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Enjoy the Season with These Healthy Yet Tasty Recipes!

By Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT and Joseph Ewing, RD LDN


The last half of the year is upon us, so it's time to get the crock pots out and get the whole house simmering with hearty, delicious aromas!   Chef Joseph Ewing and I, authors of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery, are happy to bring you two mouth-watering, heart-and-body-warming recipes that won't break the bank, in terms of calories or fats or sugars, but WILL leave you feeling satisfied and well-nourished.


Our first recipe is a slow-cooker butternut squash bread pudding.  Who knew you could have such a delicacy like this after weight loss surgery!  The crock pot does the work for you, so you can have your pudding and eat it too!   Butternut squash is a nutrient gold mine to boot, chock-full of antioxidants (that fight the bad, cancer-causing cells), like vitamin A and vitamin C, which also helps promote healthy eyes and skin, respectively.  This yummy winter vegetable also is fat-free and cholesterol-free, which makes it heart healthy as well! Butternut squash is also high in fiber, which not only helps keep you regular but also helps you feel full, a bonus if you're feeling hungry after your surgery's "honeymoon period" is over.  Finally, some people are afraid of carbohydrates after surgery, for fear they're "fattening," but healthy carbs like those found in butternut squash provide energy, help ensure your body doesn't use protein to make sugar for your brain, and help you stay satisfied and clear-thinking, so you're ready to take on any challenge life may throw your way!  The addition of Greek yogurt to this yummy pudding helps provide protein and calcium, which your body certainly needs both before and after weight loss surgery, and it is perfect as a mini-meal or snack.   Spices like ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves help keep your new taste buds singing, all while packing in a nutritional punch of protein, fiber and healthy carbs to keep your body happily humming for hours!


Our second recipe is loaded with protein (24 grams), and the pork tenderloin featured here is very lean, weighing in at only 3 grams of fat for a 2-ounce portion.  That's a real nutritional bargain.  The tasty marinade helps ensure the pork is tender, a plus after surgery, that will help this dish just melt in your mouth!


Bon Appétit To your health, and a happy season!


Slow Cooker - Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Servings: 10

Cook Time:  2 Hours 45 Minutes


1 1/2 cups light vanilla soy milk

3/4 cup butternut Squash puree

1/4 cup Brown Sugar Splenda

1/4 cup Splenda

1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute

1 (6 oz container) vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

5 cups whole wheat bread, cut into approximately 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts



  1. Spray a 4 quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Put cubed bread in the greased slow cooker.
  3. Whisk together, in a separate bowl, light vanilla soy milk, butternut squash puree, Splenda, liquid egg substitute, vanilla Greek yogurt, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients over the bread and allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Cover, and cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove cover and cook on high for 10 minutes.  Turn off and cover.  Serve warm.

Calories: 190

Total Fat: 6g

Saturated Fat: 0.5g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 360mg

Dietary Fiber: 8g

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 12g


Grilled Garlic-Maple Pork Tenderloin

Servings:  3 oz, or about the size of a deck of cards

Cook Time:  20 minutes


2 lb. pork tenderloin

1 cup sliced Vidalia onion (about 1 medium onion)

3 tsp. ground mustard

1 tsp. white wine

1 1/2 TB. apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 tsp. sesame oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup sugar-free maple syrup



  1. In a large zipper-lock bag, combine pork tenderloin, onion, ground mustard, white wine, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, black pepper, and maple syrup.  Cover and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-low.
  3. Remove pork tenderloin from marinade, discard marinade, and cook for 20 minutes or until internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F.
  4. Slice on the bias and serve with your favorite sides.

Calories: 156

Total Fat: 3g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Cholesterol: 74mg

Sodium: 103mg

Dietary Fiber: .4g

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 24g