The latest trend in healthy cooking is using alcohol. Each serving of alcohol—defined as 12 fluid oz. of beer, 5 fluid oz. of wine, or 1.5 fluid oz. of an 80-proof liquor—provides around 120 calories. When alcohol is exposed to heat, some of those calories will dissipate, meaning you won’t get all of them. How many stick around? That depends on how long the alcohol is exposed to heat.
Need ideas to get started? We’ve got you covered with these 11 healthy, delicious recipes.
This simple marinade, which includes bourbon, turns everyday chicken into a mouthwatering culinary experience without going overboard on calories.
Skill Level: Beginner Serves: 4 Start to Finish: 45 minutes, plus marinating time Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 30 minutes
1/2 cup olive oil 1/3 cup honey 1/2 cup bourbon (I like Jack Daniels) 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or use a paste like Garden Gourmet 1½ pounds chicken (preferably skinless) 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with a splash of water
1. In a bowl, combine oil, honey, bourbon, garlic and ginger and stir until well combined.
2. Pour half into a large re-sealable bag with chicken and let marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Reserve other half of marinade in bowl until ready to cook.
4. Bring remaining marinade (the half that hasn’t been in the bag) to a boil in a small saucepan.
5. Add cornstarch mixture, reduce heat and let simmer until thickened.
6. Cook chicken as desired (grill or bake) and brush glaze on a couple times while cooking.
This turkey chili uses loads of beans and a cup of dark beer to pump up the flavor. Because the chili is cooked for about 40 minutes, only about 30-percent of the alcohol (and the calories from alcohol) is retained.
1 tablespoon canola oil 1 pound ground turkey breast or extra lean ground beef ½ medium red onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional) ½ cup chopped celery 1 clove minced garlic ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup chicken broth or water 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 8 fl oz dark beer (Guinness recommended) 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup frozen corn kernels
For the spice mix
1 teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 2 tablespoons chili powder ½ teaspoon celery salt 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
Suggested garnishes: Greek yogurt or sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, chopped scallion, diced avocado, hot sauce
1. Combine spice mix ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
2. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meat and cook until browned. Add onion, peppers, celery and garlic; season with salt and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, beer, crushed and diced tomatoes. Add spice mix and stir well to combine. Stir in beans and corn, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
White wine complements the flavor of fish and seafood, like mussels. Seafood is very low in calories while providing a boatload of muscle building protein. Serve with crusty whole grain bread to sop up the delicious sauce.
1 small spicy chorizo, casing removed and minced (optional) 2 large shallots, sliced into crescent moons 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 tomatoes, diced 1/4 teaspoon thyme 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley) 1 lemon zest and juice 1 cup dry white wine (or broth or water) 2 pounds mussels Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sweat the chorizo. If you’re not using the chorizo, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
2. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until caramelized (about 2 minutes). Add the tomatoes, thyme, parsley and lemon zest only set the zested lemon aside to juice later). Sauté until the tomatoes release their juices (about 2 minutes). Add the wine and bring to a boil.
3. Add the prepared mussels (please see food safety tips above for full details). Put the lid on the pot or Dutch oven and let the mussels steam for about 3 minutes or until they start to open.
4. Throw away any mussels that don’t open (again, this is important for food safety). Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice.
5. Taste the broth and add pepper and salt to taste. Serve with delicious fresh baked bread.
Nutrition Information (per serving, not including optional chorizo)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 (5-ounce) filet mignon filets, trimmed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 3/4 cup good quality port wine 1/4 cup reduced sodium beef stock 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced 1/2 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar 20 grams 85% dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks Organic) 1 teaspoon butter Salt and pepper to taste, Fleur de sel (for garnish) Rosemary (for garnish) Parsley (for garnish)
For the steak
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the black pepper, rosemary, mustard, garlic and salt. Pat the filets dry and then season on both sides with the rub.
3. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a medium nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Add the beef filets and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
4.Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until an instant read thermometer reads 125 F for rare (or to your desired cooking temperature).
For the sauce
1. While the steaks finish in the oven, add the port, beef and rosemary to the pan the steaks were cooked in, and raise the heat to medium high. Scrape up any beef bits from the pan and cook until well reduced to a light syrup.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic, the Green & Blacks Organic chocolate, butter and salt and pepper to taste.
1. Remove the steaks from the oven, and transfer to serving plates. Drizzle with the port chocolate sauce and garnish with a pinch of fleur de sel and fresh rosemary or parsley.
Recipe and photo by Abbey Sharp, R.D., owner of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc
White wine cabbage stew
This nutrient-rich stew in filled vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fat, and is super easy to make. Cabbage is also a cruciferous vegetable, which is part of the cabbage family, shown to help lower the risk of cancer.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ medium-sized brown onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ medium-sized white cabbage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices 1 large carrot or 2 small carrots 1 ½ cups (375ml) white wine 4 cups vegetable stock 1 cup canned red beans, washed and drained 3 dry bay leaves 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large cooking pot. Add the minced onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often until slightly browned.
2. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add the vegetable stock, sliced cabbage, bay leaves, and red beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.
4. In a separate small bowl, mix the whole-wheat flour with a 2-3 tablespoon of warm water. Stir until you get smooth, thick paste without lumps. Pour the mixture into cooking stew. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes until the stew thickens.
5. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Information (per serving, without Parmesan cheese)
Mesquite smoked turkey breast with POM rum barbecue sauce
The sauce on this turkey breast is made with a delicious combination of rum and 100% pomegranate juice. When it comes to working out, there may be one beverage you haven’t thought of yet– 100% pomegranate juice—which is powered by unique polyphenols that early research suggests has promising results for muscle strength recovery. Further, 100% pomegranate juice is also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte known for its role in fluid balance and muscle function.
For the turkey breast 1 boneless raw turkey breast 6 strips bacon For the POM-Rum Barbecue Sauce Juice from 1 POM Wonderful Pomegranate or ½ cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice 4 tablespoons POM Molasses 1 chopped sweet onion 2 oz. butter 3 ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed 2 cloves garlic 10 oz. ketchup 2 oz. brown sugar 1 cup ruby port wine 4 oz. dark rum 3 tablespoons chopped chives 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 2½ cups chicken stock Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the turkey breast
1. Wrap turkey breast in bacon and place in a warm smoker over mesquite wood.
2. Cook slowly until the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. If using a gas grill, turn one burner on high and leave one burner off.
3. Place the turkey on the cold side and a foil pack filled with mesquite wood chips over the hot side. Pull down the lid and cook until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Allow the turkey to rest after cooking for 5 to 7 minutes, slice and top with the POM-rum barbecue sauce.
For the POM-rum barbecue sauce
1. Prepare fresh pomegranate juice (if using fresh).
2. In a saucepan, sweat chopped onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add in ancho chilies, and then the rum; allow to flame. When flame goes out, add remaining ingredients except chives and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Beans are packed with muscle-building protein and filling carbs. Add the beer at the beginning of cooking so the beans do not become bitter. The epazote may be replaced with an additional 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, or substitute adobo seasoning. Adjust the heat as desired by using more or less serrano pepper and chili powder.
2 1/2 cups dry pinto beans 5 cups water 12 oz dark beer, such as Negro Modelo 1/2 pound thick cut bacon 1 yellow onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed 2 teaspoons epazote, dried 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon oregano, dried 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 4 roma tomates 3/4 cup cilantro
1. Sift the dry beans and remove any stones or debris. Soak in water for 6-8 hours or overnight.
2. Add the beans to the slow cooker along with 5 cups water and 12 ounces dark beer and cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours. Chop the bacon in 1/2” pieces and cook with the chopped onion until fully cooked and
crisp. Drain most of the grease and add to the slow cooker. Add the garlic, serrano peppers, brown sugar, epazote, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 2-3 hours more.
3. Roughly chop the roma tomatoes and cilantro. Reserve 1/4 cup cilantro for garnish. Add the rest of the cilantro and chopped tomatoes to the slow cooker and cook for one more hour on LOW. Serve with broth as a side dish or over rice or other grain.
8 ounces tempeh, cubed 1 onion, diced 3 carrots, diced 3 stalks celery, diced 1 cup frozen green peas 1 (12-oz) bottle Guinness Extra Stout beer 2 cups vegetable broth 1 teaspoon thyme 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish) 1 tablespoon tomato paste 4 small Russet potatoes, peeled, quartered 1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine ¼ – 1/2 cup plant-based milk, plain, unsweetened (like almond, cashew) Salt and pepper to taste
1. Add onions, carrots, celery, peas, beer, vegetable broth, thyme, parsley, and tomato paste into a medium pot, cover, and place on medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. May add additional water to replace moisture lost to evaporation. Should make a thick, stew-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
2. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot and cover with water and a lid. Boil for about 30 minutes, just until tender but firm. Drain water, and mash potatoes with a potato masher, adding just enough plant-based milk to make a creamy texture. Add dairy-free margarine, and season with salt and pepper as desired.
3. Preheat oven at 400 F.
4. Pour stew into a medium, deep casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes, smoothing over surface of stew.
5. Place in oven, uncovered, and cook for about 15 minutes, until slightly golden on top.
6. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped parsley.
Braised chicken with aspargus, peas, and melted leaks
White wine pairs deliciously with chicken and green vegetables like asparagus and leeks. You don’t need much, about ½ cup, and with heat and cooking time only 40-percent of the alcohol (and calories) are retained.
2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch rounds 1/4 cup olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds 8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 4 pounds) 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Epicurious Chardonnay) 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth 3/4 pound medium asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise in half and on the bias 2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 2 pounds pods) or frozen peas, thawed 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, divided 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons chopped dill
1. If you see or feel dirt in the leeks, rinse well, separating layers, then pat dry; otherwise, leave rounds intact.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add leeks in a single layer; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, turning once, until leeks are lightly golden, 16–18 minutes. Transfer leeks to a plate; reserve skillet.
3. Lightly crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a heavy skillet or pot. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with fennel, 1½ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 2
tablespoons oil in a 5–7-quart Dutch oven or large wide saucepan over medium-high. Cook thighs, skin side down, until well-browned, 12–14 minutes. Transfer skin side up to a plate. Pour off and discard fat.
4. Add wine to pot, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up bits from bottom of pot, 1 minute. Add broth and return chicken skin side up to pot. Lower heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15–18 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine asparagus, peas, and 2 tablespoons water in reserved skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper; stir gently to just combine.
6. Divide chicken, asparagus mixture, and reserved leeks among large shallow bowls. Bring broth to a simmer, add lemon juice, then ladle into bowls. Top with dill and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
Add red wine to your favorite beef stew which steps up the flavor profile of this weeknight favorite. Here you’ll find a ton of vegetables added to the stew, which adds vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep muscles healthy.
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided 2 pounds boneless beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into pieces 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms 2 cups chopped onion 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1½ teaspoons za’atar, divided ½ cup dry red wine 1 quart low-sodium beef or vegetable broth (preferably low-sodium) 2 pounds peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (~3.5-4 cups) 1½ cups sliced carrots (about 1-inch thick rounds) 1½ cups sliced parsnip (about 1-inch thick rounds) ½ teaspoon Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt added white beans, drained and rinsed
1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl.
2. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to Dutch oven and saute mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until they are beginning to brown and most of the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and when hot add the onions. Saute 5-6 minutes until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, thyme, and 1 teaspoon za’atar. Saute 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
3. Add the wine and deglaze the pot by scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Once the wine has mostly evaporated, add the broth and bring to a boil. Add beef with juices back to the pot, cover, and lower heat to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Cover and cook another 45 minutes. Uncover and stir in beans, ½ teaspoon salt, remaining ½ teaspoon za’atar, and freshly ground pepper. Cook uncovered for another 30 minutes until the stew is thickened.
Recipe and photo by culinary nutrition expert and healthy living blogger Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N. of Nutritioulicious
Bourbon marinated flank steak
Toss 7 ingredients in a re-sealable bag and marinate your meat for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. You’ll get a delicious piece of muscle-building lean meat that takes only 12 minutes to cook. Perfect for when you get back from a hard work out.
Skill Level: Beginner Serves: 4 Start to Finish: 27 minutes plus marinating time Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 12 minutes
1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup bourbon (such as Jim Beam) 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1½ pound flank steak or London broil
1. In a small bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients.
2. Pour into a resealable plastic food storage bag. Place steak in the bag, remove as much air as possible and seal it. Flip the steak around a few times to coat it with the marinade.
3. Place in the refrigerator for at least two hours and up to eight, flipping and rotating the meat every few hours.
4. Heat barbecue to a medium high heat.
5. Remove steak from marinade and blot off the excess moisture with a paper towel.
Place steak on hot grill. Cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side for medium rare. Flip the steak and cook an additional 5-6 minutes.
6. Transfer steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
7. Thinly slice, going against the grain, at about a 35-45 degree angle.