It’s been awhile since the new year, and a lot of us are already slipping up on our resolutions to be healthier. One of the reasons this happens? Healthy food is, well, often boring. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve put together a list of 25 Healthy And Delicious Dish Ideas You Can Enjoy Without Guilt, courtesy of Panna.
Panna is a great online resource where actual chefs teach you to cook like them, at home. This isn’t just following a recipe; it’s tips and techniques performed by people who do this for a living. Click on the link within the description to go to the video and watch how easy it easy to feed yourself good food you’re excited to eat. If you like what you see, sign up for Panna’s free 30 day trial.
Jerk Red Snapper
This spicy jerk sauce can be used as a marinade or just drizzled directly over your cooked fish, as Chef Johnson suggests. If you’re not confident cooking fish in a pan, or if you’ve simply never tried it before, this recipe is a great one to start with as it’s pretty straightforward and delicious. It’s spicy, but not so hot that all you taste is heat. It’s heat and flavor.
This Risotto is made with carrot stock instead of the traditional chicken stock. The first part of this video shows you exactly how to make your own carrot stock (which, if you’re someone who loves vegetable stocks, has many possibilities). This dish is vegetarian but not vegan because it does include the best part of any risotto – pecorino romano cheese (but don’t worry, you can omit it…if you must).
Grilled Tofu with Bok Choy and Coconut Lime Sauce
This vegan friendly dish is full of flavor and takes less than an hour to make. If tofu is a food that falls flat for you, try this grilled preparation with coconut lime sauce. As Chef Cohen explains, tofu absorbs flavor, so the more awesome your sauce, the more awesome your tofu.
Barley Salad with Asparagus and Mushrooms
This is an amazing grain based salad with oyster mushrooms and asparagus that’s great to make ahead and take along to a potluck or cookout. It’s very bright and healthy and gives you both a good helping of vegetables and whole grains. This video also includes a very basic, “how to dice shallots or onions” tutorial; some people are never taught how to, and there’s no shame in learning new skills.
Weeknight Chicken Cacciatore
The first word in this recipe is “Weeknight” because it’s easy; it’s quick; it only takes one pot, but it doesn’t sacrifice flavor or rely on any sort of canned “cream of” situation to do so, making it a perfect dish for weeknights. Tomatoes, Kalamata olives, some herbs, chicken, and that’s about all you need. It’s also a really good way to use up leftover tomatoes you may have laying around. Even if you’re afraid of cooking, you can do this.
As a culture, we buy a lot of things in a jar or can at the store that we really could learn to make ourselves if we just slowed down for a few minutes to do so. Salsa is one of those things. If you’re going to slow down for a few moments to make yourself something beautiful, this is a good place to start. It’s simple, earthy, and green, using tomatillos instead of tomatoes.
Blistered Cauliflower with Garlic, Chili, and Anchovies
Did you know that blistering vegetables is a thing? It is, and apparently it’s a thing we should all be doing more often, because roasting vegetables at high heat caramelizes them and brings out all sorts of magical flavors. Chef Pomeroy plays off that caramelization with anchovies, breadcrumbs, garlic, and chili flakes. Cauliflower has gotten a bad reputation in pop culture. Give it another chance.
Shakshuka with Green Chili Zhoug
If you didn’t know, Shakshuka is eggs poached in tomato sauce. Spicy, happy, acidic, pretty, tomato sauce. This is apparently a very popular breakfast dish in Israel, and now I just feel like an American who’s suffered for my ignorance. This Shakshuka is served with freshly made zhoug, a very spicy happy sauce that can be put on everything from toast to roasted chicken and veggies.
This pesto is made with the greens or tops of beets, instead of the traditional basil, and pistachios give it a nice earthy, green flavor. This is a quick and easy way to use up a food most people would usually throw away. Plus, it makes plain pasta really fancy (which makes it great to have around for weeknight dinners). Extra pesto can be kept in the fridge up to 1 week.
Turkish Cucumber-Yogurt Dip
If you’re a fan of the magical Greek Tzatziki, this recipe for Turkish Cacik is going to be your kind of thing. A refreshing dip that takes 15 minutes to make from scratch, it has mint instead of oregano. Impress yourself, your friends, or your office party with easy deliciousness. If you TRULY want a magical snack, pair it with the flatbread from #3 on this list.
Yemenite Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is a classic dish that everyone should know how to make, both because it’s good and because it’s good for you. But even if you’re a pro when it comes to this dish, Chef Louis’ spice blend will take this basic to a whole different level, as she explains the how and why of toasting spices. In addition to all that spicy goodness, this soup is topped with fresh parsley and cilantro and a drizzle of tahini.
Rice Bowl with Turmeric-Ginger Fish
Rice Bowls are a traditional Asian meal, and this one is prepared with a fresh curry paste made with mortal and pestle, and bright happy lemongrass and spicy ginger, and utilizes swordfish for the protein. This is an easy to prepare meal that doesn’t take very long, so…why order takeout when you can make dinner yourself in that time?
Arugula and Watercress with Curry Vinaigrette
This is not your basic side salad from a bag. A creamy vinaigrette dresses peppery arugula, watercress, and avocado. If you’re an omnivore, this salad also lends itself well to having chicken or shrimp added on top. If you’re hesitant about making your own vinaigrette, Chef Kaysen walks you through the process, no special equipment needed.
Port Tenderloin with Squash, Tomato and Basil
If you have a small garden in the US, you likely find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes and squash in the summertime. This dish makes beautiful use of those fresh veggies with a simple stove top preparation of pork tenderloin that will have you eating a fresh homemade tasty dinner in a lot less time than you’d expect. This dish is also Paleo friendly.
Roast Pork Loin with Chermoula
This easy holiday dish is a sure bet, even if you’ve never roasted pork before. You can do it! Chef Mullen explains and shows how to make a rub with fresh herbs, truss your roast (and why you should) and check for doneness (so there’s no stress cutting into your lovely main dish) and top it with Chermoula – a North African vinaigrette. A lovely dish for any Spring Holidays or Sunday Family Dinner.
Vegan Caesar Salad (with Nori Dressing)
Traditional Caesar Salad has anchovies, but in this version, anchovies in the dressing are replaced with seaweed, or Nori, and the creamy texture comes from silken tofu. Learn to make your own garlic croutons and vegan dressing, and plate your own delicious Vegan Caesar Salad.
Rainbow Stir Fry
As Chef Amanda Cohen explains, stir fries are a great way to use up vegetables that are about to go bad. If “just throwing whatever I have” in and making it into a tasty meal seems like something that’s beyond your abilities, watch and learn how. It’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner that works when you don’t really have a solid “meal plan.”
Gochujang Gazpacho with Little Neck Clams
Gazpacho is soup made with raw vegetables and served cold, which makes it ideal for summertime (or always, if you live in California or Florida). The gazpacho adds steamed clams, making it a light meal all on it’s own. If you’ve never tried or made gazpacho before, this is clearly explained and easy to follow.
Grilled Eggplant Caponata
This Caponata charrs the veggies RIGHT ON THE COALS. So exciting and tasty. And then you take that charred skin and make it into a vinaigrette. For those who are fans of grilled veggies, this is a whole other level of awesome, and for those who like the classic sweet and sour Caponata, this is a great way to elevate the dish.
Three Way Cabbage Salad
If the phrase, “We’re having cabbage for dinner!” doesn’t make you excited, well…that’s kind of understandable. This poor vegetable doesn’t really get a lot of love in most of the US outside of coleslaw. Change the way you and your family feel about this humble veg by learning to pickle, spiralize and roast your cabbage to excitement.
Salt Roasted Beets
Roasted beets are beautiful. This is one of those dishes that will make people go “Ohh, ahhh” if you put it on the table at a holiday meal, and it’s a good way to feed your vegetarian self or guests (or self on a diet) without feeling like you’re resorting to standard utilitarian veggies. You literally only need beets, salt, and a roasting pan. If you’ve never cooked beets, or roasted anything in salt, it’s time to give it a try.
Swiss Chard with Clams and Chili
A little kick with your greens and seafood. If you’re trying to eat a low carb diet, this is a beautiful and exciting dish to add to your kitchen. This video also teaches you how to property prepare clams (sans grit!) and swiss chard, a vegetable currently gaining popularity.
Red Lentil Wraps
If your diet consists of mostly veggies with little to no meat, and you’ve grown tired of ye olde veggie burger, try making these Red Lentil Wraps. It’s actually a Turkish Dürüm which differs from American wraps in the very intentional way the sandwich is folded. In this recipe, Chef Sortun also shows you how easy it is to make your own flatbread, which will make you wonder why you settled for store bought stuff for so long.
Celery Root Puree with Harissa
This is a wonderfully simple dish that many people in the US have probably not tasted – Celery Root Puree with Harissa. Now to get the Harrisa, you may have to go to a specialty store or order it online, but it’s worth it. For those who don’t know, Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, and if you like hot sauce, you’ll probably find reasons to start putting it in everything.
Naked Beans with Olive Oil
Beans are a staple food that everyone should know how to select and cook from dried, but post WWII, most of us are used to having them mushy from a can. Hint: They don’t taste the same. At all. Learning to soak and cook beans can be tricky, but it’s sooooo worth it. Sharpen your skills (and learn how tasty “naked” beans are) with this recipe.