Healthy Meals that Taste Good: Fresh Spinach Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust and a Kale Salad

  • 4 Minutes Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Looking for a healthy meal that tastes good? Try these two dishes that combine sweet and salty in one for a lunch or dinner meal.

Fresh Spinach Quiche #healthymeals that taste good

It's January and you will find an abundance of "how to lose weight fast" advertisements as well as cleanses for quick fixes. However, weight loss that lasts a lifetime actually starts in the grocery store and proceeds to your kitchen. Creating a healthy meal that tastes good by making two dishes, one that is sweet and and one that is salty, may be a new way for you to plan meals. In addition, you may start spending more time in the kitchen because the taste and price keep you coming back for more.

Menu planning: Sweet and salty combos

When our family of four goes out for a meal, we generally order two salty meals and one sweet meal and share them. For example, for breakfast we order three meals consisting of a breakfast burrito, eggs Hollandaise and French toast. Perhaps, it's our daughters European upbringing however, combining salty and sweet foods in one meal. It provides a melding of flavors in one's mouth that is very fulfilling.

Weight loss tip:

Share meals when you go out to eat. It's not only better on the pocket book, it's better on the waistline.

Have you ever wondered why these foods taste so good together?

Chocolate covered pretzels
Salty peanuts on honey yogurt
Watermelon and feta cheese
Sweet caramel seasoned with fancy salt
Pineapple on pizza
Prosciutto (thinly sliced Italian ham) and cantaloupe
Fries dipped in a chocolate milkshake (yes, my girls have tried that!)
Popcorn and an apple
Pretzels and peanut butter
Toast spread with strawberry jam topped with a piece of Gruyere cheese
Fresh spinach quiche with a sweet potato crust and kale salad
Spoiler alert: You will find these two recipes at the end of the blog!

Contrary to our third grade art and biology class

Perhaps, you remember when you were in elementary school coloring a picture of a tongue with four separate taste zones of sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Actually, current research has demonstrated that there are actually five tastes (the fifth one being savory, also known as umami). Studies have also demonstrated that all tastes can actually be sensed by every part of the tongue, though in different intensities.

Why do salty and sweet taste so good together?

Everyone knows that a soup that is too salty can taste inedible, while eating too many sweets, such as Halloween treats, can make one feel sick. However, eating foods with a flavorful counterpart, such as sweet and salty together, can enhance the tasting experience. Our mouths contain 2000 to 4000 taste buds and each taste bud consists of 10 to 50 sensory cells. The full sensory experience of eating occurs when the taste sensations and intensities of the different parts of the tongue are combined.

Enjoy these two recipes below when made as part of one meal. With a focus on sweet and salty, I think you will be satisfied with the combination.

Fresh Spinach Quiche with Feta Cheese and a Sweet Potato Crust

Nutrition facts per serving (1 serving = 164 grams)
Calories: 147. 7.8 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 9.2 g protein, 1.9 g dietary fiber, 237 mg sodium

Fun Nutrition Fact:

One serving provides 101% of the recommended daily needs of vitamin A



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/8th inch slices.
  4. Place sweet potatoes in a single layer in the base of the pie pan. Cut some slices in half to fit along the sides of the pie pan.
  5. Spray top of sweet potatoes with additional nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  7. While the sweet potato crust is baking, cook the vegetables on the stove.
  8. Add olive oil to a medium skillet. Add finely diced onions and sauté about 5 minutes until translucent and soft. Add diced tomatoes and oregano, garlic, and pepper and sauté for a few more minutes.
  9. Add spinach and sauté until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
  11. Place spinach mixture on top of the baked sweet potato crust.
  12. Pour egg mixture over the top of the spinach mixture.
  13. Sprinkle goat cheese on top of everything.
  14. Bake for 30-45 minutes until egg sets and puffs up. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices.
  15. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchens.

Kale Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries

Cook's note: Compared to other types of lettuce, kale does not become limp in the refrigerator even with a dressing; thus, I often make large quantities of kale salad and eat it throughout the week. This recipe makes 8 servings. 1 serving = 1 cup.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 serving = 125 grams)
Calories: 180. 12 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g protein, 4.1 g dietary fiber, 54 mg sodium




Prep salad ingredients:
  1. Wash kale.
  2. Cut green kale leaves from the stem. Chop leaves, finely, so about 1/4 inch pieces. Chef's note:My husband did not like kale salads until I started chopping the kale into very fine pieces.
  3. Wash 2 apples. With the peel on, dice into pieces about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch.
  4. In a large salad, bowl, mix together, kale, apples, nuts and dried cranberries.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and oregano.
  2. Pour dressing over kale salad ingredients and let sit for a few minutes.

This recipe is already inputted in the recipe database. To add to your meal log, type in "Martha's Kale Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries."

Please share your favorite sweet and salty healthy meal combinations.

*How to Copy This Recipe from MyNetDiary

This recipe is entered and analyzed in MyNetDiary so you don't need to enter the above recipe from scratch. Instead, you can copy and edit the recipe easily by logging into MyNetDiary via the web program. Next, go to Community, and then search "Dietician" with "People" chosen in the drop down box. Click on "Dietician" link. Scroll down Dietician Personal Page and find Custom Catalog. Find "Martha's Kale Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries" and "Kale Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries". Copy recipe by clicking "copy" link on the right side of the screen. Once you do that, you can use that recipe in your own food log without having to enter it yourself. This recipe is also found in Dietitian account - so you can copy from either account.

Note: If you have Premium membership, you can copy and customize recipes or foods. In web program, go to Food tab, tap "Log" in any meal row, then tap MyFoods, find the food or recipe and then choose "copy & customize" option. You can modify any field to customize the recipe (ingredients, yield, name, etc.)

Foods & Recipes->Fruit & Vegetables
Jan 13, 2020

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