Yes, I’m going there a day early. Why? You’ll be thanking me in the morning.
A lot of people make health-inspired New Year’s resolutions that include new diets or losing a certain amount of weight. That’s not what I’m advocating here. Instead, I’m providing you with some insanely delicious recipes that just so happen to be super good for you! Of course I want to point out that I am not a health professional, but all the information I am providing you with can be found through some simple online research!
(Click the photos to go to the recipes)
This Cinnamon-Vanilla Cashew Milk tastes amazing, and makes a great alternative to dairy milk. Recently, studies have shown that diets high in dairy can increase the risk of some diseases (source). Swapping cow milk for nut milk is a great way to lower your risk. Additionally, cashews are full of good-for-you antioxidants! Plus, a glass of this will run you less calories and less fat than a glass of dairy milk.
This is my very favorite tuna sandwich recipe, and it happens to be far healthier than a typical tuna sandwich. It contains no mayo (which is high in calories and cholesterol), and instead uses olive oil, which studies suggest can reduce the risk of heart disease. The white beans in this sandwich help boost metabolism while packing a healthy dose of fiber.
Of course regular hummus is a healthy snack, but this Edamame Hummus is, arguably, even better for you—plus, it looks prettier ;). Edamame are full of dietary fiber, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, folate, manganese, and Vitamin K (among other things).
This is one of those meals that doesn’t look or taste “healthy,” but totally is. I used flank steak in this dish because it’s super lean, and soaks up marinades really well. (Speaking of marinades, the citrus in this one comes with a slew of benefits including cancer prevention, tons of Vitamin C, and lower risk of stroke.) What looks (and tastes!) like mashed potatoes, is actually mashed cauliflower which is high in fiber, Vitamin C, folate, and compounds that may be linked to cancer prevention!
This Asian-inspired snow pea salad is rich in Vitamin C, and also a good source of iron and manganese. The sesame seeds and oil in this recipe are rich in antioxidants, Omega-3’s, and Omega-6’s.
I call this my “Detox Dish.” Eating this reminds me of being at a spa. It’s fresh, zingy, and light, but super satisfying. Plus, every single ingredient has tremendous health benefits! Salmon is high in protein, low in fat, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in Vitamin D. Soba noodles contain all eight essential amino acids, as well as antioxidants. I used some adorable pink soba noodles in this dish, but the regular brown-colored noodles are totally fine. Watercress is chock full of iron, calcium, iodine, folic acid, and Vitamins A and D. Buttermilk contains beneficial probiotic microbes, as well as potassium and calcium.
This almond butter is the best I’ve ever tried. If you haven’t made the switch from peanut butter to almond butter this is the recipe that will sway you. Almond butter is higher in Vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and iron than peanut butter. Plus, recent studies suggest that individuals who eat regular servings of nuts have lower health risks than those that do not.
I have to say, I’m a huge carb person, but when it comes to this recipe, I don’t miss the carbs at all! Typing this up now reminds me how much I love this meal, and that it will definitely be going on the dinner rotation this week! This recipe uses ground turkey, which is super high in protein and super low in fat. Red bell peppers are high in the antioxidant lycopene, carotene, and Vitamin C, as well as para-coumaric acid which is thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
I love this soup because it is so easy to throw together. If you wanted to make it even healthier, you could use your own boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of a rotisserie chicken, but as is it is low in fat already!
This risotto made with wheat berries instead of white rice is high in fiber, protein, and iron, as well as Vitamin E and magnesium. Eggs are a complete protein, and a great source of a slew of vitamins and minerals, including those which promote healthy brain development. Peas are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while the mushrooms contain anti-cancer agents and also help decrease inflammation.
This cold pasta dish is as delicious as it is nutritious! This pistachio sauce is like a rich, savory nut butter that is loaded with nutrients that lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and fight heart disease. Kale, like other dark, leafy greens, contains powerful anti-cancer properties and decreases the absorption of dietary fats. Cranberries are antioxidant powerhouses with several benefits ranging from anti-aging properties, to cancer prevention.
This simple salmon recipe is easy to prepare, and perfect for entertaining as the recipe scales up or down without difficulty. I’ve already mentioned the amazing health benefits of eating salmon, but if you can get your hands on some Copper River Salmon, like I used here, it’s even higher in Omega-3 fatty acid than other salmon varieties!
I have to include a dessert on this list, because what is life without dessert?! This one, however, is about as healthy as dessert gets without sacrificing richness or flavor. I should also mention that this recipe is vegan, however, you probably wouldn’t know it after trying a bite!