6 Healthy, Easy Recipes From a Nutritionists Kitchen

Everyone wants to have healthy, easy recipes that don't require an eternity cooking or a fortune's worth of fancy kitchen gadgets. Here are six healthy, easy dinner recipes that came straight from my nutritionist's recipe box. Fair warning! These recipes don't follow mainstream, "conventional" nutritional wisdom. My nutritionist has delved deeply into the chemistry of food, and come out the other side with the understanding that the modern low-fat diet is the cause of the American heart disease/cancer/diabetes epidemic. These are healthy recipes in that they are designed to keep you alive and fully-functional for as long as possible, and easy recipes in that, while they may require a little bit of prep work, they don't require any "technique" beyond chopping, stirring, and eating (except the clam chowder, which you have to mash potatoes for.)
Each recipe is followed by a note that discusses one of the reasons why that particular dish is created the way it is, health-wise. All of these recipes find their basic principles in the work of my personal nutritionist.

1)Chicken Marsala
2)Genoese Sausage Antipasto
3)Spicy Orange Beef
4)Salmon and Steamed Veggies
5)Homemade Clam Chowder
6)Roasted Chicken and Wild Rice Stuffing

Chicken Marsala & Marinated Peppers
Chicken Marsala
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small white onion
1 lb. button mushrooms
1.5 cups dry red wine
1 tbs. real butter
Marinated Peppers
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

Clean and slice mushrooms, and finely mince onion. Melt butter in a deep, wide pan, and sauté mushrooms and onions together until soft. Add wine, and allow wine to boil down to half, roughly 8 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-high and add chicken breasts. Cook breasts in wine until white all the way through (wine will have boiled down to nearly ¼).

While chicken cooks, chop peppers and mix with salad dressing in a bowl. Personally, I prefer Good Seasons Italian from the packet, but pick your favorite. Pop it in the freezer for a few minutes while the chicken finishes up, so it's nice and brisk to go alongside the hot chicken marsala. Don't serve them on the same plate!

NOTE: Real Butter. Don't use low-fat or no-fat substitutes, and avoid margarine at all costs. Butter is a whole food, and the saturated fat in butter is actually healthy despite all of the warnings. Trans fats (almost all margarines) and lab-created flavor-enhancing additives (almost all low-fat and no-fat substitute foods of any kind) are significantly less healthy than butter.

Genoese Sausage Antipasto
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (links or loose ground)
1 red pepper
1 white onion
2 zucchini
1 can small pitted black olives
1 large can petite cut diced tomatoes
1 medium can tomato sauce
1.5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

This dish couldn't be simpler, and it's amazingly healthy and tasty. Brown the sausage (slice links if necessary) over medium heat. While it's browning, chop the pepper, the onion, and the zucchini. Open the cans of olives, tomato sauce, and petite-cut diced tomatoes. Once the sausage is done, pour off the excess fat, and then mix all of the ingredients in a stock pot. If necessary, add enough water to barely cover the ingredients. Turn the pot on high. Come back and stir every 4 minutes until the antipasto stays boiling when stirred. Serve hot.

NOTE: Sausage. Many people will tell you that sausage is a horrible health food, because of the fat content. Many people are mostly right, but for the wrong reason. Sausage is bad not because of the fat - fat is a natural part of food, and it's only unhealthy when it's been chemically modified (i.e. trans fat, hydrogenation/fractionation, etc.) Sausage is unhealthy because of the chemical additives found in most sausage. Sodium erythorbate, sodium sorbate, BHA, BHT, MSG...all of these things are lab-created non-foods with effects on your nervous system, brain function, and awareness levels. Finding a good sausage without these ingredients can be tough, but it's well worth it.

Side-note: According to my nutritionist: "If you can't buy a package of it at the store, you don't want it in your food." Ever looked for a package of BHA for purchase? You can't get one. That's because it's toxic, and the food companies know it. The FDA has allowed them to use it anyway, rationalizing that in such small doses, its effects are not measurable. The problem is that no one has researched how long these things stay in your system and what the long-term effects of buildup are. So, unless you know where to buy something in a take-home package, you shouldn't be taking home anything that has it in there. Exception: MSG is available for purchase, despite records of nervous-system damage and developmental impairment in people who consume it regularly. Avoid it.

Spicy Orange Beef
2 lb beef (almost any cut, but remove excess fat before use)
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 carrots
1 red pepper
1 small yellow onion
1 cup edible-pod peas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Sambal
(If necessary, replace Sambal w/½ teaspoon cayenne pepper + ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
1 tablespoon palm oil
1 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
Generic Chinese-food Marinade and Sauce Base (below)

Generic Chinese-food Marinade
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp dry white wine (mirin if you have it)
1 tbsp water

Generic Chinese-food Sauce Base
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp dry white wine (mirin if you have it)
1 cup water

Mix together the Marinade and the Sauce Base. Mix the baking soda and orange zest into the Marinade, and the Sambal and orange juice into the Sauce Base. Thin-slice the beef into the marinade, stir, and let marinate while you prepare the vegetables. Chop all of the vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Slice the juiced orange. Mince the ginger and garlic.

Add palm oil to a hot wok or sauté pan. Add ginger and garlic and stir once. Add beef and sliced orange and stir-fry for one minute. It may still be pink; that's fine. Remove beef from pan and add vegetables. Stir-fry until just barely soft. Add beef back in, and add Sauce Base. Stir-fry until sauce thickens (no more than 4 minutes). Serve immediately.

The Generic Marinade and Generic Sauce Base in this recipe can be used to fake up almost any kind of stir-fry. Just add the ingredients you want. I've used them for Lemon Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Ginger Beef, Lemongrass Pork, and more.

NOTE: Palm Oil. Cooking oils break down under high heat, releasing dangerous amounts of free radicals into your food and dramatically increasing your need for antioxidants. By using palm oil (or, if you can afford it, coconut oil is even better), which has a very high heat tolerance, you can avoid the health-degenerating effects of these unnecessary free radicals.

Salmon and Steamed Veggies
1 side wild-caught salmon, skinless
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots
¼ red cabbage
2 tbsp butter
2 more tbsp butter
1 lemon
1 tsp pepper

Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add salmon, and squeeze lemon over salmon. Add pepper.
Chop all veggies, and put in steamer. When salmon begins to flake on the bottom, flip it over. When salmon is flaky on both sides, remove it and the veggies from the heat. Add butter to the veggies and mix. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Vegetable Colors. This dish could easily have been made with green cabbage, or with peas instead of carrots, but that would reduce the health benefits of the dish. Every color of vegetable comes with its own nutrients, and it's important to get a variety of different colors each day.
Side-note: It's also very important not to over-cook your vegetables. Heat destroys some vitamins and nutrients, and so you should steam them until they are just soft enough to stab with a fork, and no more.

Homemade Clam Chowder
2 cans chopped clams
7 medium red potatoes
4 stalks celery
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbsp butter
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb. bacon
1 quart raw half-and-half

Brown the bacon, but not until crispy. While the bacon is browning, skin and chop the potatoes, and set them to boil. While the potatoes are boiling, mince the onion and celery. Once the potatoes are fork-soft, take them out of the water and divide them in half. Take one pile and mash it (we use a food processor to turn it into wallpaper paste, but any good, lump-free mashing job will do.) Set the other pile aside.

Drain the fat from your bacon and mince it. Sauté the celery and onions in the butter until very soft. Add, in order: the clams (including the juice from the cans), the white wine, the non-mashed potatoes, the bacon, the mashed potatoes (stirring them in slowly so it makes a creamy liquid base), and finally the half-and-half. Heat until hot enough to eat, but without boiling.

NOTE: Raw Milk. I mentioned earlier that heat destroys the nutrients in food - well that includes the heat of pasteurization. Pasteurized milk contains almost none of the goodness that fresh-from-the-cow milk has. That's why they fortify it with vitamins A & D - but they use lab-created vitamins that your body can't absorb or process well, so they essentially aren't there as far as your health is concerned. Similarly, the homogenization process, which breaks the cream molecules down into such small size that they can't separate, also breaks down vitamins and minerals until an unusable form. The best milk is raw milk. In most of the USA, totally raw milk almost impossible to find, so shoot for non-homogenized milk as a second-best. Of course, all of this applies to raw half-and-half as well.

Roasted Chicken and Wild Rice Stuffing
1 whole fryer
3 carrots
4 stalks celery
1 small white onion
1 cup dry wild rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the giblets from the fryer. Place them and the wild rice in a covered pot with the chicken broth and set to boil. Skin the carrots, then mince the carrots, onions, and celery together. Once the wild rice has just started to split (6 minutes or so), drain the excess broth, remove the giblets, and add the carrots, onion, celery, onion powder, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well, and stuff into and around the fryer. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours.

NOTE: Whole Carbs. Throughout these recipes, but particularly evident here, is an underlying theme of whole carbohydrates. Whole carbs means carbs that don't come from flour, sugar, or other processed sources. These carbs form the backbone of the modern American diet, and they couldn't be less healthy for you. Most of the problems that modern medicine blames on fat can actually be traced to carbohydrates. Check out the excellent book Good Calories, Bad Calories for the whole story. The stuffing in this dish uses wild rice rather than bread in order to avoid the vitamin-leeching effects of white flour on your body. Whole foods in general are important, but avoiding processed carbs is literally the single best thing you can do for your dietary health.

All six of these recipes are ones that I actually eat on a regular basis, and all of them were constructed by my nutritionist and I using the principles found in her research, which guided me through the facts behind how to create truly healthy, easy recipes.

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About The Author,
Michael Danielson, author of How to Eat Food, is an "apprentice nutritionist" and has a personal testimony of the power of right eating. Diet has cured his wife's asthma, allergies, sleeping problems, PMS, infertility, and constant fatigue, his mother-in-law's cancer, and his own battle with overweight and poor eyesight. How to Eat Food is the guide to the diet that has lost his family over 100 combined pounds, allowed him to have a baby when no one thought it was possible, and was the defining factor in his mother-in-law's battle with melanoma.

If you have or worry about getting cancer, diabetes, heart disease, sleeping problems, severe allergies, unbearable PMS or other mood swings, high cholesterol, constant fatigue, or infertility/impotence, How to Eat Food can help you.