Maintaining a healthy diet can be tough. High-calorie, sugary foods full of preservatives are all around us, and truth be told, most of them look a lot more exciting than your typical “healthy” meal.
But I’ll let you in on my secret. Forget about bland, boring health foods—there are tons of ways to make healthy eating easy, delicious, and totally enjoyable! Check out these seven healthy recipes (and two bonus sauces) I have personally tested, so I know for sure you’ll want to try them, too. They’re so delicious, you might just forget they’re healthy!
1. Healthy Mac N Cheese. Yes, Seriously.
Credit: Pinch of Yum
It’s gooey. It’s creamy. It’s oh-so-comforting. What is there not to love about mac n cheese? Unfortunately, most recipes are loaded with cream and calories and provide very few vitamins and nutrients. That’s why this recipe is such a game changer.
The sauce is every bit as cheesy and delicious as the mac n cheese you remember from childhood, and every bite is packed with vitamin C and potassium from all that butternut squash goodness. As a bonus, the veggie-loaded sauce has way more fiber than an ordinary cheese sauce, so you’ll stay fuller longer.
Pro tip: it’s even better if you bake it under a broiler until bubbly. Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum here!
2. Four Amazing Ways to Roast Cauliflower
Credit: Cookie and Kate
Not only is cauliflower high in vitamin C and protein, it’s also incredibly versatile. This wonder vegetable is great when used as a substitute for rice, mashed potatoes, or even pizza crust, but sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. And it doesn’t get simpler than this!
Switch up the spices to transform your roasted cauliflower in every way imaginable. This dish is fantastic as a dinner party starter, a side dish, or even just a tasty snack. Get the recipe from Cookie + Kate here!
3. Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew
Credit: Fresh Off the Grid
Bored of making the same old meals time and time again? Spice things up with the unique African-inspired flavor of this sweet potato and peanut stew. The mix of flavors is unlike anything you’ve tried before, but so delicious you’ll be craving it for sure.
The sweet potatoes give you a healthy beta-carotene boost, while the peanut butter and chickpeas provide an amazing source of vegan protein. It’s also easy-as-pie to make. Perfect for cold winter weekdays! Get the recipe from Fresh Off the Grid here!
4. Delicious Enchiladas, Except Good for You
Who doesn’t love enchiladas, especially ones loaded with cheese and smothered in spicy sauce? But tortillas, though delicious, are not exactly the world’s healthiest ingredient. The solution? Swap out the tortillas with zucchini!
The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to customize according to your tastes and diet. Chicken enchiladas, beef enchiladas, cheese and beans; the world is your oyster. Make them even healthier by swapping out your store-bought enchilada sauce with a healthy homemade version, like this one from Skinnytaste. Get the recipe from Delish here!
5. A Healthy Take on Your Childhood Favorite: Baked Chicken Nuggets!
If you’re feeling nostalgic for childhood comfort food, whip up a batch of these delicious chicken nuggets that are baked rather than fried, but still every bit as crispy and delicious as you remember.
Panko breadcrumbs give these nuggets extra crunch, and since the batter needs no eggs, the calorie count on these bad boys are way lower than your ordinary chicken fingers. If you’re feeling extra fancy, dip your nuggets in this delicious Greek yogurt ranch that’s so good, you’ll never buy store-bought again. Get the recipe from Skinnytaste here!
6. Four Flavors of Yogurt Bark to Satisfy Your Cravings
The key to healthy eating is listening to your cravings. There’s almost always a way to “healthify” your favorite foods so you won’t be as tempted to “cheat.” Whether you’re in the mood for chocolate, fruity goodness, or classic honey and granola sweetness, you can have a low-sugar, protein-packed dessert ready before you have time to reach for the candy bars. Get the recipes from Buzzfeed here!
7. Chocolate Chip Muffins That Are Almost Too Good
Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction
No list of must-try healthy recipes is complete without some amazing chocolatey goodness. These skinny double chocolate chip muffins are so chocolatey they’ll feel like a cheat meal. But since they’re made with applesauce and Greek yogurt, they’re secretly full of plenty of healthy goodness.
Eat them for breakfast. Eat them for dessert. Eat them all the time. Chocolate does the soul good. Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction here!
Image credit: Mandy Martini