By Carolyn Brown, MS, RD
Are you in a meal or recipe rut? We all have our go-to foods but if you’ve been doing the same grilled chicken recipe or had one too many nights reaching for frozen meals/pizza bagels, it’s time to try something new
I’m sure you know from your Facebook newsfeed – or more likely from your “Blocked from Newsfeed” list – that anyone can start a blog. Cooking blogs and recipe websites are no different. In the overwhelming number of them, some are inspiring and others are total garbage. Nothing drives me crazier than when a client gets motivated to get in the kitchen only to be deterred by a daunting number of options, sending them back to the dull baked chicken.
I’ve done my fair share of analyzing and ogling over mouthwatering recipes and pictures. Occasionally I even try them out (I’m a nutritionist, not a chef, and I have a NYC kitchen). But these are my first stops when it comes to recipe sites and blogs – and I admit it, I’m a sucker for pretty pictures.
Healthy Aperture: There are tons of foodsharing websites to “feed your eyes” (foodgawker, tastespotting, punchfork) but pictures aren’t everything; ingredients are. Healthy Aperture is a genius idea; started by nutritionists Regan Jones and (fab WebMD blogger) Janet Helm, it takes care of the healthy criteria for you. So you can peruse and choose your next recipe based on looks — yes, be superficial, not artificial, with your food. While Healthy Aperture is picky with its content, the best part is it’s not extreme: Watermelon and Bacon Salad made the cut. Check out their recipe redux section for slimmed down versions of classic comfort foods.
My New Roots: I mentioned Sarah Britton’s blog in my post on nut butters, but there’s so much more – she’s full of simple basics with new flavors (Za’atar, anyone?) It’s all vegetarian, so I often use her dishes as sides to compliment fish or chicken. Perfect for the summertime heat: these very cool Cabbage “Earth Bowls” or Garbanzo Bean Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing.
Food 52: While not always healthy per se, food52 is a “crowd sourced cookbook.” Recipes are vetted via recipe contests. No more fingers crossed that your 4th of July pie won’t turn into a crumble – read the notes from everyone who’s cooked it, reviews, and, of course, check out their food photos. Try this healthy “community pick”: raw kale salad with lentils and sweet apricot vinaigrette.
So what are your favorite recipe websites and blogs? What kind of recipe ruts do you find yourself in? Do you get overwhelmed by options?