Our Best Healthy Recipes of 2015
Despite hectic schedules, much time this year was spent in the kitchen whipping up wholesome meals instead of relying on takeout. Throughout 2015, the recipes in our trove most relished by readers ran the gamut from creamy, comforting hummus to Parmesan-amped zucchini. These 11 dishes came to the rescue most often for home cooks staying in for the night.
Ina Garten’s Brussels sprouts, crisped on a sheet pan in the oven, are a desirably hearty winter accompaniment to rotisserie chicken and potato omelets alike. Consider them healthy French fries, as she likes them particularly salty.
This salt-and-pepper-seasoned slab of fish would satisfy even in the predictable company of rice. Paired with baked squash and a tangy toasted-almond parsley salad, it’s all the more enticing.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice always brightens what could regrettably become ho-hum chicken. Ina makes it the star of these skin-on breasts accompanied by an herbaceous mix of fresh thyme leaves, dried oregano and minced garlic.
Stellar baked potatoes require a little bit of science savvy, as this recipes proves. Alton Brown advises puncturing an oversized russet with myriad deep holes so that moisture can escape while the potato heats up. Sprinkle it with kosher salt, and then, to be sure the spud cooks properly, place it directly in the middle of the oven.
Ellie Krieger’s good-for-you zucchini crisps are as addictive as potato chips. The vegetable discs, coated in olive oil, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, are baked until brown and crunchy.
Pork loin should always be juicy, but with this recipe Ellie proves its dry spice rub is just as key as alluring texture. After a medley of ingredients like cumin, coriander and thyme are gently pressed onto both sides of the meat, the finale calls for plopping it into the skillet with minced garlic.
Ever-present kale satisfies in even its simplest form. For this rendition Bobby Flay cooks the leafy green with vegetable stock and garlic, then seasons it with salt, pepper and vinegar.
Hummus, when paired with warm, pillowy pita bread, is often filling enough to make for a complete meal. Ina’s spin on this chickpea-tahini staple of the Mediterranean table calls for hot sauce tamed by freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Flour tortillas stuffed with flaky mahi mahi powerfully conjure summer even in the doldrums of winter. Bobby’s take on the surf-shack favorite includes a bold ancho chile powder-jalapeno marinade and chipotle-spiked tomato salsa cooled by shredded white cabbage and crema.
Inventive cauliflower preparations made quite the splash in restaurant settings this year, but on the home front this one was especially popular. Baked until golden brown, these bite-size florets are sprinkled with thyme and kosher salt and given a fiery burst from crushed red pepper.
Salmon often gets the oven treatment, but this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis ensures that the fish emerges especially tender by individually baking each olive oil-slicked fillet in a packet of aluminum foil. A heap of tomatoes and shallots dressed with oregano and thyme also promises heightened flavor.
Alia Akkam is a New York-based writer who covers the intersection of food, drink, travel and design. She launched her career by opening boxes of Jamie Oliver books as a Food Network intern.