Healthy Recipes For People Who Hate Healthy Food

With coconut-lime pork tacos to pasta so creamy that you won’t realize you’re skimping, keeping New Year's resolutions doesn't have to mean eating boring food.

  • Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili. Black beans and sweet potato get dressed up with chipotle peppers, spices, and fresh chunks of avocado to create a memorable chili that is smoky, spicy, sweet, and wholly vegetarian.
  • Cambodian-Style Spring Rolls. The shrimp are poached in a flavorful broth that includes the mango peel. Then the cooked shrimp, as well as the fruit of the mango itself, go into a bright filling that is spooned into rice paper wrappers. A fruit and a “fruit of the sea,” together at last.
  • Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado. A serious, toasted spice blend gives this pork major dimension, and the lime and pineapple juices take the depth of flavor even further. We love wrapping it up in tortillas with fresh cilantro, but it’s almost too tempting to just intercept the transfer from pan to plate and get a big bite of the pork on its own.
  • Brown Rice Jambalaya-ish. There is nothing skimpy about this brown rice version of the Bayou classic. Brimming with shrimp, chicken, and andouille, this virtuous one-dish dinner feels absolutely indulgent.
  • Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich. A decidedly Nicoise tuna salad is pressed between two halves of a baguette and left in the fridge overnight, which allows all of the juices to soak into the bread (you could use wheat if you were really committing to the healthy thing). The resulting sandwich is a glorious riot of colors, flavors, and textures.
  • Greek Salad with Fennel. There's a tang to the vinaigrette to balance out the mellow saltiness of the feta; crisp, crunchy veggies; and of course plenty of olives. Adding fennel takes this salad to the next level. Add chicken or simply top it off with a bit more feta and a slice of bread to make it a meal.
  • Diane Kochilas’ Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions. This secret just might change your life: you can, and should, dress pasta with Greek yogurt, especially if you also then top it with caramelized onions and grated pecorino. So much creaminess, yet no cream in sight.
  • Minestrone Soup. Beans, cooked from scratch in the soup broth enrich the soup, napa cabbage sweetens it, and a last minute addition of red wine adds depth. Parmesan rind enhances the broth without adding any extra calories.
  • Guacamole Quinoa. The first day this has the character of an avocado quinoa salad, and by the second day, when the flavors have a chance to meld, the avocado softens the quinoa and you have fortified guacamole. Creamy avocado brightens up quinoa, and jalapeño peppers and chopped cilantro add a welcome burst of flavor.
  • Turkey Pho. Warm spices—coriander, cloves, star anise, cinnamon—are toasted beforehand to amp up the rich broth. Chopped kale is an unusual addition that adds some welcome heft, and turkey is decidedly lighter than the all-beef versions we’re accustomed to.

Trying to eat better in the new year, but cringing at the thought of plates piled with mountains of low-calorie, reduced-fat, sugar-free, whole-grain anything? We feel you. We too have experienced how horribly wrong certain foods billed as “healthy” can go. But before you give up on the idea of healthy food once and for all, check out these 10 recipes. From an updated jambalaya, to pasta so creamy that you won’t realize you’re skimping, these dishes will convince even the most cynical hedonist that healthy doesn’t have to be a bad word.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the recipes.

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