Healthy Birthday Recipes

Find healthy, delicious birthday recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Carrot Cake

Rating: Unrated
14
Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect--people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Tortellini Primavera

Rating: Unrated
24
This creamy tortellini and vegetable pasta is a real crowd pleaser. To make it even quicker, use frozen chopped vegetables instead of fresh. Serve with: A green salad and whole-grain baguette.

Lemon Squares

Rating: Unrated
2
Lemon squares are so delicious, but classic lemon square recipes tip the scales with their calories and saturated fat. Our healthy lemon squares recipe shaves almost 200 calories and more than 5 grams of saturated fat per lemon square. For a variation, use lime juice in place of the lemon juice.

Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

Rating: Unrated
20
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: Unrated
20
This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich--and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple “from scratch” recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.

Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
5
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.

Lemon-Cranberry Muffins

Rating: Unrated
7
These lemony cranberry-studded muffins crunch lightly with cornmeal and are topped with a kiss of sugared lemon zest. They're great warm from the oven, but also keep well for a few days and freeze beautifully.

EatingWell Meat Pie

Rating: Unrated
2
Traditionally meat pie recipes are made with mostly ground pork. This recipe for French-Canadian meat pie, or tourtiere, is lightened up by using lean ground beef with a little ground pork for flavor and bulked up with plenty of shredded vegetables. You can make it even easier by using a store-bought crust.

Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce

Rating: Unrated
10
This silky tomato sauce with a touch of cream makes mild-flavored cod sing. Serve with: Farro or rice and a salad of mixed greens.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Rating: Unrated
21
In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.

Shrimp Ceviche

Rating: Unrated
20
Traditional ceviche recipes consists of raw seafood tossed with an acidic marinade (think: citrus juice or vinegar) that “cooks” the fish. In this shrimp ceviche recipe, we cook the shrimp before marinating it in lemon, lime and orange juices, plus chiles for some heat. Avocado adds creaminess to help the dish come together. Serve this shrimp ceviche with tostones (fried plantain chips) or tortilla chips. Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce

Rating: Unrated
10
Rich, dark and delicious, mole is a signature sauce in Mexican cooking. There are many variations, but the basic ingredients include plenty of chiles and nuts along with a touch of chocolate to tame the heat of the chiles. Traditional recipes can take several hours to prepare--this quick version takes a few shortcuts by using chili powder, nut butter and chocolate chips. Serve with rice and a medley of sautéed zucchini, pepper and onion.

Inspiration and Ideas

Berry Chantilly Cake

Making a beautiful cake doesn't have to be difficult. See how to make a healthy layer cake recipe for a show-stopping dessert.

Chocolate Souffle

Soufflés may look like a restaurant-only dessert, but they are easy to make. Whip them up after dinner and enjoy while they're warm from the oven.

Beef & Bean Enchiladas

Rating: Unrated
5

These beef enchiladas, topped with a zesty green and red homemade sauce, are perfect for a party or a potluck. To cut calories and saturated fat we fill them with 90%-lean beef bulked up with chopped portobello mushrooms and beans. Although white-flour tortillas are traditional in San Antonio, we go for whole-wheat or corn tortillas to add a little fiber.