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: Astoria, New York
Occupation: Freelance culinary producer and private chef
Number of people in household: 1
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
As a culinary instructor, I am always cautious of labeling things as "healthy." After reading this piece in the Washington Post by Michael Ruhlman, I completely changed the way I labeled food. To me, I much prefer using the phrase "health supportive" — literally, eating whatever supports your overall health and goals. As a chef, I am constantly around food and travel frequently. I can't afford to be sick or tired — my job is literally dependent on my energy.
This winter I traveled across the country producing the food waste series Scraps. I developed recipes using ingredients otherwise considered trash — kale stems, carrot tops, odd cuts of meat. Long days of recipe testing and shooting meant I had to be on top of my eating if I didn't want to succumb to craft services or failed batches of overripe avocado brownies (so good). I found that lots of vegetables and higher fat and protein worked well to sustain me and keep on-set nibbles to a minimum. Plus wine and chocolate. Always.
What Are Your Favorite "Healthy" Recipes?
1. Veggie Naan'wich with Feta Chickpea Mash from Sprouted Kitchen
I always have chickpeas and tahini on hand for hummus, but I can't live on hummus alone. I nix the homemade naan in favor of making a double batch of the chickpea mixture. It's great in bowls, alongside a poached egg and greens, or tucked into a toasted corn or brown rice tortilla.
2. Cauliflower Blueberry Smoothie Bowl from Lee from America
Banana-less smoothies are a total game-changer for me. I got into throwing zucchini nubs and leftover cauliflower (#scraps!) into my morning smoothies last summer. They miraculously add creaminess and go virtually undetectable when combined with berries. I find starting my day lower-sugar is a good strategy for keeping my energy up. I am constantly inspired by @LeefromAmerica on Instagram for her gorgeous bowls and approach to real food.
3. Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt from Smitten Kitchen
Classic Deb. I make variations on this (borrowed from ABC Kitchen) for my clients all the time. Roasting the carrots whole makes them a 'knife and fork' side — much more satisfying to eat, somehow. I play around with my spices and herbs — it's really more of a technique. Cilantro and lime juice was a recent favorite variation.
4. Harissa Chicken Salad from Bon Appétit
Leave it to BA to articulate how to assemble a killer bowl. Batch cooking, meal prep, component cooking — whatever you want to call it, having a bunch of pre-made ingredients in the fridge is key to crushing the lunch game. Don't forget the crumbly cheese and nuts!
Thanks so much for sharing your favorite healthy recipes, Clare! Want to share what healthy means to you? See how here.