The beginning of a New Year usually brings with it excitement and optimism and joy, as well as a lengthy list of goals and resolutions. Some feel completely doable and others feel impossibly unattainable. Nevertheless, we add to the list: lose weight, work out, read books, travel, learn a new skill, try 300 new recipes, achieve world peace.
The good news is that those resolutions need naught always feel so daunting, especially when it comes to food. We’re not talking about committing to the Whole30 right now, just some small changes!
Below are a few of my favorite recipes that won’t throw all your good intentions out the window.
Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans (in a crock pot!):
I have made a few different revisions to this recipe and still it turns out perfectly every time. I substitute skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts for a little extra flavor; during the winter, when I can’t find fresh green beans, I throw in frozen beans and it works just fine; instead of onion powder, I mince a few shallots and add to the vinaigrette before pouring over the crock pot. Bonus: nothing is easier than throwing everything in your crock pot, pushing a button, and forgetting about it! (image)
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and White Bean-Anchovy Sauce:
It is possible to make a big bowl of comforting pasta without completely cramping your healthy intentions. Broccoli rabe is a dark bitter green, filled to the brim with vitamins and antioxidants. If you can’t find broccoli rabe, feel free to substitute with another winter green like collards or kale. Choose whole-wheat pasta over plain, enriched white pasta and you’ve got a much more heart-healthy alternative. (image)
There’s nothing better than a big bowl of spicy comfort food when the temps drop low outside. Bonus: this one won’t stretch your new years resolutions or your waistline! Loads of cauliflower and potatoes cooked with a beautiful mixture of spices make this classic Indian dish a great addition to your kitchen repertoire. (image)
Zucchini Naan Flatbread with Lemon Ricotta:
An easy (and healthier!) alternative to homemade-pizza. Try using whole wheat naan instead of a thicker, doughier pizza crust. Plus, you’ll never miss the usual blankets of cheese with the delicious dollops of lemon ricotta cheese scattered across this flatbread. If you can’t find zucchini, try sauteing up some arugula and spinach with olive oil and lots of garlic for your topping instead. (image)
One-Ingredient Ice Cream:
And of course, we can’t forget dessert! Tale as old as time, you buy a bunch of bananas at the store with intentions to reach for one for a snack, instead of the cookies you’ve stashed in the back of the pantry. Of course, one or two bananas always go uneaten and end up close-to-black on your counter. Here’s where you turn them into gold. Throw those bananas into your freezer and next time you’re craving a sweet treat, grab a few and toss in a food processor et voilà!, you have ice cream. Try adding different flavors when you’re blending up the bananas to it to change it up: strawberries and vanilla bean caviar (or good vanilla extract), cocoa powder and a bit of minced ginger, a swirl of honey and a pinch of cinnamon. (image)
PARENTING PLUS: we have made all of these for our 2-year-old and she devours them, even the slightly spicier Aloo Gobi. Perhaps the little humans in our life want to help us keep our resolutions, too.
Here’s to keeping dinner fun, delicious, and healthy in 2016!