Blue Plate Special Diner

Most of us have been to a diner or a “greasy spoon” cafe more than once in our lives. You probably even have a few good stories that go along with those experiences. Maybe you were driving across country with a friend and stopped in at a small town diner. Could be the town where you went to college had one — the spot where everyone met up late night for the munchies.

Wherever they are, most diners come with jukeboxes filled with old tunes, bad coffee and breakfast that’s served any time, day our night, and a few other quirky features, like waitresses in polyester uniforms or funky memorabilia plastered on the walls. As fun as it was, you certainly don’t remember your diner experience for the quality of the food (they’re really not known for quality, now are they?), but almost everyone loves the idea of a diner’s blue plate special.

Why not relive the fun you’ve had at a diner, but with healthier meal options? You can create many similar dishes at home with a more nutritionally-inspired spin. Consider hosting a dinner party around a diner theme! If you think that sounds like fun or you’re just craving some stick-to-your-ribs traditional dishes, you’ll want to try one of the following:

Mmmm… Meatloaf

This traditional dish gets a big-time makeover! You’re sure to find inspiration in one of these “not your mama’s meatloaf” recipes. They’re definitely healthier – and more interesting – than the diner variety!

Oh-So-Good Organic Egg Salad

Its creamy and crunchy combo makes a delicious sandwich! Try this recipe for organic egg salad. Add some bread and a pickle spear, and you’ve got a great lunch!

Not Your Standard Fries! 

You won’t have to drench these organic bistro garlic fries in ketchup to add flavor! The smell and taste is like nothing you’ve had at a diner! Watch OA’s Laura Klein make a batch.

Homey Goodness with Winter Turkey Pot Pie

When was the last time you had pot pie? Probably the last time you were at a diner, right? Something you don’t eat often, this is the perfect dish to make with leftovers from your holiday turkey! Follow along as OA’s Laura Klein reveals how you can make this at home.

Homemade Black Bean Burgers

The kind of burger you’d get in a diner was only suitable to chase away a hangover. Nowadays, try these delicious homemade black bean burgers. They’re so good, you’ll be tempted to hold the bun! Watch as OA’s Laura Klein shows you how to put it all together.

Cheesy Magnificence: Fondue Mac and Cheese

Another comforting, traditional meal, this version of the dish – fondue mac and cheese – offers ingredients you won’t find in most diners – caramelized shallots, white wine and sea salt add to the excitement! OA’s Laura Klein demonstrates how it’s done! 

Ready for Dessert? Try Billions of Blueberries Pie

The best part of a meal is sometimes dessert! A traditional pie loaded with flavorful fruit, billions of blueberries pie, makes a delight to any meal.

image: Bob B. Brown