Traditional recipes

The 30 Faces of the New Healthy

The 30 Faces of the New Healthy

Photo: Courtesy of Danielle Nierenberg

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1. Danielle Nierenberg, president and co-founder, Food Tank, @DaniNierenberg

Researcher and activist Danielle Nierenberg calls attention to the world's most pressing food issues—hunger, obesity, nutrition, and sustainability—in an effort to bring together eaters, producers, and policy-makers to fix our flawed food system. By working toward a more socially, economically, and environmentally just system, Nierenberg believes the world can produce not just more food, but food that contains higher levels of nutrients. The end goal is simple: to decrease malnutrition and reduce the effects of climate change on how we feed ourselves. "We are here to focus on innovative solutions, not just the problems," said Nierenberg at last year's Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. The group's annual conference unites the world's most influential food figures, including Tamar Haspel, for panels and discussions. This year, Nierenberg continues her crusade by taking Food Tank's summit series outside the U.S. and raising its voice on the larger world stage.

2. Sandor Katz, fermentation evangelist, author, @sandorkraut

Preservation guru Sandor Katz is the man behind Wild Fermentation, widely considered the bible for harnessing the magic of microorganisms. His follow-up, The Art of Fermentation, earned both a James Beard Award and a place on The New York Times best-seller list. And while fermented foods may be having a moment on menus and in cookbooks, they've been a way of life for this self-proclaimed "fermentation revivalist" since the 1990s—when he moved from Manhattan to a commune in Tennessee after becoming HIV-positive. Katz admits the evidence for his beneficial experiences with fermented foods is mostly anecdotal, but he firmly believes that incorporating fermentation in your diet leads to "good digestion, good immune function, and good overall health," and that ultimately "the diverse probiotic bacteria of live fermented foods have had a positive impact on [his] health." Through his books and workshops, Katz empowers home cooks to ferment with confidence and harness the (delicious!) alchemy of bacteria.

3. Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson, chef-owners, LocoL, @welocol

After rising to culinary prominence on opposite ends of the Golden State, Los Angeles food truck phenom Roy Choi and Bay Area white-tablecloth maestro Daniel Patterson joined in partnership last year with LocoL, a pioneering fast-food concept aimed at inspiring hope in low-income communities through a high-quality, affordable menu of appealing foods. "How you gonna eat healthy when everything around you forces you to not eat healthy?" asks Choi. He and Patterson demonstrate that fast-food classics can be made from wholesome ingredients—without costing more than $5 a cheeseburger. "The problem is, in a lot of our communities junk food is the real food, and the real food options are few and far between," says Choi, who builds umami in his burger patty with ingredients like kombu, fish sauce, and seaweed. "It's not that junk food has to be obliterated, it's that we have to tilt the scales in our favor," says Choi. After opening its first outlet in LA's Watts neighborhood, LocoL's growing empire now includes a second spot in Oakland, as well as a food truck and a bakery commissary.

Photo: Courtesy of My Nguyen

Photo: Tracey Niimi/TN Photography

Photo: Courtesy of My Nguyen

4. My Nguyen, author, social media activist @myhealthydish_

"My definition of real whole foods are basically one-ingredient examples, like broccoli, apple, chicken, and salmon," explains My Nguyen, a mother of twin girls who harnessed the power of social media to turn healthy eating into a second career. Nguyen left the world of finance 9 years ago to cook and care for her family full-time, and in 2012 she launched an Instagram account and a blog under the handle @myhealthydish_. Through the web and social media, she documents the clean eats she prepares at home. Five years and one book later, nearly one million Instagram followers lean in to her images and words on the benefits of apple cider vinegar and prep tips for making banana chia pudding. Nguyen's simple, back-to-basics approach of "eating foods that people living 100 years ago would recognize" empowers her audience by providing them with the tools to make smarter decisions that leave processed foods behind.

5. Hugh Acheson, chef, restaurateur, nonprofit ambassador, TV personality, @HughAcheson

According to Top Chef alum and Georgia restaurateur Hugh Acheson, the fact that "kids know how to download an app on their phone, but they don't know how to scramble an egg," was the impetus behind Seed Life Skills. Acheson's two-year-old nonprofit offers home economics curriculums to schools that teach kids basic skills like cooking. "Scrambling an egg is not rocket science," says Acheson. "But, unfortunately, most people are deterred by something as simple as that." Using Athens and Clarke County, Georgia, as test sites, Seed Life Skills is currently installed in sixth-grade classrooms, with plans to expand to seventh and eighth grade next year. The chef, who recently became an ambassador for the National Head Start Association, a nonprofit that provides health and nutrition education to young children from low-income families, wants to empower kids "to get to a point where they say, 'Hey, wait a minute, I can do this.'" Says Acheson, "I'm trying to create a new generation that has merit badges for skills that get them through life just a little more easily."

6. Marion Nestle, educator, author, @marionnestle

Currently New York University's Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Marion Nestle is also a prolific writer. One of the seminal figures in American food politics and nutrition science, through her books and other media Nestle presses for the change required to create a sustainable food system. Nestle's blog, "Food Politics," is considered one of the country's preeminent sources for unvarnished news about the state of the American food landscape. On it, she shares her meticulous research on issues such as food insecurity, obesity, the environmental impact of diets rich in meat, and the influence of food industry marketing. Nestle's work often examines how massive food conglomerates and agribusinesses have conspired to distort consumers' perceptions of "healthy." And people are paying attention. She's been recognized with James Beard, IACP, and other awards over the course of an esteemed career promoting a healthier world.

Photo: Courtesy of Detroit Public Television

7. David Katz, MD, researcher, activist, @DrDavidKatz

It was during his hospital residency that David Katz, MD, realized a huge percentage of his patients suffered from preventable illnesses. Since then, Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, has made it his life's work to fight chronic disease through preventative medicine based on a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. In particular, Katz believes that "lifestyle practices can prevent up to 80 percent of premature deaths and chronic diseases." Diets, says Katz, "should be simple and holistic." Think: more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds—and less of everything else. In his writing and media appearances, Katz tells anyone who will listen that "eating optimally, being active, and avoiding tobacco" are the keys to a long life.

Photo: Courtesy of Barton Seaver

Photo: Courtesy of Barton Seaver

Photo: Courtesy of Barton Seaver

8. Barton Seaver, educator, author

As director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Center for Health and the Global Environment, author and chef-turned-environmental-activist Barton Seaver encourages people to make healthier decisions for themselves and the environment. Having written six books on healthy eating, Seaver's career has focused primarily on sustainable seafood, aligning with others passionate about the sea, like New York chef Dan Barber (see #12), who's an advisor to Seaver's board at Harvard. "I'm working to educate about how aquaculture has improved, and how it must be a fundamental part of our diet, both for health and the environment," says Seaver, who acknowledges that most people associate farmed fish with lesser quality. "The industry has progressed, but it's still judged by its past performance, and isn't given credit for its advancements," he adds. Seaver believes in fish consumption (both wild and farmed) and ocean conservation: The key is understanding that properly farmed fish contribute to a diet that is healthy for both humans and our environment.

Photo: Courtesy of Sqirl LA

Photo: Courtesy of Sqirl LA

Photo: Courtesy of Sqirl LA

9. Jessica Koslow, chef, restaurateur, @SQIRLLA

From a cramped Silver Lake spot passing plates of burnt brioche laminated with whipped ricotta cream and splashed with jam to a slightly less cramped cafe with a bit more wiggle room, Sqirl is the Los Angeles success story of Jessica Koslow, a chef who seemingly appeared out of nowhere and threw Tinseltown into a tizzy with her vibrant, flavorful (often vegan) bowls. Koslow's hip eatery has won her Instagram fame, thanks to her pillowy breads topped with oozing jam and a sorrel pesto rice bowl with ribbons of pink watermelon radish. At Sqirl, Koslow invites Angelenos to explore vegetables, whole grains, and thoughtfully sourced animal proteins in full-flavored light, an effort she'll expand at her forthcoming West LA restaurant. Part of that project includes experimenting with growing drought-tolerant produce on a nearby property in hopes of addressing one of California's biggest farming issues. Through her eclectic menu of veg-forward cooking—preserved fruits and fermented kimchi made from oft-discarded produce pieces—Koslow is crafting her own, more sustainable, modern Los Angeles cuisine.

10. Jessica Largey, chef, restaurateur, @roselargey

It's no secret that professional chefs endure both emotional and physical tolls working long hours and longer weeks, sometimes relying on unhealthy vices to get through the night. Until recently, that issue hasn't been openly discussed in the industry, nor have restaurateurs made efforts to address the effects of a particularly grueling vocation. But Jessica Largey—former chef de cuisine at Bay Area's three-Michelin-starred Manresa and recipient of James Beard's Rising Star Chef of the Year award—is one of the first to speak up about the issue, openly discussing her own struggles with depression. And at her forthcoming Los Angeles restaurant, Simone, Largey is committed to creating a healthier environment for her employees, hopefully setting a new standard for others to follow. "I strongly believe one of the biggest changes that needs to happen is letting go of the mentality of 'Toughen up, I went through it and now you have to—that's just the way it is.' Instead, my outlook is, 'I went through it, so now I'm working to make it better for you,'" Largey explains. "I'm committed to finding all the outlets that I can to facilitate change within this field," she adds.

11. Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, author, activist, @AliceWaters

Summing up Alice Waters' worldwide contributions to food and sustainability in 200 words is impossible. And it's not an overstatement to say that she has inspired most American chefs cooking with a seasonal sensibility. The visionary chef of one of America's most renowned restaurants—credited with introducing "farm-to-table" cuisine—Waters opened Berkeley, California's Chez Panisse in 1971, championing local, seasonal, and organic produce decades before it became de rigueur. Over the last 40 years, Waters has dedicated her life to advocating the benefits of eating organic, citing not only food with better flavor, but more nutritional base products that are created in a way that's better for the environment. With countless honors and contributions to the world of sustainability, Waters has become one of the most pivotal figures in food as well as one of this country's most famous activists due to her work with the Slow Food organization. She's launched programs like Edible Schoolyard, which promotes more healthful school lunches and educates children about food and gardening. The food revolution we're experiencing today couldn't have happened without Waters.

Photo: Scott McDermott/Getty

12. Dan Barber, chef, author, farmer, educator, @DanBarber

Dan Barber is the beloved leader of Manhattan's Blue Hill restaurant and sister project Blue Hill at Stone Barns—a restaurant, farm, and culinary research center in upstate New York. "We were excited about the idea of a place where people could experience a connection between the food on their plates and the landscape that produced it," says Barber. His menu-less restaurant, No. 48 on San Pellegrino's prestigious World's 50 Best Restaurants list, shares acreage with (and is largely informed by) Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, an education facility that supports sustainable farming practices. "At the restaurant, we've partnered with several breeders to trial new varieties of vegetables and grains created not only for better yield, but also better flavor, nutrition, and locality," says Barber of some of the initiatives he explores. He also mills his own grain and uses the heat from compost to cook, which adds flavor to his vegetable-forward, hyper-seasonal creations. Having embarked on numerous efforts to raise awareness about food sustainability issues (including TED Talks and food-waste pop-ups), Barber is now recognized as one of America's foremost experts on creating food that's as delicious as it is good for the planet.

13. Mark Bittman, journalist, author, @bittman

In his 15-years-long New York Times column "The Minimalist," journalist and author Mark Bittman, a proponent of eating "real food," demystified home cooking through simple recipes made from common, wholesome ingredients. While "The Minimalist" was never health-obsessed in a buzzy, "superfoods" way, it taught good eating habits by incorporating unprocessed ingredients into DIY recipes heavy on fruits and vegetables. "I see my main role as getting people to put good food on the table for themselves and their families," explains Bittman, who has also written more than 20 books, many of which promote easy home cooking. Bittman believes food should be: green (as sustainable, low-impact and regenerative as possible); fair (ethically produced, taking humans' labor, animals' lives, and the earth's health into account); nutritious (promoting health); and affordable to all. He highlighted those topics during his 2007 TED Talk. Worried about the way Americans eat today, the author champions the benefits of a vegetable-rich diet, which he explains in his book VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health … For Good.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

14. Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States, @MichelleObama

Michelle Obama was candid when she spoke with Cooking Light Editor Hunter Lewis for the March 2015 issue. Mrs. Obama admitted that a personal struggle with her own daughters' weights had inspired her to aggressively tackle America's childhood obesity problem. So she founded the successful Let's Move! initiative during her husband's presidency. Targeting the eating habits of children, particularly in schools, Mrs. Obama—with her husband's help—passed a pivotal piece of legislation: 2010's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which mandates healthier options for school lunches. This includes not just more fruits and vegetables, but also less sugar, salt, and fat-rich snacks. The law also enables schools in low-income areas to offer students free breakfast and lunch. Obama's healthy food agenda has served as an unprecedented catalyst for improved kids' nutrition throughout the country, and next year, more informed, less cryptic guidelines on food nutrition labels are coming. Yet it remains to be seen whether or not her goal of "solving the challenge of childhood obesity" will be met within a generation.

Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen/AFP/Getty Images

15. Rene Redzepi, chef, restaurateur, innovator, @ReneRedzepiNoma

René Redzepi's Copenhagen restaurant Noma earned the No. 1 spot on San Pellegrino's esteemed list in 2010, and again in 2011, 2012, and 2014. His approach to letting the seasons dictate his menus and his interest in scavenging local lands for unsung edible plants has inspired chefs to explore wild ingredients just outside their doors. With Noma deemed one of the world's most important places to dine, this father of present-day foraging has had a platform from which to promote sustainability. At Noma, that means repurposing "waste" ingredients, a topic Redzepi is keen to examine: It's part of the inspiration behind Noma's fermentation lab, which turns discarded ingredients into foods that are even more nutritious than in their raw state. Redzepi's MAD food symposium invites some of this generation's most innovative chefs and food leaders to discuss locality, seasonality, and sustainability. In 2015, Redzepi announced plans to shutter Noma and move it to a plot with an on-site farm. There, Redzepi will grow a portion of his ingredients as part of a venue that's been described as an urban farm.

16. David Shields, heirloom food preservationist

It's hard to miss foods you never knew existed. But thanks to the meticulous seed-detective work of University of South Carolina professor David Shields, extinct Southern heirloom crops like the Bradford watermelon and Carolina African runner peanut are starting to make a comeback, as are a number of other crops that have more or less gone extinct. Inspired by Shields' work, Glenn Roberts, founder of high-quality heirloom grain company Anson Mills, appointed Shields chairman of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, an organization centered on studying and spreading awareness of forgotten grains, as chef-beloved Carolina Gold rice once was. The two have teamed up as heirloom food crusaders, Shields tracking down the seeds and Roberts planting them. Their work can be seen on the plates at Charleston hot spots like Husk Restaurant and McCrady's, restaurants run by another notable leader of Southern cuisine anthropology, chef Sean Brock.

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

17. Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and healthy food crusader, @jamieoliver

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the television-friendly Brit who came to fame with a show about bare ingredient cookery (The Naked Chef), has turned his passion for nourishing cuisine into a mini media empire consisting of a slew of top-selling cookbooks, an online video series—even an award-winning TED Talk. He's also using his celebrity as a tool to educate the world about healthy eating. Some might remember Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which aired on ABC in 2010 and chronicled the chef's struggle to reform school lunches while also revealing the sad truth about how poorly educated our nation's children are on proper nutrition. The series folded after its second season, but it nonetheless succeeded in bringing attention to childhood obesity, an issue that Oliver still fights on his own through Jamie's Food Revolution, the umbrella operation representing myriad global campaigns that range from spreading awareness about the negative effects of sugar consumption to teaching basic cooking skills.

Photo: Courtesy of Erika Allen

18. Erika Allen, urban gardening pioneer and head of Growing Power, @GrowingPower

Erika Allen is the daughter of Will Allen, the agriculture expert who founded Milwaukee-based urban gardening nonprofit Growing Power in 1993. Now Growing Power's national director, she has built upon her father's mission of serving underprivileged communities by expanding into other cities like Chicago. "We believe that access to healthy food is a social justice issue and ultimately a human right," explains Allen, who strives to create "socially just and equitable access to resources and opportunity" through sustainable urban farming as well as "empower young people with the skills and knowledge to lead and make better decisions." Allen's work has earned her Chicago Tribune's Good Eating Award, among other kudos, and has landed her a government-appointed position as a Chicago Park District commissioner advising on the sustainable use of public spaces. But her core mission remains focused on the people, by striving to empower inner-city denizens through community-operated urban agriculture spaces; to offer healthier, environmentally friendly food options; and to create more than a few jobs, too.

Photo: Courtesy of Gina Homolka

Photo: Courtesy of Gina Homolka

Photo: Courtesy of Gina Homolka

19. Gina Homolka, editor of Skinnytaste blog, @Skinnytaste

Kicking off her career in healthy eats back in 2008, Gina Homolka's super-successful Skinnytaste blog is one of the web's OG pioneers, centered on her belief that lighter dishes made from unprocessed, fresh ingredients don't need to sacrifice flavor. "My parents were both immigrants, so I grew up eating home-cooked meals made from scratch," she says. "When you cook with whole foods, you know exactly what you're putting into your body." Thanks to her medley of uncomplicated lean eats and cleaned-up comfort classics that pretty much anyone can easily re-create in their own kitchen, the home cook and food blogger now boasts a monthly following of 3 million readers, an Instagram audience of more than half a million, and two cookbooks—both New York Times best sellers.

Photo: Coutesy of The Farmer's Hand

Photo: Sarah Barthlow Photography

Photo: Coutesy of The Farmer's Hand

20. Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes, owners of The Farmer's Hand, @TheFarmersHand

Last September, chefs Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes opened The Farmer's Hand, a unique Detroit market and café that sells affordably priced Michigan-grown produce and Michigan-made larder items. Their suppliers receive 70% of the product's selling price, so these other small, local businesses will thrive as they do. In a city adrift with cheap, processed foods and liquor stores, The Farmer's Hand—which the female urban-food pioneers planted in the easily walkable and heavily foot-trafficked Corktown neighborhood—is a welcome respite of in-season fruits and veg and small-batch goods that offer fresh and honest ingredients, as well as a café that serves healthy grab-and-go items, vegetable-forward grain bowls, and sandwiches enriched with the flavors of raw local honey and farmstead cheddar cheese.

21. Monica Garnes, vice president of produce and floral merchandising, Kroger supermarkets

As vice president of produce and floral merchandising, Monica Garnes oversees produce purchases at more than 2,700 Kroger markets across the country; between 34 states, that amounts to about 2 million pounds of fruits and vegetables for America's largest supermarket chain. In an effort to support small-scale proprietors and offer her customers access to healthier, often organic, products, Garnes has boosted the amount of local farmers that Kroger buys from by 27% in the past five years, proving not only that big businesses can viably work with small-scale growers, but that they should, too.

Photo: Courtesy of Campbell Soup Co.

22. Denise Morrison, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Soup Company, the 148-year-old king of canned convenience foods, is refreshing its image, and leading the charge into the healthy food aisle is president and CEO Denise Morrison. Five years ago, Morrison convinced her board to spend $1.55 billion to acquire Bolthouse Farms, known for freshly packed ready-to-eat items like carrot sticks, and a year later added organic baby food brand Plum Organics and refrigerated salsa company Garden Fresh Gourmet to the company's roster as well. Morrison hopes to set a higher standard of food transparency for her company that other big businesses will follow, and to continue to make good on the company's purpose of "Real food that matters for life's moments."

Photo: Courtesy of Sweetgreen

Photo: Courtesy of Sweetgreen

Photo: Courtesy of Sweetgreen

23. Sweetgreen, healthy-minded fast-casual chain, @sweetgreen

Iconic New York restaurateur Danny Meyer was right to invest in Sweetgreen early on. The lines at the smash-hit green-leaves and grain-bowl chain—lauded for its quality ingredients sourced from nearby farms—are so long during lunch, you'd think the food was free. Founded by friends Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru in 2007 in Washington, D.C., while attending Georgetown University, Sweetgreen has grown from a single, sustainably minded, bespoke salad spot stocked with local produce and proteins to more than 60, with 100 outlets being the near-term goal. Sure, it garners hip cache and touts designer dishes from cool kids like Momofuku's David Chang and Sqirl's Jessica Koslow (also on this list, #9), but its more important achievement benefits everyone: proving that a high-volume business can viably source from local farms, while offering a nutritious product at a relatively affordable price.

Photo: Courtesy of Kimbal Musk

Photo: Courtesy of Kimbal Musk

Photo: Courtesy of Kimbal Musk

24. Kimbal Musk, founder of The Kitchen, healthy fast-food pioneer, @kimbal

While billionaire tech tycoon Elon Musk is looking to improve the world through sustainable energy (and very fast cars), his brother Kimbal is addressing the environment through food. In 2004, the younger Musk debuted The Kitchen in Boulder, Colorado, which has grown into a chainlet of five casual American bistros that source products from local farmers. He's also behind Next Door, an expanding $10-and-under fast-casual concept that demonstrates dishes made from locally sourced ingredients can be affordable, too. How affordable? Well, Musk has plans for a new slow-food place à la Roy Choi's LocoL (#3 on this list) to rival the fast-food franchises of the world by selling grab-and-go fare made from wholesome ingredients for under $5. He hopes to take the concept nationwide by 2020. Musk is also looking to educate more than just consumers on the merits of back-to-basics meals and the importance of local farms: After having initiated his own programs through The Kitchen to help schoolkids with food and nutrition, he has opened Square Roots in Brooklyn, an urban gardening incubator for new food businesses, in which entrepreneurs tend vertical gardens made of shipping containers, growing soil-free produce under LED lights.

Photo: Photography by Kimberley Hasselbrink

25. Michael and Nelly Hand, owners of sustainable salmon fishery Drifters Fish, @driftersfish

Drifters Fish is a dock-to-dish fishing outfit run by seafaring couple Michael and Nelly Hand that has a sustainable vision for spreading the word of Alaska's incredible salmon. "We aspire for people to know their fisherman and feel connected to the traceable story of the seafood on their plate," explains Nelly, who, together with her husband, catches wild salmon out of the waters around South Central Alaska. "We utilize unique and specifically designed nets, and work within the regulations determined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game," Nelly says. The Hands sell their catch during the summer directly off the boat in Cordova and straight to eager chefs across the country at food-nerd hotbeds, such as Seattle's Canlis and Brooklyn's Mermaid's Garden. During the winter, the couple runs their own Community Supported Fishery in the Pacific Northwest, which is essentially a CSA for ocean animals, to offer customers frozen salmon. While it's no secret that our oceans are overfished, Nelly believes that "one way we can work toward a better future now is by supporting local, American, small-scale fisheries that practice sustainable harvesting."

Photo: Chancellor Tha Beast, Courtesy of Appetite For Change

26. Appetite for Change, Minnesota food-education initiative, @afcmn

Last year, a YouTube video chronicling a bunch of Minneapolis kids rapping about fruits and vegetables went viral, attracting over a quarter-million views and even getting posted on VH1's website. The four-minute song, which includes lyrics like "fake food ain't what you need" and "my fruits and veggies be off the chain," was the success of a summer project called Grow Food (also the song's name). The project is part of Minnesota's nonprofit Appetite for Change (AFC), an organization devoted to educating and training kids about food and health in preparation for culinary-connected careers. "At Appetite For Change, we see the power of food to bring people together, and we harness that power through each of our programs," states AFC development and communications manager Molly Cherland. She says, "Whether it's youth growing vegetables in one of our urban farm plots or neighbors eating lunch at our café, food strengthens communities." And can inspire a memorable earworm, to boot.

Photo: Courtesy of Bulletproof

27. David Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof brand, @bulletproofexec

Dave Asprey, the dot-com millionaire turned founder of the Bulletproof brand, instigated a global trend of spiking coffee with butter after experiencing Tibetan yak butter tea and its purported energy-boosting power. According to Asprey, the lean Tibetans who began each morning with butter tea inspired him to examine his own health. The fat-rich drink he devised went on to serve as the basis for his—and millions of others'—Bulletproof lifestyle and birth a New York Times best-selling book. In it, as in life, Asprey advocates a diet rich in saturated fats and low in carbs, all kicked off daily with a dose of Bulletproof coffee: organic coffee enriched with grass-fed butter and Bulletproof's own Brain Octane Oil. Does it work? The diet has its skeptics, but Asprey claims improved health and a higher IQ. The proof? Asprey trimmed down from 300 pounds while developing his Bulletproof beliefs, and he has launched a successful line of branded Bulletproof products, from coffee beans to low-sugar, collagen protein–enriched vanilla shortbread cookies. So clearly something's working.

Photo: Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Photo: Courtesy of Impossible Foods

28. Patrick Brown, creator of Impossible Foods / The Impossible Burger and co-founder of Kite Hill, @ImpossibleFoods

Biochemist Patrick Brown did the unthinkable with his Impossible Burger: He created a 100% plant-based patty that bleeds like a beef burger. Looking to address the food industry's contributions to climate change through raising cattle, it took Brown and his research team (partly funded by Bill Gates) five years to engineer their groundbreaking burger. It's just the first of many efforts planned, under the umbrella company Impossible Foods, to revolutionize the way we eat with environmental sustainability in mind. "We founded Impossible Foods to … restore healthy ecosystems that have been replaced or degraded by the massive impact of animal agriculture," explains Brown. Brown is also the co-founder of Lyrical Foods, producers of the Kite Hill brand of vegan cheese and yogurts made in collaboration with renowned, longtime vegan chef Tal Ronnen of Los Angeles' Crossroads restaurant. According to Brown, changing dietary patterns is a daunting task, but also the key to eating in a way that's better for the world, so he's building companies that do just that. Says Brown, "The current Impossible Burger is a proof of concept, but it's just the first step."

Photo: Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill

29. Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill, @BobsRedMill

"The impact of unhealthy diets on our global society is one of my greatest concerns, and I am dedicated to helping people change their eating habits," professes Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill, one of America's most widely distributed lines of unprocessed whole grains. Bob began the Oregon-based company with his wife, Charlee, in 1978 out of an abandoned mill. Since then, by recognizing America's growing interest in getting back to basics (and by responding to the ongoing trend of people with dietary restrictions), Bob's Red Mill has gone from a few bags of stone-milled whole-wheat flour and whole-grain cornmeal to over 400 items. The brand provides wholesome alternatives to processed products in many supermarkets and specialty stores across the country. And his reason for doing so is as simple as simmering a pot of grits: "It doesn't necessarily take more time or money to eat healthier."

30. Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, co-founders of Sakara organic meal delivery, @SakaraLife

Through feeding New Yorkers a plant-based menu of sweet potato morning bowls and coconut-jicama wraps, friends Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise have grown their rainbow-hued, plant-based meal delivery service Sakara from a fledgling startup in 2012 to a clean-eats operation that ships anywhere across the country. The company was inspired by the Ayurvedic belief in viewing food as medicine, which is why one will encounter ingredients like reishi, a mushroom that's been consumed for centuries for its ability to help the body cope with stress, and spirulina, a zippy green, mineral-rich algae. To that end, Sakara aims to embrace "a more holistic view of health and wellness," explains DuBoise, "one that views the systems of the body as integrated, considers the whole person, and addresses lifestyle habits, like diet and stress, rather than viewing health conditions and symptoms as isolated." Not the goal of your average meal kit.

“Veggie Faces” No-Bake Vegetable Pizzas and Wraps

Your kids will love this project – it’s so much fun to create edible art! No-bake veggie pizzas are a fresh, exciting lunch or snack! You can even pack all the ingredients in their lunch boxes, bento-box-style – a much healthier take on Lunchables! (Psssst … and a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables!)

This Recipe Is: Ready in 30 Minutes or Less Vegetarian

When you were little, did your mommy always sternly tell you not to “play with your food”?

Hmmmmm. Well, we’re totally throwing that out the window today! (Sorry!)

Getting gloriously messy-goopy-sloppy with food might not be gold-star manners at a schwanky restaurant or Aunt Mabel’s spiffy Sunday supper … but it’s one of the very, very best ways to get kiddos excited about trying new eating adventures (aka veggies)!

We can vouch for this firsthand.

Remember our posts about how to help picky little eaters grow up to be less, well … picky? And remember in our second post in that series, about getting the kids involved , when we suggested ways to let your kiddos (even the littlest guys!) help in the kitchen? Uh-huh.

Well, here’s a prime example of how to do just that!

Make veggie pizzas (or wraps … depending on how you fold and slice ’em) designed as people or monsters or pirates or unicorns … or whatever!

Kids think this is super fun! They love the freedom to make hilarious veggie faces in the most creative, ridiculous ways they can imagine! Lunch just met up with the best messy art project ever – what kid can resist that.

It’s the perfect way to introduce them to the shapes, textures and flavors of new vegetables in a totally non-stressful, no-pressure way.

(It’s also a brilliant way to clean out the veggie crisper or use up some of the bounty from a wildly successful trip to the farmers’ market. Yay!)

We realize that we for sure weren’t the first people to come up with this clever, oh-so-fun hook to sweep kids into the thrill of eating veggies. (Who knows what enterprising mom originally dreamt this up? But we really want to meet her!!)

So here’s why we’re publishing this for you today. (Besides the fact that it’s mid-summer, and the kiddos might be getting a tad b-o-r-e-d, totally ready for some exciting, new project ideas!) Actually, this is the post we needed and couldn’t find.

And since we couldn’t find it, we decided to write it ourselves!

You see, back in the spring, we were invited to work with a wonderful group of little third-grade Girl Scouts, to help them earn their “Snacks” badge.

We had a lot of learning, creating and snacking to jam into one quick after-school meeting. So we knew we’d need a couple handy visual aids to jump-start the girls’ creative thinking quickly … and convince them that a few sprigs of broccoli and some carrot shreds could be magically transformed into an awesome – and delicious! – snackable work of art!

We figured it’d be no problem to find some great example photos. We’d just bookmark a couple of pics on the Internet, or find a few samples among the shelves (shelves!) of Shelley’s kids’ cookbooks. So obvious. Easy-peasy.

But we were totally dismayed to find almost no good examples at all! Huh. Unexpected.

So, today we have all the inspiration you and your little foodie-Picassos need.

From a snowman … to a vampire … to (ummmmmm. ) some stuff we don’t really have a name for …

These are the ideas that our own little artists created for us (and you!) one super-fun day last week. We all had a blast together … and a great lunch!

It’s the perfect project for a mommy-and-me afternoon, a playgroup gathering, or a (healthy!) preschool party snack.

You can even package up some ingredients into a way-cool lunchbox kit so your little artist can enjoy the best “Lunchable” ever (while their school buds drool in envy).

Sure, you can cut your edible art in pizza wedges, but a wrap is the ultimate grab-n-go!

There are no rules here … only suggestions! Use whatever veggies you have on hand!

Two must-haves, though: alfalfa sprouts and jumbo olives. Really!

Alfalfa sprouts were the surprise-hit ingredient at our Girl Scout meeting. Most of the girls had never even heard of alfalfa sprouts, but they were by far the most popular of all the veggies (since they make perfect hair … for pretty red-pepper hair bows!).

And huge black olives? Well, that’s obvious! You’re just never too old for olive finger puppets!

So don’t be afraid to get a little messy, friends! Have fun with your food, and your kiddos will, too!

Our Most Popular Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2016

Looking for easy, healthy recipes your whole family will love? These recipes are must-try favorites – our most popular recipes of the year – as chosen by you, our readers!

2016 was a big year around here, full of changes and new beginnings. And we have all of you – our wonderful, supportive, enthusiastic readers and friends to thank for the successful, surprisingly fun year it turned out to be!

You might remember that it all started with a sad farewell – as Gretchen (my bestie and one of THK’s original, diabolical, founding masterminds) stepped away from the blog to begin a new career helping special needs kids in our local schools. (For the umpteenth time … I miss you so much, G!)

What to do … what to do. How would THK even be THK without her.

But, we regrouped and refocused. We came together as a family to make this effort uniquely our own – to keep bringing you healthy recipes that we love, in the hope of inspiring all of you to try cooking healthier recipes at home, too.

(And BTW … if you’re curious to peek at some more all-time TOP healthy recipes from our site – besides just from 2016 – take a look at our video below! It showcases some of our most popular recipes EVER, and how to find them on our site!)

No doubt, this year was a bit of a whirlwind, with a definite learning curve (so many of Gretchen’s talents and strengths that we had to learn to recreate without her) – but somehow, little by little, we did it!

Looking back on 2016 now, most of all I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for cheering us on, for encouraging us to keep going, and for letting us know what types of recipes you’d like to see and which of our recipes you’ve loved most of all.

As we do every year, we’ve gathered up the list of our most popular (most viewed) new recipes, to share one more time in case you missed one along the way. Looking for great, healthy recipes to kick off 2017? You’re sure to find a little spark of inspiration here!

And speaking of little sparks … thank you again. Really. Thank you for being our little spark of inspiration and encouragement, for pushing us along even when we weren’t sure how this year would all work out. We can’t wait for another year with you!

Happy, Happy New Year, friends!

This fun, super-easy twist on chicken parmesan was an instant hit, and quickly became a runway favorite with our readers, and on Yummly and Pinterest. All the satisfying flavors of a classic chicken parmesan casserole, but ready in just 15 minutes! You can even make them completely ahead – and they’re freezable, too! Perfect for grab-and-go eating on the run!

I started making these for Ty as an after-school snack, and the recipe immediately became a favorite we just had to share with other busy families! We’ve definitely noticed that pizza-inspired recipes are almost always a guaranteed hit with our readers, and this unique quesadilla was no exception. It takes just minutes to throw together, and features lots of whole grains and protein – absolutely perfect as a quick meal or a hearty, nourishing, keep-you-powered-up snack!

These are terrific as a freezable, make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings, or as a fun, personal-sized breakfast dish for holiday brunch buffets. These cute little quiche cups take just a few minutes to prep, and (because of their mini size) they bake extra-quickly! And with no crust, they’re also gluten-free. Truly versatile, and seriously yummy!

Inspired by a greasy, artery-clogging food court indulgence, these incredibly delicious pizza fries are loaded with pizza flavor, yet so much healthier! They’re really easy to make, and our whole family was just crazy for them, from the very first time we made them. Turns out, our readers love them as much as we do!

Also known (in our house at least) as Apple-Dapple Crunch Wrap Supremes, this recipe puts a fresh-tasting spin on your same-old, same-old peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Filled with a satisfying combination of sweet, crunchy, chewy and creamy ingredients, these wraps quickly became Amy’s go-to school lunch request. Easy to make ahead, and so perfect for on-the-go meals!

A delicious way to change-up taco night, this skillet meal is a cinch to throw together – in just 30 minutes (of mostly hands-off cooking time). And for those extra-busy nights, we’ve got make-ahead strategies, too! Another of our family favorites we couldn’t wait to share with you this year!

A gluten-free, super-nutritious twist on tabouli that still tastes just like … well, like tabouli! So vibrantly fresh and delicious! We debuted this recipe last spring at a farm market where we’d been invited to do some cooking demos. Our whole family had a great time that day, especially seeing little kiddos’ faces light up with surprise and delight as they tried healthy recipes they weren’t really sure they would like. Our best compliment of the day? When a tiny little farm market shopper named Marcus cracked a huge grin and dubbed this tabouli “Exploding good!” Could it possibly get any better than that. Plus, this recipe makes a big, big batch that keeps well for several days – exploding good as a make-ahead recipe, too!

The perfect grab-and-go breakfast to fuel you up on busy mornings! These freezable Breakfast Burritos are filled with sweet chicken-apple sausage and butternut squash, savory cheese and red peppers, and fluffy scrambled egg. (I’m desperately craving these all over again, just typing this!)

So this was kind of a surprise – finding that two of our Top 10 recipes this year were for puppy treats – recipes that we’d mainly created just as a way to use up leftover chicken that I had on hand from concocting so many rotisserie chicken recipes . Huh. Go figure! Leave it to a cute, fuzzy little pup to turn a simple, 2-ingredient recipe into a Top 10 hit! Thanks, Finny! And really – no matter how many times we make these, Finn never stops being excited about them. Doggy tested, doggy approved … again and again and again!

Ditto everything I said above! But I truly do pinky-swear promise not to turn THK into a doggy blog … no matter how much everyone loves our doggy treat recipes! It actually is pretty cool, though, that every single member of our family – even little Finny – got to put their mark on our family blog this year! To be honest though, I don’t think Finn cares much about all of that. He’s probably way more worried that his supply of these treats is frighteningly low at the moment – only two left! (So if you whip up some for your pup today … feel free to send some our way!)

Every year, Gretchen and I each always used to pick one personal “sleeper” favorite – a recipe we dearly loved that somehow didn’t make it into the Top 10. She and I used to joke that it was pretty much an impossible task – like choosing a favorite child.

This year, I asked both of my favorite kiddos (and Scott, too!) to help keep the tradition going. Each member of our family (except Finny – since #1 he has a hard time with big decisions and #2 his favorite recipes are both already in the Top 10) to choose just one fave to spotlight.

I thought it was really interesting what each of us chose … four more recipes you should definitely try in 2017 because (at least around our house) they’re way, way too good to miss!

Why Scott picked these: “Because – if I remember correctly – I was innocently eating a Flatout PB&J when I noticed that I was eating a hippo head. In that brief moment of discovery, the lightbulb actually turned on – and I knew I finally had something to offer to THK. Also, I love PB&J. And Hippos.”

Why I picked this: “I love everything about this recipe … the back story of how it evolved, and the collaborative effort as Scott and I scoured local stores for authentic Indian ingredients (and then tested and tested until we came up with work-arounds for those of you who might not be able to find those ingredients). But, as a mom, I also treasure this specific photo and all that it represents. Those are Ty’s sweet hands wrapped around the bowl. He’d arrived home from school just as I finished this photo shoot, and standing in for this shot was one more way that he helped in shoot after shoot all year long. My little photography assistant! Oh … plus the chili is seriously delicious! Try it!!”

Why Ty picked these: “I love the Reuben Nachos because … who doesn’t love nachos? And they’re healthy. And they’re reuben. Nachos + Reuben + Healthy = Awesome.” Oh – and in case you were worried (which I’m pretty sure you weren’t) – Ty gets his favorite recipe listed before Amy’s since he’s older … by about 45 seconds, but that still counts!)

Why Amy picked these: “I just love these muffins! They’re always a go-to for snacks and desserts, plus they’re super versatile, with tons of ways to enjoy them! I especially love them warmed up with vanilla ice cream ! And, with Valentine’s Day coming up, these are definitely in season!” (BTW … if we would’ve listed the Top 11 recipes of 2016, instead of only the Top 10 … these would’ve just snuck in under the wire at #11. Amy knows a winner when she see one!)

Here’s to another exciting, deliciously healthy year together, friends! Happy 2017, from our healthy kitchen, to yours!

Recipes for Suhoor

As easy on the stomach as it is nourishing, this rice porridge is packed with plant-based protein from the lentils, hearty vegetables and healthy, root-based spices like stomach-soothing ginger and its inflammation-fighting cousin turmeric. It's a savory start that will sustain you through sundown.

Shakshuka is a flavorful and nourishing dish that comes together with minimal effort — something that can easily be made before sunrise. The sauce and yolk combined make a glorious dipping sauce for crusty toast.

This comforting oatmeal is perfect for early risers, as it cooks overnight in the crockpot and is ready to go by morning.

Forget store-bought hummus and whip up this super simple recipe with warm, earthy notes of cumin and turmeric. Keep it on hand to top on suhoor and iftar dishes throughout the week, like on this well-rounded recipe for avocado toast with nutrient-dense microgreens and protein-rich goat cheese and soft-boiled eggs.

The bold spices, aromatics and fresh herbs make this omelet extra flavorful and healthful for any egg lovers' ideal breakfast dish.

This five-ingredient breakfast bowl is made with plain Greek yogurt (which has the most protein and no added sugar), juicy pomegranate seeds and a generous drizzle of honey.

When you drink this green machine, you have all of your bases covered: a handful of kale and spinach for a mild greens flavor and a ton of antioxidants, banana and date for just the right amount of sweetness, chia seeds for protein and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds for fiber and frozen coconut meat and coconut milk for healthy fat and plenty of tropical flavor.

This small-batch vegan, gluten-free recipe uses just one banana and is perfectly portioned for one or two people. It can be multiplied, of course, for a bigger group, but only takes 30 minutes for a filling start to the day.

Combine four nutrient-rich foods for a delicious, protein-packed breakfast.

10 Easy & Healthy Granola Bar Recipes

The winter of my freshman year of college, I ended up with two back-to-back classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. My chemistry course started at 7:30 am, and as soon as it finished, I walked across the road to my ancient cultures elective, which concluded at 10:30 am.

My friend in the dorm room next door had the same schedule, along with another guy from our floor (just with a different second class following chemistry!), so after waking up at 6:30 to get dressed and eat breakfast, I knocked on my friend’s door. The second guy joined us as we biked to campus through the thick-as-pea-soup fog, our faces and clothes slightly damp from all of the water droplets by the time we entered the vast lecture hall.

Once my two courses ended, I headed straight for the gym to use the elliptical machines for a cardio session. I typically wore my workout clothes to class, but I usually needed a little snack boost. Breakfast felt so long ago!

Most of the time, I packed a small store-bought granola bar in my backpack to quickly eat while walking to the gym. The brands and flavors I picked out varied, sometimes incorporating chocolate chips and other times dried berries with yogurt coatings, but they were always soft, chewy, and sweet.

Looking back, those store-bought granola bars probably weren’t the healthiest option… They were so full of sugar!

But any of these 10 Easy and Healthy Granola Bar Recipes would’ve been a much better choice! They’re still soft and chewy, just like the store-bought ones I loved during high school and college, with lots of different delicious flavors.

So what makes these homemade granola bar recipes healthy? They include no refined flour or sugar (aka they’re clean eating friendly)! All of these healthy homemade granola bar recipes are gluten-free. Some also contain no butter or oil, while others contain no eggs. Yet they’re all incredibly yummy and easy to make!

So here they are… The best healthy granola bar recipes! (At least in my book!)

From left to right, top to bottom…

And when you make any of these recipes, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! . ) I’d love to see your healthy homemade granola bars!

RECIPE: BBQ Mushroom Steak No-Oil vs Oil Challenge

Wicked, or healthy? No matter which side you’re on – we have you covered in our Mushroom Steak no-oil vs oil FACE OFF!

Chef Derek trials both methods in a side by side comparison, to demonstrate how you can make your own damn delicious vegan mushroom steak, using our Wicked pan pressing technique, to suit your preferences and make the call for yourself! Let’s get MYTH BUSTING!

  • Author: Wicked Healthy
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes



Using only water! Cast-iron pans are naturally seasoned and non-stick. Keep an eye on it.

  • 3 cluster brown mushrooms, stem trimmed. , or make your own from a pinch of each smoked paprika, granulated garlic, granulated
  • onion, sage/thyme/rosemary blend, salt and pepper
  • 2 bottles no-oil BBQ sauce (in a large bowl)


  • 3 cluster brown mushrooms, stem trimmed. , or make your own from a pinch of each smoked paprika, granulated garlic, granulated
  • onion, sage/thyme/rosemary blend, salt and pepper
  • 2 bottles BBQ sauce (in a large bowl) Want to make your own? Try our recipe!
  • Oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 420f/215c.
  2. Get a cast iron pan hot on med-high heat. Wait until the pan is hot, flick water on the surface, it will sizzle when it’s the right temperature. Place mushrooms stem down on the pan.
  3. Press down on the mushrooms using a second pan – applying pressure with a dishcloth to protect the hand. Whenever you press – wipe the underside of the pan to absorb any liquid.
  4. Add a little water, it will create steam that will help to cook them. Press again, using a little more force to drive more liquid out of the mushrooms. The aim is to evaporate as much liquid as possible. Use tongs to check the underside, when they are starting to go golden, flip so that the stem faces up.
  5. Be careful here – the petals are now face-down and are likely to stick easier to the pan without oil. Keep moving the mushrooms gently for 1-2 minutes, then press again.
  6. Add a little water again to add steam, swirl around the pan, and repeat the pressing step. Turn again.
  7. The goal is to cook the mushrooms first and then season.
  8. Season the surface of the mushrooms generously to cover with BBQ blend, flip, and season on the other side. Press to ensure both sides are getting seared evenly. Keep lifting and flipping, to prevent any sticking. Press again.
  9. Remove pan from heat and dunk whole mushroom in a bowl of BBQ sauce, placing on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake in top rack oven for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Remove from the baking sheet and plate up!
  1. Pre-heat oven to 420f/215c.
  2. Get a cast iron pan hot on med-high heat. Wait until the pan is hot, flick water on the surface, it will sizzle when it’s the right temperature. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, swirl o cover. Place mushrooms stem down on the pan.
  3. Press down on the mushrooms using a second pan – applying pressure with a dishcloth to protect the hand. Whenever you press – wipe the underside of the pan to absorb any liquid. This will sizzle more than the no-oil version.
  4. Check the underside of the mushrooms, they should be golden brown and starting to crisp. Flip and press again.
  5. Season the surface of the mushrooms generously to cover with BBQ blend, add a little oil to sides of the mushrooms, tilt so that the oil goes under the mushrooms. Flip and press for an even sear. Season the other side and flip again – you’ll notice that the mushrooms are much crispier when you cook with oil.
  6. Remove pan from heat and dunk whole mushroom in a bowl of BBQ sauce, placing on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the top rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the baking sheet and plate up!


FLAVOUR COMPARISON: Mushroom Steak No-Oil vs Oil

Both taste amazing, both meaty and tender. The main difference is that the oil steak is richer, more indulgent, and crispier, the no-oil version is lighter in taste and texture. It’s your call!

Looking for more no-oil recipes? We got you!

Want more inspiration? Check out our Wicked Healthy YouTube Channel!

Get pinning! We’re over here on the Wicked Recipes Pinterest.

TIP: Remember, when working with cast-iron pans, you need to ‘season’ them using oil to upkeep the quality. The pans will last forever if you take care of them.

18 Super Tasty Vegetable Recipes for Kids

Getting kids to eat more vegetables during the week is a task that parents are constantly trying their best to achieve, but the older kids get, the pickier their palates become which may end up leaving vegetables by the wayside. However, it’s important for veggies to make an appearance in as many meals as possible, and while it’s certainly easy to steam some veggies and throw them alongside a protein for dinner and call it day, kids will have a much better appreciation for vegetables if they’re presented to them in a fun and exciting way. Steamed veggies have their place in this world, but if you’re trying to get your kids to eat more veggies without a lot of fuss, finding creative, playful ways to do so is the way to go.

As you plan out your lunches, dinners, and snacks for you and your family for the week, consider what your kids like to eat and how you can incorporate veggies into those meals in a creative way. If your kids love French fries, why not swap out the potatoes for carrots and green beans with a crunchy coating for the same satisfying, salty crunch? Pizza can be a hearty meal or a fun after school snack without the added fat and calories if you load them up with colorful fruits and veggies instead of a heavy sauce and meat. Chicken nuggets are always a crowd favorite, so replacing the chicken with the veggies of your choice and baking them just the same makes for the same fun and playful finger food, but with added nutrients. Check out 18 of our favorite super fun and tasty vegetable recipes for kids, guaranteed to get your whole family on the veggie train.

Baked Veggie Fries

Let your kids eat as many French fries as they want when they’re baked carrots, asparagus, or green beans with a panko breadcrumb coating.

30 minutes 150 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Baked Veggie Fries.

Rainbow Flatbread Pizza

These flatbread pizzas aren’t just packed with nutrients from fruits and vegetables, they’re fun to make and beautiful to look at.

30 minutes 200 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Rainbow Flatbread Pizza.

Beets & Berries Popsicles

Sneak a heaping portion of beets into these fresh and fruity popsicles that your kids will really love.

10 minutes 100 calories Easy

Berry Green Smoothies for Kids

Greek yogurt gives this protein-packed smoothie a creamy texture your kids will want to have every day.

5 minutes 150 calories Easy

Healthy Veggie Nuggets

Kids love chicken nuggets, and parents will love loading these baked kid-friendly nuggets with veggies for a delicious handheld treat.

30 minutes 175 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Healthy Veggie Nuggets.

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes

These tasty quinoa cakes are packed with flavor and perfect for a school lunch.

30 minutes 450 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes.

“Veggie Faces” No-Bake Vegetable Pizzas and Wraps

Kids will love creating fun faces on pizzas and wraps, then packing them up for a fresh, exciting lunch.

30 minutes 170 calories Easy

Vegetable Potato Nuggets

Finding a snack for picky eaters can be a challenge, but these cheesy veggie nuggets are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser every time.

30 minutes 340 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Vegetable Potato Nuggets.

Hidden Vegetable Lasagna

Lasagna is a hearty dinner the whole family will love, and this veggie-packed version is no exception – swapping out the meat entirely makes for a lighter version that is still just as comforting.

1h 00m 390 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Hidden Vegetable Lasagna.

Vegetable Puffs

These spiced veggie pastries are a fun handheld snack kids will love with dinner or as an after-school snack.

20 minutes 300 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Vegetable Puffs.

Simple Veggie Rice Pilaf

This colorful rice pilaf makes for a great accompaniment to a heartier main dish for dinner, or pairs with a light green salad for a satisfying lunch.

20 minutes 185 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Simple Veggie Rice Pilaf.

Chickpea Veggie Patties

Vegan, nut-free, and rich in protein, these chickpea patties are packed with nutritious veggies and make for a fun snack that the kids can help make and then enjoy.

1h 10m 200 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Chickpea Veggie Patties.

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Kids will love these tot-sized bites loaded with whole grains, veggies, and melty cheese.

25 minutes 175 calories Easy

Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

Spaghetti with tomato sauce is a classic weeknight meal, so why not sneak some veggies into every bite? This sauce is packed with veggies for a nutritious sauce that is just as luscious as any traditional version.

35 minutes 100 calories Easy

Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

This healthy, filling, and colorful pasta salad is packed with fresh veggies and is great served in a school lunch or outdoor picnic.

15 minutes 180 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad.

Indian Mixed Vegetable “Sabji”

Simple ingredients make for a veggie dish that is packed with delicious flavors that kids and adults will love. Leave out the cayenne pepper if your kids don’t like too much spice.

20 minutes 190 calories Easy

Simple Vegetable Curry

The mild curry flavors in this one-pot dish are great for kids, especially if you’re trying to expand their flavor palates.

25 minutes 300 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Simple Vegetable Curry.

Vegetable Fritters

Just eight ingredients and 30 minutes make for delicious, crispy fritters that are packed with nutritious veggies.

30 minutes 200 calories Easy

Visit the page to learn more: Vegetable Fritters.

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About TheDiabetesCouncil Team

TheDiabetesCouncil Team consists of certified diabetes educators and registered nurses that compile and research a given topic and publish it as a team. Each team member has at least 15 years of experience in diabetes care and management.


Shakshuka is a staple dish in Middle Eastern cultures made up of eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, pepper, and spices. Eggs provide some major nutritional value to your body and although it had previously been frowned upon to eat the yolk, new studies reveal that it's the part of the egg we should be eating. It's super simple to prepare and will keep you full until your next meal.

Serves: 4-6
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large thin sliced onion
1 large thin sliced red bell pepper
1 ¼ cup crumbled feta
Salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne and paprika
Chopped cilantro and hot sauce, for serving

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-low and add onions and bell pepper cook for about 20 minutes or until soft. Add spices, tomato paste, and tomato, stir together, and simmer until tomatoes thicken. Stir in feta. Gently crack eggs into the skillet over mixture. Season and transfer to oven for 7-10 minutes or until eggs are set. Top with cilantro and hot sauce.

New faces, new columns, new recipes starting in Food

Today, I'd like to introduce you to two new columnists who will each be writing monthly in food.

First, say hello to Biz Velatini and her column My Bizzy Kitchen, which debuts today. Written by food blogger Biz Velatini from Cary, the column is all about tasty food and ease of preparation for those who want to get dinner on the table on busy weeknights. She'll also share recipes for the weekend when there's more time to cook.

"My focus pretty much is simple, healthy food," she said. "I'm not going to have people forage for truffles in the woods for one of my recipes."

She says her mission is to motivate people to cook, and her recipes are relatable too as most use less than 10 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to make. "I want to get people comfortable in the kitchen."

"It's so rewarding when people send me pictures of something they made, saying, 'look Biz, I did it.'"

As for cooking at home, she says, "You save money and eat better," a win-win situation for someone who calls herself a super budget shopper.

"I think cooking is enjoyable and I can spend hours in the kitchen, but that's not everyone's dream," she says. "If I can make people get busy in their kitchens, that's great."

Biz shares a yummy recipe for Spring Orzo Salad today. Keep up with her at mybizzykitchen on Instagram and Facebook or with her blog at

A new column from Leslie Meredith, the winner of the 2019 Cook of the Week Challenge and cooking instructor at the year-old School of Food for kids, which she runs out of her Arlington Heights home.

The Kids Cook column debuts in Food next week.

In November, she wowed the judges with her dual beef and vegan curries, which were accompanied by a homemade roti flatbread made from cauliflower to win the coveted title of Cook of the Year.

The mission of her school is to get kids into the kitchen, perhaps with a little supervision and support. She finds kids will eat or at least try the food if they've had a hand in making it.

"It's better than recipes that hide and, say, trick kids into eating their vegetables. I don't have to dumb it down. They are pretty adventurous eaters when they have a hand in making the food," she said.

The kids get into the classes with activities that range from hunting through her garden for fresh ingredients to doing the prep work.

"The kids sometimes fight over the garlic press or citrus juicer because they never get to use them," Leslie said.

At a recent PTA meeting, she demonstrated how to make healthy after-school snacks, and her beet hummus was a huge hit with parents. So much so that some of her students' parents have asked if she offers cooking classes for adults.

Leslie's philosophy on cooking: "real" food, minimally processed.

That's not to say she cooks from scratch all the time. "No, I improvise, and I use cheats, for instance for the beet hummus I made, I told them you can buy the beets in a jar already cooked and peeled," she said. "I plop it all in my food processor, and there you go."

She grows quite a lot of produce in her garden, so it's no wonder she takes a plant-based approach, and while she's garden-focused, she says she's "plant-based but not vegetarian or vegan."

You can find the School of Food at @learngrowcookeat on Facebook or contact Leslie at [email protected]

Be careful out there:

You might find yourself staying in and cooking more at home to steer clear of the spread of coronavirus. A little comfort food sounds good.

Paleo Breakfast Pizza

Is there ever really a bad time for pizza? If you know you have some pie lovers coming into town, or just want to treat the children without weighing yourself down, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Ten eggs, a quarter pound of chorizo, onion, grape tomatoes, and fruity options like mango and kiwi make this a healthy and filling morning treat.