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  • Writer's picturePhil Evans

Healthy Recipes to Start Your Year

Updated: Jan 18

Sticking to a home cooking routine can get awfully boring if you don't have go-to dish ideas that both meet your health goals, and keep your taste buds happy.


That’s why we’ve compiled this tasty collection of 13 healthier comfort food recipes that prove wholesome and delicious! Expect crave-worthy takes on all your favorites, from melty burrito bowls to unbelievably tasty soups. Enjoy!


Vegetable Soup


Vegetable soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil.

  • 1 yellow onion, diced.

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced.

  • 3 stalks celery, sliced.

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.

  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth.

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes.

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed.

  • 1 cup green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1” pieces.

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

  • 1 cup corn kernels.

  • 1 tsp dried thyme.

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary.

  • 1 bay leaf.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves or spinach (optional).

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent.

  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes more until vegetables are tender.

  3. Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, beans and seasonings. Bring to boil.

  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

  5. Add corn and simmer 5-10 minutes more until potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.

  6. Remove bay leaf and stir in kale or spinach and cook until leaves wilt.

  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Serve piping hot and enjoy! Can garnish with parmesan cheese, croutons or fresh herbs.


Lemon Chicken Pasta


lemon chicken pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 1 cup spiralized zucchini.

  • 1 cup baby spinach.

  • ½ cup shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast.

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt.

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper.

  • ½ cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti.

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

  • 1 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs, toasted.


Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini; cook for 1 minute. Add spinach and chicken; cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat. Add cooked spaghetti, Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice; toss to combine. Sprinkle with toasted panko and serve.


4-Ingredient Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Chicken wnchilada casserole

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken breasts or thighs.

  • Enchilada sauce.

  • Corn tortillas.

  • Monterrey Jack cheese.

Instructions:

  1. Cut each chicken breast into three pieces, put them in a medium saucepan, and pour the enchilada sauce over it. Cover with a lid and for about 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat your oven at 375°F (191°C).

  3. Shred the chicken or cut it into small pieces if you prefer.

  4. Now it's time to build the casserole, which you'll do like building a lassagna. Spray some cooking oil in the casserole dish and start by pouring some sauce and spread it out evenly. Then place two tortillas over the sauce, followed by a third of the shredded chicken, a third of the cheese, and more sauce.

  5. Make two more layers following these steps.

  6. Transfer the casserole to the preheated over unlid for 20 to 30 minutes.

  7. Remove and serve with some sour cream or avocado!


Toaster oven tostadas


Toaster oven tostadas

Ingredients:

  • 2 corn tortillas.

  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed.

  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese.

  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice.

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 2 cups mixed salad greens.

  • ¼ avocado, mashed.

  • 2 tablespoons pico de gallo or salsa.

Instructions:

  1. Line a toaster-oven pan with foil and arrange your tortillas on it. Next, cover the tortillas with beans and cheese. Toast until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are starting to brown along the edges, 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place greens in an individual salad bowl. Drizzle lime juice and oil over the greens.

  3. Remove the tostadas from the toaster oven and top with avocado and pico de gallo (or salsa). Serve hot with the dressed greens.


Turkey Zucchini Enchilada Casserole


Turkey zucchini enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey.

  • 1 small onion, diced.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.

  • 2 cups zucchini, diced.

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed.

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes.

  • 1 cup enchilada sauce.

  • 1 tsp cumin.

  • 1⁄2 tsp chili powder.

  • 12 corn tortillas.

  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend.

  • Chopped cilantro, sour cream and avocado for garnish (optional).


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.

  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground turkey until browned throughout, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks. Drain excess fat.

  3. To the skillet, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

  4. Stir in zucchini, black beans, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, cumin and chili powder. Cook for 5 minutes until zucchini starts to soften. Turn off heat.

  5. Cut corn tortillas into strips.

  6. To assemble - Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of prepared baking dish.

  7. Layer half the tortilla strips, half turkey-veggie mixture, and sprinkle over 1 cup shredded cheese.

  8. Repeat layering ending with cheese.

  9. Bake uncovered 25-30 mins until hot and bubbly.

  10. Remove from oven and top with cilantro, avocado, and extra sour cream before serving if desired.


Turkey Burgers


Turkey burger

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey.

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.

  • 1/2 yellow onion.

  • 1 tsp dried oregano.

  • 1/2 tsp salt.

  • 1/2 tsp pepper.

  • cucumber slices, to serve.


Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine grounded turkey, garlic, and add grated onion.

  2. Add oregano, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix!

  3. Form into patties, using 1/5 of the total meat depending on size you want. They will shrink once cooked.

  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet with 2 tbsp avocado oil over medium heat, and once hot, add burgers.

  5. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, then turn the heat to medium low. Cover for the next 5 minutes so the inside cooks. Repeat until all burgers are cooked.

  6. Serve with onion, tomato, buns, or over lettuce.


Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl



Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika.

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin.

  • ½ teaspoon ground chili pepper.

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt.

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.

  • 1 cup dry white rice.

  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce.

  • 1 cup canned corn drained and rinsed.

  • 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed.

  • 1 avocado sliced.

  • ¼ cup sour cream.

  • ¼ cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese.

FOR THE SALSA

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro.

  • ½ tomato chopped.

  • ½ onion chopped.

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar.

  • 4 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes).

  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt.

  • 1 avocado,¼ cup sour cream,¼ cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese.


Instructions:

  1. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, and add them to a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Add the olive oil, paprika, cumin, ground chili pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until chicken is coated with spices and oil.

  3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium, add the chicken, and cook for 7-8 minutes on each side, until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.

  4. Cook the rice according to the box instructions.

  5. In a large bowl, add the chopped lettuce, corn, beans, rice, and cooked chicken.

  6. Make the salsa: Add all salsa ingredients to a bowl and mix well until combined.

  7. Add the salsa, sliced avocado, sour cream, and cheddar cheese on top of the burrito bowls.


Roasted Vegetable Bowl with Pesto



Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided.

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder.

  • ¼ teaspoon salt.

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper.

  • 4 cups broccoli florets.

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, quartered.

  • 1 cup sliced red onion.

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed.

  • 4 tablespoons prepared pesto.


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add broccoli, peppers and onion; toss to coat. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Chop the peppers when cool enough to handle.

  3. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into rice. Top with pesto.


One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta


Pesto chicken pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast.

  • 2 Tbsp butter.

  • 2 cloves garlic.

  • 1/2 lb. penne pasta.

  • 1.5 cups chicken broth.

  • 1 cup milk.

  • 3 oz. cream cheese.

  • 1/3 cup basil pesto.

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.

  • freshly cracked pepper.

  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper.


Instructions:

  • Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. Add the butter to a deep skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside.

  • While the chicken is cooking, mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet with the chicken and continue to sauté for one minute more.

  • Add the uncooked pasta and chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken and garlic. Stir to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.

  • Once the broth comes to a full boil, give the pasta a quick stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, or until it is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed.

  • Once the pasta is tender and most of the broth absorbed, add the milk, cream cheese (cut into chunks), and pesto. Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted into the sauce. Finally, add the grated Parmesan and stir until combined.


Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas


Green goddess salad

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted.

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk.

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, sorrel, mint, parsley and/or cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar.

  • ½ teaspoon salt.


Salad

  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce.

  • 1 cup sliced cucumber.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed.

  • ¼ cup diced low-fat Swiss cheese.

  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved if desired.


Instructions:

  1. To prepare dressing: Place avocado, buttermilk, herbs, vinegar and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth.

  2. To prepare salad: Toss lettuce and cucumber in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Top with chickpeas, cheese and tomatoes. (Refrigerate the extra dressing for up to 3 days.)


Chicken Noodle Soup


Chicken noodle soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon butter.

  • 2 ribs celery , diced.

  • 3-4 large carrots diced.

  • 1 clove garlic , minced.

  • 10 cups chicken stock , or broth.

  • 1 teaspoon salt , to taste.

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , to taste.

  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary ,or more, to taste.

  • 1/8 teaspoon dried sage.

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

  • 1 batch homemade egg noodles , or 5 cups dry egg noodles, farfalle or other bite-size pasta.

  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken.

  • 1 teaspoon better than bouillon chicken flavor, (or more, as needed), or chicken bouillon granules.

Instructions:

  1. Add butter, diced celery and carrots to a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. 

  2. Add chicken stock and season the broth with rosemary, sage, crushed red pepper, and salt (definitely TASTE the broth before adding more salt), and pepper. Taste and add a spoonful of “better than bullion” chicken or chicken bouillon cubes or granules as needed.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. Add noodles (either uncooked homemade egg noodles, or dry store-bought pasta) and cook just until noodles are al dente. 

  4. Add chicken meat from the rotisserie chicken. Taste the broth again and add more seasonings, if needed.


Garlic Butter Zoodles with Chicken Meatballs


Garlic butter zoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken.

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.

  • 1 large egg, beaten.

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided.

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.

  • 1 pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter.

  • 1 pound zucchini noodles.

  • ½ lemon, juiced.

  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste.


Instructions:

  1. Mix ground chicken, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, 2 garlic cloves, parsley, and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl. Season with kosher salt and black pepper and form into tablespoon-sized meatballs.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden brown on all sides and no longer pink in center, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.

  3. Melt butter in the same skillet; add remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add zucchini noodles to the skillet and toss into garlic butter; squeeze in lemon juice. Add meatballs and heat just until warmed through. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese to serve.


Spiced Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup


Lentil soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil.

  • 2 onions, finely chopped.

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed.

  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder.

  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces.

  • 100g red lentils.

  • 1l hot vegetable stock.

  • 1 small bunch coriander, leaves chopped, plus extra to serve.

  • dukkah (see tip) and natural yogurt, to serve.


Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Fry the onions with a pinch of salt for 7 mins, or until softened and just caramelized. Add the garlic, chilli and ras el hanout, and cook for 1 min more.

  2. Stir in the squash and lentils. Pour over the stock and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 mins or until the squash is soft. Blitz the soup with a stick blender until smooth, then season to taste. To freeze, leave to cool completely and transfer to large freezer-proof bags.

  3. Stir in the coriander leaves and ladle the soup into bowls. Serve topped with the dukkah, yogurt and extra coriander leaves.



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