Welcome to Kitchn's new series My Favorite Healthy Recipes, where we show you how real people around the country (and even world) eat "healthy," however they choose to define that for themselves. Maybe you'll even find a few recipes to add to your own meal plan.
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Part-time editor/writer, full-time mom
Number of people in household: 4 (my husband, myself, and two girls (2 1/2 and 3 months old)
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
Healthy to me means eating mostly in-season plants and whole grains, with lots of variety to keep things interesting. I'm a vegetarian, so because I'm the main cook in our home, that's how we eat. We also eat as best we can as inexpensively as we can since my husband is in a full-time doctorate program (he's been in school the entirety of the seven years I've known him). I don't have the temperament for much couponing, so I plan our meals around the weekly specials and what's in season. We've managed to make it through six years of school debt-free this way!
What Are Your Favorite "Healthy" Recipes?
1. Magical Hot Cereal from Food52
Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast food because I can cook it up in bulk and then get it ready in the morning one-handed, since I've almost always got a baby on the hip. This is hands-down my favorite way to prepare hot cereal, if not only for the amazing aroma that fills the house. I multiply this recipe roughly by eight and make it at night so it's ready to go at breakfast. It's prepared almost like a risotto, and the orange zest and spices make it seem more decadent than it is.
2. Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn from Pinch of Yum
The first time I made this, my husband said he wanted me to make it for his birthday dinner. It truly is a winning combination of flavors and textures, and I always love a meal that's nearly all vegetables. It's also the reason I finally bought a spiralizer. I like to throw in a can of black beans and occasionally an avocado.
3. Warm Lentil and Root Vegetable Salad with Coconut Tzatziki from Food & Wine
This is definitely comfort food that also comforts my conscience knowing that I'm feeding my family something nutritious. I never seem to be able to find coconut yogurt when I'm making this, so I use whatever plain yogurt I have in the fridge with great results. I also tend to cut back a bit on the oil and mint, but only a bit. Fights ensue over these leftovers.
4. Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Creamy Lemon-Yogurt Sauce from Ezra Pound Cake
I was skeptical about how yogurt would taste as a pasta sauce, but only up until my first bite. This has been on regular rotation at our house for years, and I'm still not over how good it is. It's light, it's fresh, it's tangy, and it's often what's for dinner.
5. Lemon-Raspberry Pavlova from PureWow
Over the past couple years we've really tried to cut back on sugar at our house. but we always make something special for Sunday dinner. I made this for Easter, and my mom loved it so much she asked for it again on Mother's Day. I always make my own lemon curd to cut costs (and because it's almost as easy as buying a jar) and I cut the raspberry preserves in the recipe to help balance the flavors better. Bonus: It's naturally gluten-free.
Thanks so much for sharing your favorite healthy recipes, Anne! Want to share what healthy means to you? See how here.