Preparing healthier dishes at home for your family sounds easy. We know that we should buy fresh ingredients and unprocessed whole foods, but not everyone knows what to do with those beautiful ingredients once you get home from the grocery store. Blogger Jenna of the food blog Fresh and Fit has developed recipes that are healthier versions of some of your favorite dishes, all while using ingredients that are better for you. We love how she can satisfy a sweet craving by using a bit of honey, or create a low calorie, but filling main dish.

Tell us a bit about your blog and why you started it!

I started Fresh and Fit because I had just finished my Dietetics degree, but felt I didn't belong in the jobs in that area. I wanted to share my love of healthy cooking.

Soon I fell in love with food styling and the editing process. I love watching my recipes come to life and sharing them. I hope to continue writing eBooks and carve a path for myself doing what I love.

Spicy Peanut Zoodle Salad

What's your secret to creating original recipes?

My secret to creating original recipes is following my palate and what ingredients I think go well together. I will see recipes and then put my own spin on them. And that is what I hope to inspire others to do by sharing my recipes.

My favorite ingredients to pair together are fruit in an otherwise savory dish; I'll pair plantains with black beans and make tacos, or peaches with onions and goat cheese on a pizza. I often add mango or pineapple to salsa. I find that the right fruit really brightens the dish up and actually compliments the saltiness nicely. Even just a squeeze of lime adds the right acidity to round out a dish.

I subscribe to Eating Well and Cooking Light magazines. I also love getting recipe inspiration from Saveur and Clean Eating. As far as blogs, I enjoy The Feed Feed and Food52 because they showcase recipes from food bloggers. Other food bloggers/food stylists who inspire me are: Half Baked Harvest, Pinch of Yum, Vanilla and Bean, and Luminous Kitchen.

What are some popular substitutions that you use to make recipes healthier?

Greek yogurt is a go to for me in sauces and toppings. You can sweeten it or make it savory. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient. I also love experimenting with flatbread and pizza crust. I will grind up organic oats and flax seed or cauliflower and use them as a base to some super healthy dough and bread. I don't believe in eliminating a food you love, just make it healthier.

Other substitutions I use are: bananas in place of oil or butter, chickpea and almond flours instead of all-purpose flour, and veggie noodles made from zucchini or spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

I don't believe in eliminating a food you love, just make it healthier.

Citrus Tequila Chicken With Pineapple Salsa Fresca

What are your guilty pleasure foods, and how do you combat those cravings?

My guilty pleasure foods are pizza and pastries (carbs of course). I combat cravings by giving into them within reason. Most of what I eat is very healthy, so indulging from time to time is a part of keeping the balance.

I love food and eating too much to feel bad trying a new pizza restaurant.

Most of what I eat is very healthy, so indulging from time to time is a part of keeping the balance.

What's in the Fresh and Fit pantry?

In my pantry, I usually have lentils, quinoa, farro or some sort of exotic beans and grains. That way, I can make salads, dough, tacos, etc.

Fresh produce is also very important in my cooking. I always have a lot of fresh produce and herbs. We have a garden in our yard with cucumber, peppers, berries, tomatoes, and I also have basil and mint in pots.

Strawberry Banana Protein Ice Cream With Toasted Coconut

Challenge question! In your fridge you have blueberries, heavy cream, lemons, wild salmon and zucchini. What do you make?

I would probably do a grilled salmon dish topped with grilled zucchini and fresh lemon zest. I love dessert, so I'd make a fresh whipped cream and top it over the blueberries.

To learn more about Jenna, please visit her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Kitchenbowl!

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