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The Food You Crave

By Ellie Krieger, MS, RD

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Eat & Enjoy

Image: Courtesy of Christopher Hirsheimer

Most people think the words luscious and healthy can’t be used in the same sentence. I can hardly blame them since many foods billed as “good-for-you” are either boring—dry broiled fish and plain steamed vegetables—or a lame replica of what we really want. If you have ever had a fat-free muffin, you know what I mean; it is certainly not crave-able.

I have always said to get people to eat well, don’t say a word about health, just cook fantastic food for them. In my food world, there is no fear or guilt, only joy and balance. So no ingredient is ever off-limits. Rather, all of the recipes here follow my Usually-Sometimes-Rarely philosophy. Notice there is no “Never.”

The “Usually” foods are the backbone of each recipe and the cornerstone of a healthy diet—colorful vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fish, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, and healthful oils. “Sometimes” foods are somewhat more refined, like regular pasta, white flour, and sugar, or a little higher in saturated fat, like chicken thighs and some cuts of red meat. They aren’t on the A list when it comes to health, but they can enhance but they can enhance a recipe and make a food more decadent and crave-able, so I sprinkle them in here and there. “Rarely” foods are those many nutritionists say are off-limits and most chefs use with a heavy hand: butter, full-fat cheese, bacon, cream, and the like. As a foodie and dietitian, I have found a way to use these ingredients strategically in small amounts for maximum impact, so they add loads of flavor and appeal without upsetting the healthful balance.

One thing that amazes me about these recipes is that they are absolutely brimming with essential vitamins and minerals. It is great to know that food you are enjoying is truly nourishing to your body.

Related Ellie Krieger Recipes:
    • Ellie’s All-Day Breakfast Salad • Ellie’s Apple-Pecan Muffins • Ellie’s Blueberry Blast Smoothie • Ellie’s Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes • Ellie’s Chicken Parmesan • Ellie’s Crispy Chicken Fingers • Ellie’s Black Bean Mexican-Style Pizza • Ellie’s Mushroom, Onion, and Basil Pizza • Ellie’s Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops

The content in this slideshow originally appeared in The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger (The Taunton Press, 2008).

Recipes provided courtesy of Ellie Krieger. © 2008-2009 In Balance, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

To learn more about Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, a New York Times bestselling author and the host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, go to www.elliekrieger.com.

For more of Ellie Krieger’s recipes, eat-smart advice, and tips, check out her Kaboose column, Great Food, Healthy Family.


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