New-School Spins on Old-School Healthy Dishes

Remember the low-fat cottage cheese platter of diet days gone by? Banish those bland recipes in favor of these new twists that bring those same ingredients into a modern dinner rotation.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Scott Karcich

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Fotogal

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Vikif

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Paul Cowan

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

New-School Ingredients

Eggs (yolks included!), soba noodles, orange lentils and more healthy ingredients can put a new spin on old-school diet dishes that need be only a distant memory.

Old-School: Cottage Cheese

Say goodbye to the low-fat cottage cheese platter (with the quintessential scoop of Jell-O) without totally losing this high-protein, low-fat ingredient.

New-School: Cottage-Cheese Tzatziki Mezze Plate

Cucumbers, mint and garlic turn cottage cheese into a slimmed-down tzatziki. Add tomatoes and olives for dipping, then drizzle some olive oil — packed with monounsaturated fats — over the whole shebang.  

Get the Recipe: Cottage-Cheese Tzatziki Mezze Plate

Old-School: Egg White Omelet

It's time to put the yolk back in dinner and forget about the egg white omelets of the past. Research has shown that the cholesterol in eggs may have a limited effect on total body cholesterol, making the whole eggs a great part of a balanced diet. 

New-School: Egg-and-Kimchi Rice Bowls

For maximum flavor, break the yolk and mix it with the rice just before eating; its richness goes nicely with the spicy-vinegary kimchi sauce. 

Get the Recipe: Egg-and-Kimchi Rice Bowls

Old-School: Bran Muffins

The old-school low-fat bran muffin is what you might imagine cardboard would taste like. Keep muffins on your breakfast menu, but skip bran in favor of a healthy fruit-and-veggie version.

New-School: Healthy Blueberry-Carrot Muffins

Use coconut oil in these muffins; it contains high levels of lauric acid, a saturated fat that has been shown to raise levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. It also adds richness and tenderness, meaning that the recipe is still delicious even with less sweetener.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Blueberry-Carrot Muffins

Old-School: Pasta

Why have just carbs when you can have carbs with benefits? 

New-School: Shrimp and Leek Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are the perfect swap for spaghetti. Both kombu (a savory kelp) and bonito flakes (dried, smoked skipjack tuna) are high in flavorful umami compounds, which help make the broth in this dish (called dashi) rich and smoky. While it may require a trip to a health-food store or Asian grocery to find these ingredients, the broth itself is super easy to make and freezes nicely. 

Get the Recipe: Shrimp and Leek Soba Noodles

Old-School: Brown Lentils

Remember those sad brown lentil bowls? No more. 

New-School: Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils

Use orange lentils, which cook fast, and finish the whole dish with a garlic-spice butter drizzled on top.

Get the Recipe: Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils