The Internet has made cooking much more accessible and exciting. However, for many people, the endless choice is overwhelming.
For example, searching for a “lasagna recipe” in Google gave me over three million results. Although I do enjoy reading recipes, that is a lot of recipes from which to choose!
The second problem is that of personal taste. Just because someone else liked a recipe, does not mean that you will. I have often been disappointed by some “favourite” or “best” recipes.
Finally, for those trying to make healthier choices, there is no way for the average person to know if a particular recipe is nutritious.
For example, the “World’s Best Lasagna Recipe,” which received five stars and 8,868 reviews (not all positive), scored lower for nutrition.
When entered into a nutrient analyzer, one piece had 466 calories, 22 g fat (mostly saturated fat) and 961 mg of sodium (the daily recommendation for most adults is 1200-1500 mg).
So the world’s best is not necessarily your best choice.
If you are looking for some healthier recipe choices that are still yummy, here are some good choices:
• ww.cookspiration.com: This new website (and app) put out by Dietitians of Canada, is a bit like the Songza website for food. You can choose the time of day and genre of recipe and it will come up with about eight healthy recipes, which are fairly simple and photographed. If you get overwhelmed by having too many choices, this is the website for you.
• www.heartandstroke.com: This website offers healthy versions of common comfort foods (mac and cheese, shephard’s pie…), as well as some more interesting recipes.
The font and photographs are not quite as appealing, but the recipes are straight-forward and the nutrition information is disclosed. The Canadian Diabetes Association also has recipes in a similar format.
• www.acouplecooks.com: this healthy eating blog makes me salivate. Although the recipes are for the slightly more adventurous, the photography is beautiful and will make you re-think how you can use certain ingredients and present your meals.
• www.eatracker.ca: for your own favourite recipe, this website has a recipe analyzer tool that will breakdown its nutrition information (it can also be used as a weight loss tool, keeping track of your calories and exercise).
However, if your favourite recipe is for a triple-tiered chocolate cake with cream cheese icing, I might forgo the analysis, as it make decrease enjoyment!
–Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.