New Year's is a great time to start working towards a healthier You. Kick-off the New Year right with these 15 Healthy New Year's Recipes!
2016 is here! With a brand new year comes another list of resolutions. Among the list probably includes at least one fitness goal to either lose fat or put on lean muscle.
Either way, you need a stellar diet. Healthy eating doesn’t always have to entail bland foods. Here is a list of 15 delicious, healthy New Year’s recipes that you can prepare as a regular meal or for your guests at a party to commemorate a new beginning.
1. Steak Fajita Wraps
If your goals this year also include workplace resolutions, then there may be busy moments at the office. Even if you have to eat on the go, it’s not necessary to opt for a replacement shake, some of which are loaded with simple sugars and preservatives.
Instead, opt for this juicy steak fajita wrap loaded with lean cuts of flank steak wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Serve along with a side serving of sliced apples or pears for an extra vitamin boost.
- Four 100-calorie whole wheat tortillas
- 12 ounces cooked flank steak, sliced
- 1 cup prepared salsa
- 1 cup sliced avocado
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar
- 4 medium apples or pears, for serving
2. Walnut Cranberry Salad
If losing fat is a primary goal this year, then opt for more low-carb meals. Salads are always a good option that are chockful of vitamins and minerals especially if you opt for dark leafy greens.
The addition of turkey provides a source of lean protein, while the walnuts provide a pleasant crunchy texture and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats.
By sprinkling a few cranberries, you’ll get a nice dose of cancer-fighting flavonoids.
- 1 c. walnuts
- ¾ c. low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ c. low-fat mayonnaise
- ¼ c. flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ c. snipped chives
- 1 tbsp. chopped tarragon
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1¼ lb. Roast Turkey
- ¾ c. dried cranberries
- 8 oz. mixed greens
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3. Green Morning Smoothies
Does your resolution includes consuming more fruits and veggies? It should, because vitamins and minerals are just as vital for building muscle and losing fat as it is for general health.
Of course, getting in your daily servings is easier said than done. For convenience sake, blend your own veggie and fruit medley into a delicious smoothie for an antioxidant-dense and naturally sweetened beverage.
For an added protein kick, add a scoop of your favorite whey powder. Similarly, you can also add a spoonful of chia or flax seeds for a boost of omega-3s.
- One whole carrot
- One or two vine tomatoes
- Handful of spinach
- One whole mango
- One whole orange
- One cup of your choice of berries
- ¼ avocado
- Whey protein powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp. chia or flax seeds (optional)
4. Lamb Meatball Sliders
photo: Food Network
Lamb is a tasty and high-protein meat source if you’re looking for an alternative to the more common beef and chicken. Wedge the meat between a dinner roll, and you have an irresistible finger food that makes for a great appetizer or as a protein-rich snack between meals.
If ground lamb isn’t available, you can always use ground beef as a substitute.
For the Meatballs:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 ounces fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 pound merguez (spicy lamb sausage) or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 28 -ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Sliders:
- 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese (1 cup)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 24 slider rolls
- Pickled sliced cucumbers
5. Deviled Eggs With Apple Compote
Eggs are always an excellent protein source, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to just consume the whites and discard the yolk.
The yolk does NOT contribute to LDL cholesterol and, in fact, is a great source of B vitamins and L-arginine, which plays an essential role in the release of growth hormones.
This deviled eggs recipe adds a sweet and tart flavor with the addition of apple compote.
- 8 eggs, hard boiled, cooled and peeled
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon-thyme or fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped
6. Lobster Crostini
Lobster tail doesn’t come cheap, but if you can fit it into your budget, then you have an excellent seafood source that can be made into a lean and healthy appetizer by accompanying the seafood delight with a thinly sliced baguette and spicy cucumbers. Lobster is high in protein, vitamin B-12, selenium, and phosphorous. This makes for a gourmet finger snack if you really want to impress your guests.
- 9 ounce package of frozen cold water lobster tails
- 3 ½ tablespoons diced hot house cucumbers
- 3 ½ tablespoons remoulade sauce
- 2 teaspoons diced chives for garnish
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 baguette thinly sliced
7. Potato Cakes With Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese
This recipe is a nutritional powerhouse. Salmon is loaded with lean protein and omega-3s, while potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B-6, potassium, and dietary fiber. The addition of cream cheese adds to the protein count while lending a generous source of vitamin A.
If prepared the day before, then you have a tasty and nutritious snack that you can take along with you in a Ziploc bag.
For the Potato Cakes:
- 1kg baked potatoes
- 100g butter
- 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the Toppings:
- 280g tub full-fat cream cheese
- 100ml double cream
- zest and juice 1 lemon
- 200g pack smoked salmon slices, cut into strips
- small bunch dill, fronds picked
- 50g caperberries, halved
8. Korean Beef Bulgogi Skewers
Grilled fire meat is a mainstay in most Korean restaurants and buffets. The meat provides plentiful of protein and makes for a wonderful treat minus the carbs.
Traditionally, the meat is prepared and flavored with soy sauce, though it’s recommended that you leave this sauce out since it unnecessarily adds to the sodium content.
The meat already has enough flavor as it is anyways with the additional ingredients that goes into the preparation.
- 300g sirloin steak, fat removed
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 50g chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 tsp chili flakes or Korean chili powder
- 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for frying
- Lettuce leaves
- toasted sesame seeds
- spring onions
9. Quinoa Porridge with Blueberries and Pecans
Quinoa is a type of grain crop cultivated and harvested in South American countries like Peru and Columbia. It is a superfood that also happens to be one of the best sources of plant protein. On top of that, it’s also high in fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium. If you’ve been sticking mostly to oatmeal and toast for breakfast in 2015, then give this delicious quinoa porridge recipe a try. You just might look forward to the first meal of the day for a change.
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon pecans, toasted and coarsley chopped
10. Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad
Here’s another delicious salad great for low carb diets. This can be served in place of a typical carb source like rice or potatoes. It goes great with a serving of beef, chicken breast, or whatever protein source you prefer.
The roasted mushrooms provide a strong heaping of vitamin D. Most mushroom varieties also contain compounds like lectin and glucans, which are believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
As for the green beans, they’re a welcome change from the more traditional iceberg lettuce used in salads.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup farro
- 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup feta, goat or blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
11. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini
Even though zucchini is a summer vegetable, it is still available year-round in some regions. This squash is packed with potassium, and vitamins C and B-6.
By adding shredded chicken and cheddar, you have before you a protein-packed, flavorful meal with minimal carbs.
- 4 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder or to taste
- 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (see below)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
12. Mini Stuffed Potatoes With Spinach and Artichoke
Here is yet another cuisine great as an appetizer or as a portable snack. The standout in this recipe is the inclusion of spinach. This vegetable has been shown to offset diabetes with its high alpha lipoic acid content.
Spinach also contains vitamin K, essential for bone mineral density and improving calcium absorption. However, unlike Popeye, who always got his fill of spinach from a can, try to get yours from a fresh or frozen source.
- 1 lb. package Little Potato Co. microwave ready potatoes
- 4 oz. ⅓-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
- ⅓ cup (1 ¼) grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup chopped canned artichokes
- ¼ cup frozen (defrosted & squeezed) chopped spinach
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
13. Curry Spiced Nuts With Dried Cherries
Traditionally, nuts have always made for a good midday snack. Since they’re calorie-dense, just a small handful will help keep you satiated until your next meal.
If you normally snack on nuts, then this recipe provides a nice variation by adding an additional layer of flavor. The addition of dried cherries also provides for a nice source of vitamins A and C.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup raw pepitas
- 2 ½ tsp curry powder
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
14. Endive Boats With Marinated Vegetables
Due to their curvature, endive leaves are often used as an edible tray for small vegetables and meat. This recipe uses marinated carrots and beets as a topper.
You don’t need an introduction on the health benefits of carrots, but unbeknownst to most people, beets are incredibly nutritious.
In fact, in recent years, beet juice has become a mainstay among athletes due to their performance-enhancing benefits, which some say is comparable to caffeine.
- 1 small fresh beet (about 3 ounces)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 1/2 (about 8 ounces) bulb fennel, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 pounds (5 large heads) Belgian endive
- 2 tablespoons salmon roe (optional)
- 2 teaspoons chopped chervil leaves
15. Purple Rain Vodka
Okay, distilled beverages can’t exactly be classified as healthy, but heck, it’s the New Year; allow yourself to indulge a little. Besides, this version of the Purple Rain utilizes fresh or frozen blueberries and strawberries for a strong vitamin C and antioxidant boost.
Use whole fruits in place of fruit-flavored liquor, which is the way the drink is typically prepared. The addition of sparkling water also balances out the liquor with H2O, so you’ll stay nice and hydrated. It’ll also reduce the chances of a next-morning hangover.
- 2 oz organic vodka
- 1 Tbsp of fresh strawberries
- 1 Tbsp of blueberries
- Dash of fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp of coconut nectar
- Sparkling water
Reinvent Your Meal Plan This New Year
If you plan on improving your physique, now is a better time than ever to start with the dawn of a new year. Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean meals have to be bland and flavorless.
If you love the idea of eating healthier meals, but simply don't have the time to prepare them, then you should check out my Custom Meal Plan..
These plans are designed by me personally and will guide you on what to eat daily (calories, macros, etc....), as well as the best eating practices to optimize fat loss and/or muscle gain!