I am not one to cut out all flavorful foods (i.e. joy) for boring unseasoned chicken breasts or go on a juice cleanse (tried one once, it didn’t go well); but after indulging in rich foods and an abundance of cookies over the holidays, I am looking for a bit of a reset. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite wholesome and nutritious recipes to kick off the New Year.
From vegetable packed weeknight meals, colorful salads and grain bowls, to fruit-packed smoothies, here are some of my favorite nourishing recipes that are healthy or generally healthy-ish to kickstart 2024:
I love how this vegetable-packed dish is still comforting. The combination of crispy polenta topped with spicy tomato sauce, sautéed kale and mushrooms is a great way to rework leftovers.
This is in my weekly dinner rotation. It’s one of my favorite easy healthy-ish weeknight meals. Massage the kale ahead of time to cut down on prep.
This Indian dish is full of spinach. I make it anytime I want something healthy but full of flavor. In place of the turmeric rice try using cauliflower rice or half cauliflower rice for additional vegetables.
Whole chicken legs is my favorite cut of chicken to roast. You get the crispy skin and lots of tender meat plus they make for a beautiful presentation. I love this easy rustic dinner combo for a healthy-ish weeknight meal.
Full of protein, this vegan bowl has chorizo made from soy, brown rice, black beans, sweet potatoes, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. While you can certainly swap the soyrizo for pork chorizo, you won’t miss the meat in this one.
This protein-packed soup made with white beans and kale requires minimal effort. You can sit around in your sweatpants while the house fills with the comforting smell of simmering tomatoes and garlic.
I make the falafel bowls with spiced chickpeas and herbs and served with an herb packed rice and yogurt sauce. Add other favorite additions like pickled cabbage.
Rather than using canned salmon I dice filets of salmon and combine with a light filling before pan-searing and serving with a chive greek yogurt sauce.
You can make this bowl with black lentils, mushrooms, kale and roasted sweet potatoes in a coconut curry sauce, served over a bed of jasmine rice. Since there are several components, I love to meal prep this for a busy week.
These vegetarian tacos definitely don’t skimp on the flavor. Roast sweet potatoes and pair it with black beans and a spicy chipotle salsa. You can also serve it on corn tortillas, I prefer corn for this recipe.
This seasonal grain bowl comes its inspiration from the famous Erewhon salad with a few additions. I make it with kale and quinoa as well as sweet potatoes, apple, and an assortment of seeds.
In the mood for a salad but still want something filling? Look no further than this loaded salad recipe made with butter lettuce, BBQ chicken, cilantro lime dressing, corn, black beans!
Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, a mushroom lover, or just looking for a tasty alternative to traditional meat tacos, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite!
This healthy-ish bowl inspired by a baked sushi roll is flexible. Feel free to add additional fresh veggies like shredded carrots or finely shredded cabbage based on preference. The salmon is cut into chunks and then marinate it in homemade teriyaki sauce. It has fewer ingredients than store bought.
Shred Brussels sprouts then toss it in a creamy miso dressing and served with pickled onion and roasted cashews. Try adding a protein like chicken or a grain like crispy rice for a more filling salad or serve simply “as is” on the side or for a quick lunch.
Cut the acorn squash in half and stuff it with a flavorful combination of sautéed shallots and garlic, kale, wild rice, mushrooms and spiced chopped walnuts.
This pork larb is filled with herbs like cilantro, basil and mint and seasoned with lime juice and fish sauce. While it’s often served as an appetizer, I make it into an easy entrée over steamed rice with sliced cucumbers.
Grilled chicken breasts are packed into extra-large tortillas with croutons, romaine, dressing and cheese for a handheld version of the classic salad.
If you aren’t the biggest kale fan, make sure you are massaging the dressing into the leaves to help tenderize it! I pair this kale salad with crispy halloumi cheese, crispy chickpeas and tahini dressing.
This smoothie, aptly named for its sky-like quality (bright blue color thanks to spirulina Blue Majik), is made with coconut, almond milk, almond butter, avocado, pineapple, banana and more.
A few simple ingredients are used to create this salmon recipe. I use a whole filet for an entertaining centerpiece but it can easily be cut into individual filets for easier serving. Just be sure to adjust cooking time as it will cook more quickly.
While many store bought veggie burgers are made with a bunch of fillers, I use a combination of black beans, brown rice and corn for the patties. Crumble over a salad or serve as is as a burger.
Broccoli florets are tossed in chili oil and roasted until slightly caramelized. I serve the roasted veggies topped with a bit of soy sauce, cashews and nutritional yeast. I make my chili oil from scratch to control the level of heat, though you can swap store-bought chili oil.
Masoor Dal is a thick Indian spiced vegetarian stew made with red lentils and seasoned with warm fragrant spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. Serve with rice or quinoa.
Marinate pieces of chicken thighs in a homemade Greek spice blend and grilled on skewers until juicy and flavorful. Souvlaki, which simply means “meat on skewers”, is a popular street food. Serve on their own or wrapped in pita with tzatziki.
Pair these roasted sweet potato spears finished in an umami-packed miso butter with roasted meat, fish or a simple grilled burger (or veggie burger).
Thinly slice bone-in pork chops and marinate in a honey-soy sauce mixture and pan-seared. Pair the pork with miso roasted kabocha squash and blistered shishito peppers, providing for a light yet filling fall entrée.
I swap oats for quinoa in this creamy oatmeal cooked in coconut milk. Top with your favorite sliced fruit or a bit of jam.
For a quick meal, stir-fry rice and cauliflower in a wok with eggs, kimchi, shrimp and herbs. I cut the rice with cauliflower rice to sneak in some additional vegetables.
Chopped baby bok choy and cabbage is tossed in a Thai-inspired dressing with candied peanuts and topped with salmon for a light yet nutritious salad.
I love this flexible recipe for a make ahead breakfast. While I add almond butter, you can swap it for another nut butter like peanut, or swap for a bit of pulsed freeze dried fruit like strawberries.
Rather than using sheets of pasta, use roast stringy spaghetti squash and fill it with a vegetarian version of lasagna with marinara sauce, creamed spinach and cheese to create an all in one meal. Add your favorite ground meat like sausage or ground beef.
Collard greens take the place of a traditional wrap for a healthy-ish recipe with grilled BBQ salmon and ranch yogurt sauce.
I love this spiced vegetarian stew packed with peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, lentils and chickpeas, making for a hearty and comforting meal – perfect for warming you up inside and out.
I hope you enjoy these helthy-ish recipes I’ve shared! Remember: adding more vegetables to your diet or cutting down on takeout doesn’t mean you have to cut out flavor! Follow me on Instagram for more updates.