Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New Year!

Instead of focusing on a “New Year, New You” mentality, show yourself some love and aim for a “healthier, happier, best-you-can-be you”! (‘Cause you know what? You’re great just the way you are. Give yourself some props.)

Resolve to treating your beautiful self well in 2016 by working toward a healthier and happier lifestyle. We know that sounds easy in theory and that in practice, this can be something of a tall order. Especially on those weeknights after a long day of work when the frozen pizza’s callin’ your name. Instead of giving into the processed, pre-packaged, frozen temptation, love yourself by spending just a little bit of time in the kitchen. Here are some easy, healthy recipes that don’t require a huge time commitment; they do, however, require that you treat yourself right and choose to eat real, honest, whole foods. We know you can do it.

Nicole’s Zuppa Toscana
3-4 Healthy Living housemade sweet Italian sausages
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 qts chicken stock
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2” cubes
1 bunch kale, rinsed, deribbed and shredded
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

In large skillet over medium heat, cook sausages until browned and completely cooked through, turning as needed. Set aside to cool, then slice or crumble them. In a dutch oven or soup pot, cook bacon over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove bacon and set aside to cool; drain out most of the grease, reserving a couple tablespoons in the pot. Finely dice bacon. Add onions to bacon grease and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add stock, bring to boil and add potatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Add sliced or crumbled sausage, diced bacon, kale, and heavy cream. Simmer for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Fennel Bake
5 lbs large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed
4 apples, peeled and cored
1 medium onion, peeld
½ cup tamari
1 ½ Tbsp corn or potato starch
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup maple syrup

Mix the tamari, cumin, cayenne, maple syrup with about ½ cup to ¾ cup cold water. Stir to combine, then add the corn/potato starch. Slice the sweet potatoes, fennel, apples, and onions finely, using a mandolin or food processor. Layer the ingredients in a shallow, lightly oiled baking pan. Pour half of the liquid mixture (stir right before pouring over to be sure starch is combined). Cover baking pan with foil and bake in a 400°F oven for half an hour. Reduce heat to 350°F, uncover pan, pour the rest of the liquid over the vegetables and bake another half hour or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Pan Roasted Shallot and Herb Chicken
2 skin-on chicken breasts
1 small bunch parsley(approx. 8 sprigs), leaves removed and roughly chopped
4 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, as needed

Heat a large pan on medium high with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom. As pan heats, salt and pepper skin side of chicken breast. Once oil begins to helicopter add chicken, skin side down. Do not overcrowd pan. Allow chicken to cook for 3-4 minutes until skin is browned and crisp. Flip breasts and lower heat to medium. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add butter, garlic, and shallots to pan and cook on medium low until soft. Add white wine and reduce to half. Add chicken stock, reduce to half, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and mix in fresh parsley. Pour over chicken breast and serve immediately.

Three Bean Turkey Chipotle Chili
1.5 lb ground turkey
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp canned chipotle peppers
1 bay leaf
1 28-oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Avocados, cilantro, scallions, cheddar, and sour cream, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat the oil over high heat. Brown the turkey thoroughly, working in batches if necessary. Don’t worry about cooking the turkey through all the way, it will continue to cook in the stew. When all the meat is brown remove it from the pot and add the carrot, onion and celery. Cook gently over medium heat until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Cook one minute more until all the spices are fragrant. Add the bay leaf and chipotle peppers. Add the tomatoes and stock. Put the turkey back into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to get very tender. Add the beans in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with your favorite garnishes.

Indian Garbanzo Bean Curry
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 28-oz can diced tomato
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro

Heat the vegetable oil (or ghee) in a large skillet. When shimmering, add the onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom and curry powder. Sauté gently until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the diced tomato and juices and the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium low heat for 25-30 minutes. Serve with rice and chopped cilantro.


Tangy Chinese Street Noodles
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 serrano or cayenne pepper, thinly sliced
1 9-oz pkg wheat lo mein noodles, cooked and drained
¼ lb (about 4 cups) fresh spinach
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, water, and sugar in a small mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Heat a large sauté pan or wok over high heat and add a small amount of vegetable oil, about 2 Tbsp. Add the garlic, scallions, and pepper and toss quickly to gently sauté. Add the noodles and use tongs to toss them around in the pan, stir frying, until heated through. Add the sauce mixture to the noodles and toss to coat. Allow the noodles to cook in the sauce until well coated and the sauce has slightly thickened. Stir in the spinach to wilt, and sprinkle with sesame oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve hot!

Paula’s Paella
2 cups basmati rice
3 1/3 cups water
1 ½ tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
1 ½ cups green pepper, chopped
1 ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups canned diced tomato
¾ cup canned artichokes hearts, chopped
¾ cup roasted red pepper
½ cup peas
1/3 cup green olives, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot with lid. Add rice and turmeric, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Cook onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the pepper, garlic, basil, turmeric, salt and pepper and cook until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, heat through. When rice is done, add to mixture, stir to combine.

Butternut squash

Butternut Squash Pizza with Sage or Rosemary
1 cup sliced onion
½ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
½-1 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella
1 prebaked pizza crust
2-3 tsp chopped fresh sage or rosemary
2-3 Tbsp grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the prepared squash and onions with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally for even cooking. When vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, remove from the oven and let cool. Add the fresh herbs and stir to distribute evenly. Sprinkle the grated cheddar or mozzarella on the prebaked crust and top with the squash and onion mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes until crust is golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated Asiago or Parmesan.