Quick, Healthy, Delicious: 5 Easy Ways to Have a Delicious and Healthy New Year

Quick, Healthy, Delicious: 5 Easy Ways to Have a Delicious and Healthy New Year

Its that time of year! The time when we all try and recover from all the sweet treats and fatty foods we ate during the holiday season. More veggies you say? Eating clean? Going low carb or Keto? Here are five foods you can prep to make sure you can always throw together a delicious meal no matter how busy you get.

Roast Carrots

Peel a bunch or carrots, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400 until soft and with ever so slightly burnt ends.

  1. Eat these as is as a side dish
  2.  Toss into your salad
  3. Add to a sandwich or wrap

Other veggies to roast: Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, white potato, sweet potato, beets, Brussels sprouts, onions

Boiled Eggs

Perfect jammy eggs are a wonderful luxurious touch you can add to any meal. They are easy to make and make even the simplest salad feel fancy!

Let your eggs come to room temperature. Prep a large bowl full of ice water. Bring water to a boil. Gently slip in your eggs and boil for 6.5 minutes. Remove eggs from pan and slip into the ice water. Chill until they are just a little warm, about 2 minutes. Peel

  1. Add to salad
  2. Make avocado toast and eggs
  3. Add to chicken or tuna salad
  4. Add to asian noodle soup (use spiraled zucchini for your noodles if you are going low carb for the new year)
  5. Grate over roasted asparagus
  6. Eat as is with salt and pepper

Cooked Beans

I know you can buy these in a can… but they are extreamly simple to make and just so much more delicious when you make them at home. I promise!

Soak black beans, white beans or chickpeas in salted water for 18-24 hours.

Drain and rinse then simmer with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bay leaf or a bit of lemon peel until soft and creamy

  1. Serve as a side dish
  2. Transform into a soup
  3. Puree and use as a sandwich spread or a dip
  4. Toss in a salad

Vinaigrette

These are not just for salads. Seriously a little vinaigrette can brighten up almost anything you are eating 

Have it on hand to:

  1. Toss with your roast veggies
  2. Dress your salad
  3. Dress your sandwiches or eraps
  4. Marinate chicken or fish
  5. Drizzle over roasted meats

Basic Vinaigrette

1 part Vinegar or citrus juice

2 parts good olive oil

1-2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp minced shallot

salt/pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a jar and shake until thoroughly combined. Dip a lettuce leaf in and taste. If it tastes too tart add some olive oil. If it does not taste tart enough add more vinegar. Taste again and continue to adjust until you like the balance. Adjust seasoning once you have the tartness level where you want it.

Nut Butter Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon your favorite nut butter: tahini, peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter

2 tablespoons acid: lemon, lime, Apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar

A pinch of seasoning: salt, pepper, chili flake, minced shallot, onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, fish sauce, mustard

Add all ingredients into a jar and shake until thoroughly combined. Dip a lettuce leaf in and taste. If it tastes too tart add some olive oil. If it does not taste tart enough add more vinegar. Taste again and continue to adjust until you like the balance. Adjust seasoning once you have the tartness level where you want it.

Quick Pickle

This one takes a little more planning ahead, but minimal effort. Once you have them, you can quickly grab them and jazz up any meal!

  1. Add to sandwiches
  2. Eat as a snack with a little prosciutto or smoked turkey
  3. Add to a taco
  4. Use the brine as a marinade
  5. Use the brine in your vinaigrette
  6.  eat with roasted meats like carnitas, brisket, chicken, pulled pork

1 lb Veggie of your choice: Onion, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, cauliflower, fennel, yellow squash or zucchini.

a few sprigs of herbs of your choice: oregano, dill, rosemary, fennel fronds

1 tsp whole mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander, or juniper (or combine your faves)

1-2 cloves smashed garlic (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar rice or apple cider
1 tablespoon kosher salt (diamond crystal)
1 tablespoon sugar (also optional)
2 pint size jars or 1 4 pint jar

WASH your jars and lids and dry thoroughly
Prep your veggies (wash, peel and cut to the desired size. Spears, slices, dice whatever you want)
Add herbs and spices and garlic if using to jar
pack in your veggies. Leave 1/2” space at the top. Put in as much veg as you can without breaking or crushing them.
in a saucepan combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil stirring to ensure everything is dissolved
Pout into jars, leaving a 1/2 inch from the top.

Gently tap the jars to get out any air bubbles and add more brine if needed. Top and allow them to cool at room temp. Once totally cooled you can put them in the fridge. You can open and use after 48 hours, the longer they sit, the better they will taste. Date your jars, they are edible for about 2 months…. if they last that long!

Want More? Check out these recipes!

 

More Healthy Recipes

Spanish Style Shrimp and Garlic

  Gambas al Ajillo I think the first meal that hit me as "Spanish" is a classic tapa called gambas al ajillo. At that moment I realized it was going to be harder to navigate a Spanish menu than I anticipated. This was quite a surprise to me. I speak and read...

read more

Easy Tuna Nicoise-ish Dinner Salad

  Looking for a Easy Weeknight Dinner? Keeping dinner interesting, healthy and quick all week long, week after week can be challenging. Sometimes I just don't want to stress about making something, I don't want to go get that one ingredient I'm missing... I just don't...

read more
Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

I love a green salsa. If I get to choose between red and green… I go for green everytime. I love the tart, herby, spiciness of them. Don’t get me wrong I love a tomato based salsa as much as the next girl, but tomatillo salsa… well that has my heart!  You can’t make chilaquiles of any kind, nevermind paleo chilaquiles without salsa. My preference is a  smooth tomatillo salsa made in the simplest way possible, just simmer and blend! This recipe is simple to make and not very hot at all (depending on your peppers of course!). In the Yucatan this would include some habanero, but I prefer this version with serranos instead.

If you have never made your own salsa, let me reassure you. You are basically chucking everything into a sauce pan to simmer and then you are chucking it all in the blender. It does not get much easier than this. I know its pretty easy to buy a jar of tomatillo salsa, but this fresh version is tastier and as a bonus, you get to skip all the nasty preservatives they usually add to keep it shelf stable.

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

A simple and easy tomatillo salsa. Perfect for chilaquiles!

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Tomatillos
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1/2 Onion, white or yellow
  • 2 tbs Avocado oil
  • Salt, Kosher

Instructions

  1. Remove the husk from your tomatillos and rinse to remove the sticky film
  2. Place the tomatillos, whole serrano, and garlic clove in a sauce pan full of water and simmer on low heat until the tomatillos and serrano are soft.

Once they are soft, add 1/3 cup of the water (reserve the rest for now) to the blender along with the peppers, tomatillos and garlic.

  1. Roughly chop onion and add to blender
  2. Add cilantro to blender, stems and all
  3. Put the cover of the blender on but leave the cap in the middle off, cover with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth. Be careful here, the ingredients are hot. Add more liquid if needed to get the consistency you want in the salsa.
  4. Taste and add salt until flavor is balanced
  5. Heat the avocado oil in a skillet and then add mixture from the blender into the pan and cook 5-10 minutes until the flavor of the salsa becomes less raw and more rounded. Add salt to taste if needed.

Cashew Crema

Cashew Crema

Cashew Crema

If you are like me and passing on most things dairy I think you will appreciate this lovely creamy Cashew Crema! I like creamy things… but dairy makes me stuffy as all get out. When I have dairy in my life to any significant degree I end up with a stuffy nose, and generally feel a little bloated, so I have been working to limit my dairy intake to really special cheeses and replace all the rest with something plant-based.

My dairy replacements vary by usage. For sour cream, I might use coconut cream with salt and lime, but it can add a level of sweetness that I don’t always want. In the case of my paleo chilaquiles I really wanted to add pomegranate to the party. Instead of the coconut sour cream, I use this cashew crema. It’s only a few steps and you can make it ahead so it’s ready to use when you need it. Do try and use it all up within seven days though. It won’t hold longer than that,

Make sure and get unsalted raw cashews for this. You will want to be able to adjust the salt to your own taste and having pre-salted cashews will really limit your options. Toasted or roasted cashews while delicious will usually have an oil of some sort added. You really don’t want to have that oiliness in your final crema. Also since crema is very mild in flavor you also don’t want that toasted/roasted nut flavor coming through

Paleo Cashew Crema

Paleo Cashew Crema

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cashew, Raw, unsalted
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup Water

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in water in water. Soak for at least for hours but could go as much as 12 hours
  2. Add cashews to blender with 1/3 cup water, vinegar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. 
  3. Blend until very smooth. Add more water as needed to get the consistency you want. Taste and adjust salt to taste
  4. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate. This will only hold about seven days so use it on everything!

Chimol: Honduras’ Answer to Pico de Gallo

Chimol: Honduras’ Answer to Pico de Gallo

Raw Onions and Green Bell Peppers are Gross

Ok, I am just gonna be honest with ya’ll. This recipe for Chimol is basically a bowlful of onion and green bell pepper. I hate raw onion and I hate raw green bell peppers. If I eat raw onion, I taste it for days. I can brush my teeth and gargle mouth wash and it will still be there. That faint bite of onion sitting in the back of my throat, ruining every other thing I eat. With green bell peppers all you taste is a bitter vegetal flavor. It’s not delicious, it’s just blah. I will cook with them all day long. When they are cooked, they are transformed into deliciousness that I would never want to avoid. Raw though? That is another matter.

Why Eat Chimol?

So why in the world would I post a recipe for Chimol? First, I have a hack for you. Secondly, for some mysterious reason, this stuff is actually delicious. All the flavors magically combine to provide the perfect balance of flavors you need for rich foods like Honduran Skirt Steak. If you have ever had Pico de Gallo, this can be used anywhere you would serve pico. It is a great little salsa that can sprinkled on your taco, nachos, steak, or what ever sounds good to you!

An Onion Hack

So even as a raw onion hater, I have on occaison been served raw onion and eaten it if someone went through the effort of making me something they think is delicious. The least I can do is try it, right? In Spain I was astonished at all the raw onion around that did not attack my palate. I wondered for AGES what the secret was, and one day in a Fernen Adria cookbook, I discovered the secret. Soak your sliced onions in water for about 15 minutes before your add them to your dish. Its soooo simple, but it really, really works. I also find that shallots are much tastier in raw applications than onion, so I often just substitute in shallots for onion, but even then, soak those babies first!

Serve with Honduran Skirt Steak, Curtido de Repollo, rice and beans

Chimol

Chimol

Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1/4 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Watermelon Radish, julienned
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Lime juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all your ingredient in a bowl
  2. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Giving Up Rice

When I went Paleo, I had a really hard time with the idea of giving up rice. I mean, I missed pasta, but giving up rice seemed like I was cooking with one hand tied behind my back. Rice has always been my go-to, quick and easy meal. I could always add some leftovers to precooked rice and chow down. It has taken me some time to find my way back to those flavors and that easy way of cooking.

Discovering Caulifower

Thank God for cauliflower rice. I wasn’t convinced at first. It was probably a year and two Whole30’s before I even tried it! The first time I actually believed that cauliflower rice could be tasty was when I made Nom Nom Paleo’s Asian Fried Cauliflower Rice. It was so dang delicious, I knew then that I could adapt my old standby’s to my new grain-free (ish) world. The very first version I tried transforming was my Greek lemon and spinach rice and so this Lemon Caulirice with Spinach was born.

Transforming on Old Favorite

I created this recipe years ago after eating a delicious Greek meal in downtown Cleveland. I know, Cleveland is not the first place you think of when you think of Greek food, but trust me, they make some truly wonderful Greek food in that town! Now that I eat mostly Paleo, that same dish has evolved into this new version! I hope you will enjoy the Lemon Caulirice with Spinach as much as I do.

Serve with Artichoke Chicken with Lemon and Olives

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Lemon Caulirice with Spinach

Enjoy this Paleo spin on a lemony greek style spinach rice.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Cauliflower, grated
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 1 Lemon, Zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Oregano, dried
  • Salt, Kosher
  • Pepper, Tellicherry, coarsly ground

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on med high
  2. Add cauliflower, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon zest to heated pan
  3. Stir to combine and cook until cauilflower is tender. 
  4. Add a little oil if needed and brown the cauliflower a little, so there are some golden brown flecks throughout the cauliflower 
  5. Add your baby spinach and lemon juice and stir into the cauliflower as the spinach wilts. 
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking if needed.

Chococherry Hazelnut Bliss Balls

Chococherry Hazelnut Bliss Balls

Chocolate Love

 

I have never been much of a sweets person, with two big exceptions, ice cream and chocolate. I love these two food items with a deep abiding love that can not be denied. If I can get a double chocolate ice cream in a chocolate cone and a chocolate drizzle… well that sounds like perfection to me! While my sister loved fruity candies like skittles I always went for things like M&M’s. You might notice on my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, chocolate got first billing. These chocolatiers have all inspired me with their gorgeous sweets and exotic flavors. It is no accident that I have chocolate loves in some of my favorite cities. Deep, dark gorgeous chocolate, I love you so.

 

Paleo Chocoholic

 

When you go paleo, desserts are one of the first things to go. While I am ok with skipping the sweets most of the time, there are times when the occasion just screams for chocolate. Valentine’s Day may top the list of chocolate centered dates. So this year I thought I would come up with something that feels indulgent with none of the side effects that come with refined sugars, grains and food additives.

 

Sweet Indulgences

 

How does a gooey, sticky, sweet but not too sweet chocolate-y treat sound to you? That is exactly what you get with these bliss balls. Flavor-wise it is pretty irrelevant that these are fairly healthy with all the antioxidant punch of pure cocoa plus fiber and potassium from the dates. Who cares about that stuff when you are getting the indulgent satisfaction of deep rich chocolate-y goodness?

 

With treats like this I can have a super indulgent chocolaty treat with no refined sugar, no grain, and no dairy. It is tempting to think something that claims all these things would not be delicious, but these are chewy, sweet and satisfying. While they don’t have much in the way of added sugar, they do have a touch of honey and not an insignificant amount of sugar coming from the dates and cherries, so enjoy in moderation, but don’t hesitate to enjoy!

 

In This Recipe

King Arthur Black Cacao

Raw Hazelnuts

Unsweetened Cherries

Fine Sea Salt

I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.

Chococherry Hazelnut Bliss Balls

Chococherry Hazelnut Bliss Balls

Yield: 8 Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Black Cacao
  • 1/2 cup Raw Hazelnuts
  • 2 pinches Fine Sea Salt
  • 8 Dates
  • 1/3 cup Dried cherries
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Wildflower Honey
  • 4 Hazelnuts finely sliced

Instructions

  1. Place your dates in a bowl and pour hot water over the dates. Let them soak for about five minutes
  2. Place 3 tsps of your cherries into a seperate bowl and pour warm water over them and soak for five minutes
  3. Add Hazelnuts, Cacao and salt to your food processor and blitz until hazelnuts are finely ground
  4. Open your food processor and add vanilla, honey, soaked dated and cherries and process until mixture is fully combined and smooth. 
  5. Pinch off a bit of the mixture and press between your fingers. It should hold together and be sticky. If not add another soaked date.
  6. Divide mixture into eight even pieces and roll them between your palms to make a ball. 
  7. Finely chop the remaining cherries
  8. Roll four of your bliss balls in the shaved hazelnuts and the other four in the chopped cherries
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Pin It on Pinterest