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Healthy(ish) Dishes We've Been Making

Finding a balance between indulging and eating better
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We’re not the best at moderation. We eat out/order-in a lot, desserts are always in heavy rotation, and typically make carbs the centerpiece of many meals. However, we also know there is a direct correlation to our overall well-being and a more balanced diet, so lately I’ve shifted into incorporating more vegetables (and making veggie centric) lunches and dinners, that don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything, other than loads of sugar and excessive carbs. If you’re in a cooking or eating rut, some (not all) of these dishes might be a great place to kick start a new routine.

Poached chicken with farro, roasted broccoli, and green tahini sauce

poached chicken with farro and broc

We’re going to start this list with the healthiest dish we’ve made over the past month. Don’t worry, the list will end with something truly indulgent. Admittedly, poached chicken is truly boring, but that’s why you need to balance it with strong sides. The roasted broccoli provides a nice charred flavor, but the stand out in this dish is the lemon-parsley tahini sauce, which provides a richness and depth of flavor you need to keep this interesting. Swapping rice for farro gives you a nice boost of fiber and I think the texture is superior.

Eggplant Parmesan

eggplant parm

This Jamie Oliver recipe is perfect. Even if you don’t like eggplant, this dish is always a crowd pleaser, comes together easily, and the flavors improve over a couple of days, so make a larger batch for leftovers.

Brussels in brown butter and black garlic with Two Bean and Two Lime Salad

black garlic brussels with green beans

When searching for vegetable centric recipes that pack a lot of flavor, I kept returning to Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes. Most are simple, use similar ingredients repeatedly (so you’re not buying something, only to use it once) and tend to fall on the healthier end of the eating spectrum. The amount of butter in this dish is minimal, but the dynamic flavors of the black garlic paired with the brown butter is a must try.

It was a little unfair to pair the two bean + two lime salad with the brussels, since the latter really dominates the palette, but the sharp contrast also was a nice way to cut the richness of the butter and black garlic. I’d suggest serving the bean salad with some grilled meat. 

I don't have a recipe for the pasta salad, but it was a combination of leftover rotisserie chicken and broccoli. 

Midnight orchiette with broccoli and sausage

midnight orcheitte with broc

This is one of those “no recipe” dishes, but it’s more or less a combo of two linked above. I threw this together one night when we weren’t in the mood for anything in particular, but had these ingredients in the fridge/pantry. I don’t follow specific amounts of these dishes (having made them so many times), but if you start with the “midnight” recipe, that’s a good foundation for adding/revising any other ingredients you like.

Chicken parmesan and panzanella salad

Chicken parm

We clearly like a parmesan dish and this is not some sort of alternative/healthy version, but I felt like the panzanella kind of balanced it out, so here we are. You can’t live off veggies alone, which leads us to the final dish…

Lasagna Bolognese

ultimate lasagna

You will never make another lasagne after making this version. You don’t need to use or make the spinach pasta, but the bolognese and bechamel are essential and can’t be taken from a can. This is a large serving and can easily feed eight to ten people. It takes a while, so pull this out when you have time and a special event coming up.

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