Let's face it. No matter how hard we try to be original when crafting our New Year's resolutions, some version of ‘getting healthy’ is always on the list. How can we help but crave a detox after 2 months packed with boozy holiday parties, short ribs on every seasonal restaurant menu, and endless sweet treats from well-meaning sweet friends and family?
Juice cleanses are a popular option, but can be expensive and extreme. There is something to be said for choosing whole foods rather than liquid. I tend to believe that there’s a whole lot of goodness that gets left behind in the juicer (think of all the fiber in that pulp!) So, while juicing can be great for some - if you prefer to actually chew your food, don’t worry. You too can repent for your seasonal sins. To get you started (and to inspire myself to clean up my act!) I’m sharing some of my personal favorite recipes from my friends, my kitchen, and my favorite food blogs.
Many are vegan and/or gluten free, most are vegetarian, and all are healthful and DELICIOUS.
And now without further ado, click below for my top 15 favorite, super healthy recipes to feed you in 2014.
[STARTERS, SALADS & SIDES]
1. DETOX TABOULEH: [VV] [GF] source: Oh She Glows
- Flax Seeds or Sunflower Seeds make an easy replacement for Hemp seeds if you have trouble finding them at your local grocer.
2. KALE & CABBAGE SALAD: [VV] [GF] source: Green Lite Bites
- Sometimes raw kale can be a bit tough to chew. Massaging the leaves with oil/vinegar helps. If you’re worried about messing up your mani, use a fork and knife to shred up the salad after it’s dressed. The action will macerate the fibers, making them easier to chew. Even just letting the salad sit and marinate for a bit will soften up the leaves!
3. ROASTED VEGGIE & RICE SALAD: [VV] [GF] source: Gluten Free Girl
- You can basically roast any vegetable in this same way. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, and all root veggies work really well.
- To up the fiber content, substitute cracked bulgur wheat or even lentils for the rice. Or just let the veggies role solo as a super simple and delish side dish!
4. SKINNY GUACAMOLE: [VV] [GF] source: Eating Well
5. FRENCH LENTIL & ARTICHOKE MELANGE [VV] [V] [GF] [DF] Natty's Treehouse Kitchen
- This simple salad is made even simpler when you buy precooked lentils. The precooked French lentils also tend to be nuttier and more flavorful than many dried varieties. If you use dried, you may want to add just a tablespoon or two of balsamic and oil to deepen the flavors.
- Feel free to experiment with the ratios in this recipe, just don’t go too crazy on the capers which can make it overly salty if you’re not careful!
- 1 pouch of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked French Lentils, Melissa's Steamed Lentils (or sub about 17 oz of any cooked and cooled lentils)
- About ¾ c of marinated, quartered artichokes from a jar
- 1 to 1.5 tbsp marinated capers
- 1 16 oz bag organic baby spinach
- Mix all ingredients, loosely leafing/chopping the artichoke hearts as you mix.
- Throw in about 1 tablespoon of liquid from the caper jar, and 2 tablespoons from the artichoke jar as dressing.
- Toss all ingredients and serve!
6. ITALIAN MUSHROOM POCKETS [VV] [GF] source: Flying Apron’s Baking Book
- This recipe calls for homemade dough. If you’re too lazy (like me) you can cheat by using pre-made, uncooked pizza dough. I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat one.
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (aka EVOO) plus more for brushing pockets
- 1 med yellow onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1 inch strips
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano, plus more for sprinkling the pockets
- ½ tsp dried thyme, plus more for sprinkling pockets
- 1 tsp dried rosemary, plus more for sprinkling pockets
- ½ c oil-packed sundried tomatoes
- 4 c loosely packed baby spinach
- Sea salt and ground pepper
- 1 batch unbaked Flying Apron Bakery House Bread
- Brown rice flour, for rolling out dough
- Your favorite marinara Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until slightly brown, about 7 min. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sauté until the peppers are soft, not soggy, about 5 min. Add mushrooms, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms begin to release some of their juices, about 7 min. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and navy beans and stir to combine. Stir in the fresh spinach and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture is hot, about 7 min.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Divide the bread dough into 8-10 pieces, depending on the number of portions you wish to make. Dust your counter liberally with brown rice flour and roll out each piece into approx 7 inch circles. Spread a spoonful of marinara sauce on each circle, leaving 1 inch around the perimeter of the dough. On one half of the circle, place approximately ½ c of the filling. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and seal the edges by crimping with your fingers or a fork.
- Carefully transfer the pockets to a well-oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with additional herbs. Bake until the thickest part of the pocket is firm and beginning to brown, about 30 min.
7. SPAGHETTI SQUASH W/ HERBED LEEK SAUCE: [V] [GF] source: Recipe Relay
8. ITALIAN BEAN BALLS W/ SPAGHETTI SQUASH NOODLES: [VV] [V] [GF] [DF]
source: Oh She Glows
- Oats are naturally gluten free, so don’t get nervous when you see them on the ingredient list!
- I used sunflower seeds rather than walnuts, and it was delish
9. COCONUT CURRY: [V] [GF] source: The Sweet Beet
10. MOROCCAN CHICKPEA, SPINACH SWEET POTATO: [VV] [V] [GF] [DF] The Sweet Beet
- This one is great for using stuff you’ve got sitting in your pantry! It’s always a good idea to keep sweet potatoes, frozen greens and canned chickpeas around the house for a quick, nutritious meal.
11. SALMON WITH SIRACHA & LIME: [GF] Self
[DESSERTS & OTHER]
12. UPSIDE DOWN PEACH PIE: [VV] [V] [GF] [DF] Haut Appetit
- I recommend using Earth Balance buttery spread which is made from a blend of Olive and Canola oils
13. SPINACH AND EGG SOUFFLE MUFFINS: [V] [GF] The Sweet Beet
14. SPICED PUMPKIN GINGER LOAF: [VV] [V] [DF] [GF] Natty’s Treehouse Kitchen (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- I call this my “loaf for life” because of all of the crazy healthy ingredients. Click the links below to read up on why this loaf will make you not only healthier, but prettier, smarter and better in bed! Ok – so maybe I made that last one up. Maybe.
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- Chia egg (1 tbsp chia + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 2/3 cups quinoa flour (or spelt flour which makes for a more subtle flavor)
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Approx 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger (I’ve even thrown in a dash of all spice before when I didn’t have nutmeg!)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Lightly oil a standard bread loaf (I use spray olive oil to make it easy).
- Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes until fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Combine the following ingredients (pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, molasses, chia egg) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and blend just until evenly mixed.
- Stir in the toasted nuts.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smooth out with wet spoon, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with extra walnuts or brown sugar if desired. Serves eight 1-inch slices.
15. PUMPKIN APPLE BUTTER: [VV] [GF] Natty’s Treehouse Kitchen (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- A perfect topper for my Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Loaf!
- 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups or fresh
- 1 cup chunky apple sauce
- 1/2-1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients except lemon juice in a medium saucepan and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until ingredients seem well blended.
- Adjust spices to taste if desired. Stir in lemon juice. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Makes enough to fill one large mason jar or about 3.5 cups.
[GF] Gluten Free
* All photos (except Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Loaf - that's mine!) courtesy of The Sweet Beet and Oh She Glows.