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In The Kitchen With: Healthy Eating Recipes

by Kristina Gill

I was in the United States for most of December and and almost half of January. As usual I had a grand time eating lots of great food, albeit not that healthy. Now that I’m back in Rome, I have to get back to a much healthier diet, and wanted to do a round up of some of the healthier recipes we have featured on the column.  Scrolling through, I realized that the idea of “healthy” is quite subjective and depends on your own personal circumstances. Because I overdosed on foods heavy in fat and carbohydrates, I skimmed our archives for items which were relatively low in both of these. (Which inspired me to include more healthier options here on the site- not always the “splurge”). This round up includes so many recipes I’ve truly enjoyed, so I hope you’ll have a chance to try them and perhaps use them as your own #DSHEALTHYSTART inspiration. A lot of these recipes are even more flavorful as leftovers so make a little extra when you can! –Kristina

Image above: Cookbook author Gena Knox’s kale and apple salad is one of my absolute favorites.  It is perfect in winter with kale and apples, but you can also substitute any other hearty green which tastes good raw.  I love finding the pieces of pecan and parmesan hidden throughout the plate.


Food maven Nicole Taylor shared a recipe for harissa chickpeas with us, served over rice.  I loved the dish and was really happy I made an extra big pot because the chickpeas just get better as they sit.  I like to add greens to my bowl when I have these.


Sarah Britton authors one of our favorite online holistic food resources.   Her daikon roll-ups broadened our horizons beyond typical vegetables used for wraps, like zucchini.  This recipe is quick to make and very healthy.


Photographer Pauline Boldt’s fig-glazed roast pork is one of the few meat dishes we have had on the column.  It is, however, a lean cut of meat, and if you do eat pork, I’d say it doesn’t get much better than this (unless we’re talking barbecue!).  The fig glaze makes a difference here, and served with roasted vegetables, you’ve also got an elegant entertaining idea with minimal effort.

Illustrator Felicita Sala shared an illustrated recipe with us for her favorite stuffed calamari.  This preparation, with very little added fat, is a great antipasto or main.

Photographer and blogger Giao Trac’s Chinese chicken salad with spicy ginger dressing gets a lot of attention here on the column because I think it is one of the simplest and best go to meals for time, flavor, and healthy eating.  I come back to it time and again in our round ups.

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Caterer Dan George of Smoke and Pickles showed us how to roast a whole fish.  I know, if you are enduring the cold like I endured earlier this month, the last thing you want to think about is doing anything outdoors, and if you’re suffering a heatwave in Australia, fire is not on your list of things to start.  But somewhere, I’m sure some of our readers CAN grill, and this is worth trying with your favorite herbs.

Speaking of Australia, the Hungry Girls shared their vegan sweet potato, green bean, and smoked paprika salad with us.  It is vitamin and fiber rich, and perfect on its own or in a small amount as a side (even to the roast pork!)

Private chef and avocado expert Gaby Dalkin gave us the right idea to get all our vegetables in one dish.  Her spicy roasted broccolini quinoa salad is perfect in any season by adjusting the vegetables accordingly.  Root vegetables in winter are sublime.

I couldn’t leave you without dessert in all of this.  Danish tastemaker, Rigetta Klint’s traditional Danish apple cake (Æblekage) is a perfect way to combine the best of the season’s apples with just a few breadcrumbs and nuts.  Go light on the butter and you’ve got a naturally sweet treat that you won’t have to pass up.  Danish photographer, Ditte Isager’s pavlova (below) is another great low fat dessert option in our archives.


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  • Hi Dorothy,

    I was sensitive to the tomato issue because I love tomatoes at their peak, so I opted to only include two recipes with tomato of the ten. The broccolini quinoa has tomato as a key flavor, but the sweet potato recipe I think you could try high quality canned tomatoes (being in Italy, I always think of homemade tomato preserves). Also you may be able to try out sundried cherry tomatoes in the quinoa recipe. I recently discovered these in salads with octopus, green beans, and potatoes and now I day dream about them!

  • Yummy! Nice picks! As a nutritionist and organic farmer, I must point out that your comments about lower fat or lean meat are a little antiquated. Science proves there is nothing wrong with fat, we need it. The concern comes in with the types and quality of the fats we eat. We happily enjoy all the drippings of one of our grass fed, sunshine basking cows. I wouldn’t do that, or recommend it, when eating a factory farmed animal.

    Now, off to make that delicious-looking kale salad!

    • tara

      there are so many different ways to define healthy, and for many that means leaner proteins. as kristina mentioned in her opening, the idea of “healthy” is subjective. we often receive requests for lower-fat recipes, so this was intended to answer some of those requests. if kristina had listed “fat free” recipes then yes, i would agree. but i think most modern healthy eating regimens suggest leaner proteins, so i don’t see that as antiquated at all. we’re not suggesting you ignore where your food comes from in exchange for lower fat foods. organic high-fat foods aren’t good to eat in high quantities either, so i think a balance is what we’re striving for here.


  • This is the most amazing recipe round up! Every single one of them looks delicious, and so many would make a wonderful lunch to take to work throughout the week. I’m going to see how many I can try this week! ☺️ Thank you, wonderful DS team.