Dessert doesn't always have to be over-the-top decadent. Especially after a long holiday season of packing in the sugary sweets, we appreciate restrained desserts that celebrate their lighter side. That doesn't mean that they aren't delicious, as proved by your recipes for everything from pumpkin packed cupcakes to vegan chocolate mousse.
'healthy' on Serious Eats
I know I go on a lot about my love of sugary cereal, my fixation with marshmallows and chocolate and colors, but in all honesty, in my everyday cereal eating life I'm just looking for a healthy cereal that tastes good. The ingredient list on Buckwheat & Hemp is short and simple, with no scary colors or additives. It has a nice nubbly texture and doesn't taste like cardboard.
Just because these rye muffins are a pretty healthy way to start your day doesn't mean they aren't delicious. They have a soft crumb and a warm, toasted oat flavor accented by molasses and raisins.
I remember the first time I had quinoa because it appeared, in all places, in my college dining hall. When I asked a woman who worked there if the quin-o-a was vegetarian (which I was at the time) she laughed in my face.
Lovers of oatmeal raisin cookie should try these similarly soft, sweet and nutty cookies.
You'd never know that there's a salad's worth of spinach in the recipe below, unless you feel like thinking about it to put a smile on your face. Even peppery greens like arugula and mizuna play nicely with fruits and herbs. If you like to experiment with flavor combinations in your mainstream cooking life, you'll enjoy the same creativity with green smoothies.
While those mini-meatballs are undoubtedly the high point, the generous helping of vegetables—onions, celery, kale, and escarole—really beef the soup up (so to speak), and make it thoroughly nutritious. A little Parmesan added at the end is a nice touch, as well, providing both a little bit of salt and a tiny bit of creamy goodness.
If I had my druthers, salads would be made of nuts, cheese, and a fruity dressing with a few leaves of arugula sprinkled on top. Alas, those druthers miss the whole point of a salad, which "should" be a light, healthy meal. I'm not alone, though. Visit any restaurant, and you'll find salads packed with heavy (albeit delicious) add-ons, making them slightly less nutritious than a bag of Big Macs. But it doesn't have to be that way.
The Federal Trade Commission last week released recommended guidelines for marketing food to kids. These guidelines will be open for public comment and soon sent to Congress for consideration. What do you think? Should foods marketed to children have healthiness standards? Does this mean no more Cap'n Crunch mascots?
This week's recipe, Frittata with Mushrooms, Bacon, and Parmesan, is one of those lightened dishes. I used the basic frittata recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, replaced most of the eggs with egg whites, plugged it full of mushrooms and onions, reduced the Parmesan, and made the bacon a flavoring agent, rather than the focus of the dish. These four actions cut the fat and calories significantly, yet the frittata remained dang tasty. In fact, after we each had one piece, my husband went back and polished off another.
Poblano Black-Eyed Pea Dip is a solid stand-in for when you finally get sick of hummus. If you've ever experienced Chickpea Fatigue, you know it doesn't happen often. But when it does, usually as a result of too little variation in your dip/spread repertoire, finding a temporary substitute is advisable.
When one thinks of Carrot and Raisin Salad, "hip" and "healthy" may not be the first words that come to mind. More likely, it's "church potluck" or "distant relative's funeral buffet." Well, this slightly sweet, no-cook vegetable side dish deserves better than that, especially with a few updates.
With a subtle, zesty sweetness and chewy/crunchy texture, these burgers from Faye Levy's Feast from the Mideast are a tasty curveball for those expecting heavy beef burgers. They're full of protein, fiber, and good fats, too.
Scallion Scrambled Eggs with Cumin, an Iranian-inspired meal from Faye Levy's Feast from the Middle East comes together in about 15 minutes, chopping included, and is a nice twist on standard scrambled eggs. Health-wise, it's far from a low-fat dish, but that's okay. Healthy food need not be low-fat food, especially when it's packed with protein and produce like this.
This recipe from Everyday Food magazine makes chicken tenders healthier by baking them at high heat instead of frying them in oil. Using Japanese panko breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan (airy and flakier) ensures that despite the baking method, they still have a decent crunch. Sure, baking isn't as delicious as frying, but the process is much easier for a quick dinner, and beats the frozen option by a mile.
Chicken breast is both the bane and the boon of the healthy eater. The trick to non-underwhelming chicken is slicing the thicker breast into thin fillets and quickly browning both sides in a pan. It worked for today's dish, Chicken with Artichokes and Capers, a lighter version of the usually fried Chicken Piccata.
Frequently overshadowed by more colorful produce, the humble parsnip deserves more props than it often receives. The slender, goldenish root vegetable possesses the sweetness of a carrot and a slight starchiness that suggests a potato, all while packing a nice little nutritional punch. A good source of potassium, parsnips are also high in fiber, as well as vitamins C and K. They're much easier to peel than rutabagas, too. So there's that.
This Valentine's Day, instead of blowing big bucks on a restaurant meal, why not pour a big ol' glass of red wine and whip up this lightened version of Better Homes and Gardens' Spinach Lasagna? It has all the cheesy goodness of regular spinach lasagna, minus a few extra calories.
It's elegant and fairly easy. Also: extravagantly spiced, just barely sweet enough, and filled with fruit flavor (the non-Froot Loop kind). It's the kind of dessert you'd serve to guests after a hearty dinner, and they'd never know it was low-calorie, with pretty decent doses of protein and fiber.