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5 Ways To Make Your Favorite Recipes A Little Healthier

For Bon Appetit, by Ali Francis.

We’re as excited about fermented honey and lucuma powder as the next guy, but sometimes, we just want our good, old-fashioned favorite Bon Appétit recipes. Except... we can’t help but tweak them just a little bit, whether it’s tossing some flax seeds into pancakes or amping up the veg quotient on a pizza. So, we sent a cyber holler through the office: “How do you make your fave BA recipes a little bit healthier?” Here are a few ideas.

Assistant web editor Alex Delany likes nothing more than cured meats sandwiched between crusty bread. So when making some healthyish substitutes to his favorite recipes, his litmus test is: “Does it taste like real food?” For an easy dinner move, Delany makes this Chicken Salad Toast, sans toast and mayo. Instead, he uses full-fat Greek yogurt as a tangy base and serves it on a bed of kale. The odd potato chip won't kill you, but Delany recommends very thinly sliced fennel as "a good, crunchy alternative."

“It’s almost embarrassing how much I eat this Ground Chicken Larb,” says senior web editor Alex Beggs. Hard to say if she really means it; Beggs was probably hallucinating on her tenth cup of sleepytime tea at the time. It’s not exactly a traditional larb recipe, but that’s kinda the point: Anything you can stuff inside a leaf and call "dinner" is great by her. Whether because of time restraints or out of fear of accidentally eating an entire pot of of rice, Beggs skips the starch; there's so much going on in this dish that the lettuce wraps don't need it.

When food director Carla Lalli Music’s heart says "pancakes," but her gut says "oatmeal," she makes a few healthyish trade-offs to BA's Best Buttermilk Pancakes and achieves the best of both worlds. Music reduces the sugar to one tablespoon, total. She substitutes up to half a cup of all-purpose flour with whole wheat or buckwheat flour. Then she adds a heaping quarter cup of rolled oats or kamut flakes to the buttermilk and lets them hydrate while measuring the dry ingredients. Finally, she combines two to three tablespoons of hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, and/or chia seeds with the flours. "If adding both oats and seedy things, make sure you increase the buttermilk to one-and-a-half cups to compensate," she says.

Editorial assistant Ashley Mason is obsessed with this Cast-Iron Pizza recipe for "delivering a perfect chewy-but-crunchy texture, every time." However, she often makes it with a gluten-free crust (like this one). And, to make this feel like a semi-virtuous dinner rather than something you'd eat at 3 a.m. after a few too many tequilas, Mason piles hers high with broccoli rabe before showering it all in cheese.

To transform these Stir-Fried Greens with Bacon into something that feels like a complete meal, associate web editor Elyssa Goldberg likes to add chopped mushrooms to bulk it up, cuts the heat with a dollop of Greek yogurt, and piles the whole thing over toasted fideos.

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