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: New York, New York
Occupation: Research Scientist at the NYC Department of Health
Number of people in household: 1
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
I was raised by my mom, who is a nutritionist, so I am shocked by many people's eating habits. But this doesn't mean we were perfect — people might be shocked to hear about some of the more relaxed food rules in my house growing up (my mom and I both love baking and sweets!).
Now at 27 healthy to me is not only eating well but also an overall mental and physical well-being. I try to eat healthfully by limiting my takeout orders (hello. NYC millennial lifestyle), decreasing my meat intake, and following a gluten-free diet. I always pack my breakfast and try to eat out for lunch only once during the week, which also helps my budget.
What Are Your Favorite "Healthy" Recipes?
1. One-Bowl Carrot Apple Muffins from Minimalist Baker
This recipe makes me feel healthy because the base includes fruits and vegetables and it's dairy-free and high in fiber. These are great for breakfast, snacking, or dessert. I love recipes with applesauce substituting for oil because I find them healthier and more moist. This recipe is great because it can be altered to include different nuts and mix-ins.
2. Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes from A Happy Food Dance
This recipe makes me feel healthy because I am skipping the actual carb: pasta! This is really quick for me to put together on a weeknight because I usually microwave half a spaghetti squash and use pre-made pesto sauce. Of course it would be healthier to make your own pesto, but life is also about balance.
3. Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets, Squash, and Shallots with Apple Cider Vinegar from Clean Food, Dirty City
This is a basic recipe that I use for weekday lunches. I roast a bunch of vegetables and then I let them cool and toss them over greens. The beets and squash in this recipe complement each other really well. Sometimes I throw in some almonds and cheese for a little more protein to get me through the day.
4. Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos from Love & Lemons
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes for "light" comfort food. I am a sucker for tacos but don't always want to eat meat, so these veggie versions make me feel great. I love the combination of flavors in this recipe. I usually toss in some tomato and red onion and eat it as a taco, or serve it over whole grains or greens for lunch.
Thanks so much for sharing your favorite healthy recipes, Dana! Want to share what healthy means to you? See how here.