Guilt-free, nutritious recipes that will fool your tastebuds

Chef Erin Stewart shares some guilt-free, nutritious dishes that will fool those you feed
January 22, 2014 4:57:30 AM PST
Food allergies, dietary restrictions, and even a plan to eat clean can lead to a menu that isn't appetizing to the whole family.

DEFINEbody and foods Partner and Chef Erin Stewart shares some guilt-free, nutritious dishes that will fool those you feed.

"So, a lot of people want to eat healthy, but they think that healthy doesn't' actually taste good, so I've created some sneaky recipes of your comfort favorites that are actually good for you," says Stewart.

Her first recipe is Fakin' Bacon. It's a great alternative for those wanting a low cholesterol alternative to regular bacon and also vegetarians wanting the bacon flavor.

Fakin' Bacon

  • Yield: 2
  • 5 ounce shitake mushrooms (about 6), thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp maple
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp lapsong tea or smoky black pepper (may need to purchase online)
  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Toss and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    On a parchment lined half sheet pan, bake the strips for 25-20 minutes, flipping occasionally. Remove from the oven and drain on a paper towel, allowing to cool completely. As they cool, they will become crispy. Toss over salads, soups or even build your own BLT!

    The next recipe is her Mac 'n "Cheese". It's the perfect substitute for those with dairy allergies or are trying to avoid cheese for diet reasons. The key ingredient is nutritional yeast. "Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast. It's awesome for you. It's high in foliate. High in vitamin B, and also it's a complete protein. So, if you can get that in the mac and cheese for your kids, I applaud you," adds Stewart.

    Mac 'n 'Cheese'

  • Yield: 4
  • 1 box (8 oz.) shells quinoa or rice pasta
  • 1 bunch broccolini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance, or vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups rice milk
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast (may need to purchase at health food store or online)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Preheat oven to broil.

    Cook pasta according to package until just al dente, adding broccolini into the pot the last 3- 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain in colander and return to pot. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.

    In the meantime, make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for about 5 minutes. The butter and flour will dry out slightly and turn a bit darker. Do not let is brown or burn. We are creating a blond roux, where the flour has just been cooked. Add in a little of the milk to loosen the batter. Then whisk in the rest of the milk, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, nutmeg, cayenne, Dijon, agave and lemon juice.

    Pour half of the sauce over the pasta and broccolini mixture and toss to combine, adding more sauce to liking. (You may not need all of the sauce). Transfer mixture to a baking dish and top with the bread crumbs, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

    Broil in the oven for about 5-8 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Serve right away. For diabetics or those trying to keep a low-sugar diet, Erin created a Guilt-Free Chocolate Pudding that can be made right in the blender.

    Guilt-Free Chocolate Pudding

  • Yield: 4
  • ½ cup nut butter (cashew works well)
  • 1 cup agave
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup cocao powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, warmed to liquefy
  • 2 medium avocados
  • Option toppings: fresh berries, cacao nibs, flaky sea salt

    Blend the first five ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add in the coconut oil. Add the avocados and blend until smooth. Dive into small cups or bowls and allow to set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Top with fresh berries or cacao nibs. This can be made up to two days in advance

    Erin is a partner of DEFINEbody and Foods. You can find her at or on her food blog at

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