ cup chopped spinach  

½ cup fresh basil chopped  

1 cup shredded mozzarella  

Instructions:  

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
  2. Remove the stem and scoop out the gills of the mushrooms. Wash gently and pat dry with a paper towel.  
  3. Brush tops and insides of mushrooms with olive oil.  
  4. Spoon ¼ cup of marinara sauce into each mushroom.  
  5. In medium size bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, spinach and basil. Divide evenly into the four mushrooms.  
  6. Sprinkle each mushroom with ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella.  
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are baked through.  
  8. Enjoy immediately or store in fridge or freezer to enjoy later. For freezer storage, allow each mushroom to cool completely, wrap in foil then place in larger storage container.