Recipes are the cornerstone for a healthy diet. Cooking has an artistic side to it, and you begin to realize that when you start looking at the difference between healthy foods and not-so-healthy foods: In some cases the difference is just how the ingredients are combined and cooked, while in others the difference can be how much of the ingredients are used. There are several tricks to make foods healthier, and some of them are so basic that they can make cooking actually more fun for the chef. Cooking is more than merely making food to eat; it can be a great hobby as well.
One neat trick is how flavoring is applied. You can use a lot of a particular spice but get a lot more flavor from it by sprinkling it on the outside rather than cooking it inside the food. An obvious application is to cookies and then sprinkle sugar on them rather than cook the sugar as part of the cookie; this means that you are getting more of the sugar taste while using less of the sugar. This applies to just about any use of seasoning or spices, allowing you to stretch the use of those seasonings further and to diminish any unhealthy aspects.
This also means that you should try combinations that you consider weird or unusual just to see what they taste like. Peanut butter is one those things that will probably surprise you as it provides a nice nutty flavor to whatever it used in. For those looking for a way to add a little extra protein to their food this makes a great complimentary taste to beef and other strong tasting meats. Another combination helps to use the last little bit of peanut butter in a jar: Drop a quarter-cup of hoisin sauce into the jar when you are almost done and shake it all about; you have a great peanut oil analog for flavoring purposes.
A healthy diet can use a wide variety of vegetables to make some great points. Consider how many options you have in leafy vegetables alone, and what you can do with them. While iceberg lettuce has a bad rap it does provide a nice crunch and adds a cooling factor to spicy meats. Romaine lettuce can provide a little extra color as well as a little extra roughage, especially if you use redleaf lettuce. Kale has a strong taste, but is not as strong as spinach, and provides almost as much nutritional value. Arugula can add a slight peppery taste to the mix. Look at how many different tastes you can have by just changing one ingredient!
In general, anyone interested in a healthy diet needs to stop looking at food as just a fuel source and more as a collection of tastes and flavors. Do that and the meals you cook will be worthy of date nights, and your reputation will increase as well, and in a good way. A little extra fun is always worth it, especially when you are looking for a way to eat healthier.