What makes the meals served at the best health spas "spa cuisine"? Is it the low calories and fat? The high vitamin, mineral and fiber content? The delicious flavor? It's all of the above. Spa chefs know how to balance whole grains, fresh produce and lean protein to create luscious meals that are low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The menus vary (from vegan to a smorgasbord of meat), but the principle is the same: satisfying food, rife with flavor, texture and nutrients.
We asked three chefs from renowned spas to create recipes for Shape readers to make at home in 15 minutes. These aren't your average easy-to-make healthy meals, either: At Rancho La Puerta, the chef nestles cheese, jalapeños and cilantro into mouthwatering quesadillas; and the salmon from Canyon Ranch is topped with a unique cranberry-and-apricot-spiked vinaigrette. Here are three incredible dishes to pamper you from within:
Three-Cheese Vegetable Quesadillas are loaded with calcium and the cancer-fighting antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene.
-- Bill Wavrin, Executive Chef Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Nutrition Score per serving: (2 quesadillas/6 wedges) 261 calories, 350 g calcium, 33 g carbs (50%), 8.5 g fat (29%), 13 g fiber, 14 g protein (21%), 859 mg sodium
Chicken Pot-au-Feu is rich in potassium, protein, cancer-fighting sulfur compounds, immune-boosting lentinan, folate and calcium.
-- Cary Neff, Executive Chef Miraval Life in Balance, Catalina, Ariz.
Nutrition Score per serving: 272 calories, 68 g calcium, 30 g carbs (44%), 3.3 g fat (11%), 4 g fiber, 30.6 g protein (45%), <1 g saturated fat, 351 mg sodium
Roasted Salmon Salad offers heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamin C and protein.
-- Scott Uehlein, Executive Chef Canyon Ranch Health Resort, Tucson, Ariz.
Nutrition Score per serving: 322 calories, 180 g calcium, 22.5 g carbs (28%), 13.4 g fat (37%), 7 g fiber, 28 g protein (35%), 2 g saturated fat, 443 mg sodium