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healthiest meal you can think of (that you still want to eat)

starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:57 AM

I’m in a dinner slump, trending towards Pasta and fast food/processed food. I do like healthy food (last night I had Spaghetti Squash for the first time!), but I could sure use some inspiration.

What is the healthiest meal you can think of (that you still want to eat)?

I don’t have any food allergies/dislikes but I don’t eat a ton of meat.

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  1. juliejulez RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:00 AM

    Well I guess it depends on what you define as healthy, but the healthiest thing that pops to mind that I don't mind eating on a regular basis is some kind of seasoned chicken that is grilled (bone in or no bone, usually skinless), along with some grilled zucchini and an ear of grilled corn on the cob. Can mix up the seasonings on the chicken for variation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: juliejulez
      fldhkybnva RE: juliejulez Sep 11, 2013 05:20 AM

      I actually really enjoy chicken so this is a go to for me as well.

    2. l
      ludmilasdaughter RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:26 AM

      As Julie said, depends on what you define as healthy. One of my quick, healthy, go to's is salmon, with some type of whole grain (I like whole wheat couscous), and some type of veggie.

      1. s
        seamunky RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:37 AM

        Try a stir fry with lots of veggies and lean protein and a very modest amount of rice.

        4 Replies
        1. re: seamunky
          Kontxesi RE: seamunky Sep 5, 2013 05:07 PM

          This. Or skip the meat and replace the rice with quinoa, if you don't want the meat.

          1. re: Kontxesi
            mcf RE: Kontxesi Sep 5, 2013 05:29 PM

            Quinoa is not anything close to a replacement for real protein foods.

            1. re: mcf
              mokmokdog RE: mcf Sep 6, 2013 01:52 AM

              or real carbs. i love me some rice n bread!

              1. re: mcf
                Kontxesi RE: mcf Sep 6, 2013 04:09 AM

                I wasn't implying that it was. OP said they don't eat much meat, so I was just offering an alternative.

                I'm a rice fiend, myself, and have no issue with animal proteins.

          2. Chemicalkinetics RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:47 AM

            I think "healthy" meal is a bit different for different people. If you already eat a lot of red meat, and you have high cholesterol level, then it is one thing. If you have high glucose and high HA1C and eat a lot of bread, then it is another thing.

            I guess ultimately it depends what you want to do. Control diabetes? Losing weight? Gaining muscle...etc.

            Without knowing you, I say that fish in general is pretty healthy. Sushi is nice too. Vegetables are almost always a good thing.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              starburn RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 09:16 AM

              I more meant healthy in whatever your definition of healthy is. I have no particular dietary needs, except that I've been in a slump and resorting to whatever is easiest, not what's best.

              1. re: starburn
                Chemicalkinetics RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:19 AM

                <your definition of healthy is>

                In which case, I would say: vegetables and fish in general. More importantly, keep the portion size moderate.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                sandylc RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 10, 2013 07:56 PM

                You know, current thinking does say that fish is very healthy, and I suppose it's very true if you look only at the nutrient profile. However, I live in a landlocked area, and I tend to avoid seafood because I have had food poisoning from it a disproportionate number of times. YES, after eating it at REPUTABLE restaurants; for those of you who want to say that, now it's been said.

                There are some pretty nasty things contained in the water-dwellers on this planet...

                1. re: sandylc
                  Violatp RE: sandylc Sep 11, 2013 09:22 AM

                  Especially as we've been polluting and poisoning the water!

              3. mielimato RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:56 AM

                Cold soba noodles. I make a mixture of soy, lemon juice, ginger, sesame and chili oil. Toss in cucumbers, avocado and arugula. For protein, tofu, walnuts or lean meat. Simple, easy and delicious.

                1. pinehurst RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:00 AM

                  I love salads. I top them with all kinds of stuff. The usual stuff: cukes, tomatoes. Stuff I like: onions, olives, avocado. Stuff that makes it a meal: seafood (shrimp or tuna) or steak tips or grilled chicken or hard boiled eggs or deli ham/turkey/roastbeef. Then other nice stuff like cheeses (feta, parm, whatever), a sprinkle of walnuts, or sunflower seeds.

                  A little olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe a squeeze of lemon and I'm happy.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: pinehurst
                    mcf RE: pinehurst Sep 5, 2013 12:46 PM

                    In summer, many of our meals are grilled whatever protein atop just such a salad. Huge plateful of salad. In winter, I roast veggies at high temp, and we tend to always have rutabaga puree with butter on hand.

                    Lately, I've been making huge batches of roasted ratatouille; great as a hot or cold side dish, omelet filling with cheese.

                    1. re: mcf
                      pinehurst RE: mcf Sep 5, 2013 02:26 PM

                      You know what, shame on me, until about a year ago, I never thought of oven roasting veggies. The oven was for baking potatoes/acorn squash halves, and that's about it. SO much more flavor comes out with roasting.

                      1. re: mcf
                        girlwonder88 RE: mcf Sep 8, 2013 06:34 PM

                        I make a mental list of "healthy things that taste so awesome that I would eat them even if they weren't healthy". Roasted veggies is firmly on this list-especially cauliflower, brussell sprouts, garlic, onion, green beans.

                        Other things on the list, not roasted: Mangos; ahi tuna poke; avocado and oranges with a little salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar.

                        My kids will eat unsweetened apple sauce every single day. Garden produce of most kind. Zucchini ribbon salad with a little lemon juice and olive oil and parmesan.

                        1. re: girlwonder88
                          Kontxesi RE: girlwonder88 Sep 8, 2013 07:27 PM

                          I love some roasted veg. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, mostly. (Sometimes bacon may be involved, though....)

                      2. re: pinehurst
                        fldhkybnva RE: pinehurst Sep 5, 2013 07:18 PM

                        I love salads for quick meals - I usually top them with baked or grilled protein and a load of veggies, filling and tasty.

                      3. m
                        mtf2692 RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:03 AM

                        I love marinated raw veggies or even pickled veggies and fruits.

                        One dish that come to mind is marinated zucchini
                        Take a vegetable peeler and peel ribbons on zucchini. Marinated them in olive oil, salt and pepper for about and hour. You could drizzle with a little balsamic. Healthful and texture/flavor is awesome

                        1. t
                          travelerjjm RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:16 AM

                          Red wine, grilled local organic lamb chops, chimmichuri, corn and mango salsa, local organic fresh fruits, tomato-basil salad.
                          At least that's what comes to mind first.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: travelerjjm
                            nami54 RE: travelerjjm Sep 5, 2013 11:23 PM

                            Sounds wonderful. What time is dinner?

                          2. AreBe RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:38 AM

                            I love chicken Marsala, and I can make it with lots of butter and heavy cream, but I can also make it with much less fat with veggies and whole wheat pasta. I use plenty of garlic, maybe some sweet onions, use chicken broth along with the Marsala wine, and maybe some cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

                            1. weezieduzzit RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:42 AM

                              <I more meant healthy in whatever your definition of healthy is.>

                              A grilled ribeye topped with Kerrygold butter, a raw kale salad and grilled asparagus ( again with the butter,) is a favorite.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: weezieduzzit
                                Violatp RE: weezieduzzit Sep 5, 2013 09:45 AM

                                My variation is similar. Yes to the steak and butter. Change out the asparagus for green beans. With more grass fed butter.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit
                                  fldhkybnva RE: weezieduzzit Sep 5, 2013 07:19 PM

                                  Love that Kerrygold butter, steak and Kerrygold is a popular dinner in our house.

                                2. m
                                  MrsJonesey RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:42 AM

                                  I love salads that include beans. One that comes to mind is Smitten Kitchen's Mediterranean Pepper Salad to which I add chickpeas. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/0...

                                  1. mielimato RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:44 AM

                                    In terms of healthy salads, this is my go to place. The author is vegetarian but I feel that most of her recipes can be adapted to include meat.


                                    1. foodieX2 RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:51 AM

                                      The type of meals that make me *feel* healthy are those that are not too rich tasting or heavy in feeling. Couple of faves are:
                                      -grilled salmon on a bed of sautéed spinach and onions
                                      -brown rice stir fries, usually chicken or shrimp
                                      -stuffed chicken breasts
                                      -simple frittatas
                                      -assorted greens/veggies topped with some kinds of grilled meat or seafood

                                      1. b
                                        Baskerville RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 11:09 AM

                                        Slow-roasted, high-heat finished pork picnic shoulder (skin on, please!) with pressure cooked green beans. :}

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Baskerville
                                          mielimato RE: Baskerville Sep 5, 2013 11:19 AM

                                          With all due respect, why do you like pressure cooked green beans? This is a fave of my Spanish inlaws who loooovvee to pressure cook vegetables. They literally take beautiful green beans grown in their garden and cook them for 20+ minutes at which point they become indistinguishable from frozen microwaved food, in my opinion. I have tried but never understood this method of cooking. I am really not trying to start an argument or insult, just trying to understand something that has always perplexed me.

                                          1. re: mielimato
                                            Baskerville RE: mielimato Sep 5, 2013 02:11 PM

                                            Oh goodness. With that amount of cooking time, I can certainly see why you're horrified at the prospect. I would never dream of doing what your in-laws do to beans!

                                            I cook mine for 2 minutes in the pressure cooker. What results is a still-green, not mushy but still very tender bean. I tend to prefer my veggies roasted in some sort of fat to the point of crunchiness, but the clean, tender taste of a steamed vegetable is a welcome departure at times, especially when paired with a fatty pork roast. Also, you can't beat cooking veggies in two minutes. I've tried steaming them in the microwave, but it takes longer and they still end up weirdly tough.

                                            So, technically, I agree with you! Hah! No worries at all. :)

                                        2. i
                                          INDIANRIVERFL RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 12:02 PM

                                          I always have rice ready for stir frying. It takes very little grease, and in many ways is more of a steam if you are using juicy veggies. The basic condiments of oyster sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, sherry, and fish sauce will give many oppotunities to cook the same items with wildly differnt flavors.

                                          And then we have all those herbs and spices that you rarely use....

                                          And if you insist, you can add a protein.

                                          1. iowagirl RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 12:09 PM

                                            We've been really enjoying taking advantage of the seasonal veggies by grilling them. We've been tending toward an Asian bent - cabbage, peppers (chili and bell), onion, zucchini, snow peas) seasoned with sesame oil and garlic, grilled and then served over brown rice with soy on the side or a more Mediterranean angle - eggplant, summer squash, peppers, onion, and garlic seasoned with olive oil and salt and pepper. Served with some feta and kalamata olives stirred in right at the end and over a whole grain like farro or bulghur.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: iowagirl
                                              juliejulez RE: iowagirl Sep 5, 2013 12:42 PM

                                              Question, how do you grill something small like snow peas? Do you have a basket?

                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                iowagirl RE: juliejulez Sep 6, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                Yep - we bought one of those skillet looking grill baskets at bed bath and beyond this year. It has a long handle and lots of holes all over so you do really get that grill effect. The only things that seem to fall through the holes with any regularity are corn kernels (so I just do those separately, before I cut the corn off the cob) and the little garlic chunks my husband loves! The basket really works well for all veggies - we are loving it! And it was only $10!

                                                1. re: iowagirl
                                                  juliejulez RE: iowagirl Sep 6, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                  Cool! I should get one of those.

                                                  Heh I had visions of you flipping little individual snow peas on the grill.

                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                    mcf RE: juliejulez Sep 6, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                    And turning each one with itty bitty tongs? :-)

                                            2. SaraAshley RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 12:54 PM

                                              There are lot's of different soups that are on the "healthy" side that I eat a lot and they are very filling. Of course salads, grilled or baked lean proteins (fish, chicken, some cuts of beef), and I love almost any vegetable roasted even if I don't normally like it in any other preparation. Also, there are plenty of recipes out there for dishes that might typically be on the "richer" side, that have been altered by substituting the high fat, high calorie ingredients for lighter ones. Such as I just recently found a recipe for chicken pot pie which uses Greek yogurt instead of cream, and it also cuts out a lot of the pastry part by just topping it with a single layer of puff pastry. I haven't tried this particular recipe yet to say whether it succeeds in actually tasting good, but like I said, lot's of recipes out there like this that use the same concept.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: SaraAshley
                                                greygarious RE: SaraAshley Sep 5, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                It's pretty hard to make a soup that *isn't* "on the healthy side", unless you add lots of cream to all your soups. Lentil, split pea, and bean soups are simple to make, filling, with plenty of protein and fiber. I use 4-6 oz of browned diced kielbasa or other sausage to start 3 qts of any legume soup. Add onion, broth, legumes, celery, and herbs, then carrots once the soup is close to finished. I add beans to soups that don't typically include them, like chowders and meat-with-vegetables soups.

                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                  mcf RE: greygarious Sep 6, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                  I make my healthiest soups with cream, butter, even bacon. And seafood.

                                                  That's the problem with the use of "healthy."

                                                  We're all working from different references.

                                                2. re: SaraAshley
                                                  girlwonder88 RE: SaraAshley Sep 8, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                  oh yes! a good red lentil soup with smoked paprika and just a drizzle of fabulous olive oil-feels way richer and more indulgent than it really is.

                                                  1. re: girlwonder88
                                                    rozz01 RE: girlwonder88 Sep 17, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                    That sounds awesome !

                                                3. chowser RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                  As evident in this thread, people have different ideas of "healthy." It sounds like you might need something more concrete than just "salad", "lots of vegetables." I like a tuna white bean salad in the summer, like this, only more veggies:


                                                  Healthiest meal I can think of that I love would be a huge mixed salad, lots of greens and roasted vegetables w/ wild alaskan salmon. Or chinese/asian chicken salads, like these:



                                                  I always use far more vegetables than the recipe calls for.

                                                  1. s
                                                    seattle_lee RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 02:22 PM

                                                    Salad Nicoise made with grilled tuna, and a side of grilled onions and peppers.

                                                    1. The Dairy Queen RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 06:40 PM

                                                      I love Berley's tofu with soy, butter, lemon and white wine. I use a very small about of butter:


                                                      This vegetable casserole with tofu topping is really good:


                                                      Quinoa pudding (for breakfast), I use fresh berries instead of the dried, cut way back on the sugar, and use skim milk instead of whole:



                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                        Violatp RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 5, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                        You're the DAIRY QUEEN. Where's the butter love? :-)

                                                      2. jo_jo_ba RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                        This is my current fave: http://jcocina.com/pasta-alla-norma-n...... especially with all our eggplant in the garden!

                                                        1. mangeur RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:01 PM

                                                          We had one tonight that might qualify: giant prawn cocktail.

                                                          A soup-bowl of shelled prawns, chopped tomato, avocado, cucumber, sweet onion, cilantro covered with a broth made from the prawn cooking water, catsup, Valentina (or other Mexican hot sauce), lime juice.

                                                          Hot grilled whole wheat/corn tortilla on the side.

                                                          Virtually no fat except for the avocado. Very satisfying.

                                                          1. Shrinkrap RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                            I could totally abandon carbs, but not fat. For me, today, healthy enough was a crab salad with a "Russian" dressing, avocado and boiled eggs.

                                                            Interestingly enough I had ordered COBB salad, which would also work for me, but I didn't realize the mistake until I got back to my office.

                                                            And every Tuesday I have four carnitas tacos, but mostly just the filling and the salsa.

                                                            I also love a grilled salmon or a Tuna Nicoise salad with belly tuna, "new" potatoes, and haricot ver.

                                                            Oh, and sashimi or sushi, but that can cost a bit to make a "full meal".

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                              Violatp RE: Shrinkrap Sep 5, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                              Man, I could live on good Cobb salads. What's not to love in that bowl? Bacon? Blue cheese? Avocado?

                                                              Now I want some.

                                                              1. re: Violatp
                                                                c oliver RE: Violatp Sep 6, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                I love them also but let's not pretend that they're healthy :)

                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                  Violatp RE: c oliver Sep 6, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                                  Ah, see, that's one of the points being made in this thread. For my physiology, Cobb salads are VERY healthy. Greens, fats, protein...perfection!

                                                                  1. re: Violatp
                                                                    c oliver RE: Violatp Sep 6, 2013 05:11 PM

                                                                    I think I'd like to retract that :) When I think of the proportion of greens to the other ingredients it IS healthy. Years ago we used to get a Cobb at a place, where, instead of bacon, they cut a super thin round of pancetta and fried it and put it whole on the side of the bowl. It was amazing. Didn't last too long as I'm sure they started looking at the cost.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      Violatp RE: c oliver Sep 6, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                      Wow. That sounds amazing.

                                                                      And how disappointing is it when you order a COBB and get a CHEF.

                                                                      Boo to that.

                                                            2. Ttrockwood RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                              To make healthy meals quickly i highly recommend spending some time on the weekend (or whenever after you shop) and doing some basic prep. For example, this week i cut and chopped lots of raw veggies for quick salads and snacks, i baked individual frittatas in a muffin tin to add to a salad or have with toast for breakfast, i made a batch of quinoa with lentils, and roasted a mix of cubed zucchini, broccoli, green beans and tempeh.

                                                              For quick easy healthy meals i start with salad greens, then add lots of veggies, a whole grain, protein( beans, eggs, tofu), and modest amount of fat (like 1/4 avocado, or 2TB sunflower seeds)

                                                              At the store precut veggies, bags of salad greens, cans of beans, frozen edamame, and low fat dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt) are all great starting points for healthy meals.

                                                              Some of my favorite recipe blogs:

                                                              1. a
                                                                autumm RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                                When I'm trying to be healthier, I go for a stir fry or curry with lots of veggies and brown rice. Usually with tofu (my kid loves the stuff) The leftovers make great healthy lunches for the next couple of days, which makes me feel even better.

                                                                I really like slow roasted brussels sprouts and radishes (not at the same time though). I roast at 300 or so depending on other oven needs, and they get so soft and then crisp up and yum!

                                                                Otherwise, a spoon ful of sambal does slow me down on the pastas after awhile as the heat catches up with me.

                                                                1. rozz01 RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                  I could eat a fresf tabouli every day of the week.

                                                                  1. MidwesternerTT RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                    Broiled walleye (firm, mild-flavor lake fish) with slivered almonds & lemon.
                                                                    Roasted asparagus
                                                                    Wild rice with craisins

                                                                    A dark chocolate truffle for dessert.

                                                                    Water to drink

                                                                    1. MidwesternerTT RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 07:48 PM

                                                                      And if you're just looking for inspiration, read through a few of the What's for Dinner threads - tons of good ideas every day there.

                                                                      1. c
                                                                        calumin RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                        Try going without meat and gluten for a week. You will probably feel terrible after two days, but by week's end you will feel much healthier than when you started.

                                                                        You will end up eating a lot of beans, salad, vegetables, tofu, and quinoa.

                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                        1. re: calumin
                                                                          Violatp RE: calumin Sep 5, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                          Oh, I hate jumping in on comments like this, even if the OP did say they don't eat much meat.

                                                                          As mentioned in the entire thread, everyone has different ideas of healthy eating and everyone really should have different ways of eating, that's best suited to their physiology.

                                                                          That being said, a blanket statement like "stop eating meat" for a week is essentially meaningless. Who's to say that the OP's health would be affected one way or another?

                                                                          My best way of eating is low carb, high fat. Eating the way you suggest would leave me absolutely miserable after a couple weeks. Bloated and miserable. In fact, I HAVE been eating too many carbs and have been feeling like crap.

                                                                          Each to their own.

                                                                          At least, I think we can all agree on fresh, unprocessed foods being best across the board. Right? I think? Heh.

                                                                          1. re: Violatp
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: Violatp Sep 5, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                                            <At least, I think we can all agree on fresh, unprocessed foods being best across the board. Right? I think? Heh.>

                                                                            I bet you that I can come up with reasons why that is not true. Do you want me to be your debate partner?

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              Violatp RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 10:05 PM

                                                                              Jeebus, no! :-)

                                                                              wait, wait - I have one - frozen vegetables tend to retain more nutrients than fresh due to being frozen soon after picking!

                                                                              How's that? ;-)

                                                                              1. re: Violatp
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics RE: Violatp Sep 5, 2013 10:10 PM

                                                                                I am thinking:

                                                                                Natto, a fermented bean is easier to absorb nutrients than its fresh counterpart.


                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  Violatp RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 10:17 PM

                                                                                  Natto. Your best example is natto?

                                                                                  Let's just say I"m not going to yuck your yum, BUT.

                                                                                  I will say that, yes, you're right. Many fermented foods are very good for you. I like a good kraut, myself.

                                                                                  1. re: Violatp
                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics RE: Violatp Sep 5, 2013 10:26 PM

                                                                                    <I"m not going to yuck your yum, BUT.>

                                                                                    Sound like your objection has to do with taste -- and not the healthiness.

                                                                                    How about wine then? Totally not fresh compared to grapes.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                      Violatp RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 10:30 PM

                                                                                      okay, enough! I said I didn't want to debate. You're picking at me when I think it's a pretty good bet that you know I was talking about stuff like Cheetos and pop tarts.

                                                                                      1. re: Violatp
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: Violatp Sep 5, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                        I like Cheetos, jut not pop tarts.

                                                                                        But I prefer natto more than Cheetos.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          Violatp RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 10:36 PM

                                                                                          Can you arrange that in the form of an algebraic equation?

                                                                                    2. re: Violatp
                                                                                      calumin RE: Violatp Sep 5, 2013 10:30 PM

                                                                                      I eat natto 2-3 times per week. (Seriously). It's delicious and very healthy.

                                                                                      I suggested the no meat / no gluten idea because the OP said he (or she) was in a dinner slump. I think people don't realize the extent to which ingesting these foods can make someone feel sluggish - or how not ingesting these foods can make someone find untapped energy. You have to try it to know the difference. If you don't agree, you don't have to try it.

                                                                                      1. re: calumin
                                                                                        Violatp RE: calumin Sep 5, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                        OP is, I think, in a slump from lack of new ideas. Nothing was said about sluggishness, etc.

                                                                                        Anyway, I most objected to your statement that not eating meat would make OP feel healthier in a week.

                                                                                        It was a statement, not a suggestion.

                                                                                        And like I said, it wouldn't work for me, so chances are there are others for whom it wouldn't work.

                                                                                        1. re: calumin
                                                                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: calumin Sep 5, 2013 10:35 PM

                                                                                          <I think people don't realize the extent to which ingesting these foods can make someone feel sluggish - or how not ingesting these foods can make someone find untapped energy. >

                                                                                          I never heard of that, but I have heard that drinking more water and less soft drinks has the effect you just mentioned.

                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                            calumin RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 5, 2013 10:51 PM

                                                                                            There is a movie called "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead" where this very unhealthy person filmed himself drinking only vegetable juice for 60 days.

                                                                                            I'm sure many people on this board (perhaps Violatp) would consider what this person did to be unhealthy & maybe dangerous. The person in the movie lost over 100 pounds this way & has kept it off (although he eats food now) - so for him the healthiest meal he had was a glass of juice.

                                                                                            Different things work for different people.

                                                                                2. re: Violatp
                                                                                  mcf RE: Violatp Sep 6, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                  I'd be bloated, miserable an in a diabetic crisis.

                                                                              2. AnneInMpls RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 09:48 PM

                                                                                Chorizo, kale, and sweet potato hash! This one-pot skillet meal is AWESOME and oh so craveable.


                                                                                You get your dark green leafy veg, healthy carbs & vitamin A in the sweet potatoes, and a reasonable amount of protein (about 2 oz/serving) from the chorizo, plus extra vitamin C from the peppers it includes. If you wanted to skip the meat, you could use black beans instead for extra fiber.

                                                                                I always make a ton in hopes of reheating it the next day and topping it with a fried egg, but someone keeps sneaking to the fridge to steal the leftovers before I get there. I wish you better luck with your leftovers.

                                                                                By the way, I make my own white-meat turkey chorizo because my household requires low-cholesterol protein (note that "regular" ground turkey is largely dark meat, which has almost the same cholesterol level as beef). The spices are so wonderful that we never miss the fat/richness of dark-meat turkey or pork. But if I used store-bought pork chorizo, I'd fry it to a dark brown, then drain it well (blotting with paper towels), and (of course) use olive oil to fry the hash to add a blast of healthy oil.

                                                                                Here's the chorizo recipe I use. I make at least 2 lbs at a time, and freeze the extra meat in one-meal portions. It's great in scrambled eggs with a corn tortilla; and it's lovely with swiss chard & black beans as another skillet meal.


                                                                                My top favorite tip: I buy bags of frozen kale and diced sweet potatoes for those last-minute, worked-too-late weeknight dinners. We can have this meal on the table in 15 minutes!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: AnneInMpls
                                                                                  mcf RE: AnneInMpls Sep 6, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                                                  That recipes looks great! I'd sub rutabaga or cauli for at least half the sweet potato to cut carbs to the levels I need.

                                                                                  Cholesterol in food is not typically related to any health issues, it's the type of cholesterol your liver makes in response to high carbs (VLDL and also fatty acids/triglycerides) that are troublesome.

                                                                                2. n
                                                                                  nami54 RE: starburn Sep 5, 2013 11:35 PM

                                                                                  When we don't have enough brain cells left at the end of the day, our default, no brainer, no guilt dinner is grilled salmon (we keep frozen wild salmon fillets in the freezer), little red potatoes with olive oil and dill, and whatever green, red, or other vegetable matter is handy. Midwinter standby are green beans we've frozen in summer, often stirfried with a spoonful of bacon jam. Fifteen minutes prep/cooking time, tops.

                                                                                  Something we often fall back on for either lunch or dinner are burrito bowls: rice, black beans, a bit of grated cheese, salsa. Sour cream and/or tomatoes and avocados if we have them around. Seriously good and wonderfully satisfying.

                                                                                  1. Musie RE: starburn Sep 6, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                    Soup, the latest is a carrot and ginger soup, but a whole variety of pumpkin soups are a favourite of mine too.

                                                                                    1. Bada Bing RE: starburn Sep 6, 2013 10:26 AM

                                                                                      Grilled chicken or pan-seared and oven-finished fish (like salmon); seasoned and spiced whole wheat cous-cous; and beet greens sauteed with olive oil, garlic and a bit of broth and S&P. That's a meal that hits every base for me.

                                                                                      Cous-cous, by the way, is maybe the only form of pasta that seems basically as good in its whole-wheat as in its refined-wheat form.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                        mcf RE: Bada Bing Sep 6, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                        Cous cous is very heavily refined and process wheat product, though.

                                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                                          Bada Bing RE: mcf Sep 6, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                          Maybe that's why the whole wheat form seems similar. But what do we know about the refinement process? Does it remove many nutrients?

                                                                                          1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                            mcf RE: Bada Bing Sep 6, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                            There's so little nutrition in wheat per calorie, I'm not sure that matters. Certainly it won't carry the benefits of whole kernels with husk and fiber intact. But yeah, I think the workout they give it and the pre cooking on top of that makes it very high glycemic, maybe higher than table sugar due to the processing.

                                                                                      2. tim irvine RE: starburn Sep 6, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                        Loin lamb chops grilled MR, steamed asparagus with a wedge of lemon, some plain faro, and a glass of a good Willamette PN. Bibb salad with a very light white wine vinaigrette. Raspberries for dessert. A box of ice cream sandwiches and a pulled pork and cole slaw sandwich three hours later when I am overtaken by the need to feed. Sorry.

                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                          compstory RE: starburn Sep 8, 2013 11:10 AM

                                                                                          I make this chickpea salad when I'm in a financial bind/need something quick and it's the best.


                                                                                          I don't use almonds; I also throw in some wilted kale/spinach/swiss chard. I also add in some paprika to spice it up. I also throw on a poached or over easy egg.

                                                                                          Sometimes if I'm feeling gluttonous I toast some ciabatta but that's rare. It's super good, filling, and healthy!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: compstory
                                                                                            c oliver RE: compstory Sep 8, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                            I not only saved this but sent to our daughters. I can see it being a real go-to. I'd probably use pine nuts cause I have them on hand. Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                            compstory RE: starburn Sep 8, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                            Another favorite I like is whole wheat toast with avocado, sardines, and fresh black pepper on top.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: compstory
                                                                                              fldhkybnva RE: compstory Sep 8, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                                              This is my lunch for today - sardines with avocado, tomato and pickle onion salsa. It's delicious on toast or as a lettuce wrap.

                                                                                            2. Emme RE: starburn Sep 8, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                              i have a bunch...

                                                                                              egg white omelettes with roasted veggies and herbs.. add skim ricotta or cheese if you like.

                                                                                              red lentils cooked with diced tomatoes and berbere (can add other protein as well) - simple and good over rice, bulgur, barley, etc. or more veg roasted or spaghetti squash

                                                                                              soups -- so many even simple cauliflower, carrots, celery, garlic, cumin coriander and sometimes lentils
                                                                                              or chipotle corn soup - just corn, scallions, chipotle in adobo, unsweetened almond milk, corn stock, and like a tsp of earth balance or butter, salt and pepper...

                                                                                              i do a super clean turkey sweet potato shepherd's pie for the OH...

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Emme
                                                                                                c oliver RE: Emme Sep 8, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                Ooh, but the egg yolks carry most of the nutrients so I consider an egg white anything almost a non-healthy thing. Just sayin'.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  Emme RE: c oliver Sep 9, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                                                                  i consider it good protein... i even make egg white "custard" with unsweetened almond milk that i quite enjoy for what feels a decadent healthy snack.

                                                                                                2. re: Emme
                                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: Emme Sep 8, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                                  I'm all for egg yolks, but I love a plate of egg whites from time to time usually in the form of scrambled or fritttata. They both have their merits in my eyes. I like a balance of both, sometimes I just don't want any yolk and other days serve me 2 sunny side up - both considered healthy in my book.

                                                                                                  What's your shepherd's pie recipe?

                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Sep 8, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                    Since the thread is about "healthiest" I just wanted to point out that not eating egg yolks isn't what I would consider healthy. We had a fabulous egg white omelet at a local restaurant some time back. It had kale, broccoli rabe, avocado and sprouts. Keep meaning to make it at home.

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Sep 8, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                                      Oh yea I have no stigma against the yolk, a nutrition powerhouse but just pointing out egg whites alone are also fabulous just as you already know :) Wow, that omelet sounds great, I never would think to throw several of those things in an omelet.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                        c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Sep 8, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                        That's why we ordered it :) And the yolk would have detracted from the flavor.

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                          mcf RE: c oliver Sep 8, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                                                                          I don't avoid egg yolks either, but when I make a ratatouille and choose omelet, I just prefer the lighter texture of gently cooked egg whiles instead of whole eggs.

                                                                                                3. b
                                                                                                  blinknoodle RE: starburn Sep 8, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                  I am very partial to Indian dals.. although not with store bought curry powder. Cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic are my basics but I have a great recipe with cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, too, which is our favourite. I usually serve it with brown rice.


                                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                                    limoen RE: starburn Sep 8, 2013 03:15 PM

                                                                                                    I often think about 'healthy food' in terms of the 'five a day', i.e. the NHS-led injunction to eat at least 5 different types of fruit and veg a day (pulses and juice count, but only as one serving each regardless of how much you eat/drink). Not sure if there is a US equivalent. Anyway, Delicious, a food magazine, recently-ish ran a feature on how to get your five a day in one meal, and the recipes are available online: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/ar....

                                                                                                    The cheesy bean burgers are very nice and fairly easy, although there are lots of components, even though I cooked up cannelini beans from scratch rather than using tinned. Even though I made a salad rather than the coleslaw it was still very healthy feeling. If I want to eat healthily I will cook this type of meal.

                                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: limoen
                                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: limoen Sep 8, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                                      I agree with the five a day sentiment which is also encouraged by the US nutritional equivalent, but i think this is where the question of what's healthy becomes a personal one - they also suggest eating most of your food in carbs which I don't find particularly healthy but that's why it's nice to have such a broad range of options posted here from different perspectives.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                        limoen RE: fldhkybnva Sep 8, 2013 03:28 PM

                                                                                                        This may be a difference between the US and UK; I don't recall much advice about carbs, except that potatoes don't count towards the five a day! According to the NHS about a third of food eaten should be 'starchy' whereas the US food pyramid seems to suggest up to half: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Healthy/Sp.... Regardless, the advice to eat lots of fruit and non-starchy veg is a helpful guideline for me, and the more veggies eaten, the less space for carbs...

                                                                                                        I do see what you mean as a 'healthy' meal which is quick could be (say) steamed edamame, some rice and a bowl of miso soup+tofu - good for weeknights. Light, doesn't weigh you down, lots of fibre if you use brown rice. But also high in sodium...you'd have to then balance this out over numerous meals.

                                                                                                        1. re: limoen
                                                                                                          mcf RE: limoen Sep 8, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                                                                          Are you talking about a third of calories, or volume?

                                                                                                          The U.S. guidelines are written by food lobbies, mostly grain and sugar (and drug company input) not scientists with any integrity.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                            fldhkybnva RE: mcf Sep 8, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                                                                            What mcf said!

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                              limoen RE: fldhkybnva Sep 9, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                                                              I don't know, I think quantity rather than calories. Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/P...

                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                          mcf RE: fldhkybnva Sep 8, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                          Juice is fruit with all the healthy properties removed, and the sugars concentrated. What a bad idea to call it a serving, it should be classed with sugary desserts and candy.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                            fldhkybnva RE: mcf Sep 8, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                            OT but interesting note about government perspectives on beverages. I was buying several packs of coke products for a party which were all on sale but the cashier realized she had to ring them up separately because apparently in Maryland at least soda is taxed, but lemonade and iced tea are not. I guess those are healthy...

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                              mcf RE: fldhkybnva Sep 8, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                                              <*eye roll*>

                                                                                                              I guess non fizzy sugar trumps all.

                                                                                                            2. re: mcf
                                                                                                              c oliver RE: mcf Sep 8, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                              I listened to an NPR program a while back about sugar(s) in our diets. Most pediatricians strongly recommend against children having orange juice. Too much sugar. A glass of orange juice would take something like five oranges to make.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                AnneInMpls RE: c oliver Sep 9, 2013 11:18 PM

                                                                                                                Five oranges in a glass of OJ?!?!? Only if they're teensy-weensy oranges or you use a 24-oz glass. A regular-sized orange usually yields 3-5 oz of juice. At least, that's what I get when I squeeze my own.

                                                                                                                But perhaps they were talking about juice from frozen concentrate....

                                                                                                              2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                limoen RE: mcf Sep 9, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                I think the UK's approach is balanced: "A glass (150ml) of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice. Juice counts as a maximum of one portion a day, however much you drink. That's mainly because juice contains less fibre than whole fruits and vegetables." I don't disagree with you about juice per se and I try to minimise my intake, but I think the idea of eating lots of fruit and veg and getting five servings or more a day can be intimidating and off-putting if people aren't used to do this, epsecially as people don't realise how small a 'serving' can be. Allowing one small portion of juice to be a serving is a small concession to making it seem more approachable. I think that is the rationale behind both it and the 'five' a day (it should really be around seven). Anyway most decent juice still retains some of the vitamins of the fruit so it's not quite *all* the health properties removed

                                                                                                                1. re: limoen
                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: limoen Sep 9, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                  I agree with what you say. I just hope that people realize that they should then cut back on other sugars since they're getting so much in the fruit juice. Or as 'they' say, everything in moderation including moderation. :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                    mcf RE: c oliver Sep 9, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                    But no one agrees on what "moderation" is. :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: mcf Sep 9, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                      I know it when I see it :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                        mcf RE: c oliver Sep 9, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                        That always reminds me of Senator Rosewater: "The difference between pornography and art is bodily hair!"

                                                                                                                      2. re: mcf
                                                                                                                        linguafood RE: mcf Sep 9, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                        Common sense.

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                          mcf RE: linguafood Sep 9, 2013 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                          Talk about your oxymorons. ;-)

                                                                                                                    2. re: limoen
                                                                                                                      mcf RE: limoen Sep 9, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                      You pay a very high price in sugar and metabolic derangement for those vitamins, which can be had elsewhere, though. It's a net negative in health terms, IMO.

                                                                                                                      Five servings is really small, if each is half a cup, not hard at all.

                                                                                                              3. j
                                                                                                                jankp RE: starburn Sep 9, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                Just take a baby step toward healthy and add tossed greens with olive oil, any vinegar you like, generous salt & pepper to any meal. I like baby arugula mixed with a baby kale or 50/50 spring green mix. So easy, very filling, and you can add any other veggie or herb you have on hand. If you have nothing else on hand, at least you're adding a few cups of nice healthy greens.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: jankp
                                                                                                                  sandylc RE: jankp Sep 11, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                  We like this at breakfast. Add an egg and some fruit and you have protein and 2+ servings of fruit/veg before you've even begun your day!

                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                  lulu_lynda RE: starburn Sep 9, 2013 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                  I sometimes struggle as well with "healthy" ideas, especially with all of the current food trends - organic, gluten free, etc.

                                                                                                                  I've discovered that I love roasted vegetables, all of them. :) Whatever sounds good or is in the fridge, I roast in a hot oven until nice and caramelized on the edges. My favorite is to make a roasted veggie burrito - you can add beans, brown rice, and top it off with a dollop of light sour cream or plain greek yogurt - both are yummy. Leftovers are great on the white egg omelet for breakfast.

                                                                                                                  1. sarahjay RE: starburn Sep 9, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                    I'm in a similar situation (not the fast food thing though, out of my budget!) but need LOW cost healthy meals for one. I have about $20/week for food and am running out of ideas for easy meals (lunch and dinner, breakfast is ok for now, usually homemade whole wheat toast or oatmeal, a banana, sometimes an egg) that are fast, nutritious, and cheap. I work and have classes in the evenings, so I don't have a lot of time to cook during the week and get bored easily (no curry 4 days in a row for me!) I also share a small freezer, so there's not much space to freeze leftovers.

                                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                                      sparky403 RE: starburn Sep 9, 2013 11:36 PM


                                                                                                                      I really love to make a pot of bean soup (stewp).

                                                                                                                      My local big box sells a 16 bean blend in a one lbs pack(Kroger).

                                                                                                                      I add two bunches of Kale, a can of tomatoes, a couple of onions, 1 head of garlic bay leaves and what ever other vegs I have on hand.

                                                                                                                      It started as an economic thing - regardless I now make them every couple of weeks.... love love love beans.

                                                                                                                      1. m
                                                                                                                        madtheswine RE: starburn Sep 10, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                        I do a whole wheat pasta with mushrooms and spinach in a bechamel sauce. You can add some cheese if you'd like without cutting too much of the healthiness of the dish.

                                                                                                                        I'm also a fan of doing a taco night. Instead of refrying beans, I just puree them in the cooking liquid. I use ground turkey for the meat and limit the cheese and sour cream to make sure it's not too fattening.


                                                                                                                        1. Sandwich_Sister RE: starburn Sep 10, 2013 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                          Stop with the processed and fast food and work on making home made sauces and things you can freeze ahead of time. Meal planning is key.

                                                                                                                          Here are some ideas

                                                                                                                          1. Dinner 1
                                                                                                                          Tomato, avocado, onion salad with goat cheese and a balsamic vinegar or viinergarette
                                                                                                                          Baked White Fish with herbs, lemon a touch of butter, olive oil, a tiny bit of sea salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                          Side fresh green beans, or asparagus
                                                                                                                          Dessert Grilled fruit with honey or a touch of cream.

                                                                                                                          2. Dinner 2
                                                                                                                          Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes, basil, goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
                                                                                                                          Whole wheat spaghetti pasta with bison meatballs and home made low sodium sauce.
                                                                                                                          Dessert Strawberries dipped in Nuetella

                                                                                                                          3. Dinner 3
                                                                                                                          Lamb meatballs with cucumber and tzatziki salad. Low fat Baklava with sweet honey.

                                                                                                                          4. Dinner 4
                                                                                                                          Kimchi conch salad with Sashmi, small seaweed salad and a small scoop of red bean ice cream.

                                                                                                                          5. Dinner 5.
                                                                                                                          3 oz of Bison Meatloaf, fresh green beans. asparagus, zellwood corn, or peas. with mashed potatoes. Dessert strawberries.

                                                                                                                          6. Dinner 6
                                                                                                                          Fish Tacos with wild caught grilled fish, cabbage, avocado, tomato and onion.
                                                                                                                          Dessert a scoop of avocado ice cream

                                                                                                                          7. Dinner 7.
                                                                                                                          Low sodium Jambalaya with wild rice.
                                                                                                                          Local Shimp, with Andouille sausage and no need to add salt. Dessert - banana's fosters.

                                                                                                                          1. v
                                                                                                                            valerie RE: starburn Sep 10, 2013 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                            What about fajitas? I make these chicken fajitas all the time but you can use shrimp or just all vegetables (whatever you have on hand). I skip the avocado, load up on peppers and onions, add shredded cheese sparingly, and load up on salsa. These are very easy and good.


                                                                                                                            1. Atomic76 RE: starburn Sep 10, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                              I've made this a number of times with my electric food steamer, and it's actually quite good and practically fat free.

                                                                                                                              Steamed Chicken With Vegetables

                                                                                                                              I also love getting a thick cut of fish, such as Chilean Sea Bass and lightly brushing it with olive oil, seasoning it with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper then simply broiling it. Serve it with some steamed spinach, and perhaps some steamed carrots too.

                                                                                                                              If you get a lean cut of pork, slow roasting it with some saurkraut and potatoes is good too, full of flavor, doesn't feel like "diet" food.

                                                                                                                              1. tehmeena RE: starburn Sep 11, 2013 04:57 AM

                                                                                                                                healthiest food hmmmm grilled meat with some fresh vegetables :)

                                                                                                                                1. KatheM RE: starburn Sep 11, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                  My go-to, quick-and-easy, healthy, low-fat meal is blended banana, apple, plain yogurt, and vanilla extract. If you freeze your bananas (in wax paper), you don't even need ice. Yummy and satisfying. You can do this with other fruit as well, but this is my fave.

                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                    robdob RE: starburn Sep 11, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                    My latest thing is vietnamese summer rolls with a couple of shrimp (sliced in half) and a bunch of vegetables and rice noodles wrapped up in rice paper. I serve with peanut sauce.

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