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This is totally unscientific.

But according to my research, almost 100% of the people out there would love to have a flatter stomach.

Tell me I’m wrong…

Studies have shown that certain foods can help you lose belly fat.

Beans, whole grains, red peppers and extra virgin oil all may have waist-shrinking and health boosting qualities.

So, I thought why not highlight some healthy, tasty recipes with foods that promote a flatter stomach..

Here are 5 that look really good:

Salsa Black Bean Burgers


  • ½ cup prepared salsa
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup well-crushed tortilla chips
  • ½ cup grated white onion
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil, divided
  • 8 whole-grain burger buns, toasted
  • ½ cup prepared guacamole
  • 8 slices tomato slices
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion


Place salsa in a fine-mesh sieve and stir a few times to drain excess liquid.

Mash beans with a potato masher in a large bowl until no whole ones remain.

Stir in the drained salsa, tortilla chips, grated onion, egg, mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin and salt.

Let stand 10 minutes.

Form the bean mixture into 8 burgers about 3 inches wide ( ⅓ cup each).

Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium, add 4 burgers and cook until browned and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Repeat with the remaining oil and burgers.

Serve the burgers on buns with guacamole, tomato slices, sprouts and red onion.

Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal


  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon toasted chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup


Combine oats, water and salt in a jar or bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, heat if desired, and top with blueberries, yogurt, pecans and syrup.

Southwestern 3-Bean & Barley Soup


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 9 cups water
  • 4 cups (32-ounce carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth, “no-chicken” broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • ⅓ cup dried black beans
  • ⅓ cup dried great northern beans
  • ⅓ cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano.

Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1¾ to 2½ hours (adding more water, ½ cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.

Slow-Cooker Variation: Use 2 cups water (instead of 9 cups) and combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed With Kale and Rice


  • 3 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Filling
  • 8 ounces kale, (6 cups lightly packed), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup cooked short-grain brown rice, (see Tip)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, divided (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


To prepare peppers: Preheat oven to 400°F.

Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached. Remove the seeds. Lightly brush the peppers outside and inside with oil; sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper.

Place, cut-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until peppers are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Turn cut-side up.

To prepare filling: Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water; squeeze dry. Finely chop.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add onion and chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Stir in the kale.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Stir in rice, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the filling among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.

Add 2 tablespoons water to the baking dish.

Cover the peppers with foil and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette


  • 1¼ cups dried beans, preferably heirloom, or 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound tomatoes, sliced


If using canned beans, skip to Step 3. If using dried beans, rinse and pick over for any stones, then place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Drain the soaked beans, rinse and transfer to a large saucepan.

Add 6 cups cold water.

Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer gently, stirring once or twice, until tender but not mushy, 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the freshness of the dried beans. (If you’re using heirloom beans, be sure to check them after 20 minutes—they tend to cook more quickly than conventional beans.)

If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup water.

When the beans are about three-fourths done, season with ½ teaspoon salt. When the beans are tender, remove from the heat and drain.

Combine the beans (cooked or canned), the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, onion, vinegar, honey, oil and pepper in a large bowl.

Stir, cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Pat dry and add to the marinated beans. Stir in cherry (or grape) tomatoes and basil. Season with pepper.

To serve, arrange tomato slices around the edge of a serving platter or shallow salad bowl and spoon the bean salad into the center.

Hope you like these recipes.

Give them a try and let me know what you think, and if you knock a few inches off your waistline.