They’re in a serious tie for tastiness — but which is healthier, a bowl of spaghetti or few slices of pizza? Find out which cheesy, carb-y wonder has the most redeeming value in this (tomato-spattered) showdown between pasta and pie!
No More Sweet Talk
Studies have associated sugar with everything from headaches to heart disease, and yet most of us still get 18% of our total caloric intake from the stuff. That’s about 22 teaspoons each day. Here in the United States, nutritionists have long lobbied to coax us down to about 10%. But the international community is taking an even harder line. This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) brought its recommendation down to 5%, or about 100 calories per day. The recommendation is yet another strong case for transparent food labels, but until the new ones come out, here’s a crib sheet for some of the most sugar-stuffed packaged foods: Ketchup, salad dressing, soup, crackers, flavored yogurt, spaghetti sauce, bread, frozen dinners, granola, protein bars, shakes and (yep!) sushi.
Tofu keeps well in the fridge for weeks and can become the basis of a tasty meal in minutes, making it a versatile protein that’s great to have on hand. Here are three very different ways to enjoy this adaptable vegetarian staple.
By now, almost everyone knows that whole-grain foods are a nutritional step up from dishes that revolve around refined carbs. But if you’re starting to get the feeling that good-for-you grains are spending just a little too much time on their healthy high horse, remind them of their tasty roots by baking them into one of these whole-grain treats.
With her out-of-the-box approach to salads and sandwiches, all of which put seasonal vegetables to delicious use, Caroline Fidanza has earned a cult following among the food world’s cognoscenti in New York City, where she is based. At Saltie, her Brooklyn sandwich shop, wholesome creations like the Clean Slate, a sandwich where hummus, bulgur, pickled vegetables and yogurt get held between Indian naan bread, are as tempting as the sinful sandwiches, like the Balmy, which pairs chicken liver pâté with sliced ham and mayo.
“Mainly, I think about what I want to eat,” she says of her culinary process. “Sometimes that falls within the healthy category, sometimes not so much. Over the past five years, though, I’ve definitely thought more about vegetables. As I’ve moved along as a chef,” Fidanza says, “I have thought more about healthy foods.”
Sweet and creamy with an exotic twist, this smoothie can double as a light dessert. Banana and cashews create the smooth base, while dates add a sweet caramel-like flavor and vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom give the drink an irresistible fragrance. The dairy-free smoothie is especially easy to put together, as you’re essentially making the nut milk right in the blender with all of the other ingredients. Unlike almonds or any other nut, cashews create no pulp when blended, instead producing a velvety, rich base that gives the smoothie the feel of a dessert, minus the guilt.
Chef Marc Murphy has devoted his career to creating innovative cuisine. He currently presides over five New York restaurants — two locations of Landmarc, a bistro with Italian influences, two locations of his New York-style fish shack, Ditch Plains, and his latest venture, Kingside, which features a New American menu. He’s also a regular judge on Chopped. Here, he opens up about some of his own eating habits — which include loving kale and french fries both.
What health-food trend would you like to see go away?
Week-long juice cleanses. I love a great juice, but I don’t think you should use it as a meal replacement every day. Everything in moderation.
What healthy items do you always have on hand in the kitchen, and how do you use them?
I always like to have some healthy grains like quinoa and farro around. At my newest restaurant Kingside, we just added a brick-roasted poussin with winter squash, farro and mustard greens, and it’s delicious!
By making simple ingredient swaps, you can enjoy your favorite comfort foods any night of the week without an ounce of guilt. All of these dishes have fewer than 500 calories per serving.
Food Network Kitchens created a Cheesy Meatloaf with Green Quinoa for about half the calories of traditional meatloaf by using a combo of extra-lean ground turkey and beef along with spinach and cilantro. A sprinkle of full-fat cheese, melted on top, provides just the right amount of gooey goodness.
Calories per serving: 430
Bonus points for: quinoa on the side!
Ski lodge offerings have come a long way over the years and it’s actually possible to find some healthy options … for a pretty penny. Better yet, stash a few portable picks in your multipocket ski jacket, and then snack away on the chairlift.
#1: Granola bar
Choose a soft granola bar so it won’t crumble if you take a spill.
- Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax
- Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry
- KIND Fruit & Nut Almond and Apricot (above)