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Providence Health & Services
Swedish Health System | Seattle, WA
Kadlec Regional Medical Center | Richland, WA
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Waffle irons: They’re not just for breakfast anymore. We challenge you to use that waffle iron with these eight healthy recipes, from waffles to stuffed chicken to fritters and more.
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8 healthy ways to use your waffle iron

Waffle irons: They’re not just for breakfast anymore.

If you haven’t used your waffle maker lately, it may be time to rethink what a handy little appliance this really is. While waffles are certainly yummy, there are many other things you can cook in a waffle iron – including lighter, healthier foods. Try these deliciously different waffling ideas for a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

1) Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach, Pine Nuts, and Feta

This juicy grilled chicken is accented with the zesty flavors of the Mediterranean, but only contains about 280 calories per serving. The spinach, pine nuts, and garlic add healthy nutrients, too.

Ingredients:

2 ounces (about 1 cup) fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
non-stick cooking spray
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »

2) Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

One of the things people love most about eggplant parmesan is that oozy layer of melted cheese on top. In this version, a whisper-thin layer of grated Parmesan delivers cheesy flavor without the extra calories – and gives the eggplant a delicate, golden crust. Add your favorite sauce for a delicious, meatless entrée.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
egg wash
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »

3) Zucchini-Parmesan Fritters

Just when you thought you’d seen every possible way to prepare zucchini, here’s a new twist on veggie fritters – made inside a waffle iron. These are every bit as delicious and crispy as pan-fried fritters, but without all that cooking oil.

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded zucchini (about two medium zucchinis)
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup grated Parmesan or low-fat cheese
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »

4) Vegan Falafel Waffles

Falafels are super-nutritious and full of healthy protein, but they are typically made by deep-frying. When cooked in a waffle iron, falafels still acquire that crispy texture without being drenched in oil. Add hummus, tahini, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumber on the side for a light but satisfying meatless dish.

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked chickpeas (two 15-ounce cans)
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 small onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
non-stick cooking spray
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »

5) Waffle-grilled Portobello Mushroom with Italian Herbs

Juicy, savory Portobello mushrooms make a great meatless entrée. Serve with steaming whole-grain rice, braised spinach, steamed squash and a colorful salad.

Ingredients:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup neutral-flavored oil, such as canola
1 tablespoon Italian herbs (dried rosemary, basil, oregano)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Portobello mushrooms stems removed
Serves 1

Get full instructions here »

6) Almost Fat-free Hash Browns

Possibly the simplest hash browns ever, these waffle iron hash browns contain only one ingredient: potatoes. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these hash browns deliver all the satisfying flavor we love, but without the added fats.

Ingredients:

4 small red potatoes, weighing about 5 ounces total
Serves 2

Get full instructions here »

7) Grilled Pineapple with Chili Powder

For an unusual warm dessert, try grilling pineapple slices on your waffle iron. The high heat caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit and the chili powder provides a spicy counterpoint. For an extra pop of flavor, serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

Ingredients:

1 whole pineapple or 1 (20-ounce) can of pineapple
non-stick cooking spray
chili powder
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »

8) Power Waffles with Yogurt, Bananas, and Almonds

Finally, we couldn’t leave out a recipe for traditional, fluffy Belgian waffles. However, this is a healthier version, powered by six sources of protein, and topped with naturally sweet bananas and a touch of honey. This recipe takes a couple of extra minutes to prepare, but the results are worth it!

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups light soy or nonfat milk, heated to 105-115°F
¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons sugar substitute
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
6 bananas, sliced
honey to taste
¾ cup toasted sliced almonds
Serves 4

Get full instructions here »


Do you have any healthy recipe ideas?

Leave a comment below.

Waffle irons: They’re not just for breakfast anymore. We challenge you to use that waffle iron with these eight healthy recipes, from waffles to stuffed chicken to fritters and more.