|Image courtesy of Hungry Girl|
Cooking can be fun. But more importantly, cooking for yourself is the easiest way to eat healthfully. Whatever your goals - improved health, weight loss, or even just trying to save money - cooking is a great way to achieve them.
The best way to start cooking is to find something you are excited to cook - maybe your favorite food or something using the newly in-season ingredient you bought at the farmer's market. I love finding great recipes on foodnetwork.com - but, let's be honest, Paula "butter is the elixir of life" Deen and Guy "peroxide is to my hair what butter is to Paula Deen's cooking" Fieri don't exactly make the heart-healthiest of recipes.
So where can you find delicious recipes that taste good and won't make you break the scale? Here are my favorite websites:
- Hungry-girl.com - Lisa Lillien parlayed online newsletter success into four books and regular morning show appearances. Her success is due in no small part to her amazing supermarket finds, her staple replacement ingredients (40 cal. tofu shirataki vs. 200 cal. pasta) and her flavorful recipe swaps. Some of my favorites are:
- BBQ Chicken Salad a la California Pizza Kitchen
- Rockin' Restaurant Spinach Dip (this is a much beloved party staple now)
- Stuffed 'n Squashed Mushroom Foil Pack (this is an amazing app or light meal)
- Skinnytaste.com - I just discovered this website recently while on the hunt for slimmed down Italian recipes, and I am a woman obsessed. Here are some amazing-looking recipes: Panzanella; Spicy Crunchy Tuna Tartare; and Mexican Carnitas.
- FitSugar.com - In addition to finding great recipes, this wellness website also provides workout and happiness tips.
- Ellie Krieger's page on foodnetwork.com - Ellie cleans up a lot of recipes so that they are delicious, nutritious and use quality ingredients. I love her mac and cheese recipe.
- Shape and Self magazine websites - Although there is a lot of content shared between the glossy mags and their online editions, these websites also provide great unique content. Self will send you weekly recipe emails with a wide range of recipes, and Shape recently posted some delicious 400-calorie Italian recipes.
If you want to invest in great cookbooks, try any of Hungry Girl's great books (I have the first book and 200 Under 200). Tyler, a huge fan of the recently slimmed down Rocco DiSpirito, bought the celeb chef's Now Eat This, which focuses on comfort food favorites with low calorie counts, and we've really enjoyed his fried shrimp po' boy and chicken parmigiana.
Now, go eat some cheesey Italian food - and still fit into your skinny pants.