How to Make Your Favorite Unhealthy Foods Healthier
Updated: Sep 17
As much as I wish I could say I've been using this time in quarantine to work on my health and fitness, there's been a lot of laziness and takeout in my life lately. It's convenient and there are tons of restaurants with great deals going on right now, so it's very tempting to order to-go food multiple times a week. For example, many companies like Uber Eats have "waived delivery fees for independent restaurants and created an in-app feature so people can donate directly to restaurants."
With this being said, I do like to make some meals at home and include healthier items in my diet every now and then. Cooking is a big hobby of mine, and some of my favorite foods to cook are those that are healthier versions of some of my favorite unhealthy foods - pizza, pasta, and chips. The three recipes below are the perfect healthy swaps for these indulgent foods, and this is the perfect time to try them out. This 100% doesn't mean we can't indulge in the real thing, but it is definitely nice to have a healthier option every once in a while.
Zucchini Pizza Bites
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Dried Italian herbs
Salt & Pepper
Any additional toppings you want (pepperoni, veggies, etc.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry your zucchini, then cut into one-inch rounds. Layout your zucchini on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the zucchini and make sure both sides are covered. Sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian herbs on the zucchini. Bake for five minutes. Remove zucchini from the oven and spoon a small amount of marinara sauce onto each zucchini and add a pinch of mozzarella on top. Add any other toppings if you'd like. Put them back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pro tip - turn your oven to broil for the last minute or two to make the top extra golden and crispy.
Spray oil - it’s important to use spray oil and not regular oil. I like to use avocado spray oil for this recipe.
Your favorite seasonings - mine are salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash, de-stem, and pat dry your kale. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Tear kale into bite-size pieces and lay onto the baking sheet in one layer. Try not to overlap the kale because that will prevent it from becoming crispy. Use your cooking spray and lightly cover the kale. Sprinkle your favorite seasonings over the kale and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the kale still feels soft, keep baking.
Minced garlic - as much as you like.
Salt & Pepper
Marinara sauce or other pasta sauce if you want.
Turn stove onto medium-high heat. Grab your largest pan and pour oil until the bottom of the pan is covered. Wait a few minutes for the oil to get hot. Put each individual gnocchi in the oil and leave a little bit of space between each one. Wait until they get golden brown on that side, then flip. Cook on each side until very golden brown and crispy. Side note - this will take time. But it’s worth the time and patience because it is so delicious if you let it get crispy on each side. Once you are happy with the color of your gnocchi (I like mine darker golden brown), add your minced garlic, salt & pepper, and sauce into the pan, stir, serve with parm and enjoy! I personally love mine plain with garlic, olive oil, S&P, and parm!
If you decide to try out any of these recipes, leave a comment down below letting us know your thoughts. Stay on the lookout for more food articles soon!