Chef Jeremy Bringardner used to force down healthy eats regardless of how they tasted. But then he changed his entire food philosophy. “I don’t believe in sacrificing taste for nutrition—ever,” he says. “I believe it’s equally important to enjoy your food as it is to have the food be nourishing.” That outlook definitely comes through at the good-for-you restaurant chain Lyfe Kitchen, where nothing on the menu is more than 600 calories but everything tastes delicious.
What’s Bringardner’s secret? Thanks to his culinary training, he knows exactly how to balance out or mellow unpleasant flavors—and play up the good ones lurking in the ingredient. Here are some of his top tips for turning healthy foods you’ve always just tried to choke down into something you actually crave: