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.
Name: Sonya Gellert
Location: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Editor and writer
Number of people in household: Family of two (husband and myself).
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
For me, being healthy is about eating foods that help me feel happy and balanced — both physically and mentally. I feel healthy when I'm eating foods that give me energy and a little extra brain power, rather than induce that sluggish post-dinner slump on the couch. I'm no angel; caffeine and sugar are regular characters in my life, but that's all part of the balancing act too.
Every body differs, so I enthusiastically believe it's all about finding what works best for you. The only diet I've ever followed is vegetarianism (for perhaps 15 years or more now), and this serves me very well. I love a good food trend as much as the next Instagrammer, but I find it's usually best not to get caught up in any prescribed ideas of what you should and shouldn't eat. Instead, I seek variety, flavor, and happy-making foods. There's not much fun to be had in deprivation!
As a teen, I read a quote by Australian author Anthea Paul that said something along the lines of "Don't eat junk foods and don't think junk thoughts." I think this sums up my approach to full-body health and happiness pretty well. If you're consuming things that befit your personal ethos and make you feel good, you're probably on the right track. Oh, and exercise makes an appearance in any healthy lifestyle too, right?
What Are Your Favorite Healthy Recipes?
1. Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas from Minimalist Baker
The Minimalist Baker is my go-to recipe blog for happy-making food. This salad is perfect for hot Australian summer nights when you want something flavorful and "cooked," yet light and green. This one covers all bases.
2. Edamame Noodle Bowl from Chickpea Magazine
Clear soups, like this delicious vegan one from Chickpea Magazine, taste like "health" to me. This one's warming, nourishing, and has a little kick of Sriracha to finish. You can always cut back on the noodles if you want a lighter dish.
3. Vegan Overnight Oats from Oh She Glows
It's only a little ritual, but every night I (or my husband) make a batch of overnight oats for the morning. It sounds tedious, but it saves so much time in the morning and you can create all matter of toppings to keep you from getting bored. I generally use coconut milk, a banana, and oats — super easy and super healthy. This recipe from Oh She Glows is a good one.
4. Roast Carrot and Fregola Salad from Julia Ostro
I have a tendency to add a little too much cheese on my mid-week meals, but this healthy grain and roasted vegetable recipe is so full of flavor that you won't feel anything is missing. Julia Ostro has a bunch of amazing vegetarian- and vegan-friendly recipes on her site.
5. Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet from Anna Jones
Anna Jones can do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned. This particular recipe is bursting with tomato goodness and is hearty without being too much. Italian-inspired flavors always win me over. You can omit the sourdough if you're not into bread, but I strongly suggest leaving it in.
Thanks so much for sharing your favorite healthy recipes, Sonya! Want to share what healthy means to you? See how here.