The Best and Lightest: 150 Healthy Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

“What I love about this book is that as you flip through it, you’d never know the food was good for you. The chefs in Food Network Kitchen are geniuses like that. French fries, potpies, sloppy joes, scalloped potatoes, mac and cheese – they’re all in here, lightened up the right way, with smart ingredients and clever cooking techniques. (Trust me, we didn’t cut the calories by making the portions tiny!). Best of all, these dishes are delicious enough to serve by their proper names – without even mentioning the healthy part.” – Maile Carpenter


I love cooking and I love eating, but I don’t enjoy making unhealthy choices or attempting complicated meals on a busy weeknight. I enjoy working with fresh ingredients and I am thrilled when I know that what I have made is not only tasty, but good for me. Naturally, The Best and Lightest: 150 Healthy Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, a cookbook by the editors of Food Network Magazine, had me a bit skeptical. I thumbed through the pages and saw the beautiful pictures, and doubted that all of them could be healthy. Surely, options like Nicoise Salad, Egg Foo Yong, Spicy Chard Soup, Thai Dumpling Soup, Veggie Burger Pockets, and Artichoke and Pea Gratin could not all be healthy. Each and every recipe in the cookbook, though, is light, healthy, and delicious. There are even dessert options like Coconut Macaroons, Mango Sorbet with Coconut Sauce, Banana Almond Pudding, and Hot Peaches and Cream, making it so easy to enjoy every meal in a healthy fashion.

All of the recipes are accompanied by photos and each is clearly labeled indicating Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free options. With dozens of recipes for any time of day, all of which are easy to make and use common ingredients, this cookbook is sure to be a go-to resource in kitchens for the entire year!

Carrot and Parsnip Fries

1 pound carrots

1 pound parsnips

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

Kosher salt

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the carrots and parsnips into 1/2 inch thick sticks. Toss with the vegetable oil, lemon-pepper seasoning, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the egg whites and toss, then add the panko and toss to coat.
  2. Spread the fries on 2 baking sheets. Transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once, until crisp, about 35 minutes.

Salmon with Warm Tomato-Olive Salad

5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

4 6-ounce salmon fillets (preferably wild), about 1 1/4 inches thick

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives

2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chuncks

1 cup sliced celery (inner stalks with leaves

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a broiler pan wit foil and lightly brush with olive oil. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, the honey, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Put the salmon, skin-side down, on the prepared pan and brush the tops and sides with the honey glaze. Broil until golden brown and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the garlic; sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, then mash into a paste with the flat side of the knife. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar, the olives and garlic paste in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the tomatoes, celery and mint. Season with salt and toss to combine. Serve with the salmon.

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