March 2023

5 Recipes for a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend with one of these fab cocktails and a delicious and nutritious snack.  Gather your friends for some South of the Border inspired fun.  Olé!

Inspired by the oh-so-glamorous Miss Dita Von Teese, Cointreau’s sweet and spicy take on a classic margarita is sure to add a bit of vintage chic to any party.

The Cointreau MargaDita

1.5 oz Cointreau
1.5 oz Silver Tequila
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Monin Rose Syrup
1 pinch Chipotle Spice

Directions: Shake over ice and serve in a chilled coup glass. Place in Margarita Glass

A Recipe for Seduction: Tea-infused Chocolate Truffles

We heart the idea of seducing your loved one this Valentine’s Day with the sensuous pairing of warm tea served with sweet tea-infused chocolate truffles, made with Tracy Stern Salontea, The Lover, a Chocolate Chai tea. This tea blend is a natural aphrodisiac, not to mention that the art of pouring tea is incredibly sensual! Tea has been a drink of seduction throughout history: many love affairs began over meeting for tea and ended as the greatest love stories of all time. We’re pretty confident that you will love this delicious V-Day treat!


  • 2/3 heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cut into pieces and softened)
  •  2 tablespoons of The Lover tea-chocolate Chai tea leaves
  • 6 oz finest bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  •  1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in the tealeaves. Remove from heat and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

Put chocolate in a bowl and strain the cream mixture through a sieve over the chocolate: discard the tealeaves. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture together until smooth, chill for approximately 2 hours until mixture is firm.

Dust your hands with a bit of cocoa (or cinnamon) then use your hands to roll the chilled chocolate mixture into balls (Tracy likes to use a melon scooper).

Use 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of chocolate mixture for each truffle. Drop the truffles into the cocoa, turn them until they’re lightly coated, and then place them in an airtight container. Store them in layers separated by wax paper.

Serve in edible rose petals…enjoy!


Donatella Arpaia Launch Event AND Her New Martini Cocktail Recipe

Italy: the land of pizza, pasta, prosecco, Prada, and Jersey Shore? If that last one doesn’t throw you off, then it’s high time to be reminded of how stylish all things Italian can be. Celebrity Chef Donatella Arpaia is doing just that by partnering with iconic Italian spirits brand Martini to bring glamour back to dining and entertaining the Italian way.

The launch event celebrating her new role as Martini’s culinary and entertaining expert was held at Donatella’s DBar in Chelsea, chicly styled in all black and silver (the trendy foil to the opulent white and gold Donatella restaurant which is connected by a “secret” back door). Donatella, author of Donatella Cooks: Simple Food Made Glamorous (hyperlink to book affiliate) and a guest judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” chose some of her Italian classics with a twist to serve at the party, like Arancini (rice balls) with orange zest and popcorn with truffle oil.

To bring some Italian taste to your next party, try this Donatella’s new signature cocktail recipe: It’s great for a Sunday Brunch or a BBQ (and it’s delicious!).

The Donatella
3 ounces MARTINI Prosecco
¾ ounces of GREY GOOSE
½ ounce of MARTINI Bianco
3 slices cucumber
1 leaves of basil
1 cherry tomato
½ ounce of lemon juice
½ ounce of simple syrup
Garnish: Campari Tomato

In a cocktail shaker place all ingredients. Muddle gently. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall glass. Top with Prosecco. Add garnish.

Slenderize Your Backyard Barbecue with These Easy Tips

Nothing says Labor Day like pool parties and BBQs. But with fattening items like hot dogs and creamy side salads (think potato salad and coleslaw) on the menu—you may find yourself with a little extra pudge hanging over your bathing suit.  With a few simple changes you’ll be able to enjoy the end of summer without wreaking havoc on your waistline.  These tips save big on calories and grams of fat, but sacrifice none of the flavor or fun! I’ve even provided one of my favorite F-Factor recipes that’s sure to be a hit all summer long.  Happy BBQing!


  • Go Lean on the Grill: Lean meats such as chicken, fish and turkey provide less calories, saturated fat and cholesterol than hot dogs and full-fat hamburger meat.   If you can’t avoid your hamburger craving, choose USDA Select or Choice grades of lean beef that have been trimmed of fat, such as ground sirloin. Another great tasty option is low-fat sausage with 3g of fat or less, from brands like Applegate Farms and Hebrew National.

Factor out: 2 full fat sausage links at 163 calories and 14g fat.

Factor in: 2 low-fat sausage links for 80 calories and 3g fat.


  • Rub a Dub, Dub, Just not with a Wet Rub: When grilling, try using a dry rub. Unlike a wet marinade, which is often oil based, dry rubs add a kick of flavor without the unwanted calories.

Factor out: Marinade on your meats.  One tablespoon of olive oil has 135 calories and 15g of fat, and the typical marinade uses 1 cup of oil!

Factor in: Dry rub adds flavor to meat without any extra calories or fat!


  • Secretly Slimmed-Down Potato Salad: Potato salad is a BBQ staple, but not always the healthiest option, with most recipes calling for at least a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. If you swap the mayo for a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, you’ll save big on calories and fat—and it’s so delicious, they’ll never know!  Another healthy addition is to keep the potato skins on—the skins contain half of the total dietary fiber of the potato and 45% of the daily value for Vitamin C! (recipe below)

Factor out: Mayonnaise adds tons of calories and fat to your potato salad recipe.  A half-cup is 785 calories and 87g of fat to your potato salad.

Factor in: ½ cup of Greek yogurt to your potato salad recipe.  Which has only 60 calories and 0g fat.


  • Bag the Sugary Baked Beans – No BBQ is complete with the requisite bowl of baked beans. However, while beans are known as an excellent source of protein and fiber, the baked beans you’ll find at a summer soiree will likely be loaded with calories and sugar. Believe it or not, one cup of baked beans is equivalent in sugar to six Oreo cookies! Instead, make a four-bean salad combining canned chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, string beans and a few sprays of Wish-Bone’s Balsamic Breeze Vinaigrette Salad Spritzer. You’ll have a healthy dish that everyone will love, that’s is also good for them.

Factor out: Traditional baked beans, which can have up to 640 calories and 4g of fat in a cup.

Factor in: A four-bean salad, which will lighten up your BBQ with just 80 calories and 1g fat in a cup.


  • Skinny Your Skewers with Veggies! Kebabs are not only fun to make and pretty to look at, but they taste great and should be loaded with delicious veggies.  Try alternating your skewers with a lean protein such as chicken or shrimp and high fiber vegetables.  Veggies like peppers, eggplant, and purple onions add color to your meal and make it more nutritious.   Plus, the combination of fiber and protein will help to keep you full.

Factor out: A chicken skewer totals up to 230 calories and 6g fat.

Factor in: A half chicken half vegetable skewer, takes down the caloric content with 175 calories and 3g fat.


  • How About a Heart-Healthy Sangria: What’s more festive and appealing in the hot summer months than a fresh-mixed, sparkling cold Sangria?  Unfortunately, most recipes call for honey, coloring and even straight white sugar.  If you like Sangria, try making it with sweet berries, white wine and calorie free Sprite Zero to cut the calories in half from a traditional recipe. The fresh berries taste great, and the boost of antioxidants and fiber make it the perfect heart healthy drink for summer.

Factor out: The typical sangria recipe packs in 200 calories and 1g fat per glass.

Factor in: F-Factor lightened up sangria, which has 50 calories and is fat free.


  • A Hot ‘n Sweet Surprise: Grilling is not just for protein and veggies!  Try grilling chunks of delicious summer fruits such as slices of pineapple or halved peaches and nectarines for a delicious take on a traditional summer fruit salad for dessert. The heat from the grill will caramelize the fruit, for a naturally sweet, low calorie treat.

Factor out: Peach pie, which can break your calorie bank at 261 calories and 12g fat.

Factor in: Grilled peaches with a scoop of creamy low-fat vanilla yogurt for the perfect summer treat that is only 60 calories and 0g fat.


Famous F-Factor Potato Salad


  • 2 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, cooked and cubed (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • ½ cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1.     In bowl, combine potatoes, celery, onion, pickle relish, red pepper, and eggs.

2.     In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the dressing and mix well to combine.

3.     Pour the dressing over potato salad and mix gently to evenly coat. Cover and chill for several hours.

Serves: 10

Nutritional Content: 158 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4 g protein.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor

Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more

6 Yummy Summer Smoothies

Some people enjoy smoothies as a breakfast on the go, while others use them for an afternoon snack or after-workout pick me up. They are not only delicious, but are often packed with nutrients, vitamins, and more. Need more protein in your diet or trying to get in shape? Add a scoop of your favorite whey protein powder to give your smoothie a healthy kick. These sweet (and not too sugary) smoothies are sure to be a hit even if you have a picky eater in your home. Here are our favorites to try this summer:

The Melissa Smoothie
Our Founding Editor Melissa Meyers makes a delicious smoothie for herself and family several times a week. If you are not a fan of bananas, feel free to replace with raspberries or blackberries for a yummy mixed berry smoothie.

• 1 cup cut-up fresh strawberries
• I ripe banana
• 1 Stoneyfield Farm fat free vanilla yogurt
• Organic Fat free Milk- 1/2 cup
• 8-10 ice cubes

Mix all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe
Sometimes you’re in the mood from something sweet and savory, rather than a fruity drink. Instead of grabbing a cookie or slice of cake, try blending up this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie. If you’re a vegan, or just enjoy the taste of soymilk, forget the chocolate syrup and just use Silk chocolate soymilk.

• 1 banana
• 2 Tbs. Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth… whatever you prefer!)
• 1-2 squirts of Hershey’s reduced calorie chocolate syrup
• 1 Tbs. wheat germ
• 6 oz. soy milk

Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smoothie consistency is reached!


Mango Green Tea Smoothie
This antioxidant-packed smoothie not only tastes great, but gives you that caffeine kick you might need. Blended with mango and fresh lime juice, you’ll feel as though you’re on a carribean island. Plus, you can always replace a regular green tea bag with decaf if you want to enjoy this smoothie in the evening.

• 1 green or white tea bag
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/2 cup mango, cubed
• 1 wedge fresh lime juice
• 2 cups crushed ice

Heat water and brew tea. Let cool. Place cooled tea, mango, lime juice, and crushed ice in a blender and blend until thick and smooth.

Creamy Peach Smoothie
Peaches are my favorite fruit to have in the summertime. This combination of peaches, reduced-calorie (and delicious) vanilla ice cream, OJ and soy milk will end up tasting like a frozen creamsicle!

• 1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
• 4 scoops Edie’s slow-churned vanilla ice cream (lower in calories & tastes great!)
• 2 cups vanilla soy milk
• 1/4 cup orange juice

In a blender, combine peaches, ice cream, soy milk and orange juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.


Coconut water seems to be the latest craze, and we completely agree! ZICO coconut water is not only tasty, but has great health benefits as well (Gisele Bündchen is a huge fan). It contains five essential electrolytes to help your body perform at its best while staying hydrated.

Zinnamon Apple Smoothie
Apples & cinnamon are already a great combination, so by adding the ZICO coconut water, almonds and vanilla extract, you’ll be getting nutrients without sacrificing the flavor. Plus this recipe calls for protein powder and flax seed, which builds lean muscle and aids digestion.

• 1 cup (8oz) Coconut water natural flavor (ZICO)
• 4 raw Almonds
• 1 tsp Vanilla extract no alcohol
• 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
• 1 cup chopped apple (firm type such as empire, granny smith)
• ½ scoop Natural unsweetened protein powder (Biochem)
• 1 TBSP flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)

In a blender combine all ingredients and 3 ice cubes.
Pulse for approximately 10-15 seconds.

Chocolate Banana Berry Zmoothie
With cocoa powder, blueberries, banana, protein powder and more, this smoothie tastes amazing and is great for your body too! The rolled oats add additional consistency, similar to a milkshake.

• 8 oz ZICO Natural
• 1 scoop choc protein powder
• 1 tsp cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1 ripe banana
• 8 oz lowfat milk
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a blender combine all ingredients and 3 ice cubes.
Pulse for approximately 10-15 seconds