Healthy and Tasty Recipes
Good nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. It not only provides fuel to our organism but also helps preventing diseases, it fortifies our immune system and retains the daily health of the entire body.
In this piece, I've chosen ten of my favourite healthy, simple and wholesome recipes to show that one's food choices don't have to be boring and mundane: they can be tasty ways to promote healthy eating habits for a lifetime!
So, have a nice meal!
1. Sweet Potato Chips and Dip: Serves 4
- 2 sweet potatoes, about 1 kg/2 lbs, peeled
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) canola oil
- 10 mL (2 tsp) mild chili or curry powder
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) cumin seeds (optional)
- 1 mL (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) 0% plain Greek yogurt
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) mango chutney or just plain mango, diced finely
- 1 pinch ground coriander
- 15 mL (1Tbsp) chopped fresh mint
1. Thinly slice potatoes crosswise into 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick slices and place in large bowl. Add oil, chili, cumin and pepper; use your hands to toss them gently to coat evenly.
2. Spread potato slices in a single layer over 2 large parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in bottom and top thirds of 250 C (450 F) oven, turning once and switching pans for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are golden brown. Keep an eye on the chips as they can become golden quickly in the last few minutes of cooking. Let cool slightly. Yogurt Dip: In small bowl, stir together yogurt, chutney or mango, coriander and mint. Serve with chips.
2. Red Lentil Quinoa Soup
- 5 mL (1 tsp) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 mL (1 tsp) dried oregano leaves
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) red lentils, rinsed
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) quinoa, rinsed
- 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) sodium reduced vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat and add onion, garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in lentils and quinoa to coat. Pour in broth and water, tomato and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until lentils and quinoa are tender.
2. Remove bay leaf, and serve with parsley. You can also use an immersion blender and puree mixture until smooth, then stir in parsley.
3. Quick spinach salad: Makes 8 servings
It’s easy to keep the ingredients for this salad on hand. You can also add croutons, chopped red or green onion, celery, mushrooms, grapefruit, apple, orange, cherry tomatoes, kidney beans or chickpeas.
- 500 g (1 lb) baby spinach leaves
- 50 mL (1/4 cup) crumbled light feta cheese
- 25 mL (2 Tbsp) sunflower seeds
- 75 mL (1/3 cup) Everyday Vinaigrette (below)
- 25 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
- 25 mL (2 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
- 25 mL (2 Tbsp) water
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 5 mL (1 tsp) Dijon mustard Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Trim, wash and dry baby spinach leaves.
2. Place in salad bowl. Add cheese and sunflower seeds.
3. Pour dressing over and toss lightly. Serve.
4. Mexican Bean Burrito Casserole: Makes 6 servings
- 10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 mL (1 tsp) chili powder
- 10 mL (2 tsp) ground cumin
- 1 mL (cayenne pepper)
- 2 cans (540 mL/19 oz) each, no added salt red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 175 mL (3/4 cup) water
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) no added salt tomato paste
- 6 whole wheat tortillas (about 20 cm/8 inches)
- 175 mL light Monterrey Jack shredded cheese
- 150 mL (2/3 cup) salsa You can also add chopped jalapeno peppers, if you desire
1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, red pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper for about 7 minutes or until softened and starting to colour. Add beans and use a potato masher or spoon to mash most of the beans. Stir in water and tomato paste and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
2. Place tortillas on work surface and divide bean mixture in centre of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with some of the cheese. Wrap bottom up over filling and fold sides over to roll up into a burrito. Place rolled burritos into lightly greased casserole dish and spoon salsa over top.
3. Bake in 400 F (200 C) oven for about 15 minutes or until crispy on the edges.
5. Cheesy Mushroom and Asparagus Bake: Makes 6 servings
- 1 box (375 g/12 oz) whole wheat macaroni noodles
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) olive oil
- 500 mL (2 cups) white mushrooms, sliced
- 250 mL (1 cup) asparagus, chopped, with tough ends removed
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) celery, chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 can (540 mL/19 oz) ready to serve reduced fat and sodium Cream of mushroom soup
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) skim milk
- 85 mL (1/3 cup) Asiago cheese, grated (some prefer Cheddar)
- 250 mL light, old Cheddar cheese, grated
- ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
2. Cook pasta as directed on the box.
3. Meanwhile, in fry pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sautee mushrooms until soft. Add asparagus and celery and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, green onion, soup, milk, Asiago cheese and pepper.
5. Pour mixture into large casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
6. Orange Glazed Salmon: Makes 4 servings
- 360 g (12 oz) salmon fillet, without skin
- 5 mL (1 tsp) orange zest
- 1 whole fresh orange (juiced)
- 5 mL (1 tsp) honey
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt
- 2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper (white is best)
- 10 mL (2 tsp) olive oil
1. Thoroughly wash and dry orange before zesting.
2. Use a medium-fine grater; grate the orange until only the white pith remains over the fruit. The orange zest will be used to flavour the salmon. Be careful not to use any white pith as it is bitter in taste. Cut orange and squeeze out juice.
3. Mix orange juice, honey, salt, pepper and orange zest together to make marinade for the salmon. Pour over salmon and marinate for 15 minutes.
4. Remove salmon from marinade. Save marinade to make the glaze for the salmon later on.
5. Brush salmon with olive oil before placing them on the heated grill. Cook until fish turn opaque and turn the salmon over once during cooking. It will take approximately 7-9 minutes altogether pending on the thickness of the salmon.
6. In a small pot using high heat, reduce the leftover marinade to a glaze.
7. Drizzle the glaze over salmon before serving.
7. Herbed Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce: Serves 6
- 3 mL (3/4 tsp) dried thyme leaves
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) garlic, minced
- 1 mL (1/4 tsp) dried pepper flakes, optional
- 1 mL (1/4 tsp) dried basil
- 6 boneless pork loin chops
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) olive oil
- 75 mL (1/3 cup) fat free sour cream
- 50 mL (1/4 cup) Dijon mustard or white wine Dijon mustard
- 45 mL (2 Tbsp) skim milk
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) olive oil
- 3 mL (1 Tbsp) dried tarragon leaves
- 5 mL (1 tsp) ground black pepper
1. In a small bowl, combine thyme, garlic powder, basil, and pepper flakes. Brush both sides of pork chops with oil. Sprinkle thyme mixture evenly over both sides and press down with fingertips to adhere.
2. Heat large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side or until barely pink in center.
3. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, whisk together sour cream, mustard, milk, oil, and tarragon. Place over low heat until warmed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not bring to a boil. Spoon equal amounts of mustard sauce on each dinner plate. Place pork chops on top of sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
8. Veal Continental: Serves 6
- 500 g (1 lb) veal cutlets, thinly sliced
- 10 mL (2 tsp) flour
- 1 mL (1/4 tsp) pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
- 250 g (8 oz) Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) water chestnuts, sliced
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
- 375 mL (1 1/2 cup) 1% or skim milk
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) Marsala wine or sherry
1. Pound cutlets thin; cut into serving portions. Sprinkle lightly with mixture of flour and pepper.
2. Saute garlic in 15 mL (1 tbsp) of vegetable oil. Remove garlic; add cutlets and cook quickly until golden on both sides. Place cutlets in shallow baking dish.
3. Heat remaining oil in saucepan; add mushrooms, onion and water chestnuts. Saute until golden. Blend in flour, then add milk to make mushroom sauce. Simmer about 2 minutes to blend flavours. Stir in wine.
4. Pour sauce over cutlets; bake in a 180 °C (350 °F) oven for 30 minutes. Serve over pasta or on a bed of spinach.
9. Orange Poppy Seed Cake: Makes 16 servings
- 625 mL (2 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 250 mL (1 cup) sugar
- 25 mL (2 Tbsp) poppy seeds
- 10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
- 250 mL (1 cup) fat free sour cream
- 175 mL (3/4 cup) fat-free evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs
- 50 mL (1/4 cup) canola oil
- 10 mL (2 tsp) orange zest
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spray a fluted bunt pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and ginger.
3. In a second bowl combine sour cream, milk, eggs, oil, orange zest and orange juice.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Then pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
10. Strawberry and Pomegranate Pannacotta: Makes 6 servings
- 250 mL (1 cup) 2% milk
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) 1% buttermilk
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) fresh pomegranate juice
- 50 mL (1/4 cup) seedless strawberry jam
- 1 envelope plain gelatin (enough to set 500 mL/2 cups)
- 750 mL (3 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced
- Fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, combine milk, buttermilk, juice and jam.
2. Make gelatin according to package instructions. Whisk into the milk mixture.
3. Pour into six ramekins and let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. To remove the pannacotta from the ramekins, place the ramekin into very hot water for 1 minute. Run a sharp knife along the inside edge of the ramekin and invert onto the individual serving plate.
5. Garnish with fresh strawberries and pomegranate seeds (if using).
So enjoy trying these new recipes, and remember, nutritious is delicious!
More about foods and drinks...