9 Healthy-ish (But Still Delish!) Recipes to Get the Year Started Off Right

Left photo courtesy of The Year in Food. Middle photo courtesy of My Name Is Yeh. Right photo: Angela Liddon | OhSheGlows.com

Full confession: I made the mistake of stepping on the scale Jan. 1 and discovered that I’ve gained back every hard-won pound (and then some!) that I lost a few years ago. They may have been lost, but they’ve definitively been found. Sigh. Back onto the struggle bus of middle age.

What to do? In the wise words of my friend Karen, “Move your a** and shut your piehole!” But, of course, woman does not live by air alone, so I’m back on the low glycemic kick, which has worked well for me in the past. And I’ve returned to the local gym, remembering that it’s calories in and calories out that really counts. I’m trying to eat mindfully, which means scouring my favorite food blogs for tasty treats that will feel a wee bit indulgent but still be somewhat diet friendly. So here are some “healthy-ish” recipes that I’ll be making during the coming months. Feel free to join me!

Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew

Recipe: Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew from Smitten Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

This dish was inspired by Deb Perelman’s visit to a Moroccan restaurant in Paris a number of years ago and is filled with tons of veggies and warm spices, with chickpeas for protein. And good news for those of us who have searched for a reasonable source for preserved lemons (which add a lovely brightness to any dish): Trader Joe’s carries them! Find the recipe here on Smitten Kitchen.

Baked Falafel with Kale, Shallots and Sumac-Tahini Sauce

Recipe: Baked Falafel with Kale, Shallots and Sumac-Tahini Sauce from My Name Is Yeh

Photo courtesy of My Name Is Yeh.

Molly Yeh loves tahini, and I love Molly Yeh’s recipes, so this could be a go-to lunch item that I’ll make over and over, because I adore falafel, but this is a good time to avoid deep-fried foods, right? And if I can have falafel that is baked but still yummy, then that is how it’s going down. Find the recipe here on My Name Is Yeh.

Happy Digestion Smoothie

Recipe: Happy Digestion Smoothie from Oh She Glows

Photo: Angela Liddon | OhSheGlows.com

All that holiday over-indulging left me with an angry tummy. Help! This green smoothie comes to the rescue, tasting a little like a healthy green piña colada. It’s filled with pineapple, banana, parsley, avocado and ginger, thinned with coconut water. As a bonus, it’s gluten-, grain-, sugar- and nut-free! Find the recipe here on Oh She Glows.

Lentil and Bean Soup

Recipe: Lentil and Bean Soup from The Year in Food

Photo courtesy of The Year in Food.

Throw a big pot of this soup together on Sunday, then eat from it all week long. The fresh herbs and turmeric give it a sunny flavor that belies the long, cold winter ahead. Find the recipe here on The Year in Food.

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles

Recipes: Chicken Parmesan With Zucchini Noodles from The Cake Chica

Photo courtesy of The Cake Chica.

Oh, how I crave gooey chicken parm, especially with a golden nest of fettuccine nearby. But that’s not gonna fly on my new regime. This enlightened version uses zucchini noodles (time-saving hint: you can buy them at Whole Foods!) in place of my beloved pasta; the chicken is dredged in herby whole wheat flour and lightly sautéed, then topped with tomato sauce and just enough cheese. This will do in a pinch. Find the recipe here on The Cake Chica.

Caramelized Teriyaki Salmon with Sesame-Toasted Buckwheat

This meal comes together in under 30 minutes, a huge bonus when you are busy and every extra minute you spend in the kitchen brings you that much closer to a bag of potato chips. The teriyaki sauce is homemade and quickly thrown together, and the cooked buckwheat — so much more interesting than regular old rice, much quicker to prepare than brown rice, and still a whole grain — is tossed with the juice and zest of a lime, some cucumber and scallions. Find the recipe here on Half Baked Harvest.

Broccoli and Turmeric Yellow Rice Bowls

If you’re looking to eat clean, this dish is a good start. The whole-grain brown rice, immunity-boosting turmeric, and vegetables filled with beta-carotene and tons of nutrients are all high on the healthy food list, and when drizzled with tahini sauce, it’s just flat-out lip-smacking. Find the recipe here on A Couple Cooks.

Mint Chocolate Power Bars

It’s Pavlovian: I will reward myself and revitalize after a good workout with one of these scrumptious power bars, chock-full of seeds, coconut, nut butter, dates and oats with a hint of mint, topped with crunchy cacao nibs. Find the recipe here on Green Kitchen Stories.

Spinach Millet Egg Bake

This is a lovely, light dinner that’s perfect with a salad and a slice of whole wheat toast. If you don’t have any millet handy, just sub in a cup of cooked grains, like quinoa or buckwheat. Find the recipe here on Naturally Ella.


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