Restaurant Favorites Made Healthy
General Tso's Chicken
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan
This riff on classic chicken Parmesan replaces the usual marinara with a luscious lemony cream sauce. We've lightened it up by using half-and-half instead of cream, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo
This easy pasta with creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, chicken and shrimp is your classic fettuccine Alfredo done one better--and it takes less than 30 minutes to make! Add a simple green salad and you have a family-friendly weeknight dinner that you'd be happy to serve to company.
Cauliflower Chicken Fried "Rice"
Get an extra serving of vegetables and cut back on carbs by replacing rice with riced cauliflower in this healthy chicken fried rice recipe.
Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken
These spicy and crunchy pecan-crusted chicken nuggets are paired with a quick, creamy ranch dip. If you can't find coarse breadcrumbs, substitute Grape-Nuts cereal instead.
Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms
Our chicken piccata, served over whole-wheat pasta, has a rich lemon-caper sauce that's made with extra-virgin olive oil and just a touch of butter for flavor. If you like, you can use a mild fish like tilapia or even shrimp instead of chicken breast.
Slow-cooked onions add moisture and flavor to these lean beef burgers. A quick blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and vinegar makes a perfect tangy, sweet and creamy “special sauce” for this burger. We love the dill relish here, but use sweet relish if you prefer it. Serve with sweet potato fries.
Oven-Fried Fish & Chips
Fish and chips are traditionally sold wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease--not a good sign. To cut the calories in half and reduce the fat, we coat the delicate fish in a crispy cornflake crust and then bake it along with sliced potatoes. Serve with: Coleslaw and malt vinegar or lemon wedges.
Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables
These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.
Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs
To stretch the ground beef, we use high-fiber bulgur and whole-wheat breadcrumbs in the meatballs, which are baked rather than fried.
Buttermilk Oatcakes with Raspberry Compote
These high-fiber oatcakes are made with 100% whole grains and no butter. A quick raspberry compote is a nice change from maple syrup.
Sweet & Sour Pork
Pineapple, tomato and pork combine in a sweet-tangy sauce in this easy, bright- flavored sweet and sour pork stir-fry. This dish does have a fair amount of acid (from vinegar, tomatoes and pineapple), which can affect the patina of your wok. So remove the food from the wok as soon as you're done cooking, and if your wok shows any signs of rusting, reseason it (see Tips).
Sausage, Pepper & Mushroom Pizza
This sausage, pepper and mushroom pizza is just a little more work than calling for delivery (but not by much), but there's no tipping required when you make it yourself. Plus you get it fresh from your oven, and with whole-wheat dough and a generous amount of vegetables on top it's far better for you.
Southwestern Cheese Panini
Lots of colorful vegetables and salsa make this cheesy panini prettier than any grilled cheese you've ever seen. The small amount of Cheddar cheese in this sandwich goes a long way because it is shredded and sharp. Serve with a mixed salad and you've got a delightful lunch or light supper. If you happen to have a panini maker, go ahead and skip Step 3 and grill the panini according to the manufacturer's directions.
BBQ Chicken Tenders
These crispy chicken “wings,” made with boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, stay crispy with only a light coating of oil--no deep-frying needed. Serve as an appetizer or try them for dinner with crunchy vegetables and dip on the side.
Farmers' Market Fried Rice
This fried rice recipe features a fall mixture of sliced Brussels sprouts and parsnips, but feel free to use whatever is fresh and in season. This recipe works best in a wok-- a skillet is too small for the volume of food and requires more oil to prevent sticking. Always use cold cooked rice otherwise the fried rice will be gummy and sticky.
Quick French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a favorite but it usually isn't substantial enough to make a complete meal. We've solved this problem by adding fiber-rich chickpeas to a broth flavored with sherry and three kinds of onions. Of course, we didn't forget the gooey topping, we've just made it a little lighter and a lot easier to prepare at home--simply top toasted whole-wheat bread with cheese and pour the soup on to melt it.
Here's a burrito inspired by San Francisco's super burritos that come packed with meat, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. We've kept this home-style version a bit simpler to make and a whole lot healthier with brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and a more reasonable serving size. We recommend wrapping it in foil--the traditional way to serve it--so you can pick the burrito up and eat it without it falling apart, peeling back the foil as you go. Serve with a cold beer and vinegar-dressed slaw.
Thai Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Spicy peanut sauce is the perfect match for these Thai-marinated grilled chicken strips.
Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema
Avocado cuts some of the sour cream in our quick crema loaded with cilantro, for a healthier taco sauce that takes these shrimp tacos to the next level. Shrimp cook up super-fast, making them the ultimate taco filling for a fast weeknight dinner that's also impressive and delicious enough for a weekend dinner party.
Seared Steaks with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
In our humble opinion, steak is best topped with sweet caramelized onions and salty Gorgonzola cheese. We recommend seeking out good-quality Gorgonzola for the best flavor, but any will work. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed carrots.
Spicy Beef with Shrimp & Bok Choy
Oyster sauce and rice wine give this speedy stir-fry a rich flavor that balances the clean, sweet crunch of bok choy. Make It a Meal: Rice noodles or brown basmati rice and a Tsing Tao beer will make you feel like you're eating in your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Alfredo di Lello, the Roman restaurateur who created his signature sauce in the 1920s, might be startled to find this streamlined version that still tastes rich enough to satisfy those deep creamy-pasta cravings. The addition of zucchini boosts the nutritional profile. And when cut into thin strands, it can be twirled gracefully on a fork
Stir-Fried Chile Beef & Broccoli
This quick stir-fry features broccoli and flank steak in a flavorful sauce. This dish is typical of many traditional Chinese stir-fries--the sauce just clings to the beef and vegetables but is not enough to spoon over rice. Marinating beef is essential for ensuring the meat is flavorful. The meat does not marinate overnight, as in traditional Western recipes. The moment the beef is combined with the seasonings it is ready to be stir-fried.
Miso-Garlic-Roasted Tofu Caesar Salad
In this hearty version of the classic romaine salad, miso does double duty as a marinade for the roasted tofu and a rich, savory layer in the dressing. There are several varieties of miso available, but the mellow, subtle sweetness of brown rice miso is just unobtrusive enough to blend into the lemony dressing while letting the flavors of the olive oil come through, and just rich enough to add character to otherwise plain-Jane tofu.
Asian Broccoli and Beef
Skip the high-sodium take-out meal and make this flavorful slow-cooker broccoli and beef dish.
General Tso's Cauliflower
Our lightened-up vegan version of this takeout classic is every bit as delicious and satisfying as the fried version. Plus, it pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry with Green Pepper, Pineapple & Bacon
This sweet, spicy and super-easy shrimp-and-vegetable stir-fry starts with a very small amount of bacon in the wok, which creates drippings that add tons of smoky flavor to the vegetables and shrimp that go in next. Keep the salt in check by using reduced-sodium tamari sauce. To complete this easy healthy dinner, add cooked brown rice.
Shrimp scampi is a favorite dish at many Italian restaurants but our version takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so it's perfect for a weeknight dinner at home. Large shrimp are cooked with garlic and then served over linguine pasta with a buttery-wine sauce--it's so good your family may think you ordered takeout!
Thai Chicken Wings with Peanut Sauce
Chicken wings are great for game night and a perfect appetizer for a party, but don't get stuck in the rut of always serving BBQ wings. Add variety to game nights with this easy slow-cooker recipe for Thai wings with peanut sauce--and BBQ wings may just become a thing of the past!
Homemade Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowls
Transform canned chicken noodle soup into quick ramen bowls by adding fresh ginger, crunchy vegetables, herbs and a jammy soft-boiled egg. Look for a low-sodium soup that has 450 mg sodium or less per serving.