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Got Any "Surprisingly Healthy" Recipes?

I brought this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip, to a party last night:


People gobbled it up like crazy! They wouldn't even believe me when I said it had tofu! Does anyone else have a recipe that no one would believe is healthy?

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  1. I also love how you can put tofu into recipes calling for cream.

    10 Replies
    1. re: CSaunders

      Please, I'd love to hear anyone else's "Secretly Healthy" recipes. Anything that would be good for a party?

      1. re: CSaunders

        The currently ubiquitous kale chips come to mind. I keep making more!

        1. re: Vetter

          Kae chips?! I must be living under a rock, because I had never heard of such a thing until you mentioned it. So I googled and found a ton of recipes! Do you have a good one, by any chance?

          1. re: CSaunders

            Or does anyone else have a "tried and true" recipe for them? I don't just want to pick any recipe off of google, because who knows if it's a good one, ya know?

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I love kale chips, but I could never serve them at a party. After eating them I have little bits of green all in my teeth!

                1. re: dmjordan

                  hey, i didn't suggest serving them at a party! the OP asked for a recipe, i was simply obliging the request :)

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Is any of the nutritional value of the kale lost with kale chips?

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    any time you cook a vegetable there's a *slight* reduction in nutrient content...but it's no more significant if you bake the kale than it is if you steam or saute it.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      And amazingly it really does it for chips craving for me, which is a blessing!

      2. http://www.ouichefnetwork.com/oui_che...

        This recipe for chocolate pudding made with tofu is really good. You would never guess that it had tofu in it and it has a really silky texture.

        Along the same lines, I enjoy Alton Brown's Caesar dressing made with tofu. Again, you would never guess tofu was involved!

        5 Replies
        1. re: arp29

          I'm going to google his dressing right now. It sounds delicious! I love sneaking tofu into recipes!

          1. re: CSaunders

            I have a fabulously addictive savoury tofu dip/sauce that everyone loves (as you don't tell them about the tofu). When I make it, I go through it so quickly because I end up pouring it over everything!

            1. re: toveggiegirl

              Do you have a recipe? Sounds really good!

              1. re: CSaunders

                Here you go! If you try it, let me know what you think.

                1. re: toveggiegirl

                  Thanks so much! I will definitely keep you updated :).

        2. Two in fact "Creamy" Wild Mushroom Soup (that doesn't enlist any cream at all). And Butternut Bread with Ginger Apple Butter (no butter, no oil). Both are very delicious - would be happy to pass along the links to the recipes if these sound good to you

          2 Replies
          1. re: Feastonthcheap

            Oh please do! I LOVE butternut squash and eat so much I sometimes turn orange! I'd love to know both recipes. They sound so elegant.

            1. re: Feastonthcheap

              i would love to check out your mushroom soup link!!

            2. "healthy" means different things to different people. are you looking for recipes that are low fat? low cal? vegetarian? all of the above?

              7 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Hmmm, I guess mostly unprocessed, whole-food type recipes. I like healthy fats, like olive oil and nuts, in moderation. Vegetarian is always good. I love showing off vegetables and jazzing them up, since a lot of peoples' idea of vegetables is plain steamed and boring!

                1. re: CSaunders

                  got it. try my spicy black bean dip - it's a CH fave and super-healthy right down to the baked chips i serve it with. and my white bean dip is another healthy crowd-pleaser.

                  dips here:

                  chips here:

                  my brown rice pudding with cocoa & figs:
                  - if you don't have access to Ficoco or something similar, you can make a substitute by blending figs with cocoa powder & a bit of sugar

                  Moroccan Roasted Carrot Dip:
                  - i toast the spices, substitute smoked paprika, add a little harissa and apple cider vinegar, and serve with za'atar spiced chips

                  4Snisl beat me to Joe H's cod dish.

                  if you do a search here on the Home Cooking board you'll find TONS of terrific surprisingly healthy recipes & links.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I'm going to make that carrot dip! Thanks!

                    1. re: CSaunders

                      Made it! And it was delicious. Going on the list of favorites!

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Where does one find Ficoco, ghg? I think you're in Southern Cal as well - local spots?

                      1. re: thursday

                        i hate to say it, but i first discovered it at Whole Paycheck. it just kills me to send any business their way now. grrr.

                        you can buy it online:


                        and i *may* have seen it at Sprouts in Culver City recently, on top of the refrigerated cheese case...but it could have been the plain fig spread or fig & orange spread - also made by Dalmatia. i definitely saw those two varieties at the market at Wally's Wine in Westwood...i wonder if they could order it...?

                        i haven't bought it in ages because i discovered it was so much cheaper to make it myself, and that also allows me to control the sugar level.

                2. Highlighted by Joe H., and both wonderful.....

                  Shrimp Marsala: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493619

                  Cod in Fennel Tomato Broth: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672344

                  1. Whenever I need a 'Healthy' chocolate fix, I turn to this recipe. Make sure you use good quality cocoa (i.e. Valrohna or Guittard) and chocolate chips/chunks (i.e. Callebaut or Amedei). I don't use the gluten- free chocolate chips called for in the recipe.



                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sugarcube

                      Yay! A chocolate recipe! I'm off to check it out right away!

                    2. Oh my, this is my whole reason for being! My latest "no one would believe it's healthy" recipe is vegan oatmeal pecan cookies. SO good, and I made up the recipe on the fly! Recipe below, and here's a photo (not the best photo, but you get the idea): http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2011...

                      Vegan Oatmeal-Pecan Cookies

                      1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
                      1 ¼ cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick
                      )3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                      Scant ½ teaspoon salt
                      1 teaspoon cinnamon
                      1/4 cup chopped pecans (or substitute macadamias or walnuts), toasted
                      1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
                      ½ cup brown sugar
                      1/4 cup maple syrup
                      2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
                      1 teaspoon vanilla
                      1/4 cup organic canola oil
                      ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, optional

                      Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together the flax and water, and heat in a microwave for 1 minute, or simmer for a minute on the stove. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and nuts in a bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together flax mixture, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the optional chocolate chips. Drop by the tablespoon on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet while still warm and place on a rack or a plate to cool.

                      Makes about 30 cookies

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: cathyeats

                        I am so happy someone posted a cookie recipe with whole wheat flour!

                        1. re: CSaunders

                          actually, when it comes to baking with whole wheat flour, cookies are the most forgiving. there are tons of good recipes floating around in cyberspace if you Google, as well as a bunch here on CH:

                          fellow CH operagirl has a terrific blog with several WW cookie recipes:

                          and Eating Well is a great resource for cookie recipes with whole-grain flour:

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Thanks so much! I'll have to check these out!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Whole wheat flour does work very well in cookie recipes. And if you can get your hands on some really good quality whole wheat flour, it works well in other applications too.

                              Finer grinds are the way to go for baking -- look for low-protein "pastry" flours for more delicate baked goods like scones and pie crusts, and higher protein blends for breads, pastas, and other recipes where you want more "chew. My favorite flours come from Giusto's Vita-Grain mill in San Francisco. Full disclosure: they have sent me samples for my blog, but I had been buying their products for years prior, and continue to do so.


                              1. re: operagirl

                                King Arthur's Flour, Bob's Red Mill, and Hodgson Mill all make WW pastry flour and might be easier to find. I also like it in pancakes and muffins.

                                1. re: toveggiegirl

                                  I like the Bob's Red Mill ones too. And I've heard that he's a great guy who left his entire business to the employees, so that makes me feel even better for buying his products :).

                        2. Well, I don't have a particular recipe, but I use nutritional yeast a lot instead of cheese in soups and other dishes (i.e. broccoli and cheese soup). The tangy and satisfying flavor of it allows you to cut the cheese down by 3/4 usually (depending on the dish). It's a great secret ingredient!

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: Veggie Liv

                            I've always been curious about nutritional yeast, but haven't tried it yet. Does anyone else happen to have a recipe for broccoli and cheese soup (using nutritional yeast as the cheese)? Now I'm intrigued by the idea!

                            1. re: CSaunders

                              Here is the recipe that actually inspired me. I feel like with a new ingredient, it is nice to have a recipe, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be using it all over!!


                              I use it in veggie burgers too! It just adds a nice little tang.

                              1. re: CSaunders

                                @CSaunders, nutritional yeast doesn't taste *exactly* like Parm, but it does have a mildly nutty, savory flavor, and the powder dissolves well to help thicken sauces/soups and coat vegetables. i've found that if you enhance it with a few drops of tamari or soy sauce (or Braggs aminos) you can heighten the savory, umami flavor.

                                here are a few past threads about it:

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Agreed. Definitely not a cheese SUBSTITUTE. I have a friend who just tried to make vegan mac n cheese with it from a recipe found on http://yeahthatveganshit.blogspot.com/, and she said it was awful. I use it to be able to add less cheese thereby making a dish slightly healthier.

                                  1. re: Veggie Liv

                                    Thanks to both of you. Maybe I'll try it in a small dose, to get used to it first! I really just was interested in it because it's supposedly so healthy.

                                2. re: CSaunders

                                  I like to add nutritional yeast to cornflake crumbs and use it as a breading for zucchini or cauliflower. Adds an extra something.

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    Wow, I had never thought about that. Great idea!

                                    1. re: Veggie Liv

                                      I also add it to eggwhite omelets. A favorite breakfast is eggwhite with nutritional yeast and zaa'tar on a whole wheat tortilla.

                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                        lol What's zaa'tar? Off to google it!

                                        1. re: CSaunders

                                          Oh it's so yummy. Very easy to add into food for a big punch of flavor!

                                          1. re: CSaunders

                                            it's a Middle Eastern spice blend with sesame seeds. Adds a great flavor - almost tart- to anything.

                                            My favorite asparagus recipe has zaa'tar and nutritional yeast also.

                                            1. re: CSaunders

                                              za'atar rocks. and just to expand on cheesecake's response, the "tart" element comes from sumac.

                                  2. Here's another one that will surprise people - french toast that's....gasp....vegan! It doesn't quite have the eggy crust, but the oats do give the batter some nice body, and it's surprisingly delicious. http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2011...

                                    Vegan Banana-Oat French Toast

                                    2 cups vanilla almond milk
                                    1 tablespoon ground flax
                                    1/4 cup quick oats
                                    1/4 cup orange juice
                                    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
                                    1/2 banana
                                    8 slices whole-grain bread
                                    Organic canola oil
                                    Fresh fruit of choice and maple syrup, for topping

                                    Combine the almond milk, flax, oats, orange juice, cinnamon and banana in a blender and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and soak the slices of bread for a minute or two on each side,until the liquid has completely penetrated the bread. Rub canola oil onto a griddle and heat on medium-high. Cook until well-browned on one side, then flip and brown the other side. Serve with fruit and maple syrup.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. I had a killer recipe for fudge brownies that contained a can of black beans - kept them moist, reduced the oil to almost nil, and provided fiber and protein, and I swear you couldn't taste them. I haven't been able to find the recipe at home, but there's a few online that sound similar:

                                      The one I had used honey as the sweetener, so the second one may be closer to mine...

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: thursday

                                        Wow. That's all I can say. I'm skeptical, so I guess I'd better try them to see for myself! Thanks so much for sharing.

                                        1. re: CSaunders

                                          depends on the recipe - some of them really are awful. Heidi Swanson's recipe (the 101 Cookbooks link provided by thursday) is one of the better ones in terms of taste & texture, but IMO a recipe that calls for a stick of butter, 4 eggs, and a boatload of sugar doesn't exactly qualify as "healthy."


                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            I guess I didn't read through my links very well. I'm pretty sure the one I had didn't have that much butter in it...though it did have the eggs and sugar. And yes "healthy" is perhaps an exaggeration, but healthiER I guess works. ;)

                                      2. I used to think of chili as junk food but, turns out, it's more like health food. Protein in ground beef, which can be as lean as you like. Good fiber in the beans. And the kidney beans, the juice that cooks out of the beans, the tomatoes, and the tomato puree are all excellent sources of Potassium. And it's quite low-carb., considering the fiber value of the beans. I like it with shredded cheese piled on, which adds calcium.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Querencia

                                          In some places it is positively sacrilegious to add beans to chili so that makes it even more low-carb.

                                          1. re: MandalayVA

                                            I like chili much better without meat, so it can also be practically no fat, for those who seek "healthy" in that sense

                                            1. re: magiesmom

                                              I love meatless chili! Piled high with beans, and sometimes I'll even add mushrooms for a meaty kick!

                                        2. This is kind of healthy. In a blender or food processer puree partially frozen banana chunks with a little peanut butter, little honey (or not) & splash of skim milk. This comes out just like delicious creamy ice cream. Sometimes I put a few chocolate chips in or skip the peanut butter and add strawberries. It really satisfies an ice cream craving.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: sparkareno

                                            Sounds like a pb-banana sandwich in ice cream form!

                                            1. re: CSaunders

                                              Paging Elvis!!
                                              It does taste like that. It's best when first made but if you put it in the freezer, let it warm up a little when you take it out. Ok, now I have to get some real ripe bananas & make another batch.