Wholesome Meals That Tastes Good: Examine Out These 7 Should-Strive Dishes

Photo: Pinar Kucuk / Unsplash by Jaclyn Clemente Koppe

May 03, 2021

We have compiled a list of healthy dishes and food alternatives that are so delicious you can eat them even on cheat days!


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I once complained to a doctor (who happens to be my uncle) about how difficult it is to switch to healthier diets. “I really don’t like oatmeal,” I said. He replied, “Who said you need to eat oatmeal? If you hate it then skip it. You have to eat healthy, but you also have to eat well. “

That conversation was really life changing as it changed my perspective on nutrition in the best possible way. It’s about making smart and informed decisions that will ensure that you are building good things into your body without compromising taste. Pleasant meals ensure the sustainability of your new life decisions.

Food lovers can make small changes to their favorite dishes to fill them with nutrients, even if they are still indulgent. Here are some of my favorite healthy dishes and ingredients that are more nutritious alternatives.

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Barley is a nutrient-dense grain that is high in insoluble fiber (the good stuff) that aids digestion, helps you lose weight, lowers cholesterol, and may prevent colon cancer. It is also high in magnesium, which plays an important role in insulin production and helps keep blood sugar levels in check. Chef Kevin Uy’s barley risotto is packed with the rich flavors of mushrooms, parmesan, leek, and bacon that feel more like a treat than a nutritious meal.

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Vietnamese cuisine is known for its light and herbaceous flavors thanks to the use of crispy vegetables, hot herbs and tangy dressings. The taste and texture are very complex without the need to use rich sauces or fatty ingredients. Bun cha is what I can best describe as a Vietnamese noodle salad with grilled porkballs flavored with nuoc cham, a dressing made from fish sauce, lime, and chilli. It’s a satisfying dish that is gluten-free too, and will sneak a lot of vegetables into your meal. Babu at the Grid Food Market has a wonderful bun cha topped with grilled pork belly and fried spring rolls, and Chef Him Uy de Baron’s Nuoc Cham is sophisticated and perfectly balanced.

Order this online via thegridfoodmarket.com.

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Falafels have become a popular meat substitute in dishes because they are made from protein-rich chickpeas. Like other legumes, chickpeas contain calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients to help build strong bones. The brave and provocative folks at Ganggreen Falafels (they really push the envelope with that name) make these vibrantly flavored and colored wraps that are packed with nutrients too. Think Malunggay-effect pita, beetroot paneer, and green tahini – you have the picture. They now also offer salad bowls that are completely vegan.

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I’m not quick enough to dig into the organic foods as most of the plant-based alternatives fall short in terms of taste. However, Sagana Coconut Spread is a healthy option that didn’t disappoint. It is completely vegan and dairy-free, made from non-hydrogenated coconut oil, contains no trans fats and contains heart-friendly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. But more importantly, it smells like butter, it tastes like butter, and after a few minutes at room temperature, it feels like butter. I’ve used it to baste steaks, make bechamel, and replace regular butter to make the creamiest scrambled eggs. If I sound like a fan, it’s because I am.

To order, go to saganacoconutspread.com.ph.

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Where many have tried to keep a plant-based burger’s promise of being close to reality, few have really delivered. Chef Carlo Miguel at Burger Beast’s Beyond Meat Umami Burger has fooled even the toughest carnivore in side-by-side tastings with its beef burgers. The good cook credits the bold umami sauce with which he delivers the effective smoke and mirrors he needs. No fancy, cute ingredients, just the things that make a burger good.

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Almost a decade ago, Adlai came into the mainstream thanks to the push of then Agriculture Minister Berna Romulo-Puyat and a few talented cooks who were able to conjure up the best characters of this heirloom grain. It’s lower in carbohydrates than white and brown rice, high in protein and fiber, and ranks low on the glycemic index scale, making it a good alternative for those who monitor their blood sugar levels. In terms of taste, it has a pleasant nutty nuance and a firm, chewy bite, which makes it a versatile combination for many dishes and goes beyond different cuisines. Luisa Farms in Capiz produces high quality Adlai, which are sold in Metro Manila by Feliz Dish and Details.

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Malunggay – or moringa as it is commonly known around the world – is enjoying exponentially growing popularity thanks to its recently discovered superfood qualities. It is known to have antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves and drumstick are rich in amino acids with significant amounts of vitamins A, C and E, calcium, potassium and protein. Breastfeeding mothers swear it increases milk production and introduces so much of it into their diets to improve their supply. Crumbs and Grubs offers Lactation Burrata with Moringa powder, which is made locally by an artisanal cheese maker. It gives the cheese a pleasant herbal character that goes well with salads and pasta.

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