Celebrate National Dairy Month with recipes from celeb chef Rocco DiSpirito

Incorporating dairy into your meals can be very delicious… but sometimes that means a lot of calories and fat, too. Nobody wants that!

Rocco’s Vanilla-Ricotta Stuffed Crepes With Orange-Maple Syrup
ice cream cone

To help celebrate National Dairy Month try a few lower-calorie,  lower-fat recipes from celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Celebrate with dairy!

It’s National Dairy Month, which might have you thinking about enjoying all types of dairy goodness, from ice cream to cheese to yogurt. And you should! Dairy products can provide great nutritional value.

Find out why yogurt is a top-rated food >>

Rocco DiSpirito

Breakfast, dinner and dessert from chef Rocco DiSpirito

You might know celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito from any number of his activities — maybe from one of his reality shows or from his time as a judge on Top Chef. Perhaps you’ve picked up one of his many cookbooks. SheKnows was lucky enough to receive a few of his delicious recipes that include dairy — perfect for breakfast, dinner and dessert — but that are also lower in calories and fat. What a great way to celebrate National Dairy Month!

Learn about five benefits of calcium >>

Rocco’s vanilla-ricotta stuffed crepes with orange-maple syrup

Just 108 calories per portion, you can enjoy these creamy crepes without the guilt. This recipe incorporates Coffee-mate Natural Bliss low-fat vanilla creamer made with milk, cream, sugar and natural vanilla flavor.

Yields 4


  • 6 tablespoons Coffee-mate Natural Bliss low-fat vanilla creamer
  • 4 teaspoons egg white powder
  • 8 ounces light ricotta cheese
  • 1 navel orange, 1/2 teaspoon of zest removed with fine grater, then peeled
  • 1/2 cup calorie-free pancake syrup
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint (about 8 leaves), torn into small pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour all but two teaspoons of the Natural Bliss in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the egg white powder until fully dissolved; set aside.
  2. In another bowl mix the ricotta cheese with the remaining two teaspoons of Natural Bliss and one-quarter teaspoon of the orange zest; set aside.
  3. With a sharp paring knife, cut the sections of orange flesh out from the white membrane that encases them. Place the orange sections, remaining one-quarter teaspoon orange zest and the pancake syrup in small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the mixture simmers, about two minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap on one side to vent but keep warm and set aside.
  4. Spray a 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  5. Pour one-quarter of the Natural Bliss and egg powder mixture into the warm pan and swirl the mixture so it forms a thin even layer on the bottom of the pan. Put it over the heat until you can see browning at the edges, about 20 seconds and then place in the oven and bake about 30 seconds or until it has fully cooked.
  6. Pull the crepe out of the pan, cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper and set aside. Repeat these steps to make three additional crepes.
  7. Place a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the center of each crepe and spread it out evenly over the crepes. Fold crepes in half and then in half again and place one crepe each on four plates.
  8. Spoon the warm orange syrup over each crepe and garnish with mint leaves.

Per serving:

108 calories, 3.9g fat (2g sat, 0g mono, 0g poly), 17mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 8g protein

Spicy-sweet linguini alla vodka

This dish is to die for, but you won’t ruin your diet from its creamy goodness. A typical recipe for this dish has about 60 grams of fat, but this is cut back to seven grams per serving! From Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This! Diet cookbook.

Serves 4


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat prepared marinara sauce
  • 1 (4 ounce) bottle fire-roasted red peppers cut into thin strips (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1-1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions, or for about nine minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce and sliced peppers to a simmer in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly thickened, about five minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  3. Add the yogurt to a small bowl. Stir about one-half cup of the warmed sauce into the yogurt until it’s smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Whisk the yogurt mixture into the marinara sauce. Keep the sauce off the heat, and cover the pan to keep it warm.
  4. Drain the linguine. Slide it into a large serving bowl and add the sauce, basil and one teaspoon of the hot pepper sauce.
  5. Toss gently until the linguine is evenly coated.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and the remaining one-half teaspoon hot pepper sauce, if you’d like.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on top and serve.

Per serving:

307 calories, 7g fat (2g sat, 1g mono, 0.5g poly), 8 mg cholesterol, 772mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 14g protein

Coconut cream mango pops

These tasty treats can be described as “piña colada on a stick.” Yum! And what could be more perfect on a hot summer’s night (especially at just 3 grams fat and 115 calories)? From Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This! Diet cookbook.

Yields 6


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
  • 8 ounces light or reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 6 ounces 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 5 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (or more to taste)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into six freezer-pop molds. Freeze for at least four hours
  3. Dip the freezer pop molds in warm water for three seconds to unmold them.

Per serving:

115 calories, 3g fat (2g sat, 0g mono, 0g poly), 2 mg cholesterol, 17mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein

A dose of dairy

According to the National Dairy Council, June month is a good time for people to recognize the nutritional and economic value of lower-fat and fat-free dairy foods. The USDA recommends anywhere from two to three cups of dairy per day for children and adults (visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for specific recommendations based on your age and gender).

These recipes are tasty (and good for you) anytime of the year!

More delicious dairy recipes to try

Fresh ricotta cheese recipe
Apricot-yogurt sundae recipe
Great dairy recipes to try

Photo credit: WENN.com


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