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Video: 3 healthy alternatives to calorie-heavy dishes

TODAY recipes
updated 9/19/2012 6:06:24 PM ET 2012-09-19T22:06:24

In her cookbook and nutrition guide "Must Have Been Something I Ate," Peggy Kotsopoulos shares mouthwatering recipes that help boost energy and satisfy cravings. Here, she shows how to transform squash into noodles, hide quinoa in chocolate chip cookies and sneak pumpkin into chocolate mousse.

Recipe: Zucchini linguini with omega-rich pesto (on this page) Recipe: Chocolate chip quinoa cookies (on this page) Recipe: Chocolate mousse (on this page)

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Zucchini linguini with omega-rich pesto

Ingredients
  • For the "pasta":
  • 2 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash
  • For the toppings:
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup black Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Savi seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • Sunflower sprouts
  • For the pesto:
  • 1/2 cup Savi seeds (plain/sea salt)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze 1/4 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Preparation

This pasta dish looks like pasta and satisfies your pasta craving, but without all the refined carbs! That's because it's not really pasta — it's zucchini.  A kitchen-gadget spirooli slicer transforms your regular summer squash into zucchini noodles!

To prepare the noodles:
Add zucchini to spirooli and turn until noodles are formed. Add noodles to a bowl, add sunflower sprouts and toss with pesto (recipe below). Then top with the following: cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives, Savi seeds and kelp granules. 

To make the pesto:
Add all ingredients to food processor and process until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto to 1 cup of zucchini linguini and mix until well combined. Top with fresh cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes.

Recipe: Chocolate chip quinoa cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa flakes (or oatmeal flakes)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 large VERY RIPE bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Pinch sea salt
Preparation

These cookies are SOOO GOOD! The are jam-packed with protein, fiber, stress-busting B-vitamins, energizing goodness and deliciousness! They're also gluten-free and will kick your cravings to the curb.

To prepare the cookies:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas in bowl with a fork and add vanilla, almond butter and coconut sugar. Add quinoa, oatmeal, coconut and pinch of salt. Mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter on to cooking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Serving Size

Makes about 25 cookies that look more like muffin-tops and are chewy.

Recipe: Chocolate mousse

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter (make sure it's heated to point of being liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preparation

This mousse is so light, so airy, so decadent, and so HEALTHY! The secret ingredient? Pumpkin! This guilt-free goodie helps to energize, combat stress and lower heart disease. Plus it's super high in fiber, helping to curb cravings and balance blood sugar levels.

To prepare the chocolate mousse:
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well with a fork. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. That's it!

Serving

I normally serve this in a short martini glass and garnish with berries and/or shaved chocolate.

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