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In the Kitchen

Dense Recipes, Lightened Up

By Michelle Mamis, RD, LDN
Bariatric Dietitian at BIDMC

These recipes incorporate some simple swaps that bump up the nutrition factor and allow you to still enjoy your favorites.

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Blondies

16 squares

chocolate chip blondie brownies made with chickpeas instead of flourIngredients

16 oz. can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 - 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350° and prepare an 8×8 inch pan with spray oil. Put all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips into a food processor bowl and process until smooth (3 - 4 minutes). Remove bowl from unit and take out the blade, scraping any batter from blade back into bowl.

Stir in most of the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Because there is very little fat in the batter, it will not “spread” as it heats up, so smooth evenly around the pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the center will come out mostly clean. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Recipe sources: Juggling with Julia and Meg’s Food Reality


Hawaiian Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

Serves 4


1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
5 cups roughly chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)
1/2 cup (about 4 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
chopped cauliflower2 cups frozen or fresh stir-fry vegetables
1 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup teriyaki marinade or sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Optional seasonings: additional salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 375° and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and lay it on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse cauliflower in a blender until reduced to rice-sized pieces, working in batches as needed. Transfer to a medium-large bowl.

Chop cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl, and cover to keep warm.

Bring an extra-large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Scramble egg whites/substitute until fully cooked, 3 - 4 minutes, breaking up into bite-sized pieces. Add to the chicken, and re-cover to keep warm.

Remove skillet from heat; clean if needed. Re-spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Add stir-fry veggies and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until thawed. Add cauliflower rice, bean sprouts, onion, sesame oil, and garlic. Cook and stir until veggies have mostly softened, 6 - 8 minutes. Add scrambled egg whites/substitute, chicken, pineapple, water chestnuts, and teriyaki sauce. Cook and stir until hot and well mixed, about 2 minutes. Top with scallions.

Recipe source:


Greek Yogurt Dip & Cucumber Sauce (Tzatziki)

Tzatziki made with Greek /yogurt and cucumbersIngredients

2 medium cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 medium seedless cucumber
1 cup 2% or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Peel garlic and chop coarsely. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and mash into puree. Scrape into medium bowl.

Remove ends from cucumber and peel. Cut in half lengthwise and coarsely grate cucumber flesh or mince finely with knife. Working over another bowl or sink, squeeze grated or chopped cucumber firmly to extract as much juice as possible; discard juice and add squeezed flesh to bowl with garlic.

Add yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, dill and pepper, stirring together well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for flavors to blend. Add more salt if needed. Serve as dip with fresh vegetables or as sauce for grilled lamb, chicken, beef or vegetables.

Recipe adapted from


Lightened-Up Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce


6 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups chopped cauliflower
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup low fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring the broth to boil in a large stock pot. Add in the chopped cauliflower and cook until tender. Remove from heat.

In a separate pan, sauté minced garlic in olive oil over low heat until it’s soft and fragrant. Add the garlic, milk, salt and pepper to the stock pot and combine with an immersion blender. (You can also use a regular blender or food processor.)

Recipe adapted from

Above content provided by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

March 2016

Contact Information

Weight Loss Surgery Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, 3rd Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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