When you're at the end of a long day and already tired and hungry, it's hard to motivate yourself to find a recipe for a healthy, satisfying dinner. We're sharing our favorite healthy recipes to help inspire you!
We all know broth soups have less fat than cream-based ones, but let's be serious: Soups with cream just taste better. That's why this soup, which mimics the taste of a cream soup by using a potato for the same effect (and carrots to balance the acidity), is our healthy alternative.
Submitted by Courtney Roach, senior editor
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 cups chicken broth
2 (12-ounce) jars roasted red bell peppers preserved in water, drained
1 russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 (3/4-inch thick) baguette slices, cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and thyme and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth, bell peppers, potato, wine, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
Decrease the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool the soup slightly.
Using an immersion hand blender, puree the soup in the pot until it is smooth. Alternately, working in batches, puree the soup in a regular blender, taking care while blending warm liquids. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and saute until they are crisp and golden, about 8 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Dollop a tablespoon of mascarpone in the center of each bowl and top with croutons. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.
Love comfort food, but the calories and fat are too much for your healthy diet? Try this vegetarian version, loaded with vegetables to give you the comfort for less than 250 calories a serving.
Submitted by Stephanie Corbin-Mills, associate editor
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion
6 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup whole kernel corn
½ cup water
¾ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ¼ cups corn bread stuffing mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11"x7" glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a 12" nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is crisp-tender.
Stir in zucchini, corn and water. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat. While still in skillet, mash zucchini slightly with a fork.
In a large bowl, beat the egg, milk, salt and pepper with a fork until well blended. Stir in zucchini mixture, ¾ cup of the stuffing mix and ½ cup of the cheese. Spoon into your baking dish.
In a small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Stir in remaining ½ cup of stuffing mix and ½ cup of cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the zucchini mixture.
Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until set and topping is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian
No matter how you serve it, pasta is just plain delicious. But all that carb-loading can be detrimental to your diet. Consider substituting spaghetti squash for the linguine; you still get the feel of spaghetti with the added nutrients from the vegetable. Another secret: Cut down on the olive oil in your pesto by substituting some of it with chicken stock. Serves 2
Submitted by Stephanie Yaggy, executive editor
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chicken stock
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce squash with a fork. Place in an ungreased baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until tender. (To microwave, pierce squash with a fork. Place on a microwavable dish and cook on high for 6 minutes per pound until tender.) When cool, cut in half, remove seeds and scoop out the pulp. Scoop out the squash with a fork; it will come out in spaghetti-like pieces.
Meanwhile, combine the basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the chicken stock and pulse a few times.
Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Toss the pesto with the cooled spaghetti squash. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Note: Add cubed cooked chicken for added protein.
What are you cooking at home? Share your favorite healthy recipes here by writing a New Comment!
[Cover Image: IStockphoto]