10 Healthy Food Recipes That Will Seem Like Guilty Pleasures

10 Healthy Food Recipes That Will Seem Like Guilty Pleasures

Healthy Food Recipes Seems Like Guilty Pleasures

It’s not always easy to eat healthy. Saying no to tasty treats and greasy meals in favor of lettuce and water can leave an aspiring dieter feeling a bit unsatisfied. Fortunately, we’ve got 10 recipes that’ll keep your will power, and your figure intact.

Almond-Honey Power Bar

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” as the old saying goes. But when you’re exhausted and need that extra fifteen minutes of beauty sleep, it can be hard to make the effort. Fortunately, EatingWell has created a delicious fruit-and-honey filled granola bar that will rev your metabolism and leave your taste buds happy in the process.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds (golden)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup copped golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet and bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant. Shake the pan halfway through (around 10 minutes), and when finished, transfer to a large bowl with the cereal, currants, apricots, and raisins. Toss these to combine them.

Combine the almond butter, honey, vanilla, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low, stirring frequently until the mixture bubbles (around 2-5 minutes).

Immediately pour the resulting mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula to remove dry spots. Transfer to the prepared pan, coat your hands with cooking spray, and press the mixture down to make an even layer. Refrigerate until the bars are firm (around 30 minutes) and cut into 8 bars.

Breaded Pork Chops with Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw

Some equate “healthy” with “lack of flavor”. With this Food Network recipe, that couldn’t be less true. You don’t have to be a chef to turn this delicious, breaded meal into a family favorite, that’ll keep everyone feeling great in the process.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large green cabbage, cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 McIntosh or Red Delicious apple, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 4 thin boneless pork chops
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

Adjust your oven racks to the top-third and lower-third positions and preheat to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

Toss the apples, cabbage, olive oil, 2 tbsp of vinegar, 2 tsp of brown sugar, 3/4 tsp of salt, and a bit of black pepper together on another baking sheet. Roast this mix on the top rack until the cabbage and apples are golden and tender (20 to 25 minutes). Remove and toss with the dill.

At the same time, lay the pork chops between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and a little black pepper for flavor. Combine 1 tbsp of the sour cream and 1 tsp of the mustard in a bowl and brush both sides of each pork chop with the resulting mixture.

Pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate and press each side of the chops into the crumbs. Spray both sides of each pork chop with cooking spray liberally and place on the rack upon the baking sheet. Bake on the lower rack until golden, crispy, and cooked through (6 to 8 minutes), flipping halfway through.

Mix together the remaining sour cream and 2 tsp of water with 1 tsp of mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar. Divide the chops and slaw onto plates and drizzle the chops with the sauce.

Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Once again, the Food Network turns dinner into a treat. The citrusy flavors of lemon mixed with the savory succulence of herbs and chicken will not only satisfy your palette, it’ll prevent those after-dinner woes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small, red-skinned potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Set the oven rack to the top position and preheat at 450 degrees F. Toss the potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, 1 tsp of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and a little pepper to taste on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the vegetables are slightly browned, and the potatoes begin to soften (around 20 minutes), tossing halfway through.

At the same time, rub the chicken breast with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the poultry seasoning and 1/2 tsp salt. Once the vegetables start to soften in the oven, put the chicken breasts on top and roast until golden brown.

Remove the chicken breasts and let them cool. Toss the roasted vegetables with juice from the lemon half and parsley. Cut the bones out of the chicken breasts and slice the meat. Distribute along with the vegetables evenly, and cut the remaining lemon half into wedges for garnish.

Chocolate Delights

Dinner’s great, of course, but what people really want to enjoy guilt-free is dessert. This next recipe will make you wonder if you aren’t cheating on your diet.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup roasted salted almonds
  • 30 whole pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate chopped

Directions:

Chop almonds in food processor until finely ground. Add dates, process, add coconut, cocoa, salt and oil, pulse until combined.

Scoop about 2 TBS mixture with a spoon, roll into a ball. Put balls unto waxed paper on cookie sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place chocolate pieces in micro safe bowl and wave 20 seconds at a time, check, stir, repeat till melted. Roll balls in chocolate and return to fridge until set.

Quinoa with Chicken and Lentils

Sometimes you can’t escape the healthy choices. After all, quinoa is hardly a snack food. But taking these seemingly banal pieces and turning them into something delicious will help your figure and remove the challenge of eating healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 15-ounce can of lentils, strained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, white meat and skin removed
  • 2 cups whole, frozen green beans
  • 2 tbsp toasted, sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt

Directions:

Put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Bring water in a small saucepan to boil, adding the quinoa to cook until it is translucent and tender (8 to 12 minutes). Strain well and return it to the saucepan with the lentils. Stir and cover to keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown (5 to 7 minutes). Add the garlic, cinnamon, lemon zest, cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, and a little pepper to taste, and stir until toasted and fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the 1/2 a cup of water and scrape up any brown residue. Add the chicken, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until nearly all of the liquid evaporates and the chicken is moistened (about 2 minutes).

At the same time, put the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Cover and microwave until hot (about 3 minutes).

Add the chicken mixture, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the quinoa-lentil mixture and stir to combine. Distribute and top each with green beans, almonds, and a drop of yogurt.

Chicken, Pepper and Corn Stir-Fry

You need an array of colored vegetables when taking care of your body, so why not enjoy the experience? A little fried vegetable and savory chicken, made delicious by scallions and peppers, will turn a regular dinner into a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 5 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced paper thin
  • 5 scallions, white cut into 1/2-inch pieces and greens sliced and separated
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Cooked brown rice

Directions:

Toss the chicken and egg white, 1 tbsp of rice wine and cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Separately mix 1/3 cup water, 4 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine, 2 tsp cornstarch, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper in a small bowl until the mixture dissolves.

Place the sauce, vegetables, and chicken near the stove. Heat 2 tbsp of peanut oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the surface. Once the oil is hot, scoop the chicken from the bowl, letting any excess coating remain, and add to the oil. Stir-fry, breaking the chicken up so that it doesn’t clump, until the outside is set and lightly golden (2 to 3 minutes). Remove the chicken with a spoon and set aside, wiping out the pan as needed.

Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. Just as the oil begins to smoke, add the ginger and stir-fry (about 30 seconds). Add the scallion whites and peppers and stir-fry until crispy/tender (about 3 minutes). Add the corn and stir-fry until barely soft (about 1 minute). Add the chicken and sauce, then stir until the sauce is thick and the vegetables are coated and the chicken cooked through (1 to 2 minutes). Add the scallion greens and serve with the brown rice.

Rise and Shine Juice

Food isn’t the only opportunity to be safe. “Juicing”, the combining of fruits and vegetables into health-rich smoothies, is a growing trend among health-conscious individuals. If you aren’t ready to jump on the wagon, give this Giada De Laurentis creation a try, and you’ll be buying a juicer in no time.

Ingredients:

  • 5 to 6 ounces rinsed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 apples, halved and cored
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • Ice

Directions:

Run the spinach, apples, carrots, celery, lemon juice, and ginger through a juice maker. Pour over ice and enjoy. If you don’t currently possess a juicer, a blender with a “crush” setting is often a reasonable substitute.

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl

Who says bacon can’t be healthy? This clever little breakfast or lunch dish combines the best of both worlds: health food, and bacon. With a few easy steps, you can satisfy that craving for nature’s perfect food while doing your body a favor or two in the process.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 scallions, whites and greens separated and sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:

Cover the eggs with 1 inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a high simmer. Cover and remove from heat, letting stand for 8 minutes, then run under cold water, peel, and quarter each one.

At the same time, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Remove from the skillet and chop into bite-size pieces.

Whisk together the chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and black pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the rice, broccoli, and scallion whites and toss until equally combined. Cover and microwave on high, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is crisp/tender and the rice is warmed (about 6 minutes).

Divide the mixture between bowls and top each with a quartered egg, bacon, carrot, and scallion greens. Finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil and enjoy.

Beefy Stuffed Sweet Potato

There’s little substitute for a baked potato, but the bloated combination of sodium and fat can leave you feeling a little worse-for-wear. Instead, try this savory treat, which combines the basic concept of a baked potato with all the benefits of healthy choices. You’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 4 medium carrots, 2 shredded and 2 roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

Poke each sweet potato with a fork to vent and microwave until tender (about 10 minutes), rotating halfway through. Set aside under a towel to keep warm.

Combine the chopped carrots, tomatoes, garlic, onions, cumin, 1 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of vinegar, oregano, cayenne, and a little black pepper to taste in a food processor. Pulse the food processor until coarsely chopped. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until dry (3 to 4 minutes). Add 1/4 cup water and cook, scraping off brown patches, until the water evaporates (about 1 minute). Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking it up until browned and cooked through (about 4 minutes). Remove the mixture from the heat.

Split the potatoes in half and scoop out some of the inside, adding it to the beef mixture, stirring to combine. Divide the potato halves and fill generously with the prepared mixture. Toss the shredded carrots with the cilantro and the left over vinegar and salt in a bowl. Divide the carrot slow evenly and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

These tasty treats are just like the ones you were used to eating as a child, but with a few small but important changes: no flour, no oil, and no white sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C.

Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.

Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.

With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Eating healthy is an important part of staying healthy, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. With these ten recipes, you can stick to your health goals, and even enjoy denying yourself your junk food. After a bite of each of these dishes, you may find your old guilty-pleasure simply don’t cut it anymore.

Download the printable PDF version of all ten recipes

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