Fresh and Flavorful: 15 Light(er) Recipes from the Kitchn

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You may have noticed that we’re not really big on dieting in the count-your-calories, watch-the-fat sense around here. But we do feel that there are times when a period of eating lighter meals helps us feel refreshed and healthy, especially after a period of more indulgent eating like during the holidays or after a long vacation (or both!). Here are some of our favorite recipes from The Kitchn archives that we go to when we want clean flavors, nutritious ingredients, and a fresh start.

Quinoa-Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash – Feel free to swap the quinoa for any grain you have in the cupboard and throw in whatever vegetables are in the fridge.

Seared Char with Asian Kale – Simple, fresh flavors with a nice dose of vitamin D!

Roasted Vegetables on Creamy Polenta – Oven-roasting concentrates the flavor in just about any fresh vegetable, making them rich and satisfying.

Vegetarian Báhn Mì with Lemongrass Tofu – Perfect for a light lunch on the go.

Pasta with Mint Pesto Peas and Ricotta Salata – We love the bright flavors in this simple pasta dish.

Big Green Salad with Shallots, Chicken, Smoked Almonds, Goat Cheese, and Dates – If you’re craving a salad, this one has it all!

Very Simple Dal Palak – Indian lentil soups like this one make a perfect light meal on a cold afternoon.

Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta, and Red Onion Vinaigrette – Nutty wheat berries make an excellent contrast to the vibrant flavors of orange, feta, and red onion.

Smoky Scallops with Fennel and Tomato – Scallops are easy to make at home and have a delicate sweet flavor that pairs well with a lot of fresh vegetables.

Italian Marrow Beans with Tuna – Crunchy celery comes together with tender white beans and flaky tuna in this light salad.

Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina – Grain salads are so versatile. We love them as a main course for lunch or a side dish with dinner’s main course.

Hot and Sour Mushroom, Cabbage, and Rice Soup – This soup is comforting and satisfying, but won’t weight you down.

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Grapes, Hazelnuts, and Parmesan – Try this paired with a bed of greens toss with a spritz of lemon!

Halibut, Spinach, and Tomatoes in Foil Packets – This technique is such easy and simple – not to mention delicious – way to cook fish at home!

Quick Udon Noodle Soup – Just a few simple ingredients make this soup satisfying.

What are your favorite recipes for lighter eating?

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