5 Healthy Food Recipes for Eating Light During Quarantine

Look and feel your best with these nutritious dinner recipes for lockdown life.

May 19, 2020
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Feeling and looking our best starts with the things we eat. The food we consume has a major impact on health, and today, more and more doctors have realized the importance of a well-balanced diet to prevent disease

You’ve probably come across many fad diets and lifestyles that claim themselves as the healthiest: vegan, vegetarian, Keto, South Beach. Many contentious debates between researchers.

So what should you eat? Some say vegan, others say carnivorous. Others swear by Keto, a very low carb, high fat diet. The jury is still out over the so-called best nutrition. But common sense, and research reminds us that everyone has different genetics and health concerns, and, therefore the optimal diet will really depend on the person. 

Many doctors suggest eating unprocessed whole foods, without any added ingredients. So that means avoiding foods like breakfast cereals, granola bars, ketchup and other condiments, potato chips, and premade frozen meals. They often contain preservatives and other chemicals like trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. This can compromise the nutrition of your food, taking away healthy micronutrients, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. 

Your best bet: Cook recipes “from scratch” with ingredients in their natural state. In general, a healthy diet should consist of a balance of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed meats, like wild fish, cage-free chicken, and free range, grass fed=beef. 

Even if you haven’t always eaten the right foods, switching to a healthy diet can quickly improve health conditions. Remember that lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. So start with small changes that you will stick to. Over time, you’ll find yourself feeling and looking better by eating the right foods. 

Ready to get started? Try these refreshingly healthy (and yummy) recipes for eating light.

1. Feta, Mint, and Watermelon Salad

This salty and sweet salad recipe tastes super refreshing on a hot day. Crumbly feta adds a saltiness to the sweetness of watermelon, dressed with fresh mint, olive oil, and lime (or lemon). 

Healthy Fact: Mint adds a cool kick to any meal and also has lots of health benefits like promoting digestion and weight loss as well as reducing nausea, depression, and fatigue.

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2. Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing

You may recognize this vibrant orange-colored dressing from your favorite sushi restaurant. But with this recipe, you can enjoy this zesty dressing at home. Blended with ginger, carrot, soy sauce, vinegar, and onion, it packs bold flavors that go great over a simple bed of light mixed greens, like cucumber and lettuce.

Healthy Fact: Asian cuisine often includes ginger to spice up any dish. The root vegetable has a peppery, sweet flavor and naturally relieves nausea and pain.

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3. Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

Enjoy the flavors of the Middle East with this ever satisfying cauliflower and chickpea recipe. Served hot or cold, tahini adds a creamy component over the mix of roasted cauliflower, spiced chickpeas, pungent red onion, tart lemon, and refreshing parsley.

Healthy Fact: Many cultures in the Mediterranean and Middle East eat tahini, a nutty-flavored paste made from ground sesame seeds. Rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, tahini reduces your risk of disease, protects your liver from free radical damage, and improves brain function. 

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4. Stuffed Portobello with Crispy Goat Cheese

When you crave some comfort food, but want to avoid a heavy pasta dish, consider this hearty recipe as your go-to. This vegetarian recipe features large portobello mushrooms filled with a rich tomato marinara sauce, sautéed spinach, and crispy panko goat cheese medallions. For an even healthier version, cook up your own marinara sauce from scratch with fresh tomatoes to fill these mouthwatering stuffed mushrooms. 

Healthy Fact: Mushrooms contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals. Studies show that this powerhouse fungus may prevent cancer, help to manage diabetes, and improve heart health.

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5. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This Caribbean-style chicken packs bold flavors thanks to a combination of spices like cinnamon, habanero pepper, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, garlic, and ginger. Squeeze lime juice for a refreshing twist over grilled or baked chicken. 

Healthy Fact: Hot peppers, like habaneros, add powerful spice to any dish. Research has found that people who consume spicy foods tend to live longer, thanks to the chemical compound, capsaicinoid, which relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, boosts metabolism, and reduces the risk of stomach ulcers.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.
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