So, it’s the New Year, and you’ve decided to create a new and better you. One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to transform one’s lifestyle into something that blends a perfect mixture of diet and exercise to create a healthier, more fulfilling sense of self. While you may already have an exercise routine down, making the right choices where meals come in is always a tough one. Not only do you have fight off those negative cravings, but you also have to find ways to supplement your previously less than wholesome diet with something that is much more nutrient-rich and wholesome. Not only do you have to mind the nutritious value of what you consume, but it helps to have some tasty meals that won’t have you spending all day in the kitchen. Check out these fast, fun and delicious healthy recipes and let us help you get the New Year off to a bright start!
Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
Greens are a fundamental part of eating healthily, and this salad is a delicious way to get those greens. Brussels sprouts can be delicious, even when you’re not a traditional brussels sprout lover, and we promise this salad will have you smiling by the time you finish.
Photo Credit: abeautifulmess.com
1/2 french loaf cut into large cubes (I used a wheat loaf, you could use any bread you like)
1 lb. brussels sprouts
2/3 cup craisins
1/4 cup mayo
4 garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like a real kick!)
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
In a food processor give the brussels a few pulses, so they are partially shredded and partially rough chopped. I have a smaller food processor, so I had to do this in three batches. Once all the brussels are chopped, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the brussels, tossing occasionally, until bright green and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). During the last few minutes of cooking toss in the craisins so they’ll be nice and warm along with the brussels.While that cooks, in the food processor (again) combine the mayo, garlic and juice from the lime. Pulse the ingredients together until well combined. With the processor still running, drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste and add salt + pepper as needed.Once you have the bread cut into large cubes toss in a few tablespoons olive oil. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet and season with a little salt + pepper. Bake at 375°F until brown and crispy (8-10 minutes).Once the brussels are cooked toss with the dressing. Add in the croutons and give everything a nice toss. Serve warm. If you like your salad even more creamy you could easily double the amount of dressing the above recipe calls for. Enjoy!
Recipe via A Beautiful Mess
Lemon-Butter Grouper Fish Tacos
Nothing says “diet” like a taco Tuesday party that you can’t join, but with this delicious recipe, you’ll never have to miss out again. And for the general taco lovers out there, this is the perfect dinner for any night!
Photo Credit: averiecooks.com
3 tablespoons butter
flour, for lightly dredging and coating fish
2 large grouper filets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
juice of 1 lemon, about 3 to 4 tablespoons
salt and pepper, to taste
taco or fajita shells
1 cup romaine or iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey Jack, etc.)
1/4 cup grainy dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt butter.
Dredge fish through flour, coating both sides.
Add fish to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on first side, or until nicely seared and lightly golden browned.
Flip fish, season with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon over the fish (use caution because the lemon juice will bubble up when it hits the hot skillet) and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on second side, or until fish is lightly golden browned on both sides and cooked through. Serve immediately if desired.
To make the fish tacos, lightly warm each taco shell momentarily on a dry skillet over medium-high heat before adding lettuce, sliced fish, sprinkling with tomatoes, and cheese; set aside while you make the sauce.
To a small bowl, add the mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and whisk to combine. Taste, check for flavor balance, and make any desired tweaks. Drizzle sauce over tacos and serve immediately. Fish will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days and sauce will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Recipe via Averie Cooks
Healthy Banana Muffins
When it comes to breakfast, muffins are a national favorite, and these banana muffins are certainly up to standard. Whether they’re freshly baked on the morning you’re ready for them, or they’re stored for later for a quick morning meal, these muffins are sure to hit the spot wherever you are.
Photo Credit: cookieandkate.com
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup maple syrup or honey
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the 11 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.
Recipe via Cookie and Kate
Black Bean Burrito with Guacamole
If you’ve got a craving for a burrito and you’re about to go off track, take a minute and breathe! This delicious black bean burrito with guacamole can be just the thing you were hoping for without all the fat and calories.
Photo Credit: naturallyella.com
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup minced red onion (see note)
¼ cup minced cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large whole wheat flour tortillas
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ can black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
⅓ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
½ cup shredded lettuce
3 tablespoons minced red onion
To make guacamole, slice avocado in half around the pit and spoon out the avocado into a bowl. Add in the onion, cilantro, garlic, and salt. Cut the lime in half and squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons of lime juice over the guacamole and stir. Taste and adjust salt/lime juice as needed.
Spread about ¼ to ⅓ cup guacamole in the center of the tortilla. Layer half the rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, and onions on top of the guacamole. Roll into a burrito (see note) and tuck in the ends.
Heat a grill pan or panini press over low heat and place the burritos seem side down. Place a weight on top and let cook until tortilla is browning and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve with remaining guacamole or salsa.
Variations for the Black Bean Burrito
I’m usually unwavering when it comes to changes in this burrito because I’m a guacamole lover. However, there have been a few variations throughout the years that can work with what you might already have on hand.
Tomatoes: the original recipe called for tomatoes both in the guacamole and in the burrito but I tomatoes are one of those items I really don’t eat during the winter and I don’t really add to my guacamole anymore. However, feel free to add them back in if desired.
Vegan: I love that the black bean burrito is heated long enough to make the tortilla crispy and start to melt the cheese but the cheese isn’t going to make or break the burrito. Feel free to ditch to keep it vegan.
Homemade Tortillas: If you have a bit of extra time, try your hand at some homemade flour tortillas.
Recipe via Naturally Ella
These are just a few of the many health-conscious recipes that are not only nutritious, but also delicious. Just because you’ve decided to change your lifestyle and do things a bit differently it doesn’t mean that you have to starve or deprive yourself of good things. These recipes are wholesome and will make you feel like you’re not missing out on anything. Have other great recipes you’d like to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!