Recent Healthy Food Obsessions

healthy dinner ideas

Do you ever get obsessed with a certain type of food for a period of time? I feel like everyone does that, right?

In college, my junior year specifically, I was obsessed with Junior Mints and mint chocolate chip ice cream. I have no idea why. I was all about the mint/chocolate combo. After a year I got sick of it and moved on to Raisinets. I look back at the sugar levels of those and cringe, but my metabolism was on my side when I was that young. Now they are way too sweet for me, but I still love a dark chocolate covered raisin if the chocolate is really good and the chocolate-to-raisin ratio isn’t too high.

Also in college I pretty much ate three things — quesadillas, brie cheese with crackers, and a giant pretzel and cheese dip from Flat Branch. All cheese and carbs. Not sure how I didn’t develop some sort of health problem as I literally NEVER ate vegetables besides raw carrots sometimes.

In my 20s I became obsessed with green juice and bought a juicer. This was 2010/2011 — well before green juice was a trend. I read the book Clean and started juicing like crazy. This went on for a few years. Now I’m much more into smoothies because the fiber gets taken out of the juice and that’s what breaks down the natural sugar in the juice.

For almost two years my husband and I ordered precooked Paleo dinners and I didn’t have to cook much or go to the grocery store. It was nice but we got a little sick of it after a while and once we moved into our new house I wanted to cook again, so for the last year I’ve been cooking five nights a week and there’s a few things I just can’t get enough of.

The thing I want for lunch and dinner every night is steak salad. Now, I’m not that great at cooking steak (I need to learn), but I had one at Fig & Olive recently that was amazing. But if there is a steak salad on the menu, I’m often going for it.

At home I’ve been making a simple arugula salad. I have no idea where I came up with this. Maybe just from having it at a restaurant (2Amys possibly). It’s the easiest salad you will ever make — arugula, fresh lemon squeeze, little bit of EVOO, salt & pepper. All to taste. That’s literally it. Goes with basically everything. I make it several nights a week to go with whatever else we are having. One night I threw in some strawberries, one night toasted slivered almonds, one night I added a little dijon to the dressing to go with the dijon chicken dish we were having. It’s the easiest salad to make quickly and it’s so good! You can add anything you want to it, whatever fruit, veggies, or nuts you have. Keep in mind that arugula is a peppery flavorful lettuce.

I’m also on a pasta kick after basically not fixing pasta for years, because I’ve found brands like Banza, Pow!, and Tolerant that are made of legumes and beans, so instead of being a bunch of empty carbs, the pasta is full of protein. So I don’t feel guilty eating pasta!

Typically with the pasta I will add chicken, meatballs, or steak to the pasta and some sort of sauce. Usually I buy a fresh pesto sauce from the grocery store, tomatoes while they are in season, and toss it with chicken and the pasta. Super easy and healthy. It’s also easy to make meatballs and a healthy tomato sauce to toss with the pasta (always check the ingredients for sugar!). Add that arugula side salad and I promise you will be full but without the guilt. I’ve been wanting to make some of this girl’s sauce recipes but haven’t yet.

One more thing I’ve been obsessed with lately is cauliflower pizza crust. A friend of mine cannot eat gluten so I made us cauliflower pizza one evening. I’ve tried both of the frozen cauliflower crusts from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and the Whole Foods 365 brand is much easier to make. The Trader Joe’s one has to be baked on parchment paper and falls apart easily. Make sure to read the directions for preparation.

I add a healthy pizza sauce (again check the ingredients especially for sugar!), fresh mozzarella, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I’ll add salami if I have it, and you can of course add any pizza topping you like, but I keep it simple. Pair it with that arugula salad and some clean wine and I could literally eat this every night. So much less guilt since the crust is cauliflower! You do need to add garlic, herbs, s&p for flavor.

Lately I’ve just been really hyper aware of sugar content. It’s just hiding in everything. When I’m at the grocery store, let’s say I’m buying sauce, I’ll compare all the ingredients and the sugar to see which one is the lowest. You also have to pay attention to the serving size. I still eat sugar in the form of delicious chocolate ice cream and such, but I want to choose to eat it, not have it hiding in places it doesn’t need to be.

I’ve also found some crackers that seem healthier than regular flower crackers. I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or scientist (obviously) so obviously saying something is “healthy” is just my opinion, but I’ve been eating these almond flower or sprouted seed crackers from Simple Mills. They are good and seem healthier than regular crackers so we’ll just go with it.

What easy healthy meals or products do you make/use? Tell me in the comments!

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